A Comprehensive Guide to Vietnam Visa Application and Requirements

Foreign travelers planning a trip to Vietnam often need to secure a visa, unless they belong to one of the exempted countries. Here’s a detailed guide covering the Vietnam visa policy, application process, types of visas, and requirements.

Do I Need a Visa for Vietnam ?

Unless exempted, travelers to Vietnam require a visa. Citizens of certain countries enjoy short-term visa-free travel, typically ranging from 14 to 90 days. These exemptions are subject to specific conditions, including waiting periods between visits for some countries.

Types of Vietnam Visas

Vietnam offers various types of visas, tailored to different purposes of entry :

1. Vietnam Tourist Visa (DL): For tourism and recreational purposes.

2. Vietnam Business Visa (DN): Short-term visa for business-related activities.

3. Vietnam Work Visa (DN/LD): For employment or business purposes.

4. Vietnam Student or Internship Visa (DH): For studying or internship programs.

5. Vietnam Diplomatic Visa (NG1 – NG4): For diplomats or government officials.

6. Vietnam Investor Visa (DT): For foreign investors.

7. Vietnam Transit Visa: For transit travelers.

Vietnam Visa Requirements

When applying for a Vietnam visa, several documents are necessary, including :

– Valid passport with at least six months’ validity.

– Passport-size photos meeting specific Vietnam specifications.

– Completed Vietnam Visa Application Form.

– Proof of visa fee payment.

– Additional documents may be required, such as a Letter of Invitation or Sponsorship.

How to Apply for a Vietnam Visa ?

There are three main methods to apply for a Vietnam visa :

1. Embassy or Consulate : Apply in person at a Vietnamese diplomatic mission abroad.

2. Online : Apply for a Vietnam e-Visa if eligible, entirely through the Vietnam Immigration Portal.

3. On Arrival: Obtain a Vietnam Visa On Arrival after obtaining an Approval Letter online.

Obtaining a Vietnam Visa from an Embassy or Consulate

Applicants can apply for a Vietnam visa at a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate abroad by following these steps :

– Contact the Embassy/Consulate to schedule an appointment and inquire about specific requirements.

– Gather required documents, including the completed application form and supporting materials.

– Submit the application and pay the visa fee.

– Wait for processing and collect the passport with the visa if approved.

Apply for Vietnam Visa online (Vietnam e-Visa)

Eligible travelers can apply for a Vietnam e-Visa online by :

– Initiating an online application through the Vietnam Immigration Portal.

– Providing scanned copies of the passport and a passport-size photo.

– Completing the online application form and paying the e-Visa fee.

– Waiting for processing and checking the application status online.

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Apply for Vietnam Visa On Arrival

Travelers arriving at designated Vietnamese airports can obtain a Visa On Arrival by :

– Obtaining an Approval Letter through authorized travel agencies.

– Completing an online application with passport information and arrival details.

– Paying the service fee and waiting for the Approval Letter via email.

– Printing the Approval Letter and presenting it upon arrival, along with necessary documents and the visa stamping fee.

Processing Time and Duration of Vietnam Visa

The processing duration for Vietnam visas fluctuates.

– Vietnam e-Visa: About three working days.

– Vietnam Visa On Arrival: Between 2 – 4 working days for the Approval Letter.

– Embassy/Consulate Visa: Processing time depends on the specific diplomatic mission.

Vietnam visas are issued for durations ranging from single-entry 1-month or 3-month visas to multiple-entry visas for longer periods, depending on the purpose of travel.

Can You Extend a Vietnam Visa ?

Visa extensions are possible for those wishing to stay in Vietnam beyond the expiration of their current visa. Extensions or renewals can be applied for at Immigration Offices, subject to specific rules and regulations.

Cost of Vietnam Visa

The cost of a Vietnam visa varies depending on the type and method of application :

– Vietnam e-Visa: USD 25.

– Vietnam Visa On Arrival: Stamping fees range from USD 25 to USD 135, plus additional service fees for the Approval Letter.

– Embassy/Consulate Visa: Fees vary and must be checked with the specific diplomatic mission.

Travel Health Insurance for Vietnam

While not mandatory, travelers to Vietnam are typically advised to purchase comprehensive travel insurance covering the entire duration of their stay. Expatriates staying longer may explore expat health insurance options for extended coverage.

Vietnam Visa for US Citizens

US citizens can apply for a Vietnam visa at Vietnamese Embassies or Consulates or opt for an eVisa or Visa On Arrival. Specific diplomatic missions handle visa applications for US citizens, with the option of online application for certain visa types.


Navigating the Vietnam visa process involves understanding the policy, selecting the appropriate visa type, and fulfilling all requirements. Whether applying through an Embassy, online, or upon arrival, travelers can ensure a smooth visa application process by following the outlined guidelines.


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