How to get a Vietnam visa

Planning a trip to Vietnam? Lucky you! A host of unforgettable experiences await. But before you get carried away dreaming of said unforgettable experiences, it’s important to attend to a few practical matters, among them wising up on how to get a Vietnam visa. Read on to discover how to do exactly that, with advice on what kind of Vietnam visa you need, how long they last, and what they cost.

Do I need a Visa to go to Vietnam? 

Whether you need a visa to go to Vietnam depends on two factors. Firstly, how long you’re saying, and secondly, your nationality.

As of 15th August 2023, if you hold a British, French, Italian, German or Spanish passport, you can stay in Vietnam for up to 45 days without needing a visa. 

If you’re staying for longer than 45 days, or hold a different passport, you do.

UK citizens

To reiterate, UK citizens staying in Vietnam for 45 days or less don’t need to do anything in terms of getting a Vietnam visa. You simply don’t need one.

Saying longer than 45 days? UK citizens will need to get a Vietnam visa ahead of travelling. There are a couple of ways to do this — details below.

US citizens

US citizens do need a visa before entering Vietnam. Your best bet is to apply for an e-visa, which are issued with a validity of up to 90 days. More on the process below.

Railway Hai Van Pass, Vietnam © Shutterstock

Hai Van Pass, Vietnam © Shutterstock

How to get a Vietnam visa

Navigating the process for obtaining a Vietnam visa can be a straightforward endeavor if you know the essential steps and requirements involved. These are your best options.

Applying for an e-visa online

You can apply for a Vietnam e-visa online through completing a form and submitting your passport details, including a scanned image of your passport.

E-visas are issued for stays of up to 90 days, and are valid for multiple entries. Note that use of the e-visa is limited to certain entry/exit points, which must be selected and specified at the time of application. 

You can’t make amendments once your application is completed.

Applying for a Visa on Arrival

Note you can no longer obtain a Visa on Arrival (VOA). If you need a Vietnam visa, you need to have it before you arrive. 

Basically, don’t board your flight without a visa and expect to sort it when you land.

Applying via the Vietnamese embassy or consulate

In addition to the online application option, you can apply for your visa at the Vietnamese embassy or consulate.  

Best to download, print and complete the form in advance and then check their office hours. When you visit, you’ll also need to bring your passport, have your travel plans to hand, and bring cash to pay the fee.

Once approved and issued, your visa will be posted to you. 

Incense sticks drying outdoor in Hanoi, Vietnam © Shutterstock

Hanoi, Vietnam © Shutterstock

Can I get help with Vietnam Visas? 

While the process of applying for Vietnam e-visa online is pretty straightforward, a number of agencies offer a Vietnam visa application service.

Alternatively, you could call on the expertise of our local Vietnam experts — on hand to help curate your perfect Vietnam itinerary, they can also offer advice on practical matters, like visas.

How quickly will I get the visa?

After completing and submitting the online form — and paying — it usually takes three working days for applicants to be emailed their Vietnam e-visa.

You should then download and print the e-visa.

Cai Rang floating market, Vietnam © Shutterstock

Cai Rang floating market, Vietnam © Shutterstock

How long is a Vietnam visa valid?

The Vietnam e-visa is valid for 90 days. You can extend your Vietnam visa if you like. We cover that topic later on.

How much does a Vietnam visa cost?

Single-entry Vietnam e-visas cost $25, while multiple-entry e-visas come with a $50 fee. This is payable as part of the application process.

Can I extend my visa while in Vietnam?

It is possible to extend your visa while you’re in Vietnam, subject to your passport being valid for at least six months.

In addition, you should apply for your extension at least seven working days before your current visa is due to expire. This is to allow enough time for it to be processed.

It’s also important to note that visa extensions must be done in person at the immigration office in Hanoi, Da Nang, or Ho Chi Minh City.

Danang, Vietnam © Galina Savina/Shutterstock

Danang, Vietnam © Galina Savina/Shutterstock

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