Quick link to your answer
Want to know in 1 minute which visa you need for Vietnam? With this Visum Guide you will know this by answering 3 easy quick questions. We also compare tthe best and cheapest websites to apply for your Visa..
It became a very hard job to filter out the trustworthy pages when searching for Visa information online. There are many scams out there which use migration, embassy etc. in their domain name to let them appear official but they are not!
As far as I know there are only 2 official Vietnam Visa websites from the governments:
Feel free to check them out, but in the next paragraph I will clearly explain which websites you have to visit so you don’t waste your time on searching for information you don’t need.
Which Visa do you need?
Ask yourself these 3 questions to determine which visa you need.
If you are you citizen of one of the countries below, you do not need a visa in Vietnam as long as your stay doesn’t exceed the maximum number of days. If the only place you are going to visit is Phu Quoc, you also don’t need a Visa.
|Max duration||Exempted countries|
|30 days||Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore|
|15 days||Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russian, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK|
|14 days||Brunei, Myanmar|
*When re-entering Vietnam, the entry date must be at least 30 days from the previous exit
**When only visiting Phu Quoc, tourists don’t need a Visa if their stay is less than 30 days. This exemption is also valid for transit through other international border gates of Vietnam.
See the Official government website for the list of exempted countries.
Staying less than 30 days?
When staying less than 30 days in Vietnam and you are not eligible for the Visa exemption., you can check the official e-visa website to see if your nationality is eligible for e-Visa.
- Country included in the list -> Go to ‘e-Visa Application process
- Not included -> See question 3
Staying +30 days or want a multi-entry visa?
When staying for more than 30 days or want to apply for a multiple-entry Visa you have to apply for a Letter of Approval. You also need to apply for this letter when your nationality is not eligible for a e-Visa. To apply for this letter you have 3 options:
- Apply for a Letter of Approval to get a Visa on Arrival when entering Vietnam
- Get your Visa at the Vietnamese Embassy of your country
- Let an agency arrange your Visa
How to apply for your Visa
E-Visa Application process
Starting from February 2017, Vietnam started a 2 year pilot with electronic visa’s. Citizen from 46 countries are eligible to apply for this single-entry visa. The 30 day visa costs $25 and the application process takes about 3 business days.
Visit the official government website to apply for the e-Visa.
- Upload passport + portrait photo (4x6cm)
- Fill out personal details
- Information about stay (length, arrival, departure etc.)
- Confirm information filled out
- Pay the $25,- fee and your application will be processed in 3 business days.
- Accepted international cards: Visa, Mastercard, JCB
If you want to stay longer, you can apply for an extension after you entered Vietnam. However, If you know from the beginning that you will stay it is cheaper to apply for a 90 days Visa on Arrival.
- Carefully check if your country is included in the list before applying. Your payment will not be refunded if the application is refused!
- Make sure your picture is clear, you look into the camera, wear no glasses and has the right format (4x6cm)
- You can test your photo on this official government website, but unfortunately the website often fails to finish the test.
- You can enter from 28 international checkpoints (land, ferry and air). See the full list here
- Intended temporary residential address in Vietnam: Book a stay for your first day and use this address
- Intended length of stay in Vietnam (number of days): If you are not sure when you will leave Vietnam use the maximum number of days allowed to stay (30 days)
- Exit through checkpoint: If you do not have a ticket out of the country fill out the city you expect to exit.
Letter of Approval (Visa on Arrival)
Citizen of countries who are not eligible for an e-visa need to apply for a letter of approval which you need to show at the airport to obtain a visa stamp. Another reason to apply for a letter of approval is when you intend to stay more than 30 days or want to apply for a multi-entry visa.
You need the letter of approval to obtain a visa on arrival when entering Vietnam. The lowest price to obtain the letter of approval $6. Note that this letter of approval is not your visa! When entering Vietnam, you will have to show this letter to the migration officers at the airport. After you showed them the letter, you will have to pay $25,- to get the visa stamp on your passport, which allows you to stay in Vietnam for a maximum of 30 days.
If you do not have an e-Visa and neither a letter of approval, your entry to Vietnam will be refused!
Below you will find an overview of the most common visas and prices.
|Type of entry||30 days||90 days||Stamp fee|
The prices are based on the official stamp fees and costs for letter of approval from cheapvietnamvisa.net. I have to admit that the website looks a a bit dodgy, but for me it worked really well and I also find good reviews about this website.
If you don’t trust this website you could also use vietnamvisacenter.org, which is recommended by Lonely Planet. However, fees are more expensive and the simplest options (30 days, single entry) starts from $20. Eventually, you will get exactly the same letter of approval as cheapvietnamvisa.net.
- In addition to your Letter of Approval you will need 2 portrait photo’s to get your Visa stamped
- Make sure you bring $25 or equivalent in EUR or VND in cash. Using an ATM before the migration is not possible!
- The Vietnamese government requires to have at least 10 names on the list of approval. If you want more privacy however, you can pay $6-$10 extra to obtain a private letter.
- Officially you are only allowed to enter Vietnam by airport with a letter of approval. Probably you can also enter over land, but always double check the organization that issued your letter of approval.
Visa on Arrival from Agency or Embassy
There are only 2 reasons why you should consider to get your visa at the Embassy or at an agency:
- You are entering Vietnam over land
- You are arriving at another airport than Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Danang or Phu Quoc
If one of the 2 situations apply to you, you can double check if the issuing company for your Letter of Approval allows this. However, if you want to be completely on the safe side, applying for your Visa at an Embassy or Agency is best option to go.
Note that you do not have to get the airport stamp anymore when you arrive in Vietnam with this option. However, applying for a Visa at an Agency or Embassy will always be more expensive than the total amount of $31 required to pay for the Letter of Approval ($6) and the $25 stamp fee. Also you will either have to visit the Embassy /Agency or send them your passport.
For more details check out the website of the Vietnam Embassy or local agency in your country.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Return ticket required?
A flight or bus ticket outward Vietnam is officially required, but in most cases they won’t ask you. If you don’t have this ticket, officials could refuse you from the flight to Vietnam or at Vietnam Airport. As a back-up you can always book a bus ticket outward of Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh (Cambodia) on Baolau for just 270.000 VND (€10).
- How long should my passport be valid?
Vietnam law requires the Visa expire date to be at least 30 days before the passport expire date. Also keep in mind that airlines require your passport to be valid for at least another 6 months.
- Can I enter Vietnam after the starting date or before the exit date of the Visa?
Yes, you can enter or exit Vietnam on any date within the validity period of your Visa.
- What are the fees you have to pay for overstaying?
Fees are not officially reported, but expected to pay around $25 p/day. By extending your visa you can prevent to pay these extra fees. However, expect this to take more than 5 days. To extend your visa while in Vietnam, you can visit a local agency or visit eVietnamVisa.