Any and all visas to enter Vietnam must be arranged before you arrive. Tourist visas are no exception. In fact, you will not even be able to board your flight without a visa. Therefore, it’s essential you arrangements well in advance of your flight.
This is the most popular visa for entering Vietnam and the easiest to arrange. Typically tourist visas come in two forms – 30 day and 90 day, single entry or multiple entry. If you think that you may pop over to Cambodia, Laos or any other neighboring country then getting the multiple entry in advance will save you money, and, even more importantly, time.
Costs of tourist visas vary widely based on where you apply. In America we’ve heard of people paying upwards of $150 USD for a 30 day single entry, whereas in Australia some report paying as little as $50 USD for a 90 day multiple entry. By far the cheapest and fastest options are in neighboring countries with established ties to Vietnam. A Vietnam visa arranged in Bangkok will run about $30 if done directly through the embassy; similar reports come from travellers entering Vietnam via Cambodia. Therefore, if possible, get your visa at a Vietnamese embassy in an ASEAN nation.
Vietnam Visa on Arrival
Vietnam offers what it calls a “visa on arrival” however this is a rather liberal interpretation of the term. A better term is “pre-arranged visa.” Remember, you cannot depart for Vietnam without a visa already in hand. For those pursuing “visa on arrival” this means you must receive a letter of invitation to enter Vietnam, upon which you will make a visa. To the best of our knowledge this option is only available at either of the international airports – Tan Son Nhat or Noi Bai.
There are a variety of companies offering this option online now, including ourselves, VietDreamTravel. How the process is works is quite simple. You simply submit a copy of your passport . We then submit this to the Department of Immigration who then produce a Letter of Invitation which we email to you along with an accompanying application for entry form. Simply print the letter and application form and bring them to the airport to board your flight. The application form should be completed prior to arrival and must include a passport sized photo of yourself (4 cm X 6 cm).
Once you arrive in Vietnam you will check in at the Visa on Arrival desk. Give the immigration officers your and application form. Immigration will then insert the visa into your passport and you will be on your way. Prices vary depending on the country you are from and the length of stay in Vietnam.
This is an increasingly popular option for travellers entering from outside of Asia. We highly recommend it. However, do take precautions regarding whom you submit your passport to. A bit of homework online can save you a world of trouble.
The rules regarding visa extensions seem to change quite frequently. Typically it is possible to extend a tourist visa for 30 days while you are still inside the country. Most travel agents can do this for you, as well as a number of guesthouses and hotels. As always, prices vary and it can worth shopping around.
For those looking to renew more than 30 days exiting and re-entering with a new visa may be required. Again, the regulations change from time to time so it is best to check what the current rules are 10 to 15 days before your visa expires.
If you have any questions regarding how to acquire or extend your visa fell free to send us an email. We’ll be more than happy to help you out.
Below are some helpful links to get you going in the right direction: