Some passport holders, like the French, are lucky enough to enter Vietnam without applying for a visa. As Canadian and Australian passport holders, we are obligated to apply for a visa. The Vietnamese visa was quite more a chore to get but now is quite easy as you can apply for it online. This article should be able to help you out to make your entry to Vietnam much easier. You can also read the comprehensive way to get a SIM card in Vietnam.
It is recommended to apply for the online visa for Vietnam
By doing so, you can walk straight to the border control and hand them your visa printed paper along with your passport to get it. You then only get a stamp and that will avoid you having to wait at the arrival visa counter and a whole page lost for the visa paper.
Don’t listen to Google: don’t buy any letter of invitation
When you search for the visa for Vietnam, most ranking results are travel agencies and other companies trying to lure you into buying the visa approval letter, which is one of the requirements for a visa on arrival in Vietnam. Although stop right now, you can straight apply for an online visa.
Visa Free for Vietnam in 2019
Some countries do not need a visa for Vietnam anymore. Here are the countries that can benefit of this visa-free program in Vietnam:
- 90 days: Chile
- 30 days (7 countries): Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand
- 21 days: Philippines
- 14 days (2 countries): Brunei, Myanmar
- 15 days, with restrictions (13 countries) Belarus* Denmark* Finland* France* Germany* Italy* Japan* Norway* Russia* South Korea* Spain* Sweden* United Kingdom*1
*: A gap of at least 30 days between two visa-free visits is required. Must have a printout of an onward ticket. *1 – for British citizens only.
Vietnam Visa Exemptions
If you are Vietnamese by origin, you can apply to be a holder of a Certificate of Visa Exemption. Those with that paper in their passport do not require a visa regardless of nationality. A Certificate of Visa Exemption is valid for up to 5 years or up to 6 months before the passport expiration date (whichever is shorter). Like I said, this is available for Vietnamese residing abroad or spouses or children of Vietnamese citizens or Vietnamese residing abroad. The exemption visa is valid for up to 90 consecutive days of stay. There is no limit placed on the number of entries or exits during the stay or minimum waiting time needed in between every 90 days of stay.
Vietnam Visa Online (Vietnam e-visa)
If you are unlucky, you may be asked to have an onward ticket out of Vietnam upon arrival. Our experience of going to Vietnam 3 times a year, this has never been asked. Most nationalities can apply for an e-visa on arrival for Vietnam in 2019
Vietnam E-visa Application
The process for a Vietnam e-visa is pretty straight forward and easy to arrange online. Click here for the official government website. Go on the website and follow the instructions. You will need to upload your passport page and pay the Vietnam e-visa fee of 25$US. You will get your Vietnam e-visa approved and within 3 working days, or can pay more for an express one. You will not be asked during this application for a flight out of Vietnam. This is only more likely to happen to those that have 15 days of visa-free. Click here for the government official website to apply for your Vietnam e-visa.
What passports are eligible for the Vietnam E-visa
All European Union citizens, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China (1), Colombia, Cuba, Fiji, Georgia, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Switzerland, Timor Leste, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.
(1) does not apply to e-passport holders.
Vietnam Visa on Arrival 2019 update
Visa on Arrival is only suggested if you are not eligible for an e-visa. We strongly push you to apply for the e-visa in advance if you can. Not only it is cheaper, it will save you a full page in your passport and also be faster to go through. Having your invitation letter, when you land you go to the Visa on Arrival counter. This invitation letter will have to be received from your tour, hotel or online company you used to get the paper.
Getting the Vietnam Visa Invitation letter
To get this letter you will need to apply for one online. It shouldn’t cost you more than 25$US and can actually find cheaper. You will need this letter to board your plane towards Vietnam. When you arrive, you still will have to go to the Visa on Arrival counter to make your visa and pay for that fee as well.
How to get a Visa on Arrival for Vietnam (2019)
- You need to make sure to have your invitation letter in hand.
- Once you land, search for the Visa on Arrival counter
- There you will need to fill up the paper of the Vietnam visa application form.
- You will need a proper passport photo (not printed on regular paper).
- You then need to get in line and hand them your passport with the visa application form, the passport photo and the visa invitation letter.
- The officer will then tell you to take a seat and wait for at least 10 minutes until your name is called.
- When you get called, you will have to pay the visa and get your passport with that full page visa.
- Then regular process, walk up to the border control counter and pass customs.
You can expect to wait up to 30 minutes or more if you land with many other planes or simply land during quite a busy time.
Vietnam Visa cost
It is recommended to bring USD for your visa fees. If you already have VND, it is okay to use it but you will be charged more.. Note that if you bring Euro’s, you will be charged the same as in Dollars.
What you need for a Vietnam Visa on Arrival
- Your passport must be valid for more than 6 months upon arrival
- Printed invitation letter
- Passport photo
- Money for the visa fee: 25$US. Try to have the exact change