Vietnam Country Guide

Getting In


Visa on Arrival

Applying for Visa on Arrival
The term "visa on arrival" is a bit of a misnomer in the case of Vietnam as a letter of approval has to be obtained before arrival. This is handled by a growing number of on-line agencies for a fee of USD9-21, depending on the agency. Most agencies accept payment by credit card and some accept payment by Western Union. Note that visas on arrival are not valid for border crossings and can only be obtained at the three international airports at Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang.
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The agent offering the online service is located in Vietnam - obtains from the Department of Immigration a letter of approval bearing the traveller's name, date of birth, date of arrival, nationality and passport number. The letter of approval is then forwarded to the traveller by email (in PDF or JPEG format) or fax, usually within three working days. It is common to get the letter with several other applicants passport details (passport number, date and place of birth, full name, etc.). You might share your personal information with up to 10-30 other applicants on the same letter. For persons who are concerned about their privacy or security, it is recommended to check first if the agencies have an option for a separate or private approval letter on their website. Very few on-line agencies have this option. Apply for a regular visa through an embassy or consulate if you prefer to keep your personal details private.

Danang International Airport by Dragfyre

On Arrival
After landing at one of the three international airports, the traveller goes to the "Visa Upon Arrival Counter" and shows the letter, fills an additional arrival form (can be pre-filled before departure) and receives an official stamp (sticker) in his or her passport. A stamping fee of USD45 (USD50 for a multiple entry visa) is must be paid in cash. Payment is only in U.S. dollars or Vietnamese dongs (VND) and the currency notes must be in as new condition or they will be refused. Two passport photos (often 4X6 cm) are also required.  

Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) by WiNG

Travel advisory from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office mentions on its website (dated 11 March 2013" mentions:

"There are legitimate companies that can arrange visas on arrival, but you must organise this before you arrive in Vietnam. There are also a number of bogus companies claiming to offer this service. The Embassy and Consulate General cannot confirm whether a company has a legitimate arrangement in place."

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