VietnamTravel Tips & InfoHow to Get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival - VOA

How to Get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival – VOA

For those interested in traveling to Vietnam, do not let the visa application discourage you making your trip. The good news is that the internet has facilitated the visa process significantly. Therefore, getting a Vietnam visa is getting easier. However, there are three ways to get the visa, and it could be easily mistaken for one another. In this guide, we aim to give you some distinguishment between those regular Vietnam visas and Vietnam visa on arrival.

The Three Ways to Obtain a Vietnam Visa

  • The first is the traditional way, visit or mail your forms to a Vietnam embassy or Consulate in your home country.
  • The second way is to fill an online application form and receive an electronic visa (e-visa).
  • And last, delegating the process to a third party, an agency to get a Vietnam visa on arrival. These are all issued to foreigners by Vietnamese Immigration Department.

The visa you get by handing in the application directly to the Vietnam embassy or consulates will be stamped onto your passport before your departure to Vietnam. With the e-visa, you also receive the approval announcement and a self-printed version of the visa prior to your visit. But if you opt for a Vietnam visa on arrival, you will need to have a letter of approval before leaving and only when you reach Vietnam airport will you get the visa stamped.

Differences between the Three Types of Vietnam Visa Application

Vietnam e-visa process is quite similar to Vietnam visa on arrival, but they are different. People often mistake them, so the below table will provide details about their similarities and differences.

ItemVietnam Embassy/ConsulateVietnam E-visaVietnam Visa on Arrival
Submission platformOfflineOnlineOnline
  • By Vietnam Immigration Department
  • At Vietnam consular authorities in your country (look for “Issued at” on your visa to know)
  • By Vietnam Immigration Department
  • No information of issuance location
  • By Vietnam Immigration Department
  • At consular authorities at the Vietnam international airports
Applied to
  • Tourism, business, family/friend visit, and other purposes
  • All travelers to Vietnam
  • Air, land, sea travel
  • Tourist visa only
  • Travelers from 80 countries.
  • Air, land, sea travel
  • Tourism, business, family/friend visit, and other purposes
  • All travelers to Vietnam
  • Air travel only
ValidityAny types of entry and time of staying30 days and single entry onlyDepend on the agencies’ service, but typically
+30 days, single/multiple entry(s)
+3 months, single/multiple entry(s)
+6 months, multiple entries
+1 year, multiple entries
NoYes (apply at least 7 working days before the expiration)
  • Stamping fee; paid in cash at or by electronic payment
    $25 (single entry, 30-day tourist visa). For more information on the stamping fee of other visas, see here
  • Additional fees: processing, transportation, and other fees; vary depending on embassy and consulates; paid in cash or by electronic payment
  • Non-refundable in case your visa application is rejected
  • Stamping fee only: $25 (for 30-day tourist visa); paid via electronic payment
  • Non-refundable in case your visa application is rejected
  • Service fee: vary depending on visa types and agencies; paid visa electronic payment
  • Stamping fee; paid in cash at the airport
    $25 (single entry, 30-day tourist visa). Other visa stamping fees are the same as embassy/consulates quoted
  • Refundable in case your visa application is rejected (depend on agencies’ policy)
Application process
  • Get and fill the application form at the Vietnam consular authorities or visa website of Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Submit (in person or by email) your original passport, the filled application form, and two 4×6 cm pictures of yourself
  • Pay the visa fee
  • Receive your passport with the visa has been stamped onto, in person or telegram (upon request)
  • Fill the online form for e-visa on Vietnamese Immigration Department’s official site
  • Attach files, including photos of yourself and your passport pages
  • Pay the visa fee
  • Receive a digital code to check application process and results
  • If your application is approved, print out the e-visa
This is done via agencies. See the general procedures explained in the following part.
Processing timeOn average, 5 working days to processOn average, 3 working days
  • On average, 2 working days
  • Up to 2 hours in urgent cases
Ports of entryAt any international ports of entry

33 ports, including
+8 international airports
+16 international border crossings
+9 seaports

Click here for more details

5 international airports, including
+Noi Bai
+Tan Son Nhat
+Da Nang
+Cat Bi
+Cam Ranh
Notes for immigration procedures
  • Need to contact the embassy or consulates directly for information about required documents and processing time
  • No need to stop at the Visa-on-Arrival (Landing Visa) Counter
  • Do not forget to print and take your approved E-visa with you
  • No need to stop at the Visa-on-Arrival (Landing Visa) Counter
  • Have to get the visa stamped onto your passport at Visa on Arrival (Landing Visa) Counter.
  • It may take up to 30 minutes or an hour if there are many people staying there for the same reason as yours


How to Get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival VOA 3 How to Get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival VOA 2

You will get your visa stamped at the Vietnam Landing Visa Counter

When to Apply for Vietnam Visa on Arrival

  • If you are not traveling to Phu Quoc (currently the only visa-free destination in Vietnam)
  • If you are not in the visa exemption list
  • If you are not in the list of countries eligible to apply for the e-visa
  • If you don’t want to apply for a visa at the Vietnam embassy or consulates in your country

If you have decided to apply for Visa on Arrival, see the next part for the detailed procedure.

Vietnam Visa on Arrival Procedure

Step 1: Fill out the declaration form

This form is submitted to the visa agency, consists of important information, including full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number, date of arrival, and type of visa. Your personal information must be the same with information in your passport. Please be careful at this step because any changes afterward will be charged. After that, you need to pay the service fee.

Step 2: Get approval letter via email

You will receive the visa approval letter via email (attached with a Vietnamese visa application form). Then you need to:

  • Print out the letter and the application form,
  • Fill out the Vietnamese visa application form,
  • Prepare 2 4×6 cm photos and cash for stamping fee,
  • Put all above mentioned things along with your passport in a bag

Step 3: Get the visa stamped upon arrival

Upon landing, head to the Landing Visa (Visa on Arrival) Counter, present the following documents to the immigration officers to get the visa stamped onto your passport:

  • Your passport, visa approval letter
  • 2 4×6 cm photos, taken within six months from the date of travel
  • Vietnamese visa application form
  • Stamping fee

Step 4: Get immigration stamp at the immigration line

This is the last step. Whether you apply for a visa at the embassy, consulate, using e-visa, or visa on arrival, you still have to line up at the immigration line.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vietnam Visa on Arrival

See why many travelers often prefer Vietnam visa on arrival to other methods:

  • The fee for agencies’ service may be cheaper than the total fees that you pay to the embassy or consulates
  • The visa policies are often changed, so the agencies are more up-to-date with this information and it will save your time
  • It is faster (often within 48 hours or as little as 2 hours)
  • The amount of English information on the Vietnam government’s official sites is not enough while agencies have invested more time and money on this
  • Only a few countries and cases get visa exemption for a limited number of days (approximately from 15 days to 30 days), and only a few countries can apply for e-visa

But there are some problems with the Vietnam visa on arrival as well. To use a Vietnam visa on arrival, you have to:

  • Do a lot of research to find credible visa agencies and reasonable pricing
  • Pay an extra fee for the service besides the stamping fee. And if you want to have your visa faster, service fee gets even higher
  • Do a lot of paper works at the airport
  • Wait in a long line at the Visa Landing (Visa on Arrival) Counter
  • Arrive at one of the five international airports only. With such limited ports of entry, it is a challenge for those who plan to come to Vietnam by crossing the border on land or going on a cruise

Summary on How to Get a Vietnam VOA – Visa on Arrival

With the facilitation of the internet, the Vietnam visa application procedure has become much easier than before. We hope that the information in this guide will help you have a clear overview and have a good preparation before applying.

If you have successfully nailed the visa and are ready to travel to Vietnam, check out more information to prepare for your travel with our other guides to Tan Son Nhat Airport Guide, Vietnam SIM cards and transportation in Vietnam, which are very useful information when you first landed in Vietnam.

Moreover, Vietnam is a beautiful country with healthy and delicious cuisine; you could do a little more research on attractions and foods to add to your list. Also, don’t forget to check out our food tours as well as sightseeing tours in Ho Chi Minh City, which aims to give you the most original memories while you are here.

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