Before you apply for a Vietnam visa, you should check whether your country has a visa waiver arrangement. There are currently
24 countries whose nationals can visit Vietnam for up to fifteen days without a tourist visa. This information was last updated on January 2019. The visa waiver is issued upon arrival.
Visits under 90 days:
Visits under 30 days:
“Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan,”
Visits under 21 days:
Visits under 15 days:
“Belarus, Denmark, Finland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, and the United Kingdom”
Visits under 14 days:
“Brunei, and Myanmar”
Vietnam Visa Requirements
When applying for a tourist visa you will need to provide the following:
Passport: You will need a passport with at the very least 6-months before it expires. If you use a temporary passport it is possible you will be refused a visa. You must ensure that you have a full empty page in your passport as Vietnamese visas take up a whole page.
Passport Photo: You will need two recent passport photos sized 4cm x 6cm. You should not be wearing glasses.
Stamping Fee: This should be paid in cash for visa on arrival.
Application Form: For visa on arrival you will need to have an M3 entry form.
Approval Letter: For those opting for visa on arrival you will need to have already obtained an Approval letter. (see the next section)
The Application Process
There are two ways of obtaining a Vietnam visa:
You can go to your nearest Vietnam embassy.
To be honest this method may prove more expensive and more time consuming than to apply online. The Vietnamese government website seems to favor online applications.
Apply online. There are three options to choose from – Normal, Urgent, or Super Urgent. “Normal” takes 2 working days,” Urgen:t takes 1 working day, and “Super Urgent” takes between 30 minutes and 4 hours. At the end of the online process, you will be sent the “Approval letter” which you need to produce on arrival to collect your visa.
Please note that “Visa on arrival” is only applicable to air travel. Should you wish to travel overland, from a neighboring country, you must visit the local embassy before attempting to cross the border.
Onward Travel Documents
If you enter Vietnam on a Visa waiver, you are required to have a paper print-out showing your return ticket or ticket to next destination.
If you are unsure of your exact travel plans then a good tip is to buy a $14 from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penn in Cambodia and either uses the ticket or throw it away. This will be cheaper than buying an unnecessary return flight which you may not use. You can but the bus ticket online before you go to Vietnam.
Note: some airlines are aware you need an ongoing ticket and may not even let you fly to Vietnam without an onward ticket in place, so have
this ticket available when you check-in.