Viktorija Panovaite
Vietnam visa on arrival

Vietnam visa on arrival – easier way to enter Vietnam

Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia countries which I really want to visit again. I was there only for 2 weeks but I easily felt in love with Vietnam. I believe you will be in love with this country as well.

But before starting to enjoy time in Vietnam, you first of all need to take care of your Vietnam visa. This is what you need to know:

Who need Vietnam visa?

Many countries travelers need a visa for Vietnam. Only under bilateral or unilateral visa exemption agreements granted by the Vietnam government don’t need it.

Under bilateral visa exemption agreement citizens of:

  • Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia – has free 30 days visa exemption;
  • Philippines – has free 21 days visa exemption;
  • Brunei and Myanmar – has free 14 days visa exemption.

Under unilateral visa exemption agreement citizens of:

  • Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Belarus – has free 15 days visa exemption.

The difference between bilateral visa exemption agreement and the unilateral one is that those under the former one can always visit Vietnam with visa exemption provided that their stay in the country is no longer than their exempted duration.

Citizens from the countries not mentioned in the list above, can visit Vietnam with visa exemption if their arrival date does not fall within 30 days from exit date of their last visit to the country.

If you are not from the country listed above. What should you do?

You need to obtain the visa for Vietnam. There are 2 ways:

  1. Get visa via Vietnam embassy in your country or nearest country that has Vietnam embassy;
  2. Get a Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA).

Which visa is better? I will give a brief guide for you.

Vietnam embassy visa 

This option will provide you a full visa beforehand. The issuing authority in this case is the Vietnam embassy.

Required documents: Normally, you will need to submit your original passport and a copy of completed application form. The form you need to download from the embassy to which you will submit your documents. Some embassies can also ask you to submit flight ticket, and other documents. So, you should contact them in advance for details.

How to submit: The embassy may accept application documents submitted in person, by post or by a third party with letter of authorization. But not all act in these ways. So, you are once more recommended to contact them for details.

Processing time: Normally, visa will be processed by the embassy during 5-7 working days. Sometimes, you may get it expedited faster paying extra amount of money.

The advantage and disadvantage of Vietnam embassy visa


  • Having visa already stamped onto your passport before your departure to Vietnam.
  • Applicable to travelers to Vietnam by any means of transport.
  • Making one-time payment for visa fee at Vietnam embassy.


  • Parting with your original passport.
  • Having to drive to the nearest embassy or send documents by post.
  • Dealing directly with Vietnam embassies.
  • Various visa fees and procedures at different Vietnam embassies.
  • Taking up to 3 days to get response for your emails.

Making visa to Vietnam via Vietnam embassy I suggest for those who are traveling to Vietnam through borders crossing and have enough time to wait till visa will be made. While for those traveling to Vietnam by air, I recommend Vietnam visa on arrival.

Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA)

In my opinion, this option is much more convenient, but for air travelers only. If you travel to land or cruise, you need to get visa from Vietnam embassy.

Unlike with Vietnam embassy visa, with visa on arrival, you will not get the full visa beforehand. You will get only the visa approval letter (it will be issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department via a travel agent), which will let you board the flight and get visa stamped upon arrival at Vietnam airport. But REMEMBER you need to get the Vietnam visa approval letter before departure as without it, in airport you can’t continue processing Vietnam visa on arrival.

Required documents: None at all for application.

How to submit: With Vietnam visa on arrival VOA, you only need to fill out an online form for visa approval letter. You can submit an online form for visa approval letter. This whole process is completed online. You just need fill travel and contact information an pay issuing fee with your debit/credit card. Don’t forget to fill this form at least week before you are planning to enter Vietnam.

Processing time: Within 2 working days from your submission of application form and payment of service fee, you will get the visa approval letter processed and sent to our email. You will need to print it before going to Vietnam and bring it to immigration office in airport. And then you will need approximately 15-30 minutes at Vietnam airport to get visa stamped into passport.

You can speed up processing of visa approval letter (even within 2-4 working hours) with a bit more money.

The advantage and disadvantage of Vietnam visa on arrival


  • No need to send your original passport away.
  • A complete online process – short time for Vietnam visa application.
  • No dealing with immigration agency. Agents deal with them on your behalf.
  • Especially convenient for those who are currently staying far away.
  • You know how much you pay at once.
  • You get prompt response and help online.


  • Queuing in front of Immigration counter at arrival airports in Vietnam to get visa stamp.
  • Possibly having names of other people on your approval letter.
  • Foreigners can’t apply for Vietnam visa on arrival themselves, the application must go through authorized travel agencies in Vietnam or organizations.


If you decided to make Vietnam visa on arrival and looking for further assistance, I recommend to check with whom I have partnered preparing this post. This company already working more than 10 years providing Vietnam visa on arrival service, has only positive feedback and can be reached by hotline 24/7.

Vietnam visa on arrival - easier way to enter Vietnam -
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  • Have you ever made any visa online? What was your experience?
  • Is Vietnam in your bucketlist? What you would like to see, do or try there?
  • Is this post useful for you to share it?

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

Travel tips for traveling in Asia
“Must” and “maybe” souvenirs from Vietnam
How to get Indonesian visa in Penang, Malaysia

40 thoughts on “Vietnam visa on arrival – easier way to enter Vietnam”

  1. hello Ria (wow your name is sound like Indonesians). I’m Hans. I’m from Indonesia. I’m. planing to stay there for one month (but not exactly 30 days, it depends on my budget too).
    I have bought my ticket but for just one way (not including my return ticket) Because Im not decided yet which city or what date I return.
    Is that can be a problem when I get through immigration check?

  2. Great information here. Luckily I found out while I was in Asia that UK citizens get 15 days visa free entry into Vietnam or I would have missed out the country completely! Always good to know where you can go

  3. I’d love to see Vietnam someday! I’ve just recently applied for passport so Vietnam would definitely be on my list to places to visit.

  4. Yea, I’m a Singaporean and I got 30 Day visa access… woohoo… make travelling so much more convenient! #ProudOfMyPassport… Thanks for this guide, useful for those travelling there~

  5. One of my regrets when I was working in Thailand was not visiting Vietnam. It’s always nice to visit a country with visa on arrival.

  6. What useful information! We didn’t go to Vietnam last time because we were short on time and were worried about the visa so this is very nice to read!

  7. I miss Vietnam! I was there in 2010. My experience with immigration was quite scary though… maybe because the officer who took my passport and gave me visa took a while doing so and the look on their face was quite stern and very serious my heart was pounding the whole time. Other than that, I enjoyed my stay. :)

    1. I think 6 years ago to entering many countries in SE Asia was a bit more difficult, not so many travelers were going there :) But now seems everything more easier, just need right information and make everything right before the trip :)

  8. Your post is very practical, specific and helpful. Collecting such information when it is needed can be such a chore. Reading such posts simplifies life to a great extent. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I’m planning to visit Vietnam in March so this is great timing to figure out how I can obtain my visa! Some people said that here could be long waits if I get it on arrival. Thanks for sharing this post!

    1. Do you know what you want to visit in Vietnam already? :) I’m a bit envy you :) And there is nothing difficult with visa – apply for the letter online, get your papers and in airport go to immigration to get your stamp :) Only you can wait a bit longer if at the same time will landed more planes with passengers who will need a visa :)

  10. You’re so kind for providing about this information, I really appreciate it since I’m planning to visit Vietnam soon. I don’t have idea about unilateral and bilateral thank you for elucidating it to us. Now, I have more reason to visit Vietnam soon.


  11. Very useful information. I’m from the UK but when I went to Vietnam I had to get a visa from the embassy. I didn’t know it has changed since. I’d echo your advice on going to Vietnam – what a lovely country!

  12. Same here, I’m planning to visit Vietnam early next year, so this is perfect timing :) I was looking at different articles about visiting SE Asia the other day, and had no idea getting a visa was such a complicated process over there. Thanks for the info, Viktorija!

  13. Getting a visa faster is an issue for many countries. These are really useful tips for someone who’s never been to Vietnam. I didn’t visit this part of the world, though I hope I’ll get there soon!

    1. Many travelers wants to safe money and sometimes, I think, they try to do it not on the right things :) Why not to pay a bit extra money for quicker way to get visa rather that spend much more money on parting? :)

  14. Hi there. This post came at the right time for me as I am planning to visit Vietnam very soon. Could you please let us know how did you apply for or get the approval letter? I have been asked to contact travel agents as I dont know anyone to apply for me from Vietnam.

    1. You can either contact any travel agency in your country who organizes the trip to Vietnam, they can organize you this letter or you can contact straight travel agent in Vietnam and they will organize you this letter. Second option (contact directly agent in Vietnam, for example would cost you less and will save time for getting it :)

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