Typically, getting a visa to enter another country requires you to take a trip to your local embassy. However, Vietnam has made the process a lot simpler and convenient for travelers on the road, such as myself, by offering a Visa on Arrival (VOA). Though the process is quite easy, it is important to note that the visa must be applied for BEFORE you get to Vietnam. Here are 5 Easy Steps on How to Get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival:
***Note: this particular process is ONLY for those arriving at airports in Hanoi, Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. It is not applicable to those arriving at any other airport or by land.
- Fill out the online application. There are lots of different companies offering this service. With that being said, please beware of fraudulent and shady companies. I, personally, decided to go through visa4vietnam.com after reading through several different forums and reviews. When filling out your application, you will need to select the visa type (Single Entry, Multiple Entry, etc). You will also need to know your date of arrival and port of arrival.
- Get confirmation and pay. You will receive a confirmation email regarding your request. The representative will ask you to confirm that all of your information is correct and will provide a link for you to pay the $14.00 service fee. You can make this payment via Onepay, PayPal, or Western Union. I opted to pay through Pay Pal.
- Receive approval letter. After making your payment you will receive your official Vietnam visa Approval Letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department. The processing time is 1 hour to 3 days. I received my approval letter the next day.
- Print approval letter and prepare passport photos. You will need to bring your approval letter, along with two (4cm x 6cm) passport photos, and $25 USD cash with you to the airport. You will need to keep these items on you and not in your checked luggage.
- Get your visa stamped. Upon your arrival at the airport you will head to the Visa on Arrival counter. At the Hanoi Airport you will see them once you head down the descending escalators. At the counter, you will present your Approval Letter, passport, and passport photos. You will be given a form to fill out and will be told to have a seat in the waiting area and wait for your name to be called. Once your name is called you will then pay your $25 USD cash fee and receive your passport with your new visa inside. There were quite a few people ahead of me, so my process from start to finish took around 40 minutes. This obviously will vary. Afterwards, it’s BAU (business as usual), immigration, baggage claim (if necessary), etc.
So, there you have it. 5 Easy Steps on How to Get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival. Enjoy your visit!