Go Back   > > >
    Hide Wikipost
Old Jan 4, 17, 6:23 pm   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: Visa / VOA Info for Vietnam
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: maverick17
Wiki Link
Moderator note: this Wikipost provides general visa guidelines and summarizes the information provided by FT members throughout this thread. Businesses mentioned in this wiki are in no way endorsed or recommended by FlyerTalk, and advertising is prohibited. FlyerTalk's commercial post rule is strictly enforced in this thread, and all spam-like posts will be immediately removed.

Vietnam Visa Information
Main source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam - Visa Application and Information - includes fillable application (external website)
Transit Without Visa

Vietnam permits foreigners to transit without a visa (TWOV) provided they remain inside the airport transit areas while awaiting an onward flight out of the country within 24 hours of arrival. Travelers are not allowed to leave the airport without a visa.

Regular Visa in Advance of Travel

Foreigners may obtain a visa at the nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate. Prices are not published and appear to vary from location to location. Most recent reports suggest a typical fee of approximately USD 100.

Vietnam Visa Online Application and instructions:
http://vietnamembassy-usa.org/consul...cation-process

From what I've learned, you attach the three (3) files listed below to an email along with your credit card number and the visa section will mail back a loose leaf visa.

As of December, 2015, the fees are $80 = 1 month visa, $20 = overnight USPS, $10 priority mail. Multiple entry visas are available.

Fill out the online application form.
http://vietnamembassy-usa.org/consul...cation-process
Follow "online form" link. Choose language top right.

Including uploading to the application a correctly sized photo, 2x2 inches (website will check and confirm) that will propagate into the application.

Print out the application form, sign, scan as .pdf file. Attach the .pdf to your email.

Attach a correctly sized photo (2x2 inches).

Attach a scanned a copy of your passport (photo, personal detail pages and signature page).

Include your credit card number. The visa section will charge your card for visa type and USPS Express return a loose leaf visa.

Ask politely for the tracking number and total charges.

Call Embassy Visa to double check the above details and current email address: 202. 861. 0737, x118/121/122/123/125

As of December, 2015, the email address to send the application is: visatovn@gmail.com.

Visa Exemption

Those traveling on passports issued by the following nations are generally exempt from visa requirements for varying durations of stay: Brunei, Cambodia, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, and Thailand. See the entry visa exemption list at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for duration of stay info.

Visa On Arrival (VOA) at Airport Border Entries

Travelers planning to obtain a VOA should arrive with the following documents:

  • VOA approval letter
  • Completed VISA APPLICATION which can be downloaded from most VOA service provider websites (travelers are advised to print the form on A4-size paper as there have been reports of US letter-size paper being refused)
  • One passport-type photo
  • Cash for visa stamp fee (see below)

VOA stamp fees for Non-USA passport holders (as of December 2015) are US$25 for a single entry of 1 or 3 months validity, or US$50 for multiple entry of 1 or 3 months validity.

For USA passport holders, there was a temporary increase from September to December of 2016, up to $135. However Effective December 15, 2016 the $135 stamping fee for US citizens has been dropped, and there are reports US passport holders can be issued VOA letters for single entry 30 day visas again AND that US citizens should only have to pay a $25 stamp fee at on collection of VOA. In late December, there were reports are that the desks in HAN and DAD did not receive the memo, so YMMV until the airport desks "get the memo."

This fee must be paid at the VOA counter on arrival , and is in addition to whatever fees you have paid the VOA service provider for the invitation letter. Payments are accepted in Vietnamese Dong, USD or Euros.

Visa on arrival (VOA) is permitted for one of the following purposes:

  • Attend the funeral of family member or visit a family member in critical condition;
  • Arrival from a country where there is no Vietnamese diplomatic mission/consular office;
  • Visit Vietnam on tours organized by Vietnamese international travel agencies;
  • Provide emergency technical assistance for construction works, projects; emergency treatment for critical patients or accident victims; emergency relief in cases of natural disasters or epidemics in Vietnam;
  • For other urgent reasons.

There are countless service providers on the internet that offer VOA approval letters for a fee. Legitimate providers are licensed travel agencies, thus meeting the highlighted criterion above. Those planning to obtain a VOA approval letter are advised to take steps to ensure they are working with a licensed Vietnam travel agency or tour operator. Some Vietnam hotels are also able to provide this service.

Some VOA service providers offer expedited processing for same day or 30 minutes turnaround on issuance of VOA letter and priority processing upon arrival at the airport in Vietnam for an additional fee.

Advantages of VOA include lower cost than embassy-issued visa, eliminates the need to visit an embassy or mail passport for advance visa, and faster receipt of VOA approval letter (sent via email).

Disadvantages of VOA include longer immigration processing upon arrival, with potentially long waits for receipt of visa (usually 10-20 min., but longer waits do occur); privacy concerns due to inclusion of personal data for multiple unrelated travelers on one approval letter; and risk of scams by unauthorized VOA service providers.

VOA Process at the Airport in SGN

1. The counter for VOA is on the left in the inbound immigration hall at Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

2. Here is a picture of the VOA window (May 2016). The left lane is for group arrivals, the middle lane is for individuals and the right lane is the cashier where you pick up your Passport with visa and pay the fee.



3. You need to submit your Passport, VOA Letter, Photograph AND Visa Application at the window on the left of the counter. Queues are not very orderly in VN and often times, people are just milling around in front of the counter so avoid standing in what looks like a queue but actually isn't. The actual visa application is separate from the VOA letter. It will save you time if you print it in advance and fill it out on the airplane. [You can also pay for expedited service, but all it means is that the agent who handled your VOA letter will cut to the front of the line here. It normally won't save you any time on processing the actual visa (unless the agent's brother-in-law happens to work for Immigration and is on duty.) If there's a very long line, you can probably tip any of the agents (they're the young Vietnamese men in civies holding clipboards with names on them) to take your application to the front of the line.]

4. After you have submitted your application, wait within in earshot of the window. They'll call your name when your visa is ready. The woman calling the names doesn't have great English pronunciation so you will wonder if you are going to be able to recognize your own name when she calls it. Don't worry, it's a lot easier to recognize your own name than a poorly pronounced random name you have never heard of.

5. After they call your name, jostle your way up to the cashier window on the right. It's usually pretty chaotic. Pay the fee and they'll give you your passport with the Visa attached. Don't forget to bring money. The fee is separate from what the agent charges for arranging the VOA letter.

6. Take your passport and head through immigration. After immigration, take the escalator down and pick up your bags. Then go through customs. (It's just running your bags through an X-ray screener and no hassle unless you have five new iPads in your bag.)


You will need a printed copy of the actual VOA letter in order to check in for your flight.


VOA Service Providers Recommended By FTers

The following are a few of the VOA service providers that have been used and discussed in the thread by active FlyerTalk members. These providers publish sufficient information on their websites to suggest that they are authorized operators (e.g., provide physical business address, state actual travel company name, display tour operator license number, etc.). Members should verify these basic criteria before adding providers this list; simply having had successful transactions is not sufficient:


External Sources





FlyerTalkers with at least 90 days of membership and a minimum of 90 posts are invited to make corrections and update the information in this Wikipost.
Print Wikipost

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 23, 08, 1:04 am   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
Posts: 5,890
Visa / VOA Info for Vietnam

Hi all,

I am flying CX from HKG to SGN on May 19, in order to connect to SQ SGN-SIN-NRT for the A380 Inaugural.

I have never been to Vietnam and wonder if I need a transit visa. I assume there is a transit desk for passengers connecting to other airlines, but will appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks,
Carfield
Carfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 08, 1:53 am   #2
  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,393
What is your citizenship?
Mr. Roboto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 08, 4:37 pm   #3
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
Posts: 5,890
Dual

I have both HK SAR passports and US passport.

Dual citizens sort of: HK and US

Thanks,
Carfield
Carfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 08, 7:57 pm   #4
Moderator, Singapore Airlines, Hilton Honors, Oceania
  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: hopefully travelling
Programs: up in the air
Posts: 69,491
I didn't need a visa for int->int transit at SGN last year. However do have plenty of time to spare if you don't intend clearing immigration. There are no check in facilities at the transfer desk so someone has to go landside to check you in.
Kiwi Flyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 09, 5:00 am   #5
  
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 9,433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer View Post
I didn't need a visa for int->int transit at SGN last year. However do have plenty of time to spare if you don't intend clearing immigration. There are no check in facilities at the transfer desk so someone has to go landside to check you in.
I understand that this was from almost one year ago, but did you have trouble checking in for your flight to SGN without a visa?
TerryK is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6, 09, 6:53 am   #6
Suspended
  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2
I think the same process since last year on what Kiwi did.
ichatfilipina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 6, 09, 3:53 pm   #7
Moderator: Mileage Run and Club Carlson
  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Portland/Munich
Posts: 4,834
Myvietnamvisa.com legit?

I need a visa for Vietnam, and dug up this website: http://www.myvietnamvisa.com/

I never heard of it before, and haven't seen it referenced on FT. Is it legit? Has anyone used it, and do you recommend it? Thanks!
jpdx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 09, 4:21 am   #8
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,212
Why not just fill out the form available on the website of the Vietnam embassy, mail it to them with the fee, including a return addressed fedex envelope?

No need to pay someone else to do it for you IMHO.

I did this about a month back, had everything in hand within a week.
gleff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 09, 11:02 am   #9
Moderator: Mileage Run and Club Carlson
  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Portland/Munich
Posts: 4,834
gleff--Myvietnamvisa promise a visa on arrival (or better: pre-arranged visa to be stamped in the passport at the airport), which we would prefer to sending our passports away to the consulate. I found some reviews on Lonely Planet and other sites, and they generally seem to be positive (if all written by newcomers).

fly888-Thank you for the information, and welcome to Flyertalk!
jpdx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 09, 4:22 pm   #10
  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: London
Posts: 3,338
We arranged visas on arrival (not through this company - ours didn't have an online service so we had to arrange a bank draft) and it worked perfectly.

Also be aware that flights on Vietnam Air are much cheaper if paid for in Vietnam - again we did this through our travel agent. In our case the flights for 2 of us paid for in Vietnam were just under 200 whereas booking them through a travel company here in the UK they would have been 775!!
quitecontrary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 09, 3:23 am   #11
  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hawaii
Programs: AA-Plat DL-Plat (did status match on DL before losing EXP on AA)
Posts: 287
I used
http://visa-vietnam.org/
recently (12/08 for entry 1/09) without any problem.
Their price may be a little less than the site you mention (for more than 1 person), and at the time I was doing this, the site you mention did not accept credit cards.

This site also will give you link to .pdf of a form that you will need to have filled out to get the VOA. So, you can print it out and fill it out in advance. Otherwise, you will fill it out at arrival which will delay processing.
Also, make sure to have 2 passport-size photos ready (although they only took 1), and NICE CLEAN NEW CRISP MONEY US$. They will NOT accept bills that are torn, marked, wrinkled, etc. I would also give them EXACT CHANGE. You will get an unfavorable rate of exchange if you pay the stamp fee in anything but US$.

The advantages of using service like this include lower cost compared to sending your passport to Vietnamese Embassy in US, you never part with your passport, and it's very fast to get your approval letter. The disadvantage may be that, depending upon your arrival point, time and location, it may take a little longer (I arrived SGN on an AirAsia flight shortly after an incoming from AUstralia and it took 10-20min (estimate) to get the Visa at the VoA window, then another 10-20min to clear immigration. A friend arrived HAN on AirAsia and experienced no waiting.)

Last edited by vrichard; Apr 12, 09 at 3:29 am
vrichard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 09, 7:11 pm   #12
  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Programs: Asiana, EVA, Southwest
Posts: 804
I've used Visa on Arrival twice with good results. I have not used that travel agent. My friend in Hanoi, Mr. Diep, does this service and allows payment in person after arrival, and he only charges $16. for the service. This service is only for an Approval Letter which is stamped by Immigration - once you arrive in country you get the hard copy visa for an additional $25. Diep is the owner of Adventure Indochina in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Diep gives such unique, personalized service - he's a real character too (get his recommendations for real Hanoi street food).

www.adventureindochina.com
Daawgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1, 09, 12:18 pm   #13
  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Programs: SPG Platinum; CO Platinum; Marriott Platinum
Posts: 45
Visa / VOA Info for Vietnam (consolidated)

Hello,

I am travelling to Vietnam and have a single entry visa. I am an american citizen. I am landing and taking off from Saigon. I wanted to add Thailand to my trip. Is it possible to land in Saigon, spend time in Vietnam, fly to Thailand and then fly back to USA via Saigon on my way back? I do not plan to go out of the airport on my way back.

Thanks in advance for all the help,
KD
Kountdrak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1, 09, 1:00 pm   #14
  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary
Programs: A Few
Posts: 2,338
Technically...yes you can transit without a Visa.

However, if traveling on 2 separate tickets you could run into troubles with through checking your luggage, or getting your boarding pass in Saigon.

/ 01MAY09 / 1956 UTC



National U.S.A. (US) /Embarkation Thailand (TH)
Transit Vietnam (VN) /Destination U.S.A. (US)
Visited Thailand (TH)
ALSO CHECK DESTINATION INFORMATION BELOW


Vietnam (VN)


TWOV (Transit Without Visa):
Visa required, except for Those continuing their journey on

the same day and provided holding confirmed return or onward
tickets. Leaving the airport transit area is not allowed(SEE

NOTE 26798).
NOTE 26798: Certain international flights operated by

Vietnam Airlines For details, click here
Visa Issuance:
- On arrival: if required, a transit visa when arriving by
Vietnam Airlines only, provided holding a letter from
Vietnamese Immigration confirming that a visa will be issued

on arrival. Fee: USD 25.-.
Additional Information:

- All visitors must hold:
a. documents required for next destination; and

b. sufficient funds for the duration of their stay; and

c. return/onward ticket, when not requiring a visa to enter

Vietnam.
yycworldtraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 09, 11:34 pm   #15
Ambassador, China
  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Beijing
Programs: TG, OZ, UA, AA
Posts: 6,200
Are you flying to Saigon from USA on the UA flight? If so, you might consider flying Saigon-Bangkok and back on TG--as they are both Star Alliance, it should be no problem on the return journey to check your stuff in BKK all the way back to USA. You'd just have to show both BKK-SGN and SGN-USA tickets and get them to manually put it into the system. Not sure if they can give you boarding pass in BKK for SGN-USA flight, but you could deal with that if you had to in SGN. Flying Vietnam Airlines to SGN-BKK and back might present more of a problem, as they don't yet connect into the interlining system too well (if any) and you'd probably have to find a way to reclaim your bags and then recheck. However, they might be able to either give you escort or provide a transit visa to get you back around to transit side.
jiejie is offline   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top