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Prior to 2022: Visa / VOA Info for Vietnam

Old Jun 22, 14, 11:21 am
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Last edit by: stephem
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.

Visa Exemption for Phu Quoc Island

If you are only visiting Phu Quoc Island, guess what, you probably don't need a visa at all! There is a 30 day visa exception for Phu Quoc visits, and many people report being able to transit in HAN or SGN en route to PQC. But there are now direct flights to PQC and that allows you to avoid having to get a visa at all. Worth considering...

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:

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.
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: [email protected].

Visa Exemption

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



List of countries eligible for eVisa: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/do...b-91595a4f5867 (link updated 2017-12-19, note new list can be published with different link) 35 more countries were announced as eligible for e-visa on Feb 20, 2019. Total is now 81 countries. See post 1561 for new additions (government website is down currently, will update with link here when possible).

Remember to print out the e-visa form they give you, as they will request it on arrival and on departure!

Some ports of entry require the evisa to be validated on arrival. In particular DAD has been cited in the thread as requiring the evisa holder to be processed at the VOA desk. Takes about 15 mins.

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 2019) are US$25 for a single entry of 1 or 3 months validity, US$50 for multiple entry of 1 or 3 months validity or US$100 for multiple entry 1 year 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

Removed by poster

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

Change log
Edited to note that some ports of entry require the e-visa to be validated on arrival.
8 December 2019- Edited to add note about Phu Quoc being exempt from visa for 30 day visit and add info about 1 year multiple entry Visa which is now available via VoA process too.

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.
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Prior to 2022: Visa / VOA Info for Vietnam

Old Mar 23, 08, 2:04 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
Posts: 7,013
Prior to 2022: 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.

Carfield is offline  
Old Mar 23, 08, 2:53 am
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southern California, USA
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What is your citizenship?
Mr. Roboto is offline  
Old Mar 23, 08, 5:37 pm
Original Poster
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Posts: 7,013

I have both HK SAR passports and US passport.

Dual citizens sort of: HK and US

Carfield is offline  
Old Mar 23, 08, 8:57 pm
Moderator, CoronaVirus and Hilton Honors
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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  
Old Feb 3, 09, 6:00 am
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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 offline  
Old Feb 6, 09, 7:53 am
Join Date: Nov 2008
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I think the same process since last year on what Kiwi did.
ichatfilipina is offline  
Old Apr 6, 09, 4:53 pm
Moderator: Mileage Run, InterContinental Hotels & Radisson Hotel Group
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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  
Old Apr 7, 09, 5:21 am
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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  
Old Apr 7, 09, 12:02 pm
Moderator: Mileage Run, InterContinental Hotels & Radisson Hotel Group
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,732
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  
Old Apr 7, 09, 5:22 pm
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: London
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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  
Old Apr 12, 09, 4:23 am
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I used
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 4:29 am
vrichard is offline  
Old Apr 12, 09, 8:11 pm
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dalat, Vietnam
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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).

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Old May 1, 09, 1:18 pm
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Visa / VOA Info for Vietnam (consolidated)


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,
Kountdrak is offline  
Old May 1, 09, 2:00 pm
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary
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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)

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

yycworldtraveler is offline  
Old May 9, 09, 12:34 am
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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.
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