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Ditch the guidebooks and grab your passport. Here’s all you need to know for a trip to Hanoi, so what’re you waiting for?

1. Visa -- You can pre-arrange a visa on arrival online but you run the risk of waiting up to 90 minutes in Hanoi airport while the visa officers decide whose turn it is to do some work. Better to get it sorted before you leave, through your local embassy or travel agent.

British passport holders have two options. They can obtain a visa before arrival through the Vietnamese embassy in London.

Alternatively, and this is my preference, they can buy online an “approval letter” (from a private agency such as, which offers a very efficient service) that takes two to three days (£12). You must print out the approval letter, which is required to board the plane in the UK and also to obtain your visa on arrival (one passport photo is also required and £27). There are no required vaccinations.

While a business visa can be for travel or for exploring business opportunities. You're not allowed to work on a business visa.

Visitors to Vietnam can apply for a tourist or business visa. Those with a work contract can also apply for a work visa. However, applying for a work visa from outside Vietnam is complicated and required lots of paperwork. Many people who go to Vietnam to work as English teachers or to search for a job apply for a tourist or business visa and then switch to a work visa from within the country. Regulations for visas to Vietnam change frequently. Six-month visas are sometimes available, while they're cancelled temporarily at other times. One and three-month visas are always available.

"Visas are required for American visitors — a one-month, single-entry visa is $20 through My Vietnam Visa (, an online agency that arranges for documents to be picked up upon arrival at Vietnam’s international airports, where an additional $25 “stamping fee” must be paid" read more

Publication: The New York Times

"Alternatively, and this is my preference, they can buy online an “approval letter” (from a private agency such as, which offers a very efficient service) that takes two to three days (£12)." read more

Publication: The Telegraph

Visa -- You can pre-arrange a visa on arrival online but you run the risk of waiting up to 90 minutes in Hanoi airport while the visa officers decide whose turn it is to do some work. Better to get it sorted before you leave, through your local embassy or travel agent." read more

Publication: CNN TRAVEL

"The easiest way to apply is through The cost is $25 for a one-month, single-entry visa. The online site arranges for your documents to be waiting for you at the Hanoi airport , where an additional $25 stamping fee is required." read more

Publication: The Los Angeles Times

"Authorisation letters for visas on arrival can be obtained from for £12.29, plus a US$25 (£16.70) stamping fee on arrival. read more

Publication: The Independent

"Letters are available in two ways. If you obtain your visa through the Internet, using a visa service, you will receive a letter via email, rather than an actual visa stamp." read more

Publication: USA TODAY

“Another option for Americans is a single-entry visa on arrival, apply online and pay another stamping fee at the airport." read more


"The city is within easy reach of Dubai (about an eight-hour flight), with the added bonus of the quite brilliant allowing visitors to collect their visas on arrival. read more

Publication: TimeOut Dubai

"It's a reputable company that has been used successfully by a number of people on this forum."read more

"I've used the above company 4 times without any problems, plenty of other VOA agents to choose from though." read more

Publication: TripAdvisor

Apply online at www.myvietnamvisa. Carry the confirmation letter and the visa is stamped on arrival. $25 per person. read more

Publication: The Times of India

"Just returned from Vietnam and used to get a visa on arrival. It was quick, easy, and I had no problems when entering at SGN. It's legit; the New York Times even had an article on it. read more

Publication: FlyerTalk

"I used a company called - $19.99 for the letter (1 month single entry) & then I paid $25 at the airport. The letter fee varies depending on type/length of visa & whether you want standard or, express service." read more

Publication: ThaiVisa

"I've used myvietnamvisa 3 times now with no issues. Very fast service." read more


Message from: Anna Ai-Nhan L. Do

Thank you. I just haven't gone back before so I just didn't know.
Thank you very much. You guys have been very professional and really
quick. Your english is also excellent. I really can't wait to see
what's Vietnam is like.

-Anna Do

Message from: William Terry Reynolds

Dear Ms. Van Anh:

You provided excellent visa service when I applied last August.  I will be travelling to Vietnam
February 1, 2012,  I will use yourservice again.

Thank you,

William Terry Reynolds

Message from: Gail and John from NZ

Sincere thanks to you for all your help with our Visa on ArrivaL! We arrived yesterday and the whole process took less than 15 minutes for us! We are loving Hanoi today despite the damp, truly a magic place and we are excited to be here, and to discover this beautiful country! Sincere thanks to you all! Your service is very much appreciated by us!

Gail and John, 2 Kiwis who live in China!

Message from: Elisha and Colin Sydney, Australia

To My Vietnam Visa

My husband and I would like to extend a big thank you to your office for arranging a pre-approval letter for the both of us so efficiently. It was our first trip to Vietnam in September and it came to our attention only the day prior to departure that we required a visa to travel. Our flight carrier was not going to allow us to board the flight to Vietnam without the pre-approval but we managed to catch a domestic flight from Sydney to Darwin by which time when we arrived in Darwin we had our fingers crossed that the pre-approval would come through and then proceed to catch a further flight from Darwin to Ho Chi Minh city.

Suffice to say, when we landed in Darwin the pre-approval had come through to our email accounts after your office had organised everything with Vietnam immigration on the very same day. We are very grateful to My Vietnam Visa for facilitating our entry into Vietnam so promptly and hassle-free. We also sought comfort from the emails received at each step of the visa process from your office so that we could monitor the stage our pre-approval was up to.

Happy for your office to post the above as a testimonial on your website if desired. Thanks again.

Kind regards

Elisha and Colin Sydney, Australia

Message from: David Huck, Australia

Hi , just a short note to thank you for this service. All went smoothly at Hanoi airport, and I have forwarded your details to our travel company for their reference and future use.

Yours Faithfully,

David Huck
Head of Sales

Packet Networks APAC
office: +61 3 9669xxxx
voip: 816 xxxx
fax: +61 3 9669xxxx
mobile: +61 41730xxxx
email: davi(...)
Bringing Networks To Life

Message from: Doare Eric Suk Koh , Korea

Thank you very much for your impeccable service. I must admit that I wasn't very sure wether to trust you guys but that was very professionnal and I had a wonderful time in Vietnam

thanks again

+(82) 10 6475 xxxx


Message from: Robert, Denmark

Thank you for returning my visa letter of approval for 24/05/10, and for the link to the airport application form. May I congratulate you on both your excellent service, easy payment, and very simple to use website.

Robert, Denmark


Message from: Franz Egli, Switzerland

Dir Sirs

I herewith confirm recept of the approval letter with many thanks. Your quick and efficient service is much appreciate. I wish that our governmental offices in Switzerland would act in the same manner as you do. Congratulations.

Best regards

Franz Egli

Message from: Mike Crawford. USA


Yes this is my first day back. The trip was excellent and your people did an excellent job. I will highly recommend your company to others. I would like to make one comment that there was a lot of focus on damage caused to the Citadel and other religious monuments by the Americans. The Americans I have talked to also say this as it was war and when there is enemy hiding in these places during the war there was no choice. Other than this your people was very dependable and professional and my next trip will certainly use your company.


Mike Crawford

Message from: Andrew Phan, Australia

Dear Mr Steve,

Much appreciated the speedy service.

We have landed and arrives in Viet Nam.

I have the following suggestions:

1. Please informs the airlines to have a link to your website so you will get more business. (As I will be writing a formal complaint to the airline for not informing customers when booking via Web)
2. We find paying Cash over ther counter @ immgiration airport is a bit daunting as there is no credit facility and if you don’t have us dollars than it not easy to pay the right amounts.

I thought tourism is about letting more people in so they spend dollars for the local economy. I thought business survival largely based on returning cutomers.

Any way thank you very much for your helps.

Thank you.

Andrew Phan
Managing Director

"Serving you better"

Phone 1: (08) 6364 xxxx | phone 2: (08) 6461 xxxx |Fax: (08) 9458 xxxx
Mobile: 0403 697 xxx | 24/7 support: 044 787 xxxx

Message from: Adam Cooper, Georgetown University

Thank you so much for making the Visa acquisition an easy process. I will make sure to recommend your company to my school, so look for even more Georgetown MBA's using your service next year.

Adam Cooper
MBA Class of 2010
Georgetown University
McDonough School of Business

Message from: Andreas Kronsteiner, Austria

Dear all,

I just wanted to confirm that everything went vey well and according to your very very good and detailed descriptions on your homepage and Mails

No problems with our Boarding in Qatar (Qatar Airlines) showing the Visa Approval letter. Very kind reception at HCMC Airport, although the ones who first handed over their filled out forms and passport, at latest got their Visa.
No problems with our second entry to Vietnam at the boarder between Cambodia and Vietnam, travelling by Mekong Express.

Vietnam, after having travelled in >120 countries is in general very easy travelling, the available infrastructure great, the cost/quality relation for everything a traveller needs just extraordinary.

The biggest disappointment was that sometimes we did not find or get what we expected to get, for example it ´s not so easy anymore to trek in primary forest, to meeet minorities in traditional dresses, and to get the boat/vessel for the Halong Bay trip, that you paid for in Hanoi (they show you the most beautiful, modern vessel, and board you on an old broken junk)
A special recommendation is the little river at Muy Ne right after sunrise entering in the riverbed barfoot.


Andreas  - AndreasKronsteiner (..omited)

Notes: Andreas sent us a lot of photos she took from her trip to Vietnam, we will upload onto our website shortly, but if you wish to have quality ones, please email us at:

Message from: Becky Simpson, United Kingdom

Hi Steve,

Many thanks, can I just say thank you for such a great service.

Kind regards,
Becky Simpson
Temporaries Consultant

Tel: 011895005xx
Fax: 011893918xx

Message from: Samantha, South Kivu

Dear Mr Tony,

I would like to express you my sincere congratulations to "my vietnam visa", for running such an efficient sevice.

Thank you for that.


Samantha Buonvino
Public Information Officer
U.N. Peacekeeping Mission for the DRC
Bukavu - South Kivu
Tel. via N.Y.: (212) 963-01xx ext. 43xx
Mail: (erased)

Message from: Natalie Daw, Australia

Steve - you are fantastic and I thank you very very much for all your assistance and I'm sure both Mr Donovan and Ms Van Ommen will have a wonderful time in Vietnam.

Have a fantastic New Year.

Best regards,

Natalie Daw
Managing Director
Harvey World Travel

Ph: (03) 9963 12xxxxx
Fax: (03) 9882 44xxxx
ABN 56 098 594 0xx  Lic: 300xx

Message from: Rachel James, United Kingdom

Thank you very much for your prompt attention. This is the second time that I have used your services and I continue to be 100% satisfied!

Kind regards,

Rachel Rachel James (International Assignments Officer)


600 North Bridge Road

#18-01 Parkview Square Singapore 188778

Message from: Mark Warren Smith, United States

Just a note I arrived in Vietnam and did not have any problems getting through the visa entry process. I would recommend that everyone fill out the questionnaire before arrival to help speed up the process. I would recommend your service to anyone travelling to Vietnam it was a great help for me.

Thank you for the excellent service.

Mark Smith

Customs Compliance Supervisor

American Mitsuba Corporation Mt. Pleasant MI 48858

Message from: Austin Mitscher, Jr. United States

A very good professional service. Thank you very much.

Message from: Naik Pushkaraj Krishnakant, New Zealand

Thank you so much

I will come back to you if I need any assistance

Great service and procedure

Kind Regards


Message from: Charlie Standley, United States

Sirs; Thank you verry much for your quick service. Your web site made getting a visa very easy. Charlie Standley

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