Vietnam Visa On Arrival

Visa on arrival is a process of obtaining an approval letter from a travel agency in Vietnam to get the visa stamped at an international airport in Vietnam upon arrival. As of 2023, visa on arrival is only applicable to those who are traveling on an organized tour with a local tour operator.

Step by step guide

Step 1

Before you apply

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Why choose visa on arrival

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Visa on arrival is a convenient option for travelers who are unable to apply for a visa in advance through a Vietnamese embassy or consulate, or for those who need to apply for a visa at short notice.

  • Convenient - Everything will be done online, no passport sendoff, no documents required.
  • Low cost - Relatively cheap in compared to other methods of getting a visa to Vietnam.
  • Fast - In emergency cases, it is possible to obtain a visa approval letter in just 2-3 hours.

List of applicable airports

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  • Noi Bai International Airport - HAN
  • Da Nang International Airport - DAD
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport - SGN
  • Cam Ranh International Airport - CXR
  • Phu Quoc International Airport - PQC
  • Can Tho International Airport - VCA
  • Cat Bi International Airport - HPH

Things to know

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  • Unlike other countries such as Cambodia and Thailand where visas can be obtained upon landing at border gates, Vietnam requires travelers to apply for a pre-approved visa letter through a travel/visa agency in order to get the visa stamp upon arrival.
  • The 15 day free visa exemption has been extended to June 2025 for the passport holders from United Kingdom, France, - Spain, Italy and Germany. Travellers from these countries can travel to Vietnam without a visa for 15 days, longer term visas can be obtained through visa on arrival or at the local embassy.
  • As of November 2014, visitors who fly directly to Phu Quoc airport and stay on the island are exempt from the entry visa requirement for up to 30 days.
Step 2

Gather your documents

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Make sure your passport has at least 6 months of validity remaining and 2 blank visa pages for visa stamp. If you plan to get a new passport, it is advised that you do it before applying.

Preparing 02 recently taken photos with regular passport size of 4x6cm (2x2in).

A printout and pre-filled entry/exit form to save your time at Vietnam airport.

Step 3

Apply for your visa

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Detailed guide for the visa-on-arrival application process:

  • Step 1: Apply online for an approval letter, which may take 3-5 working days for standard processing and 8 working hours for urgent processing.
  • Step 2: Receive the approval letter by email and print a hard copy. Prepare 2 passport sized photos, your passport (must be valid for at least 6 months at time of entry) and stamping fee of 25 USD (for single entry visa) and 50 USD (for multiple entry visa) in cash.
  • Step 3: Present all above mentioned documents to get your visa stamp upon arrival at an international airport in Vietnam (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Nha Trang, Hai Phong and Da Nang). That it is!

Information for getting a visa on arrival for Vietnam

As of April 2023, visa on arrival is made available to visitors who travel to Vietnam on a tour with a local operator only. If you are not a part of an organized tour, it is recommended that you applied for an e-visa instead.

What is visa on arrival?

Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA) or Landing visa is a legit visa type that allows foreigners to collect a visa upon entry to enter and exit Vietnam. If visa at Embassy and e-visa is available for many ports including airport, landport, and seaport, visa on arrival is only available for those who enter Vietnam by air and at one of 8 given international airports in Vietnam.

Instead of getting a visa affixed to passports in advance of the trip, applicants are required to apply for a visa approval letter (also known as pre-approved visa letter or visa invitation letter) via a local visa agency in Vietnam first, then this letter is used to take a visa stamp on the passport upon arrival at the airport.

Upon arrival at Hanoi airport, you will see a sign for transfer or visa counters. If you hold a passport with visa-free entry or already have an advance visa, you can go straight to the Arrival Immigration, otherwise you need to turn left for the visa on arrival counters.

Visa on arrival in brief

Available types
  • Tourist visa (1 month / 3 months)
  • Business visa (sponsor required)
  • 1 year visa for US passports
Type of entries
  • Air travel only
Applicable airports
  • Hanoi international airport (HAN)
  • Ho Chi Minh city international Airport (SGN)
Documents required
  • 02 passport photos (4*6cm)
  • Pre-approved letter
  • Entry/exit form
  • Visa fees
  • Valid passports (At least 6 month validity)
Visa fees
  • Approval letter fee (vary)
  • Visa stamping fee at Vietnam airport (25 USD for single entry and 50 USD for multi-entry)
Photo requirements
  • White background
  • Front view with bare head
  • No sunglasses
Processing time
  • 1-2 working days for the approval letter (Can be processed in 2-3 hours in emergency cases)
  • 15 to 30 minutes at Vietnam airport (1 to 2 hours during peak season)
Pre-approved visa letter

Pros and cons of applying for a visa-on-arrival


As its name implies, visa-on-arrival is usually known for its convenience, especially for those who cannot go to the Embassy/Consulate in their country to apply for a visa. Besides, there are a bunch of pros you may not know:

  • Convenience: No need to prepare many documents to submit in person at the Embassy, no passport sendoff, Vietnam Landing visa only requires some information for the application form and pre-approved visa letter. Then, the visa stamp will be provided upon your entry. The visa approval letter process is conducted easily online with the support of the local agency.
  • Time-saving: Visa on arrival is best for those who do not have time to go to the Embassy. Moreover, this type of visa is best for emergency cases. The urgent visa application may take only 2 - 3 hours.
  • Cost-saving: Document preparation fee, postage fee to send documents, or travel costs to the Embassy will be cut off with visa-on-arrival. You just need to pay a stamping fee at the airport to get a visa to Vietnam.
  • Various entry types: Multiple entries are available compared with a single entry for an E-visa.
  • Eligible applicants: If e-visa is only applied for citizens of 80 countries, Vietnam visa on arrival is available for citizens of all nations if they enter Vietnam by air.


Besides all the appealing Pros, applicants can consider the following Cons of a visa-on-arrival while traveling to Vietnam.

  • No official website: Visa on arrival cannot be applied by foreign individuals themselves. There is no official website for the visa-on-arrival service owned by government organizations or the Vietnam Immigration Department. There must be a third party (a Vietnamese visa agency) involved in the process. They will provide you with the pre-approved visa letter and they are all private organizations/agencies.
  • Queuing at the airport: To get your visa stamped, you have to wait in line at the Visa Application counter at the Arrival Immigration area of the airport. This usually takes around 15 - 20 minutes in the low season (May to September). However, it also may last for 30 minutes - 1 hour during the high season (October to April). This is uncontrollable so it might affect your plan after.
  • Entry/exit checkpoints: Although 8 out of 10 Vietnam international airports accept visa on arrival, you still have to check if your entry/exit checkpoint is applicable (*).
  • Pre-approved visa letter: Since the visa approval letter can be applied to a group of foreigners, the local agency can make a combined approval letter. Hence, you may see other foreigners’ names in your letter.
  • Varied visa fee: There is no fixed visa fee for a landing visa since you will pay for 2 kinds of fee. The fee for a pre-approved visa letter is varied depending on your agency and the stamping fee is USD 25 - 50 depending on your visa type (duration of stay, single or multiple entries). Besides, only cash is accepted for the stamping fee at the arrival port.

(*) List of 8 Vietnam international airports allowing visa on arrival:

  • Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Danang International Airport (Danang)
  • Cat Bi International Airport (Hai Phong)
  • Cam Ranh International Airport (Khanh Hoa)
  • Lien Khuong International Airport (Lam Dong)
  • Can Tho International Airport (Can Tho)
  • Phu Quoc International Airport (Phu Quoc)

Who is eligible?

If a traditional visa at the Vietnamese Embassy/Consulate is eligible for any citizen in the world, visa on arrival is eligible for following applicants:

  • Tourists: Foreigner tourists joining a Vietnam tour organized by a Vietnam travel agency.
  • Business travelers: Foreign citizens traveling to Vietnam for business or commercial purposes.
  • Transit travelers: Vietnam is one of many destinations in the applicant's journey.
  • Foreign crew members who are on the ship at Vietnamese seaports wishing to exit Vietnam through another country's border gate.
  • Foreigners and overseas Vietnamese returning to Vietnam to attend a relative's funeral or visit relatives who are seriously ill.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam in urgent cases such as incident handling, rescuing, natural disaster prevention, epidemic prevention or special request from a competent Vietnamese agency.
Visa stamp at Vietnam airport

Conditions / Applicable laws

Although citizens all over the world can apply for a visa on arrival if they travel to Vietnam by air and enter/exit one of 8 designated airports, there are some other conditions that you must comply with as below:

  • Foreigners coming from a country without the Vietnam Embassy/Consulate.
  • Foreigners residing in other countries and currently not present in the Vietnam territory.
  • Foreigners having valid passports with at least 6 months validity in advance of the planned stay in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners coming to Vietnam by air and having the entry/exit checkpoints at one of 8 international airports allowing visa-on-arrival.
  • Those who are not banned from entering Vietnam as prescribed in Article 21 of the Law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam.

How to apply

Visa on arrival counter at Hanoi airport


To get ready for a visa on arrival, you need to prepare all the followings:

  • A hard copy of a pre-approved visa letter approved by the Vietnam Immigration Department.
  • A visa application form (entry and exit declaration form) provided by the local visa agency (Form NA1).
  • 02 photos (4x6 or 3x4, same size, white or plain background, newly taken in 6 months, straight looking, without glasses or scarf) (01 is pasted on the visa application form, 01 is used for presentation if needed).
  • A valid passport with a validity of at least 06 months beyond your stay in Vietnam.
  • Stamping fee in cash (USD25-50 based on your visa type).


There are things you need to do in advance of your trip and while being at the arrival port to get a visa. Here are 3 steps you need to follow:

  1. Step 1: Apply for a visa approval letter through a visa agency. The process may take 2 - 5 working days or just 2 - 4 working hours if you choose urgent service.
  2. Step 2: Receive your visa approval letter along with the visa application form (NA1) by email. Print a hard copy for both documents. Fill up all the information required in the visa application form and prepare 02 passport sized photos, a valid original passport, and stamping fee in cash.
  3. Step 3: At immigration/landing visa counter at the arrival port, present all documents and things in Step 2 to get your visa stamp.

Processing time and fee

Processing time

Since the pre-approved visa letter is compulsory for a Vietnam visa on arrival, you need to estimate the time to prepare this paper in advance of your trip. The processing time for a pre-approved visa letter varies from a few hours to a few working days. The urgent letter just needs 2 - 4 hours while the regular one takes 2 - 5 days. After you get all the documents needed, it takes you around 15 minutes to 1 hour at the arrival port to get a visa stamped, based on the waiting line.


There are 2 fees for a visa on arrival. The fee varies on each visa agency and visa type. The shorter time you want to take the visa approval letter, the higher price you pay. 
Please refer to the fee for regular service in the following table:

Type of visa Service fee by agency (approx) Stamping fee by Government
Single Entry (1 or 3 months) USD 20 - 30 USD 25
Multiple Entry (1 or 3 months) USD 25 - 45 USD 50
Multiple Entry 12 months USD 60 USD 135
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Questions and Answers (10)

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Switzerland on May 24, 2023

Hello, I would like to apply online for an approval letter. Is it possible to apply here? I live in Switzerland but I have a Paraguay passport and my trip is from 30th june to 16th July.

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A Lina Tran Answered on May 24, 2023

@Angelica, Visa on arrival is currently available only for those who are traveling on an organized tour. If you are planning to go on a tour, you can contact a reliable tour operator such as Exotissimo or Aurora Travel for assistance in obtaining the pre-approved visa letter for your visa on arrival application!

Switzerland on May 16, 2023

Hello, I'm from Switzerland. I heard that it was possible to get a 90 day visa for Vietnam before 2020. Is this an option now? Thank you!

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A Lina Tran Answered on May 16, 2023

@A, The 90-day visa is currently unavailable, you can only apply for a 1-month single entry e-visa. If you are planning to visit Vietnam later this year, there is a possibility that the 3-month e-visa will be available by that time.

You can stay updated with our news and policy changes below:

1 people found this helpful
South Africa on May 10, 2023

Hi, I am a South African citizen wishing to visit Vietnam for 7-10 days initially we need to apply for an invitation letter if we visit. So I want to know if that rule still stands or i can apply for a normal tourist visa at the embassy?

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A Lan Answered on May 10, 2023

@Innocentia, You can apply for a visa at the Embassy of Vietnam in Pretoria or book a tour with a local travel agency as they can arrange a pre-approved letter for their customers. Some reputable tour operators in Vietnam including: EXO Travel, Aurora Travel ( and Hanspan.

1 people found this helpful
Puneet lakhiani
Indian on May 10, 2023

Is VOA facility available for Indian citizens?

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A Mai Le Answered on May 10, 2023

@Puneet lakhiani, Yes, Indian passports are eligible for the visa on arrival scheme. However, this will require an approval letter from a local visa or tour agency in Vietnam!

1 people found this helpful
Robert Stonier
Malaysia on May 07, 2023

UK passport wishing to visit for 7 day holiday. Arriving by air. In 2018 it was issued on entry and no pre approvals were needed. In 2010 I had to obtain visa before travel Can I still fly and get 15 day stamp at airport?

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A Lan Answered on May 07, 2023

@Robert Stonier, UK passports are exempt from Vietnam visa for 15 days, therefore, you do not need a visa for a 7 day stay. All you need is your valid passport and you are able to pass through the Immigration counter at Vietnam airport.

1 people found this helpful
Stuart Rose
United Kingdom on May 04, 2023

South African citizen with permanent UK residency taking a cruise to Vietnam therefore arriving by sea for a couple if days what are the cusa requirements please

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A Lan Answered on May 04, 2023

@Stuart Rose, You need a visa to visit Vietnam. However, if you plan to take cruise and enter Vietnam at a seaport, please contact your cruise operator for visa procedures! Most cruises will handle visas for their passengers.

1 people found this helpful
Alice Oh Yin Chin
Singapore on May 02, 2023

Hi dear, I would like to apply business visa from Singapore for my boss holding China Passport. Is it possible ? Thanks

Your Reply
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A Lan Answered on May 02, 2023

@Alice Oh Yin Chin, Yes, it is possible to obtain a business visa, however, you will need a sponsor letter from your company partner in Vietnam.

1 people found this helpful
United States on May 01, 2023

Hi it is a public holiday May 2 and 3, is it still possible to get a 1 hour visa?

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A Lan Answered on May 01, 2023

@Pri, We are afraid that 1 hour processing is not available during the public holiday. Therefore, please reschedule your travel!

Tunisia on April 17, 2023

I have 3 of my family members who are going to Vietnam, they have the Tunisian nationality, can I please know how much you can provide them with an approval letter in order for them to apply for a visa on arrival?

Your Reply
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A Lan Answered on April 17, 2023

@REKIK Marwa, Unfortunately, visa on arrival is not currently available. However, we have sent you an email with information on agencies that can assist you in processing visa applications for Tunisian passport holders.

2 people found this helpful
Mark Cosgrove
United Kingdom on April 10, 2023

We have gotten a letter of permission from a company inside of Vietnam to return on a 3-month work visa. Unfortunately, we arrived in Bangkok for the 2 days the embassy is closed and we could not receive a stamp from the Vietnamese embassy in Bangkok. I was wondering if we had the letter of permission (which I can link if you’d like) would be enough for us to get a visa on arrival.

Your Reply
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A Lan Answered on April 15, 2023

@Mark Cosgrove, Yes, it depends on how information was written on the pre-approved visa letter. If it says that you are "permitted to pick up the visa at the ..... airport," then you can travel to Vietnam and receive your visa stamp upon arrival.

1 people found this helpful
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Frequently asked questions

1. Should I use "fast track" service to avoid the queue?

No, fast track service is not necessary as it usually takes 15-20 minutes to get a visa stamp at Vietnam airport. If you travel with children or are in emergency cases, you can ask the officers or other applicants for priority. Kindly check out detailed guide on wait time at Vietnam airport.

2. I enter Vietnam by air but want to exit Vietnam by landports. Is this visa acceptable?

No. Landing visa is only acceptable at international airports, not landport or seaport. If you want to exit Vietnam by landports, you should get a regular visa at the Embassy or E-visa.

3. Can I get my visa photos when I arrive?

There are no official photo booths inside the arrival hall at Vietnam airport. However, some travelers have reported using an unprofessional photo service at the airport to get their visa photos taken for around $2 USD each.

4. Which country can get visa on arrival in Vietnam?

Approximately 150 countries and territories can obtain a visa on arrival in Vietnam. Listed below are a few examples from each continent:

  • Africa: South Africa
  • Asia: South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore..ect
  • Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland and so on!
  • America: United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina..ect
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

5. Can I apply for a visa on arrival directly at Vietnam airport?

No, you cannot. To get a visa on arrival at a Vietnamese airport, you need to have a pre-approved visa letter. Without this letter, you will be denied entry and not allowed to board the plane. The process of obtaining a visa on arrival in Vietnam is different from other countries, where visas can be obtained directly at border gates. In Vietnam, you must apply for a pre-approved visa letter through a Vietnamese agency before traveling.

6. Is visa on arrival legit?

Yes. Vietnam Visa on arrival is completely legitimate as a visa at the Embassy or E-visa in accordance to Law on entry, exit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam: (01) Government’s Decree No. 21/2001/ND-CP. (2) Joint Circular No. 04/2002/TTLT/BCA-BNG. Please note that the visa approval letter is obtained from a private agency in Vietnam but is granted by the Vietnam Immigration Department. It is legally used to get a visa stamp at the airport and enter Vietnam.

7. How long does it take to get a visa stamp at the airport?

It may depend on the season and the volume of passengers waiting in line. If you come in the low season (May - September), you may need around 15 - 20 minutes. If you come in the high season (October - April) or in the holidays/festivals, it can take 30 minutes - 1 hour or more.

8. Do I pay both service fee for the approval letter and stamping fee in advance?

No. Service fee for approval letter is paid online for the local agency while stamping fee is paid in cash at the arrival port.

9. What is the official government website for visa on arrival?

There is no official government website for visa on arrival service. You need to contact a Vietnam visa agency to get a pre-approved visa letter authorized by the Vietnam Immigration Department and get the visa stamp at the airport in Vietnam.

10. Is the stamping fee applied for both adults and children?

Yes. Stamping fee is applied for both adults and children. The fee ranges from US$25 to 135 depending on your visa type.

11. Is visa on arrival available at any international airport in Vietnam?

No. Vietnam currently allows visa-on-arrival at 8 international airports in Vietnam including: Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Danang, Cat Bi, Cam Ranh, Lien Khuong, Can Tho, and Phu Quoc.

12. Can I get a pre-approved visa letter at the airport?

No. You cannot get a pre-approved visa letter at the airport. You must apply for this letter online via a Vietnam agency in advance of your trip and present it at the airport to board the plane. In case your approval letter is incorrect somehow, you must redo it urgently via the local agency to get on board.

Contact sales if you have additional questions.

Contact support if you already submitted your visa application on our website.

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