Vietnam Visa On Arrival
- Step by step guide
- Information for getting a visa on arrival for Vietnam
- Frequently asked questions
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 applicable only to those traveling in EMERGENCY situations.
Step by step guide
Before you apply
Why choose visa on arrivalSee how
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 airportsSee how
- 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 knowSee how
- 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.
Gather your documents
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.
Apply for your visa
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 November 2023, a visa on arrival is made available to visitors traveling to Vietnam in emergency cases. If you are NOT in an urgent or emergency situation, 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.
Visa on arrival in brief
|Type of entries||
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.
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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|
Questions and Answers (25)
I Need a single entry visa on arrival letter. I am South African and your site says we are not eligible for e-Visa
@Vuyokazi Kakaza, South African passports are now eligible for the e-visa application; you can apply for an e-visa to visit Vietnam.
Hi, I have an Electronic Visa for the purpose of visiting Hanoi as a tourist from 13 January 2024 to 18 January 2024. Do I still have to have a visa stamped at Hanoi airport and does it take long? Thank You Harry
@Harindarjit Singh, For an e-visa, you only need to present your passport and the printed e-visa document at the Vietnam airport. No additional documents are necessary.
Does the USD 25 have to be in USD Cash, or can be in other currencies?
@Ryan Thrall, You can pay in VND or USD. While other currencies may be accepted, it may take some time at the Vietnam airport to exchange them into local Vietnam Dong.
Hello. I have an emergency passport because my original passport is out of visa pages. I have recently traveled internationally. I am using an agency to get my visa application processed. Is an emergency passport acceptable to travel to Vietnam (Hanoi)?
@Jonnise Hazuka, We are afraid that an emergency passport may not be accepted for visa on arrival. You can find more information and read about travelers' experiences below:
I go to Vietnam in March 24, how soon can I apply for my online Vietnam tourist visa. I am meeting our Vietnamese tour guide at the airport. I’d like to apply early as I can. Thanks
@Kim Butler, You can apply as soon as you wish as the e-visa will be valid starting from the date you select on the application form.
Hi I am a Philippine passport holder and I will travel to Vietnam on 21st of Sept. until 25th of Sept. Do I need a visa?
@Serenity, Philippine passport holders are exempt from visa requirements for up to 21 days. Therefore, you can travel to Vietnam from September 21st and September 25th without having to apply for a visa.
I understand visa rules to Vietnam from UK are changing. We arrive in Vietnam on 7th September 2023 on a 7 day tour with Mercury Travel. Then to Cambodia and Laos, returning to UK via Hanoi, on 3rd October 2023. Do we need a Visa ??
@Mr Brian Gough, You do not need a visa if your stay for each entry in Vietnam does not exceed 15 days.
Hello , we have booked at Stellar Cruise Halong Bay March 22-25 . So I will be arriving Vietnam March 22 and leave March 26, 2024 . Do we need to apply for a visa ? If so when do we need to apply and how ? Please advise , thank you
@Marissa klatt, Yes, US passport holders are still required a valid visa for visiting Vietnam. You can either apply for an e-visa online or contact the local embassy of Vietnam in the US for visa instructions.
Greeings to you. I am a South African citizen. I will be arriving in Vietnam on July 30. I know that i need a letter of approval for a visa on arrival. Has there been any changes( i believe there was a meeting on June 24 to change visa laws). Can you recommend a way a getting an approval letter? Thank you. Any advice will be much appreciated.
@Shikaar Sewnarain, Some companies still offer an approval letter for their customers. Can you contact the following website, vietnamstay.com, to see if they can help you obtain one?
Why don’t I see any multi entry visa options on the website linked above? I can’t seem to find any place to get multi entry visa. Can I also apply directly through the embassy?
@Moon Tran, 3 month multiple entry e-visa will be available from 15 August, 2023. If you do not travel until then, you can wait for the new 3 month e-visa policy before applying for a visa for Vietnam!
Who is using a guided tour for over a month!? And why isn't it possible to apply for two and three month e-visa!? How hard can it be!? Just put another 25 usd for each month!!!!!
@Jesper Korsgaard, 3 month visa on arrival is still available, however, you will need to find an agency who handles it and its fee is considerably high (100-150 USD). If you're not traveling soon,you can wait for the new 3-month e-visa policy, which is expected to be available in the coming weeks!
Hi, My friend and I are travelling in Ho Chi Minh. I am New Zealand Passport but my friend is holding a Nepal passport with New Zealand Resident. We been looking online the process but we get more confused. May you please help me for the process
@Jhes Bon, Nepalese passports are currently not eligible for the e-visa program. You can contact the local embassy in Wellington for visa instructions or if you are traveling on an organized tour, you can ask the tour operator for the visa approval letter for visa on arrival!
I will be arriving in Vietnam from the United States on 9/25/2023 and leave Vietnam for Singapore on 9/27/2023. I will be back in Vietnam again on 9/30/2023. Do this mean that I have to apply for the multiple entry visa? Thank you.
@ANDY TRAN, Yes, if you enter or exit Vietnam multiple times within a month-time, you will need a multiple entry visa. Alternatively, you can apply for two separate visas for each occasion.
I am from Honduras and I need to apply for the visa on arrival. I'm residing, in Hong Kong, may I know what is the visa on arrival fee in Hong Kong?
@Karla Moncada, To apply for a visa on arrival, you will need to join an organized tour by a local tour operator. You can contact some of the tour companies below for assistance:
- Exo Travel
Hi, I am from Taiwan and wishing to visit Ho chi minh city with my wife. May you help us with the approval letters for visa on arrival? And how much is it? Thanks a lot.
@Diego Wang, Unfortuntely, we currently offer e-visa service only, you can contact the following companies for visa approval letter service:
- Exo Travel
- Aurora Travel (Vietnamstay.com)
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.
@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!
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!
@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:
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?
@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 (vietnamstay.com) and Hanspan.
Is VOA facility available for Indian citizens?
@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!
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?
@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.
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
@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.
Hi dear, I would like to apply business visa from Singapore for my boss holding China Passport. Is it possible ? Thanks
@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.
Hi it is a public holiday May 2 and 3, is it still possible to get a 1 hour visa?
@Pri, We are afraid that 1 hour processing is not available during the public holiday. Therefore, please reschedule your travel!
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?
@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.
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.
@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.
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.
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