[UPDATED 2019] HOW TO APPLY FOR VIETNAM VISA:
Evisa, Invitation Letter, Online, Travel Agency, Embassy
After I explained about the different types of visas in Vietnam, it’s time to discuss what is the best way to apply for your visa to Vietnam. I will walk you through the different ways to obtain your Vietnamese visa and how to use it properly either you are moving or backpacking in Vietnam.
VISA-FREE: You do not need a visa to enter and travel in Vietnam
VISA ON ARRIVAL (VOA) and the EVISA: You are required to either get a visa when you arrive in Vietnam and pay for it at that moment, or avail an evisa before you arrive or apply for an invitation letter online or from an agency
STAMP FEE: Those who didn’t get their visa and are not eligible for a free visa, you need to pay for a stamp fee especially those who are going to use an invitation letter and evisa. Remember to bring US Dollars, the fee ranges between $25-$50 depending on your visa type.
If you haven't found a hostel for Vietnam yet, check out this best hostels in Vietnam. Check out the table of contents below to navigate easier.
GUIDE FOR VIETNAM VISA POLICY
90 , 21, 14 days
Chile - 90
Philippines - 21
Brunei - 14
Myanmar - 14
Note: These nationalities should have 30 days gap between two visa-free visits. Must show an onward ticket.
COUNTRIES THAT ARE ELIGIBLE FOR E-VISA COUNTRIES:
If your free visa is not enough or you are not eligible for a free visa, you can apply for an e-Visa which is valid for 30 days with a single entry to Vietnam.
United Arab Emirates
*not applicable for e-passport holders
HOW TO GET YOUR VISA TO VIETNAM THROUGH A VIETNAMESE EMBASSY
The oldest but the most reliable way to get your visa to Vietnam is definitely through their Embassy in your home country or your current base. The only downside of this option is the speed of the processing, some take only a few days while others take a week or more. Another hassle is the requirements, some Embassies are very strict, they might ask you for more documents. While the good side of this is that you are sure that you are in the safe hands and no scam will happen plus the fees can be cheaper than other options.
Some visas, like permanent visa, working visa, student visa, or others can only be processed by the Embassy or Consulate.
Things to check off the list before you submit a visa application through the Embassy or Consulate:
- Check the nearest Embassy or Consulate - this might help
- Find out if they process the visa that you specifically need
- Check the length of the processing
- Compare the fees
- Inspect the requirements
- If in doubt, send an email and address your concerns
RELATED POST: What you need to know about teaching English in Vietnam
HOW TO GET YOUR VISA TO VIETNAM THROUGH AN AGENCY
Getting your visa through an agency has its advantage for sure, like the speed of the process and the convenience. While the downhill of this option is that sometimes it’s hard to know if this agency is legit or not. Do your research and read their reviews online, reach out to their customer service if you have questions.
Things to remember to ask and check with your travel agency:
How long would it take to process the visa
Can they process the visa you specifically need
What are the fees compare to your other options
Do they have good reviews online
HOW TO GET YOUR VISA TO VIETNAM ONLINE
There is a small difference between a travel agency and online when it comes to getting your visa. When doing online, you do not need to talk to someone face to face, you can do your payment, submit your requirements, get your visa, all of these can be done over the web. The good thing about this is that you do not need to leave your passport to someone else. However, only business visas and tourist visas can be processed online. Going through an online platform can also be cheaper than through an agency.
Personally, I suggest this platform when getting your Vietnam visa online. I have used them a couple of times and have recommended them to my friends and readers of this website.
HOW TO GET YOUR TOURIST OR BUSINESS VISA ONLINE
If you are US citizen, you can get a business visa which will let you travel for a year in Vietnam and will allow you to legally find a job and work while waiting for a work permit. Read more about it here.
- Go here to start your application
- Choose your nationality first and wait for the options to load
- Choose which one fits your need better
- Click Apply Now
- Fill out the page with your required details
- You can choose how fast you want your visa to be processed and the currency you want the fee to be displayed
- Click Next to proceed with the payment
- You will receive an email once your evisa/invitation letter has been processed
NOTE: You will only get a letter hen applying via online, which you need to print and present at the immigration when you land in Vietnam, you then have to pay a visa sticker fee.
RELATED POST: How to extend your Vietnam visa
HOW TO GET YOU VIETNAM VISA IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
Take note that invitation letter cannot be used on land border crossing if you are planning to cross Vietnam from Cambodia. However, you can easily arrange your Vietnam visa in Cambodia. If you are in Phnom Penh, you an go to travel agencies and see your options.
Personally, I went to Lucky! Lucky! Mortobike Repair Shop. In the front of their office is a motorbike repair shop go through it and you will the door or simply ask anyone on the shop. I did a 3-month tourist visa with multiple entries and paid $85 US. It took about 2 days to process. If you come early in the day the process might be faster. Normaly it's 3-4 business days depending on the type. Simply check on Google Maps its location, it's pretty much not far from the backpacker's street.
You can also do it through Vietnamese Embassy, but the process is longer because they can be very busy. Doing it by yourself can be stressful too although it's cheaper.
HOW TO GET YOUR VIETNAM VISA IN LUANG PRABANG, LAOS
If you are crossing the border from Laos to Vietnam, you can get a Vietnam visa in Luang Prabang through the Vietnamese Consulate. Like what I mentioned above, invitation cannot be used visa land border.
How to do your visa in Vietnamese Consulate:
- Head to their office in 417-418 That Boset Village, Luang Prabang which is 15-20 minute walk from the market centre
- Their office is only between 8-11:30am and 1:30-5pm Monday to Friday
- Go as early as you can as it can be busy through out the day. I found out that it's less busy in the middle of the week than on Mondays or Fridays
- Bring your passport (should be valid for the next 6 months and have at least one empty page ), passport ID with white background, US Dollars
- Once you get to the consulate, fill out a form, which can be found on the table right next on the glass windows
- Attach you passport ID (there should be a glue around the table)
- Submit your form together with your passport
- You will be called for payment and a piece of paper will be given back to you showing the time and date to pick up your passport
If you have any questions regarding applying or obtaining a visa for Vietnam, feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email - contact us.
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