As of April 2022, Vietnam finally lifted the travel ban and started welcoming tourists again. The government initially opened to package-based tourists but with ongoing domestic outbreaks of COVID, it didn’t last.
Eventually, once the country’s vaccination rate was higher and many countries had also opened their borders, Vietnam finally made the decision to totally open again in May. This means no more quarantine, COVID tests, vaccination proof, health declaration, or anything like that. Enter Vietnam in 2023 and you will be among the first fully-free travelers back to this country that has been closed for 2.5 years!
In this article, we will cover exactly how to enter Vietnam in 2023. A lot has changed since before COVID! This will include Vietnam’s 2023 entry requirements and other things to know for ensuring a smooth backpacking trip in Vietnam.
If you’re planning to come to Vietnam to for longer, then see our separate guides to moving to Vietnam, working in Vietnam, coming to Vietnam as a teacher, the cost of living, getting married in Vietnam, and our recommended budget for moving to Vietnam.
2023 Entry Requirements
The requirements for travelers entering Vietnam have changed several times, especially following COVID. On top of them, border officials only seem to randomly check certain documents. Still, it’s best to prepare all the ones that they might ask for when you enter Vietnam.
Vietnam removed most of its COVID-19 entry requirements on May 15, 2022. In 2023, the country is essentially fully open to all visitors. Here’s a quick list of what you have to prepare to enter Vietnam in 2023.
- Passport – Valid for at least 6 months from your date of arrival – this is a common entry requirement for many countries, not just Vietnam.
- E-Visa – Apply for your Vietnam visa online here, unless you are one of these 25 countries who DON’T need a visa for Vietnam. Learn more about how to apply for a Vietnam visa here, including how early you should apply for it. For those who are visa-free, you can apply for an extension after you arrive. For those who need a visa, you get 30 days, and this can’t be extended. You have to leave the country and re-enter if you want to stay longer. You should print a copy of your e-visa before arriving, besides downloading and saving a copy on your phone.
- Travel insurance – Must cover at least $10,000 for COVID-19 treatment. We recommend this ones for only $42 for 4 weeks. The insurance document is only checked randomly – most visitors report that they are no longer asked for it upon arrival. Still, it’s not a bad idea to have it. Read more about this in our guide to getting health or travel insurance for Vietnam.
- Return flight – Like most countries, Vietnam requires you to have show proof that you are leaving the country. If you plan to stay longer, you can get a dummy ticket for as low as $19.
- Masks – No longer required in public spaces, but still required on public transportation and some other places (subject to change in the coming year). Bring some just in case.
Other Notes for Arriving in Vietnam
Besides the above-mentioned entry requirements, here are some more tips for entering Vietnam smoothly.
- If you are visa exempt (for example for 15 days), you can enter Vietnam, stay, exit, then you can re-enter again whenever you want and get another 15 days.
- E-visas usually take 3 days or up to a week after you apply. Make sure you apply early enough or you won’t get one before arriving.
- Besides ivisa, you can also apply for your visa to enter Vietnam on the official Vietnam government site.
- If you have the e-visa, you can proceed directly to the immigration counter when you arrive. But if you are exempt, proceed to the visa-on-arrival counter.
- The immigration officer will stamp and possibly write EV (electronic visa) on your visa.
- Hang on to your e-visa document. Sometimes they want to see it when you’re leaving Vietnam, too.
- You are supposed to monitor your health for your first 10 days in Vietnam. If you contract COVID-19, you are supposed to call the COVID hotline at 1900 3228 to report it.
We also recommend this “Post-Covid Return to Vietnam” Facebook group, where members actively share their experiences about entering Vietnam after COVID-19 restrictions ended. It’s a good source of recent info or for asking any questions pertaining to entering Vietnam.
Vietnam Travel Tips
Now that you’re all set to enter Vietnam, you can get down to the more exciting part: Planning your travel across Vietnam! We’ve got loads of content to get you started on the adventure of a lifetime. Here are a just a few:
- How to spend 1 week / 2 weeks in Vietnam
- Guide to motorbiking in Vietnam and popular motorbiking routes
- Best caves in Vietnam
- Best beaches in Vietnam
- Best temples in Vietnam
- Vietnamese snacks to try
- Cruises in Halong Bay, the country’s most famous attraction
- Other cool places to visit in Vietnam
Thankfully, entering Vietnam is no longer the great challenge (or impossible task) that it was from 2020 to early 2022. Things have pretty much gone back to normal in terms of the entry process, but with some notably changes compared to before. Hopefully this guide has answered all your questions about coming into Vietnam in 2023. Enjoy your trip!