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Vietnam Visa on Arrival: How to Apply and What You Need


If you’re thinking about traveling to Vietnam, first find out if you need a Vietnam visa. Check out the complete list of visa-free countries in our general guide for Vietnam visa. If you do need a visa, there are three ways to obtain it, applying online for an E-visa, applying in person at an embassy or a consulate, and applying on arrival.

This article will specifically take you through how to apply for a Vietnam visa on arrival, from the approval letter application, requirements, and cost to the procedures at border control when you arrive in Vietnam. If you want to learn about the two other ways to get a visa, see our guide on how to apply for Vietnam visa.

Can I Get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival

You can get a Vietnam visa on arrival for both tourism and business. But there are two things you must know. First, you have to request an approval letter from Vietnam Immigration Department before getting to the country. Second, you can only travel by air to one of the following airports to get a Vietnam visa on arrival:

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

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How to Apply Online for a Vietnam Visa Approval Letter

Travelers are advised to apply online for the visa approval letter before departure to Vietnam, the letter will be sent to your email. You can’t check in your international flight to Vietnam without the visa approval letter.

Steps to get the approval letter

You can get an approval letter through one of the private agencies. You can find a number of those agencies online that work with the Vietnam Immigration Department. They will send in a request on your behalf for an approval letter to the department and charge you a service fee.

Make sure you do your research on the agencies and find a legitimate, credible one before making a payment.

  • Research and find an agency online
  • Enter your visa information (passport information and port of arrival) for the online application
  • Pay the agency a service fee
  • Wait for your request to be processed
  • Print your approval letter sent to you by email

Two ways to obtain your Vietnam visa with the approval letter

  • Take your Vietnam Visa Approval Letter and go to your local Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate to get a visa stamp.
  • Get your Vietnam visa on arrival at one of the international airports in Vietnam.

Can I get a Vietnam visa on arrival without an approval letter?

No, the approval letter is a must for a Vietnam visa on arrival. So make sure you receive it before your Vietnam tour.

Airport Procedures for Vietnam Visa on Arrival

Once you receive your approval letter and make your flight to Vietnam, get to the Landing Visa Counter (cấp visa tai chổ) inside the airport and provide the required documents to get a visa stamp.

Requirements for Vietnam visa on arrival

  • Approval letter
  • Passport with at least another six months’ validity and two blank pages
  • 2 Passport-size photos (printed unless applying for e-visa) with the following specifications:
    • Size: 4 cm x 6 cm (2 x 2 inches)
    • White background
    • Taken within the past 6 months
    • You must be centered in the photo, looking ahead with a neutral facial expression
    • If you wear headgear for religious purposes or you have a wig, you may keep it on in the photo but must also be wearing on arrival
    • You must not be wearing any glasses
  • The completed Entry and Exit Form, which you will receive on the plane
  • Cash for the Vietnam visa stamp

Steps for Vietnam visa on arrival at the airport

  • Go to the Landing Visa Counter (cấp visa tai chổ) at the airport when you arrive in Vietnam
  • Present the immigration officer your required documents
  • Pay the Vietnam Visa on arrival fee in cash
  • Get your Vietnam visa stamp

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How Much is a Vietnam Visa on Arrival

The cost of a Vietnam visa on arrival usually comprises two parts, the service fee paid to the agency for an approval letter and the visa stamp fee paid at the airport immigration counter which must be paid in cash. The former varies depending on the agency and your chosen service. The latter depends on your visa validity:

  • 1 month Single/Multi-entry: $25/$50
  • 3 months Single/Multi-entry: $25/$50
  • 6 months Multi-entry: $95
  • 12 months Multi-entry: $135

FAQs about Vietnam Visa on Arrival

1. How long is the processing time for Vietnam visa on arrival?

The processing time for Vietnam visa on arrival depends on how fast you receive your approval letter. There are usually different services to choose from with each agency you request your approval letter through. The processing periods range from a few working hours to 7-10 working days. Prices vary depend on the service you choose.

2. Can you get a Vietnam visa on arrival in 1 day?

Yes, you can get your Vietnam visa on arrival in less than a day. You have to request an emergency visa with your agency when getting your approval letter. This service comes with a higher cost.

3. Can U.S. citizens apply for a Vietnam visa on arrival?

Yes, U.S. citizens may apply for a Vietnam visa on arrival. You are also eligible for applying online for an E-visa, as well as applying in person at an embassy/consulate.

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