Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country with a rich culture and history. It is home to stunning beaches, lush mountains, and ancient temples. Vietnam is also a popular tourist destination, with millions of visitors arriving each year.
If you are planning to visit Vietnam, you will need to obtain a visa. There are two main types of visas for Vietnam: the e-visa and the visa on arrival. This comprehensive guide will provide an overview of everything you need to know about getting a Vietnam e-visa.
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What is a Vietnam E-Visa?
A Vietnam e-visa is an electronic visa that can be obtained online. It is a valid form of entry for Vietnam and is accepted at all international airports in the country.
The e-visa was first introduced in February 2017. It allows citizens from eligible countries to enter Vietnam through 28 designated international border gates, including all international airports.
The e-visa helps simplify and expedite the visa application process. Instead of having to send passports and documents via post or apply in person at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate, the e-visa allows you to complete the application fully online.
Benefits of a Vietnam E-Visa
There are several key benefits to obtaining a Vietnam e-visa compared to other visa types:
The biggest advantage of the e-visa is the convenience factor. You can apply for an e-visa entirely online in about 10 minutes.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can complete the application from anywhere in the world without having to visit an embassy or send documents via post.
E-visa applications are typically processed very quickly, usually within 3-5 working days. This is much faster than a traditional visa application, which can take 4-10 working days on average.
During peak seasons, e-visa processing times can slow down slightly but are still faster than traditional visas.
Vietnam e-visas are cheaper than traditional visa applications. An e-visa costs $25 USD while a traditional single-entry visa costs $80-$135 USD on average.
E-visas provide great value, especially for frequent travelers who make multiple trips to Vietnam per year.
The e-visa allows for easy modifications and changes. If your travel plans change after approval, you can modify your e-visa details for a small fee on the official website.
You can also extend your e-visa validity period while in Vietnam by paying an extension fee. This provides flexibility in case you want to stay longer.
Another big advantage is that e-visas allow multiple entries into Vietnam over the 90-day validity period.
You can exit and re-enter Vietnam as many times as you want with a valid e-visa, within the 90-day window. This is not possible with a traditional single-entry visa.
How to Apply for a Vietnam E-Visa
Here is a step-by-step guide to applying for a Vietnam e-visa:
1. Determine Your Eligibility
Before applying, make sure your country is eligible for the e-visa program. Citizens from 80+ countries can currently apply for an e-visa online.
Check the official government website for the most updated list of eligible nationalities. If you are not eligible for an e-visa, you will need to apply for a traditional visa.
2. Have Your Documents Ready
To complete the application, you will need digital copies of certain documents:
- Passport – must be valid for at least 6 months beyond departure date
- Passport photo – clear scan or photo of your face
- Return ticket/onward travel confirmation
Make sure your passport has at least 2 blank pages for visa stamps. Review requirements carefully to avoid delays or rejections.
3. Complete the Online Application
Go to the official Vietnam E-visa website and create an account. Fill out each section of the application with your details.
You will need to upload your passport photo and scanned passport page. Double-check that all information entered matches your passport exactly before submitting.
4. Make the Payment
After submitting the application, you will be directed to the payment screen. The Vietnam e-visa fee is $25 USD and can be paid securely online by credit/debit card.
Make sure your card is valid for international payments to avoid any payment issues.
5. Receive E-visa Approval Letter
Once your payment goes through, your application will be processed by the Immigration Department. Within the standard 3-5 days, you will receive an official e-visa approval letter via email.
Be sure to check your junk/spam folders. Print out this approval letter to present at immigration control when you arrive in Vietnam.
And you’re done! With the e-visa approval letter, you can now enter Vietnam easily through any international airport.
Requirements for a Vietnam E-Visa
To be successfully approved for an e-visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Citizenship – You must hold citizenship of an eligible e-visa country. Check eligibility before applying.
- Passport Validity – Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after departure from Vietnam. Passports expiring sooner will be rejected.
- Return Ticket – You must provide flight/travel details proving you will exit Vietnam before the e-visa expires.
- Sufficient Funds – Although not checked, you should have enough funds to cover your planned length of stay in Vietnam.
- Blank Passport Pages – Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages for entry/exit stamps.
Failure to meet any of these requirements may result in your application being denied, so review them carefully before applying.
Processing Time for a Vietnam E-Visa
Once you complete your e-visa application and payment online, how long does it take to get approved?
The standard Vietnam e-visa processing time is 3-5 working days. However, actual processing times can vary depending on seasonal demand:
- During peak travel seasons (June-August, December-January), processing can take 6-8 working days.
- During low seasons, processing may only take 2-3 days in some cases.
- Urgent/express service is available for $45 USD, reducing wait times to just 1-3 days.
Keep the potential for longer waits in mind when planning your travels. Apply at least 5-7 days in advance of your planned arrival date, to ensure you receive your approval letter in time for your trip.
You can also check the official website for real-time updates on current processing speeds to get an idea of wait times.
Vietnam E-Visa Extension
If you wish to extend your stay in Vietnam beyond the initial e-visa validity, you can apply for an extension while in the country.
E-visa extensions must be processed at a local Vietnam Immigration Office. Bring your passport and approval letter.
The extension fee is $50 USD and adds an extra 30 days to the validity. You can extend your e-visa multiple times, up to the maximum stay duration allowed by your nationality.
When applying for an extension, be aware that you can only stay a maximum of 30 days beyond your original e-visa expiry date while waiting for approval. Plan ahead to avoid overstays.
Vietnam E-Visa 90 Days
As of August 15, 2023, the standard validity period for Vietnam e-visas is 90 days from the date of approval.
Previously, e-visas were only valid for 30 days. However, the government has now extended the validity period to 90 days for all eligible nationalities.
This means your e-visa will allow you to enter Vietnam at any point in the 90 days after approval. You can also exit and re-enter multiple times within this 90-day window.
The extended validity makes planning return trips or longer stays in Vietnam much easier. Just be sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the e-visa expiry date.
Vietnam E-Visa vs. Visa on Arrival
Vietnam offers visas on arrival as an alternative to e-visas. What are the main differences?
- E-Visa – Apply online in advance from your home country
- VOA – Apply in person on arrival at a Vietnam airport
- E-Visa – $25 USD
- VOA – $50-$100 USD
- E-Visa – 3-5 days (or 1-3 days for urgent)
- VOA – Issued instantly upon arrival
- E-Visa – 90 days with multiple entries
- VOA – 30 days with single entry
- E-Visa – All international airports
- VOA – Only certain airports
E-visas offer better value for money and flexibility for frequent visitors. But VOA can be a good option for quick last-minute trips if you meet the criteria.
Which Visa Type is Right for You?
Choosing between an e-visa or VOA depends primarily on your travel plans:
Vietnam E-Visa is best if:
- You are planning a longer multi-city trip.
- You want to make multiple entries within 90 days.
- You value convenience and advance planning.
- You are on a budget.
Vietnam VOA is best if:
- You are booking a last-minute trip.
- You only need 30 days maximum stay.
- You don’t mind higher visa fees.
- You are flying into a VOA-eligible airport.
For most travelers, the e-visa offers greater flexibility and convenience. But VOA can be a good backup option for certain situations if e-visa is not possible.
Vietnam’s e-visa program has made visiting Vietnam easier and more convenient than ever for international travelers. With online applications processed quickly, lower costs, and longer validity periods, the e-visa simplifies trip planning.
Be sure to apply for your Vietnam e-visa through the official website well in advance of travel. Check that you meet all requirements and have all necessary documentation ready to avoid delays.
With an approved e-visa in hand, you can look forward to exploring the beauty and culture of Vietnam at your own pace, following one of Southeast Asia’s most rewarding and fascinating itineraries.
- List of countries whose citizens are eligible for e-visa pilot programs:
|9||KOR||The Republic of Korea|
|17||USA||The United States of America|
|23||GBR||The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northen Ireland|
(Not applicable to Chinese e-passport holders)
- List of check-points permitting foreign into and exit from Viet Nam with e-visas
|AIRWAY BORDER GATES|
|1. Noi Bai International Airport;|
|2. Tan Son Nhat International Airport;|
|3. Cam Ranh International Airport;|
|4. Da Nang International Airport;|
|5. Cat Bi International Airport;|
|6. Can Tho International Airport;|
|7. Phu Quoc International Airport;|
|8. Phu Bai International Airport.|
|ROAD BORDER GATES|
|1. Mong Cai International Border Gate (Quang Ninh province)|
|2. Huu NghiInternational Border Gate (Lang Son province)|
|3. Lao Cai International Border Gate (Lao Cai province);|
|4. Nam Can International Border Gate (Nghe An province);|
|5. Cau Treo International Border Gate (Ha Tinh province);|
|6. Cha Lo International Border Gate (Quang Binh province);|
|7. Lao Bao International Border Gate (Quang Tri province);|
|8. Bo Y International Border Gate (Kon Tum province);|
|9. Moc Bai International Border Gate (Tay Ninh province);|
|10. Xa Mat International Border Gate (Tay Ninh province);|
|11. Tinh Bien International Border Gate (An Giang province);|
|12. Song Tien International Border Gate (An Giang province);|
|13. Ha Tien International Border Gate (Kien Giang province).|
|WATERWAY BORDER GATES|
|1. Hon Gai Port Border Gate (Quang Ninh province);|
|2. Hai Phong Port Border Gate (Hai Phong province);|
|3. Nha Trang Port Border Gate (Khanh Hoa province);|
|4. Da Nang Port Border Gate (Đa Nang city);|
|5. Quy Nhon Port Border Gate (Binh Đinh province);|
|6. Vung Tau (Ba Ria – Vung Tau province);|
|7. Ho Chi Minh City Port Border Gate (Ho Chi Minh City).|
Emergency Vietnam Visa
Tips for applying for an immediate Vietnam e-visa
1. Apply as early as possible. Even though immediate e-visas are processed quickly, it is still best to apply as early as possible, especially if you are traveling during peak season. This will give you enough time to correct any errors in your application or to provide additional information if needed.
2. Use a reputable website. There are many websites that offer e-visas for Vietnam, but not all of them are reputable. Be sure to use a website that is authorized by the Vietnam government. You can check the list of authorized websites on the Vietnam Immigration Department website.
3. Pay the extra fee for rush processing. Most websites that offer e-visas for Vietnam offer rush processing for an additional fee. This can be a good option if you need your visa quickly. However, keep in mind that the rush processing fee can be quite high.
4. Have all of your required documents ready. When you apply for an immediate e-visa, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Passport scan (the first page of your passport)
- Passport-style photo (4×6 cm, color, with a white background)
- Flight itinerary
- Credit card or debit card for payment
5. Review your application carefully before submitting it. Make sure that all of the information on your application is correct and complete. If there are any errors in your application, it may delay the processing of your visa.
6. Check your email regularly. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an email confirmation. Be sure to check your email regularly for updates on the status of your application.
Here are some additional tips that may help you expedite the processing of your immediate Vietnam e-visa:
- Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of your intended departure from Vietnam.
- Make sure that your passport photo meets all of the requirements.
- If you are applying for a rush visa, be sure to pay the rush processing fee and to indicate that you need a rush visa in your application.
- If you have any questions or concerns, contact the website that you are using to apply for your e-visa.
With a little planning, you can easily obtain an immediate e-visa for Vietnam.