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Vietnam Visa – An Overview


Vietnam eVisa is an electronic visa that allows foreign travelers to enter Vietnam for tourist or business purposes. The eVisa is issued online by the Vietnamese Immigration Department, and it simplifies the process of obtaining a visa by eliminating the need for physical paperwork and embassy visits. 

The eVisa is valid for 30 days, and it allows a single entry into Vietnam. Applicants can apply for the eVisa online and receive it via email within a few days. The Vietnam eVisa is a convenient option for travelers who want to visit Vietnam without going through the traditional visa application process.

Vietnam: Overview and History

Vietnam is a vibrant country with a population of over 98 million people, and it attracts over 18 million tourists annually. It boasts breathtaking national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and bustling cities that are among the top tourist destinations in Asia. 

Vietnam’s delicious cuisine, natural beauty, and rich history make it an ideal destination for any traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, or nature lover, Vietnam has something to offer. It should definitely be on your travel bucket list.

Key points in Vietnam’s history

Vietnam was under French colonial rule from 1858 to 1954 when local forces led by Ho Chi Minh defeated the French. French influences are evident in Vietnamese cuisine and architecture. In 1973, the US withdrew from Vietnam, leading to the country’s unification under communist leadership. 

Since 1986, Vietnam has embraced economic liberalization and human rights protections. The country’s economy and tourism industry are rapidly growing, and it’s part of the ASEAN intergovernmental organization. Vietnam is also part of the “Next Eleven” states, a group of countries expected to be among the largest economies of the 21st century.

Visa requirements for Vietnam

To apply for an eVisa for Vietnam, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Vietnam.
  2. You must be a citizen of a country that is eligible for the Vietnam eVisa program.
  3. You must have a valid email address to receive the eVisa approval letter.
  4. You must provide a passport photo that meets the Vietnam photo requirements.
  5. You must pay the eVisa fee using a valid credit or debit card.

Note that the requirements for an eVisa may vary depending on the issuing country and other factors. It’s essential to check the specific requirements for your country of residence before applying for an eVisa for Vietnam.

How to apply for a Vietnam visa

To apply for a Vietnam eVisa, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the eVisa website and fill out the Vietnam eVisa application form.
  2. Upload a scanned copy of your passport’s biographical page and a passport-sized photo that meets the Vietnamese government’s photo requirements.
  3. Pay the Vietnam eVisa fee using a valid credit or debit card.
  4. Wait for the eVisa approval letter, which will be sent to the email address provided in the application.
  5. Print out the eVisa approval letter and bring it with you to Vietnam, along with your passport and other necessary travel documents.
  6. Upon arrival in Vietnam, present your eVisa approval letter and passport to the immigration officer to receive the entry stamp.

Note that processing times for eVisas can vary, so it’s essential to apply well in advance of your planned travel dates. It’s also crucial to carefully review the information provided in your eVisa approval letter to ensure that all details are correct before traveling to Vietnam.

Vietnam Visa Validity 

The validity of a Vietnam eVisa is dependent on the visa type selected at the time of application. The eVisa is typically valid for 30 days, and the maximum length of stay is 30 days from the date of entry & Single-entry.

eVisa vs Embassy visa

Visa on Arrival and Embassy visa are two different ways to obtain a visa for Vietnam. Here are some differences between the two:

  1. Application Process: With an Embassy visa, travelers must apply at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate in their home country. In contrast, with eVisa, travelers can apply online.
  2. Processing Time: Embassy visas generally take longer to process, as travelers must wait for their visa to be processed and returned via mail. In contrast, eVisa processing times are typically faster, with approval letters often issued within 3-5 business days.
  3. Cost: The cost of an Embassy visa may be higher than a Visa on Arrival, as it typically includes processing fees and courier fees. eVisa fees are typically lower, you can check eVisa on the fe page.
  4. Convenience: eVisa can be more convenient for travelers, as the application process is entirely online, and travelers do not need to visit an embassy or consulate in person. However, Embassy visas may be necessary for travelers who need to have their visa in hand before departing for Vietnam.

Ultimately, the best option depends on the traveler’s needs and preferences. Travelers should consider factors such as processing time, cost, and convenience when choosing between Visa on Arrival and Embassy visas.

Visa Exemptions and Extensions

Vietnam offers visa exemptions to citizens of certain countries for stays of up to a specified number of days, typically ranging from 14 to 90 days. Citizens of some ASEAN countries may be eligible for longer visa exemptions. It’s essential to check the current visa exemption policy before traveling to Vietnam, as policies can change.

For travelers who require a visa extension, it’s possible to extend a visa through the Vietnamese Immigration Department. However, extensions are not guaranteed, and travelers should apply well in advance of their visa’s expiration date. Overstaying a visa in Vietnam can result in fines and other penalties, so it’s crucial to adhere to the permitted length of stay.

Tips for a Smooth Vietnam Visa Application Process

Here are some tips for a smooth Vietnam eVisa application process:

  1. Review the eligibility criteria: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the eVisa and have all the required documents, such as a valid passport.
  2. Apply early: Apply for your eVisa early to allow sufficient time for processing and to avoid any last-minute delays.
  3. Complete the application accurately: Ensure that all information provided on the application is accurate and matches your passport details. Any inconsistencies may result in delays or rejection of the application.
  4. Submit a high-quality photo: The photo submitted with the application should be of high quality and meet the required specifications.
  5. Double-check before submission: Double-check all details before submitting the application to avoid any errors or inaccuracies.
  6. Pay the required fees: Pay the required eVisa processing and stamping fees promptly to avoid any delays in the application process.
  7. Keep a copy of the approval letter: Once the eVisa is approved, make sure to keep a copy of the approval letter for reference and use during travel.

By following these tips, travelers can ensure a smooth and hassle-free application process for their Vietnam eVisa.

Common Vietnam Visa Issues and Solutions

Some common issues that travelers may encounter during the Vietnam eVisa application process, along with possible solutions, include:

  1. Invalid passport: If your passport is invalid, expired, or damaged, you won’t be able to apply for an eVisa. Make sure your passport is valid and in good condition before applying.
  2. Inaccurate information: Ensure that all information provided in the application is accurate, including personal details and travel dates. Any discrepancies can lead to rejection or delays in processing.
  3. Photo issues: The photo submitted with the application must meet specific criteria. Ensure that the photo is recent, of high quality, and meets the specified size and format.
  4. Payment issues: Make sure that you have sufficient funds to pay the eVisa processing and stamping fees. Payment issues can cause delays or result in the rejection of the application.
  5. Approval letter issues: If you don’t receive the approval letter within the expected timeframe, check your spam or junk mail folder. If you still haven’t received it, contact the eVisa support team for assistance.
  6. Entry issues: Make sure to enter Vietnam within the validity period of your eVisa. Overstaying a visa can result in fines and other penalties.

By being aware of these common issues and taking the necessary precautions, travelers can ensure a smooth and hassle-free eVisa application process.

Vietnam Visa on Arrival

Vietnam Visa on Arrival (VOA) is an alternative option for travelers who don’t qualify for the eVisa or prefer not to go through the embassy application process. It allows travelers to obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport in Vietnam, rather than obtaining a visa in advance from an embassy or consulate.

To apply for a Vietnam Visa on Arrival, travelers need to submit an online application and receive an approval letter before departure. The approval letter is typically issued within two business days and sent via email. Travelers must print the approval letter and bring it with them to Vietnam, along with their passport, photos, and visa stamping fee.

Upon arrival at the airport in Vietnam, travelers proceed to the Visa on Arrival counter to present their documents and pay the stamping fee. After the fee is paid, the visa is stamped in the passport, and the traveler can proceed through immigration.

It’s important to note that Vietnam Visa on Arrival is only available to travelers arriving by air at one of Vietnam’s international airports. Travelers arriving by land or sea must obtain a visa in advance through an embassy or consulate.

Overall, Vietnam Visa on Arrival is a convenient option for eligible travelers, providing a streamlined application process and the flexibility to obtain a visa upon arrival in Vietnam.

Frequently asked questions 

Do I need a visa to enter Vietnam?
Most foreign visitors to Vietnam are required to obtain a visa. However, citizens of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements for a limited period of time. You should check the visa policy to see if you are eligible for a visa exemption.

What types of visas are available for Vietnam?
The most common types of visas for Vietnam are the eVisa, Visa on Arrival, and embassy visa. Each type of visa has its own application process, requirements, and fees.

How long does it take to process a Vietnam eVisa?
The processing time for a Vietnam eVisa is typically 3-5 business days

Can I extend my Vietnam visa?
Yes, it is possible to extend your Vietnam visa if you meet certain conditions. You should contact the Vietnamese immigration department or a reputable travel agency in Vietnam for assistance.

Can I enter Vietnam before the start date of my eVisa?
No, you cannot enter Vietnam before the start date of your eVisa. You should plan your travel accordingly and ensure that you enter Vietnam within the validity period of your eVisa.

What happens if my Vietnam eVisa application is denied?
If your Vietnam eVisa application is denied, you can apply for an embassy visa or Visa on Arrival instead. It’s important to review the reasons for the denial and address any issues before reapplying.

Can I apply for a Vietnam eVisa if I am already in Vietnam?
No, you cannot apply for a Vietnam eVisa if you are already in Vietnam. You must apply for a visa from outside of Vietnam, either through an embassy or online with an eVisa application.

How much does a Vietnam visa cost?
The cost of a Vietnam visa depends on the type of visa and the processing time. 

Can I work on a tourist visa in Vietnam?
No, you cannot work on a tourist visa in Vietnam. If you plan to work in Vietnam, you should obtain a work permit and the appropriate visa or residency status.

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