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There are two ways you can obtain a tourist visa to Vietnam:
- Go to the embassy in your home country and get the visa in a traditional way.
- Get a Visa On Arrival
In this Vietnam e-visa guide for tourists, I will describe how you can easily obtain a Vietnam Visa on Arrival without any hassles. Also, unlike the Thai officials, Vietnamese visa officials are friendly and helpful making the whole application process very smooth. The below steps are also valid for Vietnam visa on arrival for Indians.
Getting a Vietnamese Visa on arrival (VOA)
First things first, Vietnam VOA is only available if you are traveling by a flight into one of the three designated airports.
Application for getting a Vietnam visa online is super easy. The application process to get the e-visa for Vietnam involves only two steps:
- Getting a letter of approval online.
- Getting the visa at the airport.
Step 1: Getting a letter of approval
Before you begin your journey to Vietnam you need to obtain a letter of approval. Note that without the letter you will not get the Vietnam VOA. And not only that, your airline might refuse to board you on the flight as well!
The letter of approval can be easily obtained from the third party agents. These agents have their online presence and a quick Google search will lead you to the one you want to go with. They all provide the same service so you can choose any one of those available, or perhaps the cheapest of them all. No shame in that!
What is Vietnam Approval Letter ‘private’ or ‘separate’/ ‘shared’ service.
Once you are on the agent’s website provide the relevant details that are needed to issue a visa: Full name, DOB, Nationality, Passport details, and the planned arrival date among other. In the next step make the online payment using a credit card. $8
Once the payment is approved you will get an acknowledgement email with details of your application. Recheck the details to ensure the correctness of the submitted information. It typically takes 2-3 working days to get a approval letter.
That’s all, step 1 is complete. Take a print of the letter, you need to show this before boarding, at the immigration at home country and at the e-visa counter in Vietnam airport.
There are two different tourists visa to Vietnam available, one that lasts for a month and the other which is good for three months. One month visa can be either single entry or multiple entry visa. Single entry implies that you can’t re-renter Vietnam once you exit, while with re-entry visa you can come and go as you please. Usually, all you’ll need is a one month single entry visa.
Vietnam Visa on arrival fees
Single entry 1 month = $25
Multiple entry 1/3 month = $50
Step 2: Getting the Visa at the Airport
Hanoi and Da Nang, and even in Saigon, getting a Vietnam eVisa takes around 30 minutes. Of-course it depends on the time of the day, at peak time queues can get longer.
Depending upon the crowd, it will take somewhere between 30-45 minutes on average day to get your Vietnam Visa on Arrival. It is mandatory for you to carry a passport size picture, but just in case if you don’t have one, the visa officials would be able to assist you for a small fee ($5).
Fill and submit form NA1 which will have capture all the necessary details to process your visa. After, you have made the submission simply wait for your turn to receive the visa.
My Vietnam Visa on Arrival Experience
Getting the Vietnam eVisa online for Indian passport is very simple. I followed to the point the procedure above. Initially, I was little apprehensive about getting an approval letter online. Were these online companies for real or just fraud? Anyway, I zeroed in on one approval letter provider (with the cheapest rate) and went with it. I paid the amount online with my credit card. I hoped I don’t have to follow up with the team. To my surprise, in just couple of days I received my approval letter to Vietnam. Very smooth!
When I landed in Saigon, I headed straight to the Vietnam e-visa counter. Again, it proved super easy to get the visa. The staff was really polite and helpful. Not even an ounce of rudeness in their behavior. It wasn’t crowded at the visa counter and I had to wait around 15-20 minutes for my turn. I paid the fees in dollars. Remember the staff returns the change in Dongs and you might lose a few in exchange, so I advise you to carry the exact amount. I saw couple of people who their picture taken on the spot by the visa staff, so if you are not carrying a photo do not worry. There is also an ATM nearby which you can visit without a problem as it is before immigration check, just in case you do not have the cash.
Getting a Vietnam e-visa is a very easy and smooth process. Just follow the above steps to get e-Visa for Vietnam and carry the relevant documents. The application process for getting Vietnam Visa for Indians is exactly the same as any other nationality.