Table of Contents
Do you need a visa to visit Vietnam?
Yes, most visitors to Vietnam must have a Vietnam visa to enter the country. However, there are some exceptions for citizens of certain countries who are eligible for visa exemptions or visa on arrival. It is important to check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality before traveling to Vietnam, then plan ahead and apply for a visa well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications.
Please note that if your nationality is not on the free visa list, you won’t be able to go to Vietnam without a visa obtained. The main reason for 80% of travelers who have to cancel or delay their trip to Vietnam is not applying for a visa to the country. Here are some examples on social media about tourists getting their plans canceled:
Is transit visa required for layover in Vietnam?
It depends. A transit visa is required for layovers in Vietnam if you are in one or more of these cases:
- You plan to leave the international transit area of the airport.
- If your layover is more than 24 hours
Or else, you won’t need to apply for a visa during your layover. Please note that also means you can’t leave the airport during this time, unless you have a visa exemption.
Do you need visa for Phu Quoc, Vietnam?
No, you do not need a visa to visit Phu Quoc, Vietnam if you are a foreign tourist and plan to stay on the island for up to 30 days. This exemption applies to visitors who arrive by air or sea directly to Phu Quoc and do not travel to other parts of Vietnam. However, if you plan to travel to other destinations in Vietnam or stay in Phu Quoc for more than 30 days, you will need to obtain a valid visa.
Requirements to apply a Vietnam visa
Whether you have a visa exemption or not, there are some requirements that you have to meet in order to enter Vietnam:
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following your date of arrival in Vietnam
- Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages
- You must be on the list of countries eligible for a Vietnam visa
Which countries are eligible to apply a visa for Vietnam?
In the past, there was only e-visa (electronic visa) available for Vietnam entries, and only travelers from 80 countries were able to apply for it. However, since 15/08/2023, Vietnam visa has been opened for all counties and regions in the world. That also means wherever you are from, you can apply for a visa to enter Vietnam.
In case you are on the list of free-visa countries, you don’t even need to apply for a visa to enter Vietnam.
Which countries have Vietnam visa exemption?
For the latest updates from the government, there are 25 countries that are exempted from the Vietnam visa requirement, which means travelers from these countries don’t have to apply for a Vietnam visa to enter the country:
- United Kingdom (UK) (Not applicable to BNO): 45 days
- Sweden: 45 days
- Spain: 45 days
- Norway: 45 days
- Italy: 45 days
- Germany: 45 days
- France: 45 days
- Finland: 45 days
- Denmark: 45 days
- Belarus: 45 days
- Russia: 45 days
- Cambodia: 30 days
- Indonesia: 30 days
- Kyrgyzstan: 30 days
- Laos: 30 days
- Malaysia: 30 days
- Singapore: 30 days
- Thailand: 30 days
- Philippines: 21 days
- Brunei: 14 days
- Myanmar: 14 days
- Japan: 45 days
- South Korea: 45 days
- Chile: 90 days
- Panama: 90 days
Although most of the countries above do not have any requirements for Vietnam visa exemption, some of them have notes. If your nationality is on the list, please note the following:
- For Chile, Panama, and Singapore: Your reasons for entries do not include remunerated activities (to work & earn money)
- For Myanmar: only for visiting (friends, family,…)
- For Malaysia: only for Tourism, attending press, conference/coverage, official duty, visiting relatives, business negotiation, investment, sports, or attending seminars or conferences
Here are some frequently asked questions:
It is very simple if you are from countries that do not need to apply for a Vietnam visa: you can just arrive in Vietnam and show your passport to the immigration department, then enter the country.
There used to be a 30-day gap if you want to reuse the visa exemption to enter Vietnam. However, from 01/07/2020, this gap was removed and you can re-enter Vietnam with visa exemption anytime.
No, you don’t need to. It will be a waste. You just need to exit Vietnam following the last day of your exemption, and then enter Vietnam using another exemption right away.
Vietnam visa policies/ rules from 2023
In case you don’t know, from 15/08/2023, there are changes applied to Vietnam visa policies/ rules that will make travelers comfortable:
- Evisa is now available for all countries instead of 80 only
- Visa exemption for citizens of some countries is extended to 45 days
- Vietnam visa validity period is changed from 30 to 90 days
- Vietnam visa now offers 2 options: single entry and multiple entries, instead of single entry only in the past
Those are the main changes to the Vietnam visa since August 2023. In case you would like to have more details, you can read this article:
How many types of Vietnam visa are there?
There are many types of Vietnam visas to enter the country. For travelers with tourism purposes only, there are these main types:
- Single entry visa
- Multiple entry visa
- Visa on arrival (VOA)
For visa on arrival (VOA), it is only for some special cases to apply for this type of visa. If you are traveling to Vietnam for tourism purposes and without any special circumstances, then you should not try to get this type of visa, as it may be costly compared to normal ones.
Please note that multiple entry is now only applied to all periods of staying in Vietnam, which you can choose depending on your travel purpose and itinerary. For details about these types of visas, please check our article:
What is the cost for visa to Vietnam?
Officially there are only two price options for applying visa to Vietnam:
- 25 USD for single entry visa
- 50 USD for multiple entry visa
This price is applied to individuals. It means one visa only applies to one person. The price is officially announced by the Vietnam government, and will not be refunded once paid, no matter whether your visa is accepted or not.
Why are there so many visa prices on the internet?
Most of the websites you see at the top list of Google Search about Vietnam visa is not official. They are just agencies. The price shown on their website is the base price plus the agency fee, which will vary depending on each business.
How long does it take to apply for a visa to Vietnam?
Normally it will take 3-7 working days (not including Saturday, Sunday, or any national holidays) to process a visa to Vietnam from the moment you finish the application form & payment. In some long national holidays (Lunar New Year for example), it may take longer than that.
You can also get a Vietnam visa within only a few hours or 1-3 days via an agency. However, this case is only recommended for those who need an urgent visa, as it will cost you a lot more than the base price.
Visa to Vietnam: Do it yourself or agency?
It is recommended that travelers should apply for a visa to Vietnam on their own, as the process does not take a lot of time. Cost-wise, it will save you agency fees too. However, you can consider using an agency for the visa if:
- You feel the process of visa application is so complicated, and want to get somebody to do all of those for you
- You are in an urgent situation: your arrival in Vietnam will be soon but you have not got a visa yet
Here are some pros and cons if you use a visa agency for a Vietnam visa:
- Save a lot of time (document preparation, application process, payment process, waiting,…)
- No worries about payment (the payment portal of the government is sometimes complex)
- Reduce the risk of your Vietnam visa being denied to 0%
- Agency cost
In case you would like to make the process of applying for the visa easy, you can always visit this page for the most reliable and fastest service for Vietnam visa:
Which is the official website for Vietnam visa?
Since 15/08/2023, there are 2 official websites to apply for a visa to Vietnam, which are built by the government:
You can access any of the two links above to apply for a visa. However, we recommend you choose the second one, as it provides more information with better website design. The two will lead to the same application form and payment for the government at the end.
How long in advance should I apply for the visa?
It is highly recommended to apply for a Vietnam visa at least a few weeks before your arrival, as it takes at least 3-7 working days to process the visa from the time you finish the application form & payment. Moreover, it does not mean everything will go well. Sometimes you can make some mistakes in the application, and have to do the process again.
How to apply for a visa to Vietnam?
To apply for a visa to Vietnam, you have a few options depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Here are the general steps to follow:
1. Determine the type of visa you need: Vietnam offers different types of visas, and also visa exemptions, Determine if you are required a visa, then which type of visa is appropriate for your visit depending on your itinerary.
2. Prepare the documents: to apply for a Vietnam visa, you will need to have these informations:
- Passport valid for 6 months and above
- Your portrait photo (6×4), looking straight without glasses, no hair covering your face
- Passport data pages: full page including photo, personal information and ICAO lines
- Your Vietnam travel information, which you will fill in during the application form
3. Visit the official websites of the government (https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/ or https://dichvucong.bocongan.gov.vn/bocongan/bothutuc/tthc?matt=26277) and fill the forms. You will receive a code after this.
4. Pay the visa fee: The visa fee can vary depending on the type of visa and the processing method you choose. Ensure that you have the necessary funds to cover the fee. Note that the fee will not be refunded even if your visa is denied.
5. Wait for processing: The processing time will be 3-7 working days. Be patient and allow sufficient time for your application to be processed.
6. Collect your visa: You may not receive an email for a successful visa. After 3-7 working days, you can visit the website & enter your code to check.
Remember to check the validity and conditions of your visa to ensure it aligns with your travel plans. It is always a good idea to start the visa application process well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications.
For a detailed guide (step-by-step) on How to apply for a visa to Vietnam on the government’s official website, please visit:
Do I have to print the visa when arrive in Vietnam?
Normally, your visa can be verified with your passport in the system once it is approved, or you can show it by using your tablet/smartphone. However, it is still recommended to print a hard copy of your visa, just in case there are errors in the system, or internet/ power failure.
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