Vietnam Visa on Arrival Process - Visa Approval Letter and stamping at Airport (with fee, documents and requirements details)

Vietnam Visa on Arrival – How to Apply, Fees and Requirements

Please note that this blog is only about Vietnam Visa on Arrival Application Process. If you want to know more about all Visa Application processes for Vietnam, you may read our blog here – Vietnam Visa – Types, Fees & How to Apply

Before we start writing for how you can apply for your Vietnam Visa, we want to acknowledge that this blog is not related to any travel/visa agency and we are writing it only to help fellow travellers. It took us tremendous efforts to finally figure out Vietnam visa process due to number of private visa agencies/travel websites that have flooded internet making it difficult for us to find right visa process.

Click here to read all blogs from our Vietnam backpacking trip.

Please click below to directly go to a specific section in our blog –

  1. Vietnam Visa – 3 Different Ways to Get Your Visa
  2. What is Vietnam Visa on Arrival
  3. Eligible Countries and Ports
  4. Documents Requirement for Vietnam Visa on Arrival
  5. Vietnam Visa Official Government Website
  6. How to Apply for Vietnam Visa on Arrival
  7. Vietnam Visa on Arrival Fees
  8. Vietnam Visa on Arrival for Indians
  9. Tips for Vietnam Visa Application

1. Vietnam Visa – 3 Different Ways to Get Your Visa

(Go to the Top) There are 3 ways that one can apply and get Vietnam Visa. We are listing all three processes below while also putting our Priority Ranking. You may select the one that suits your travel requirements best. In case, you want to read in detail about all processes (along with comparison across three processes, you can read our detailed blog here – Vietnam Visa – Types, Fees & How to Apply

  1. Apply for Vietnam E-Visa Online (Preference 1) – This is the easiest way to get Vietnam Visa for Indians. Not only for Indians but for citizens of all 46 Eligible countries. You only need to apply online directly on Vietnam Immigration Official Government Website and get your E-Visa over email in 3 working days. If you are looking for 30 days Single Entry Vietnam Visa, please go for it without second thought. (Read more How to Apply for Vietnam E-Visa from Official Government Website)
  2. Vietnam Visa on Arrival (Preference 2) – This blog is about Vietnam Visa on Arrival Application Process. To get Vietnam Visa on Arrival, one has to go through 2 step process i) Get a Visa Approval Letter through a Private Agency ($6 to $50 – Depends on Agency and how fast you want your letter) ii) Get your Visa Stamp on Arrival in Vietnam ($25 -$50 – Depends on Single/Multi Entry Visa). This Visa on Arrival is useful in case you are looking for Multi Entry or >30 days Vietnam Visa.
  3. Apply for Vietnam Visa at Vietnam Embassy/Consulate (Preference 3)  – You can apply for Vietnam Visa at Vietnam Embassy/Consulate in your country only. This process is effort intensive with fees is higher compared to both Visa on Arrival and E-Visa processes and we suggest to apply for your Vietnam Visa through Embassy ONLY IF E-Visa or Visa on Arrival do not serve your travel needs. (Read more – How to Apply Vietnam Visa from Vietnam Embassy/ Consulate in India)

In this blog, we have covered only about Vietnam Visa on Arrival Application Process. In case, you want details about all above processes, we have written a separate detailed blog to help you – Vietnam Visa – Types, Fees & How to Apply

Flight to Hanoi, Vietnam - A backpacking Trip

2. What is Vietnam Visa on Arrival?

(Go to the Top) Vietnam Visa on Arrival is slightly different from other countries’ Visa on Arrival. In case, you are thinking that you will apply for your Visa once you land in Vietnam, you are seriously mistaken !!.

Vietnam Visa on Arrival requires you to complete following 2 steps –

  • Prior to your Vietnam Trip – Get a Visa Approval Letter through a Private Agency
  • Once you land in Vietnam – Get your Visa Stamp on Arrival in Vietnam

So, please do not get confused by Visa on Arrival Term. Even for Visa on Arrival, please arrange your Visa Approval Letter in advance, prior to your Vietnam Trip (by applying online or through a Private Agency in Vietnam ). Please note that Airlines check your Approval Letter and if you do not have Visa Approval Letter/E-Visa/Visa issued by Embassy, Airlines will not allow you to board your flight.

3. Eligibility Countries and Entry Ports

(Go to the Top) Please note that Vietnam Visa on Arrival is eligible for citizens of 146 countries (including India) only if you are travelling through flight and landing at one of the following 5 international airports of Vietnam.

  1. Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
  2. Cat Bi International Airport (Hai Phong)
  3. Da Nang International Airport (Da Nang)
  4. Cam Ranh International Airport (Nha Trang)
  5. Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)

This Visa is NOT available for those who travel by LAND or CRUISE. In case, you are travelling by any other means (other than airways), please apply for your Visa at nearest Vietnam Embassy/Consulate or Vietnam E-Visa online.

Applicable Airports for Vietnam Visa on Arrival

With your Visa Approval Letter, you can land at any of these international airports and get your visa on Arrival stamped.

Hanoi Airport  - One of 5 Entry Ports for Vietnam Visa on Arrival
Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi Vietnam – One of 5 Entry Ports for Vietnam Visa on Arrival

4. Documents Requirement for Vietnam Visa on Arrival

(Go to the Top) Before we explain Vietnam Visa on Arrival process, here is the list of documents that you need to apply for one. Please note that this is for Vietnam Tourist Visa on Arrival and in case you are applying for Business Visa, then you may need additional documents –

A. Documents required to get Vietnam Visa Approval Letter

To apply for Visa Approval Letter, you do not need to submit any documents. You only need to provide your travel information to the private agency through which you are applying for Visa Approval Letter. Below are the details that you need to provide –

  1. No of Applicants
  2. Type of Visa Required – 1 month/3 month Visa either for Single/Multi Entry
  3. Entry and Exit Date
  4. Purpose of Travel
  5. Arrival Airport
  6. For Each Applicant – Full Name, Passport Number, Date of Birth, Nationality & Gender

B. Documents required to Get Vietnam Visa on Arrival once you land in Vietnam

  1. Passport: With at least 6-month validity
  2. Photo: Two passport sized photos (4×6 cm) – with white background, front view, bare head, without sunglasses ( 01 photograph is pasted on form and 01 is enclosed – Keep few more copies handy )
  3. Vietnam Visa Application Form: Vietnamese Visa Application Form. You can download it here and can keep pre-filled copies to save your time once you land in Vietnam
  4. Vietnam Visa Approval Letter: Take a print out of Visa Approval Letter for all travelling members
  5. Return Ticket: A Print out of return flight ticket
  6. Proof of accommodation in Vietnam: Print of Hotel/Hostel Booking for initial days of stay in Vietnam
  7. Visa Stamping Fee: Need to be paid in cash (Dollars/Vietnamese Dong) upon arrival (Depends on kind and duration of visa ($25 for single entry and $50 for multiple entry)

5. Vietnam Visa Official Government Website

(Go to the Top) Unfortunately, we could not find any official government website explaining Vietnam Visa Application process and web is filled with all travel agency websites who want to sell you Vietnam Visa Approval Letter at exorbitant prices.

There is an official website for applying Vietnam E-Visa. In case, you are looking for Single entry, 30-day Visa for Vietnam, we will encourage you to go for E-Visa without second thought by applying through official government website here. We have also written a detailed blog on Vietnam E-Visa online application which you may read here – Hot to Get Vietnam E-Visa from Official Government Website

6. How to Apply for Vietnam Visa on Arrival

(Go to the Top) Vietnam Visa on Arrival (Tourist) is issued either for 1 month or 3 months (both for Single/ Multiple Entry Visas) by following below 2 steps –

Step 1: Apply for Visa Approval Letter

Please note that Airlines will not let you on-board flight if you do not show either Visa on Arrival Approval Letter or Vietnam E- Visa or Vietnam Visa pre-issued by Embassy.

You may apply for Vietnam Visa Approval Letter through any of the Private agencies. We tried to find if there is some official government website to get this letter of approval but could not find one. A quick google search will throw a large number of websites and it gets really confusing which one to select since all of these are named and positioned by them looking like government websites. We will suggest 1) Select one that charges minimum 2) drop an email to their customer support 3) If you get reply, apply online at their website.

You can apply for your Approval letter from 1 day to 6 months prior to your Vietnam Travel. We will suggest to get your approval letter well on time and do not wait for last minute. Usually these agencies process your Approval Letter within 3-5 days but you can also get it within a day or even few hours if you pay extra. Charges range from $6 to $50 depending on the agency you select and how fast you want your letter.

You receive your Vietnam Visa Approval Letter through email and it looks like this –

how Vietnam Visa Approval Letter looks like -Details about Vietnam Visa on Arrival Process - Visa Approval Letter and stamping at Airport (with fee, documents and requirements details)

Step 2: Get Vietnam Visa on Arrival once you land at any of Vietnam International Airports

Once you land at any of Vietnam International airports, just head to Visa on Arrival section. To get your Visa on Arrival stamped, display your Visa Approval letter and submit your documents (Passport, Visa Application Form, 2 Passport sized photos (4×6 cm), Return Ticket and Proof of Accommodation) along with Visa Stamping Fee in cash ( 25 USD for single entry visa and 50 USD for multiple entry visa) and Vietnam Visa Application Form.

During my Vietnam trip, I observed that there was a dedicated zone to get Visa on Arrival stamping at Hanoi Airport. Things were well managed with multiple counters and each queue had around 15-20 people. So expect around half an hour to one hour to get your stamping done once you land in Vietnam. Few private agencies also offer fast stamping assistance service but that does not seem to be legal. There was no priority lane at Hanoi Airport. Also, you may not need one considering that queue was not long.

This is how Vietnam Visa on Arrival stamping looks like –

how Vietnam Visa on arrival looks like -Details about Vietnam Visa on Arrival Process - Visa Approval Letter and stamping at Airport (with fee, documents and requirements details)
Image Reference

Once you get your Visa on Arrival stamped on your passport, head to immigration counters.

7. Vietnam Visa on Arrival Fees

(Go to the Top) There are two fees component for Vietnam Visa on Arrival –

Vietnam Visa Approval Letter Fees (through Private Agencies) – We did an extensive online research but could not find any official way to get Visa on Arrival Approval letter. Getting it through Private agencies seems to be the only way who charge anywhere from $6 to $50 (some even higher) to get one for you. In case, you are a large group, you may even negotiate with them. Please drop us a comment in case you know a better way of getting Vietnam Visa Approval letter.

Vietnam Visa on Arrival Stamping Fee at Vietnam Airports – You have to pay Visa Stamping fee once you land at any of Vietnam International Airports – $25 for Single Entry/$ 50 for Multiple Entry. You can pay Stamping fee either in US $ or Vietnamese Dong. Since you convert your currency in Vietnam only (you do not get good rates for Dong Conversion outside Vietnam), therefore you may prefer to pay in dollars.

8. Vietnam Visa on Arrival for Indians

(Go to the Top) Application Process for Vietnam Visa on Arrival for Indians remains the same. It is a standard process that is applicable to citizens from 146 Eligible countries. So Indian citizens need not to take any additional steps and can follow this 2-step process.

9. Tips for Vietnam Visa Application

(Go to the Top)

  1. Though queues at Vietnam Airport for Visa on Arrival are not long, still you may rush fast to be in first fews and save your time.
  2. If you are with children and elderly people, please request officials there for priority.
  3. Visa on Arrival is NOT applicable for travel through land and Cruise and you have to obtain full visa in advance from embassy. Visa on Arrival is valid only for air travel to 5 international airports in Vietnam.
  4. Please note that Airlines will not let you board your flight unless you display Visa on Arrival Approval Letter or Vietnam E-Visa or Vietnam Visa issued by Embassy. Either of them is mandatory to even board a flight.
  5. Visa Stamping Fee at Vietnam Airport is the same both for adults and children.
  6. There is NO OFFICIAL website for visa on arrival service and there is no way you can get full Visa on Arrival in advance. You have to go through 2-step process only. All websites offering pre-approved visa letter are private agencies. Do not get confused by bulk of websites with organizational internet domain TLDs (org, gov, vn etc.). Vietnam E-Visa, you can get in advance and there is also an official site for it.
Vietnam Lonely Planet - A backpacking Trip to Vietnam (Hanoi, Hoi An and Hue)

We hope that this helps you untangle the complex Visa on Arrival process for your next Vietnam Trip. Still, if you have any questions, please feel free to drop us a comment and we will get back to you very soon.

Happy Exploration !!

Happy to hear from you