Our Vietnam Visa FAQs provides a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding Vietnam Visa. The answers will help you understand and use our services better.
1. What is visa on arrival?
Visa on arrival works for air travel only which means you are allowed to pick up your visa at any of the three airports: Hanoi Airport, Danang Airport and Tan Son Nhat Airport (in Ho Chi Minh City). This is a legitimate process and your visa is issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department.
2. Is the “visa on arrival” legitimate?
Visa on arrival is legitimate and posted in Vietnam Immigration Laws – so it is endorsed by the Vietnamese Government. Legally issued by Vietnam Immigration Department, it has been online for almost 7 years and increasingly becomes the most convenient way to get a visa to Vietnam.
The Vietnamese government officially announced that Vietnam provided visa-on-arrivals at international airports for all international travelers.
3. What is the “approval letter”?
The “Visa approval letter” is a letter issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department that allows you to enter and exit Vietnam for a given time period. With the approval letter, you can pick up your visa upon arrival at one of the three international airports in Vietnam (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang).
At the airport, the corresponding authority will verify the details on the approval letter based on your passport and travel documents. As long as you make sure you input the correct details when applying, you will surely be granted entry upon arrival in Vietnam with the approval letter. However, it is strongly advised that you read our website and follow all the instructions carefully to avoid problems or delays at the airport.
4. Are there any exceptions with visa on arrival?
Yes, visa on arrival is NOT VALID for OVERLAND ENTRY. The three international airports in Vietnam that you can receive your visa stamp with the approval letter are: Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) and Danang Airport (Da Nang).
Note: If you plan to enter Vietnam by land or cruise, please apply for a visa approval code.
5. What is the “approval code”?
The “Visa approval code” is a letter issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department that allows you to enter and exit Vietnam for a given time period. With the approval code, you can pick up your visa at Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your country.
At the Embassy, the corresponding authority will verify the details on the approval letter based on your passport and travel documents. As long as you make sure you input the correct details when applying, you will surely be granted entry visa to Vietnam with the approval letter. However, it is strongly advised that you read our website and follow all the instructions carefully to avoid problems or delays at the Embassy.
6. What are the photo requirements?
Most government agency and travel agents will tell you that you need passport sized photos. This can be a confusing message since different countries have different photo specifications. Generally, Vietnamese officers are not too strict about the photo details, but you still need to know the following rules:
– Face must be at a neutral expression, without smiling or frowning.
– Photos must be taken within 6 months of the application date. Dated stamp is not necessary but do not show a photo that is dramatically different from your current look.
– Photos must be taken against a white back ground and printed on quality photo paper.
– Do not wear any kind of glasses when taking these photos.
– Veins, hats and scarfs are strictly prohibited and any other accessories that cover your ears or foreheads.
– Passport size photos are strictly 4×6 cm
– Visa photos depend on the country of residence and it can be 4×6 cm or 2×2 inches.
7. What if my passport has expired?
To apply for a visa to Vietnam, your passport must have at least 6 month’s validity. Therefore, if your passport is about to expire, please get a new one before applying for your visa in order to avoid unwanted problems at the airport or at the Vietnamese Embassy.
8. Should I provide you with the exact date of arrival?
No, not necessarily. The arrival date you provide should be the earliest you plan to arrive, but you can arrive after that date. The departure date is the last day you are permitted to be in the country, unless you get a visa extension.
For example: If you apply for a 1-month visa and submit your arrival date as Jan 1, 2013, the visa letter will be valid from Jan 1, 2013 – Feb 1, 2013. You can arrive anytime between Jan 1 – Feb 1 but must leave the country by Feb 1, 2013.”
9. How long in advance should I apply for a visa?
A Vietnamese visa application can be applied for 1 day to 6 months in advance. Although it takes only 2-3 working days to get your visa approved, it is strongly advised that you apply for a Vietnamese visa 1 – 2 weeks before your arrival date to avoid any payment or other administrative problems.
10. What are the airport procedures for a flight to Vietnam?
You will be asked for your passport (6 month validity beyond intended stay) and a valid Vietnamese visa at the time of check-in, no matter where you fly from. Vietnamese visa can either be a ready visa stamp into your passport or a signed visa approval letter (visa on arrival).
Upon presenting your reservation code of air ticket booking or ticket number or a print-out of the e-ticket, your passport and visa/ visa approval letter, you will be provided a boarding pass to fly to Vietnam.
11. What are the procedures at Vietnam airport?
When you arrive in one of the three airports (Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City), the first thing you will see – often before or right besides the Customs area – is the Immigration Office with the bright sigh saying “visa-on-arrival” or “landing visa”.
If you already possess a visa stamp, head straight to the Customs area, hand in your passport for checking and proceed to the baggage area.
If you use the visa on arrival service, you need to present the following documents: your passport, a print-out of the pre-approval letter, a full-filled Application for Entry and Exit Visa form with one passport-size photo (see photo requirement) affixed on the form and pay US$ cash for the stamp fee to collect the visa.
After receiving the visa stamp on your passport you can proceed to customs.
Once granted entry by immigration officers and customs officers, you can collect your luggage and leave the airport.
When you leave Vietnam, you just need to show your passport at the immigration stations before heading to security checkpoint. If you stay longer than allowed in the visa, you may face some fines, so make sure you note down the date.
12. Can I extend my visa if I want to stay longer after expiry date?
A 30 day visa extension can be done within 04 working days (not available on weekend and Public Holidays) at the Vietnamese Immigration Department in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. You can also contact a Vietnamese travel agency and request a similar service.
13. Do I need a transit visa if I have a connecting flight?
You do not need a transit visa in Vietnam if you do not cross passport control when catching connecting flights.
Note, however, international airports such as Hanoi and Da Nang are rather small and not the best places for a light-sleeper. Therefore if you have an overnight transit, you might want to exit the airport and stay at a nearby hotel. In those cases, you will need a normal single entry visa.
14. What if I change my flight and arrive at another airport in Vietnam?
Visa on arrival works if you arrive at any of the three international airports: Tan Son Nhat (in Ho Chi Minh City); Noi Bai (in Hanoi) and Da Nang (in Da Nang). There is no problem with switching between these three airports.