By Jay Austin
In February 2017, the Vietnamese government began offering 30 day single entry visas electronically to entrants from 40 countries including the USA and Canada. The E-Visa (Electronic Visa) system requires travelers to complete an online form, upload a copy of their passport along with a passport photo. The process requires a non-refundable online payment of $25USD per person to be made by the traveler to complete the application.
A Normal Tourist E-Visa on Arrival Approval Letter takes approximately 3 days from the date of application. Once approved, a visa approval letter will be forwarded to your specified email address. Guests traveling to Vietnam must carry a printed copy of the visa approval letter and their passport (with validity of at least 6 months from the date of arrival). Vietnam immigration officials will take your visa approval letter on arrival which includes a code, visa number and barcode and will place a stamp in your passport granting you entry into the country.
This new E-Visa application process replaces the previous process of applying through a Vietnamese Embassy and negates the need to send your passport to an Embassy as part of this process. This is a wonderful step in the direction of ease for travelers wishing to take care of their own entry requirements for the country. Our local Vietnam offices have noted a few warnings to be heeded by guests wishing to arrange their own visas through this new system:
E-Visas are only valid for a single entry of 30 days or less
Guests who have an itinerary that takes them into Vietnam on more than one occasion or for more than 30 days are not able to secure an E-Visa for entry. In this situation, the visa must still be processed via the nearest Vietnamese Embassy, or through an agent such as Journeys Within.
Guests have been experiencing long wait times on arrival at international airports
Our offices in both Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the country’s capital of Hanoi have both reported the E-Visa line being the longest line of arrivals in Vietnamese Immigration halls.
If there is the slightest mistake on your approval letter, you may not be allowed entry into the country
The Vietnamese Immigration office is a stickler for detail. As with many countries in the world, your visa information must match your passport exactly, without any variation. Even one letter, or number, out of place may see you denied access to the country.
E-Visas are valid for land border crossings & international airport arrivals
Below are the land border crossings and international airports that can process E-visa arrivals into Vietnam:
- Can Tho International Airport
- Danang International Airport
- Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
- Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
- Phu Bai International Airport (Hue)
- Phu Quoc International Airport
- Cat Bi International Airport (Hai Phong)
- Cam Ranh International Airport (Khanh Hoa)
- Nam Can Landport
- Song Tien Landport
- Tinh Bien Landport
- Xa Mat Landport
- Mong Cai Landport
- Moc Bai Landport
- Lao Bao Landport
- Ha Tien Landport
- Huu Nghi Landport
- Cau Treo Landport
- Cha Lo Landport
- Bo Y Landport
- Lao Cai Landport
- Ho Chi Minh City Seaport
- Quy Nhon Seaport
- Nha Trang Seaport
- Hai Phong Seaport
- Hon Gai Seaport
- Danang Seaport
- Vung Tau Seaport
You must have at least 3 blank pages in your passport to enter the country
Our Vietnam offices warn guests that in all circumstances, no matter how you obtain your entry visa into the country, every guest must have at least 3 blank pages in their passport on arrival. The Vietnam Visa stamp requires 1 full page in your passport. It is advised that guests have at least 3 blank passport pages available per country visited to ensure that no complications are experienced on arrival.
While the E-Visa process seems simple, we still recommend allowing Journeys Within to take care of your Vietnamese Visa on your behalf to ensure a smooth and hassle free arrival into the country. The Journeys Within visa service in Vietnam includes a fast track VIP arrival which includes a personal meet and greet on arrival, much less time in visa queues and personal support to ensure a smooth arrival process.
*Please note: All details were confirmed by Vietnam Immigration officials to be correct at the time of writing, however regulations may change without notice at the discretion of the Vietnam Immigration Office.