What is visa on arrival?

HomeWhat is visa on arrival?

Visa on arrival is a type of visa picked up at the destination airport. It is the most convenient way of obtaining your visa to Vietnam. Unlike the tradition way of obtaining visa, it doesn’t involve any hassles of going to the Vietnam Embassy and complete piles of paper work. All you need to do is to fill the online application form, deposit the application processing fee and your private visa approval letter will be delivered with in a couple of working days (or working hours) and pick up your visa at your destination airport (Hanoi Airport, Ho Chi Minh City Airport, Da Nang Airport, Nha Trang Airport, Hai Phong Airport or Phu Quoc Airport).

Who are eligible for Vietnam visa on arrival?

Visa on arrival is designated to bring a convenience to foreigners travelling to Vietnam. Most travelers are eligible for visa on arrival as long as they travel Vietnam by air. In order to get a Vietnam visa on arrival, the travelers will need a visa approval letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department.
In a normal processing, visa approval letter will be ready within 2 working days after the travelers submit the visa application. However, in a rush entry visa approval letter can be done within 1 – 2 working hours only.

All about visa on arrival

+How to apply for a visa approval letter?
Steps to apply for a Vietnam visa on arrival:
– Step 1: You are required to enter the exact personal information including: full name, gender, date of birth, nationality, passport numbder, date of arrival and visa type;
– Step 2: Double check to ensure the information is entered correctly, select the extra services (if required) and make payment with credit cards or PayPal;
– Step 3: After 2 working days (normal service), 4 – 8 working hours (urgent service) or 1 – 2 working hours (emergency service) you will receive the approval letter by email and print a hard copy. Prepare 2 passport sized photos, your passport (must be valid for at least 6 months at time of entry) and stamping fee of 25 USD (for single entry visa) and 50 USD (for multiple entry visa) in cash.
– Step 4: At arrival airport in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang or Phu Quoc you will present all the documents, pay the stamping fee and get visa stamped onto passport;
+List of airport eligible for visa on arrival
Visa on arrival is available for air entry at on of international airports below:
1. Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
2. Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
3. Dang Nang International Airport (Da Nang)
4. Cam Ranh International Airport (Nha Trang)
5. Phu Quoc International Airport (Phu Quoc)
+Notice on Vietnam visa on arrival
– Unlike other Asian countries where you can pickup visa directly at arrival airport, you will need to apply for a pre-approved visa letter through an authorized visa agency to pickup Vietnam visa on arrival.
– Visa on arrival is applicable for air entry only. For those who enter Vietnam by land or cruise a full visa before arrival is required.
– Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of entry.
– If you travel with children having their own passports, you are also required to pay the same fees as adults.
– The stamping fee at Vietnam airport is payable in cash only, no credit cards are accepted.
Below is the sample of visa approval letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department. This is required document for you to get on the plane and pickup visa at arrival airport:
Sample of visa approval letter

How to get visa stamp at arrival airport?

When you land at one of Vietnam International Airport mentioned above, you’ll need to find a visa counter to get visa stamp. If you enter Vietnam with visa free or you have a visa stamped on the passport in advance, you can go straight to the arrival immigration counter.

At Noi Bai Airport (Hanoi), you can see the sign below, the arrival immigration counter is in front of you and the visa counter on the left:

At Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City), you will see this sign upon arrival. You go to landing visa to get a visa on arrival or go straight if you already have a full visa in advance:

You should prepare a file of documents including: original passport, printed visa approval letter, completed entry and exit form and 2 passport-sized photos. You will submit all the documents at visa counter, pay the stamping fee (25 USD for single entry visa, 50 USD for multiple entry visa, 95 USD for 6 months visa or 135 USD for 1 year multiple entry visa) and get visa stamped onto passport.

Frequent asked questions

+What is visa on arrival?
Visa on arrival is an alternative way to obtain a visa for Vietnam in addition to the traditional way of getting a visa at Vietnam Embassy.
With this kind of visa, you are required to submit an online application for a visa approval letter which functions as an official permission allowing you to board the flight and have visa stamped at the arrival airport in Vietnam. You will need to submit your Vietnam approval letter together with your passport (at least 6 months validity), one passport-sized photo, entry and exit form and stamping fee to the Immigration Officers at the airport to have visa stamped onto your passport.
+Is visa on arrival legitimate?
Yes it is. Visa on arrival is an alternative way to get your visa to Vietnam. Also the IATA (International Air Traffic Association) has recognized visa on arrival. Check out the visa information sections on the following airline websites: Skyteam, Oneworld and Star Alliance.
Other governments also recognize visa on arrival as a legitimate travel document, such as the U.S. Department of State and the British Embassy in Hanoi:
“In order to enter Vietnam, you will need a valid passport with at least six months validity remaining and a Vietnamese visa, a visa exemption document, or a written approval letter for a visa upon arrival. To obtain a written approval letter to enter, you must contact a travel agency prior to departure.”
+What is visa approval letter
“Visa approval letter” is a document issued by Vietnam Immigration Department (Vietnam Ministry of Public Security). It functions as an official permission allowing its owner(s) to board the flight to Vietnam and get visa stamped onto the passport upon arrival at Vietnam airport.
Please find the visa approval letter sample processed by www.emergencyvisavietnam.com.
+How long does it take to get visa approval letter?
The approval letter is processed and emailed you within two (02) working days (excepts Saturday, Sunday and public holiday).
In urgent cases, you are able to get the approval letter within 8 hours, 4 hours, 2 hours or even 1 hour.
For emergency visa processing at the weekend (Saturday, Sunday) or public holiday, please contact us.
The visa counters at Vietnamese airports open 24 hours x 7 days. If you already have the visa approval letter, you can pick up your visa at Vietnam airports anytime.
+How do I receive approval letter?
A colour scanned copy of the approval letter (in PDF or JPG format) will be sent to your email. Please make sure that your correct email registered and you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to open the file.
+Do I need photo and what is the size?
Photos are required upon arrival airports only, thus please remember to bring at least 2 photos of standard passport size (04×06 cm). If you do not have time to prepare those photos before your departure, you can also have it taken at a Vietnamese airports for about 2 USD/ photo.
+Should I provide exact date of entry
The arrival date you provide should be the earliest date you plan to arrive. You can actually arrive after that date without any problem. Please note that a later entry is allowed but an earlier entry is not. In case you change your plan and want to enter Vietnam earlier than the granted arrival date, you must apply for a new visa approval letter. Moreover, the date of expiry is the last day you are permitted to be in the country, unless you apply for a visa extension.
+What is visa stamping fee?
Stamping fee is a fee you need to pay for the visa stamp at arrival airport. This is fix amount to pay for the government service and collected by the Immigration Officers at visa desk in cash (USD or VND).
Visa stamping fee at the airport varies on your visa type. The stamping fee as below :
+ $25 for single entry visa, from 1 to 3 months single visa;
+ $50 for less than 6 months multiple entries visa;
+ $95 for 6 months multiple entries visa to less than 1 year multiple entries;
+ $135 for 1 year multiple entries visa.
Notice: The stamping fee can be changed as the regulation of the Vietnam Ministry of Finance.
For your convenience, you should prepare cash to pay stamping fee before entering Vietnam because you cannot pay by credit card, and there is no international ATM inside the airport.
+Can I get visa on arrival if I travel by land or sea?
No, visa on arrival is not available for land or sea entry. In this case you will need to apply for e-visa instead. You can travel Vietnam via twenty eight (26) entry gates including 6 international airports, 13 international border gates on land and 7 seaports across Vietnam. Learn how e-visa for Vietnam work?