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Ryan4
13th September 2010, 12:48 PM
Don’t take your visa for granted
If you are a United States citizen who travels semi-frequently a travel visa is often an afterthought. US travelers are lucky because many countries allow Americans to get their tourist visa on arrival. If you have not in the past, you should always check the visa requirements of the country you want to travel to.
Obtaining a visa for Vietnam
For United States citizens Vietnam requires a pre-arranged visa. There are more ways than one to get your Vietnam visa.
Regardless of which continent or country you live, a trip to the little consulate often equals a enormous headache which makes visiting the DMV seem like a fun activity. Luckily for you some countries allow a visa on arrival.
You can get a visa on arrival for Vietnam by visiting numerous websites including Vietnam Visa fees (http://www.vietnamvisaonline.net/Vietnam-visa-fees.html) which charge a small fee ($21) and does all the necessary paperwork to pre-qualify you to pick up your visa after landing on Vietnamese soil.
How the process works
The process is very simple. All you have to do is go to the website and fill out the online forms with your passport and personal information. Make sure you clarify if you want a single entry or multiple entry visa if you plan to explore nearby countries or return to Vietnam in the near future.
Once you complete the process they will send you a confirmation email with important information of the requirements. You will need to get 2 passport photos taken as well as print out an official letter declaring your arrival as well as an application form which are all required at the airport.
Once you land in the Saigon airport bypass the main passport control lines and walk to the left where you will see the ‘visa on arrival’ counter. Give the counter attendant your passport, official letter, application form and photos and he/she will return in about 10 minutes with your passport and new visa. After you receive your passport back you can walk about 5 meters to the small (significantly smaller than other lines) passport upon arrival control.
Tips
As soon as you get off the plan walk as fast as you can as the line will be small but could get long as each visa is approved manually and takes 15 minutes. If you are one of the first few people you are likely to spend far less time than the next few and so on.
• Try to print the official letter in color and keep the forms in good shape as officials are known to be displeased with sloppy paperwork and it’s not worth being denied.
• It is not a free pass, but the Vietnam visa on arrival is likely preferential to finding, and going to your local Vietnamese consulate.

Dougal
15th September 2010, 10:44 AM
Good info Ryan4.

dependant on how long one stays it is also quite straight forward to get a Vietnamese driving license. You need an official translation of the license, fill in an application form, attach one passport photo, pay about $30 and a week later you will have it. Can't remember the exact name of the Govt Dept.