My Vietnam visa experience

Discussion in 'Vietnam - General Discussion Forum' started by Ryan4, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. This weekend I went on a trip to Vietnam. I really enjoyed the trip but one thing I did find hard to get information on was the visa application process. Therefore I thought I would do a write up here of my experience.
    As I was not keen to visit the embassy or more precisely leave my passport there for a few days while my visa was processed I decided to try one of the online “visa on arrival” services. Visa on arrival is misleading as there is no such thing in Vietnam. You can not arrive in Vietnam and then get a Visa in the airport like in Bali for example. What you have to do is apply before hand and receive a visa confirmation letter saying you have a visa waiting for you at the airport in Vietnam. You then pick the visa up at the airport. You will not be let on the plane without a visa or a visa confirmation letter.
    There are many companies online that provide this service. I used one called Vietnam Visa fees. Their process although a bit convoluted is quite painless. I paid $21 for my application. I applied on a Thursday morning and got my visa confirmation letter e-mailed back by the Monday evening.
    When I arrived in Vietnam it is a bit confusing as the process is not explained but it is quite straight forward.
    I went to the landing visa desk with three officials behind three windows. There were a lot of people hanging around waiting but no real queue. I approached a window and gave my passport and the printout of my visa confirmation letter both of which the official retained (I also had a landing card with me but this was not required for the visa). I was then given a form to fill out and went away to complete it. The official did not speak at all or explain anything.
    When I had filled out the form I approached the window again and gave the official my completed form and one passport photo (no special size). I then took a seat and waited 5-10 minutes before my name was called.
    I then approached the window a third time, paid my visa fee of US$ 25 in cash (no change available) and my passport was returned with the visa stuck inside.
    I was then able to go to passport control and proceed as normal getting my passport and landing card stamped although the offical did not take the landing card.
    So the total cost of the visa (up to 1 month single entry) worked out at US $46 ($21 for service and $25 for Immigration. Note that these fees are seperated). Hope that helps!
  2. thanks for that, good to have a complete "walk thru"

    stuff like having the exact $

  3. This is the best way (and cheapest) to get a Visa, I've done it twice. Just be careful of the website you purchase from. Some are dodgy.

  4. Anyone seeking a longer stay visa to Vietnam should consider the
    consulate at Sihanoukville. A 3 month business visa was obtained
    in 5 minutes with no supporting docs req. @ $65 ... Ive heard that
    6 / 12 may also be available.

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