By now you should know that to come to Vietnam you need an entry visa. And if you didn’t know that, I’m telling you. I’m going to try to explain as simply as possible how this odious procedure works.
First we have to know what kind of trip we are going to make, that is to say, if we are going to enter Vietnam just once or if we are going to make a route through other neighbouring countries and return. It will not be the same type of visa depending on the number of entries and the duration of the trip.
What are the ways to get a visa for Vietnam?
We have several ways to get a visa to Vietnam.
- The first would be to send your passport to the Vietnamese embassy in your home country and wait on average 5 working days for it to be returned to you with the famous sticker. This procedure involves sending your own passport by mail.
- There is also the option of visa exemption: no visa is required and no fee is necessary if our stay is less than 15 days.
- We have another quite simple option: the visa on arrival or on-arrival visa.
Finally, there are also the options of electronic visa and visa with invitation letter. Let’s go through all the types.
Visa for Vietnam 2020
The Vietnamese government is becoming quite strict in obtaining visas, residence permits and entry and exit permits for tourists and foreigners, especially for long stays. A few years ago it was quite easy to obtain a visa for Vietnam for 3 months or more, but the rules for long stays are going to change from July 1, 2020 and the visa exemption may disappear (although for the time being it will be valid until June 30, 2021). Let’s take a look at how things stand with regard to visas for Vietnam.
Types of visas for Vietnam
There are several visa options for Vietnam depending on the length of your stay.
If you are Spanish and you are going to stay in Vietnam for less than 2 weeks you should know that there is a visa exemption for stays of less than 15 days. The documentation required to process the visa exemption is as follows.
- Passport in order and with a minimum validity of 6 months on the day of your entry
- Make sure your passport has at least two blank pages
- You must have a departure flight or a hotel reservation abroad (in case you are leaving Vietnam by land) within 15 days from the time of entry into the country
- Processing the visa exemption means that you do not have to pay any fees for the processing. Immigration officials stamp your entry into the country free of charge
Extend your visa waiver stay for 15 more days
You can extend your stay in Vietnam for two more weeks if you have entered through a visa waiver but then decide to stay in the country for one month. There are many agencies in the country that will be able to carry out the procedure, which takes an average of 4 working days. This procedure does have a cost, which is currently $40 (you can pay in local currency) and you must also leave your passport at the agency. You can take advantage of these days to travel around the area.
Electronic visa for Vietnam
The electronic visa allows an entry and exit to the country with a stay not exceeding 30 days. You can apply for the visa online if you are entering Vietnam through one of the main airports, as almost all of them accept the e-Visa. If you intend to enter through a border crossing point with little traffic, please check if that checkpoint accepts visas online before you apply. You can apply for your e-Visa through the official website of the Vietnamese government. The process takes 3 working days and costs $25.
Visa for Vietnam with invitation letter
The visa on arrival (Visa on Arrival) can be done without any problem once we land in Vietnam. However, you will need a previously processed letter of invitation. This letter authorizes you to make the visa once you arrive at the destination airport. The procedure is simple and much cheaper. You will only need to fill in the entry form, hand in a passport photo and pay the corresponding visa fee. This fee varies depending on the number of entries and exits you want to make during your stay, although from July 2020 it will only be possible to obtain visas with a maximum duration of 30 days.
How to get your invitation letter
The invitation letter to obtain your visa for Vietnam can only be processed by a travel agency authorized by the Vietnamese government. In the case of OneMoreDestination.com we can handle the processing of the invitation letter to obtain your visa to enter the country. This procedure costs 15$, which is added to the cost of the visa issuance fee. In case you plan a trip with us the cost of the invitation letter is on our account.
This fee is paid directly at the airport in Vietnam in cash in US dollars or Vietnamese dongs. If you go with Euros you may have a problem or you may have to change your currency at your own expense. I recommend bringing dollars for the procedure.
Note: the invitation letter is only valid for air tickets. If you plan to enter from Laos or Cambodia by land, this option is not valid as visas are not issued at land border crossings. In this case you must carry the previously issued visa.
Remember to check your passport: it must be valid for 6 months from the date of entry into the country. If you do not comply with the above, the immigration control at the airport will not process the visa and you will automatically have to take the first flight home.
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