Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country with a rich culture and history. It is home to stunning beaches, lush mountains, and ancient temples. Vietnam is also a popular tourist destination, with millions of visitors arriving each year.
If you are planning to visit Vietnam, you will need to obtain a visa. There are two main types of visas for Vietnam: the e-visa and the visa on arrival. This comprehensive guide will provide an overview of everything you need to know about getting a Vietnam e-visa.
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What is a Vietnam E-Visa?
A Vietnam e-visa is an electronic visa that can be obtained online. It is a valid form of entry for Vietnam and is accepted at all international airports in the country.
The e-visa was first introduced in February 2017. It allows citizens from eligible countries to enter Vietnam through 28 designated international border gates, including all international airports.
The e-visa helps simplify and expedite the visa application process. Instead of having to send passports and documents via post or apply in person at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate, the e-visa allows you to complete the application fully online.
Benefits of a Vietnam E-Visa
There are several key benefits to obtaining a Vietnam e-visa compared to other visa types:
The biggest advantage of the e-visa is the convenience factor. You can apply for an e-visa entirely online in about 10 minutes.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can complete the application from anywhere in the world without having to visit an embassy or send documents via post.
E-visa applications are typically processed very quickly, usually within 3-5 working days. This is much faster than a traditional visa application, which can take 4-10 working days on average.
During peak seasons, e-visa processing times can slow down slightly but are still faster than traditional visas.
Vietnam e-visas are cheaper than traditional visa applications. An e-visa costs $25 USD while a traditional single-entry visa costs $80-$135 USD on average.
E-visas provide great value, especially for frequent travelers who make multiple trips to Vietnam per year.
The e-visa allows for easy modifications and changes. If your travel plans change after approval, you can modify your e-visa details for a small fee on the official website.
You can also extend your e-visa validity period while in Vietnam by paying an extension fee. This provides flexibility in case you want to stay longer.
Another big advantage is that e-visas allow multiple entries into Vietnam over the 90-day validity period.
You can exit and re-enter Vietnam as many times as you want with a valid e-visa, within the 90-day window. This is not possible with a traditional single-entry visa.
How to Apply for a Vietnam E-Visa
Here is a step-by-step guide to applying for a Vietnam e-visa:
1. Determine Your Eligibility
Before applying, make sure your country is eligible for the e-visa program. Citizens from 80+ countries can currently apply for an e-visa online.
Check the official government website for the most updated list of eligible nationalities. If you are not eligible for an e-visa, you will need to apply for a traditional visa.
2. Have Your Documents Ready
To complete the application, you will need digital copies of certain documents:
- Passport – must be valid for at least 6 months beyond departure date
- Passport photo – clear scan or photo of your face
- Return ticket/onward travel confirmation
Make sure your passport has at least 2 blank pages for visa stamps. Review requirements carefully to avoid delays or rejections.
3. Complete the Online Application
Go to the official Vietnam E-visa website and create an account. Fill out each section of the application with your details.
You will need to upload your passport photo and scanned passport page. Double-check that all information entered matches your passport exactly before submitting.
4. Make the Payment
After submitting the application, you will be directed to the payment screen. The Vietnam e-visa fee is $25 USD and can be paid securely online by credit/debit card.
Make sure your card is valid for international payments to avoid any payment issues.
5. Receive E-visa Approval Letter
Once your payment goes through, your application will be processed by the Immigration Department. Within the standard 3-5 days, you will receive an official e-visa approval letter via email.
Be sure to check your junk/spam folders. Print out this approval letter to present at immigration control when you arrive in Vietnam.
And you’re done! With the e-visa approval letter, you can now enter Vietnam easily through any international airport.
Requirements for a Vietnam E-Visa
To be successfully approved for an e-visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Citizenship – You must hold citizenship of an eligible e-visa country. Check eligibility before applying.
- Passport Validity – Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after departure from Vietnam. Passports expiring sooner will be rejected.
- Return Ticket – You must provide flight/travel details proving you will exit Vietnam before the e-visa expires.
- Sufficient Funds – Although not checked, you should have enough funds to cover your planned length of stay in Vietnam.
- Blank Passport Pages – Your passport must have at least 2 blank pages for entry/exit stamps.
Failure to meet any of these requirements may result in your application being denied, so review them carefully before applying.
Processing Time for a Vietnam E-Visa
Once you complete your e-visa application and payment online, how long does it take to get approved?
The standard Vietnam e-visa processing time is 3-5 working days. However, actual processing times can vary depending on seasonal demand:
- During peak travel seasons (June-August, December-January), processing can take 6-8 working days.
- During low seasons, processing may only take 2-3 days in some cases.
- Urgent/express service is available for $45 USD, reducing wait times to just 1-3 days.
Keep the potential for longer waits in mind when planning your travels. Apply at least 5-7 days in advance of your planned arrival date, to ensure you receive your approval letter in time for your trip.
You can also check the official website for real-time updates on current processing speeds to get an idea of wait times.
Vietnam E-Visa Extension
If you wish to extend your stay in Vietnam beyond the initial e-visa validity, you can apply for an extension while in the country.
E-visa extensions must be processed at a local Vietnam Immigration Office. Bring your passport and approval letter.
The extension fee is $50 USD and adds an extra 30 days to the validity. You can extend your e-visa multiple times, up to the maximum stay duration allowed by your nationality.
When applying for an extension, be aware that you can only stay a maximum of 30 days beyond your original e-visa expiry date while waiting for approval. Plan ahead to avoid overstays.
Vietnam E-Visa 90 Days
As of August 15, 2023, the standard validity period for Vietnam e-visas is 90 days from the date of approval.
Previously, e-visas were only valid for 30 days. However, the government has now extended the validity period to 90 days for all eligible nationalities.
This means your e-visa will allow you to enter Vietnam at any point in the 90 days after approval. You can also exit and re-enter multiple times within this 90-day window.
The extended validity makes planning return trips or longer stays in Vietnam much easier. Just be sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the e-visa expiry date.
Vietnam E-Visa vs. Visa on Arrival
Vietnam offers visas on arrival as an alternative to e-visas. What are the main differences?
- E-Visa – Apply online in advance from your home country
- VOA – Apply in person on arrival at a Vietnam airport
- E-Visa – $25 USD
- VOA – $50-$100 USD
- E-Visa – 3-5 days (or 1-3 days for urgent)
- VOA – Issued instantly upon arrival
- E-Visa – 90 days with multiple entries
- VOA – 30 days with single entry
- E-Visa – All international airports
- VOA – Only certain airports
E-visas offer better value for money and flexibility for frequent visitors. But VOA can be a good option for quick last-minute trips if you meet the criteria.
Which Visa Type is Right for You?
Choosing between an e-visa or VOA depends primarily on your travel plans:
Vietnam E-Visa is best if:
- You are planning a longer multi-city trip.
- You want to make multiple entries within 90 days.
- You value convenience and advance planning.
- You are on a budget.
Vietnam VOA is best if:
- You are booking a last-minute trip.
- You only need 30 days maximum stay.
- You don’t mind higher visa fees.
- You are flying into a VOA-eligible airport.
For most travelers, the e-visa offers greater flexibility and convenience. But VOA can be a good backup option for certain situations if e-visa is not possible.
I. List of countries whose citizens are eligible for e-visa pilot programm:
|9||KOR||The Republic of Korea|
|17||USA||The United States of America|
|23||GBR||The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northen Ireland|
(Not applicable to Chinese e-passport holders)
II. List of check-points permitting foreigners entry into and exit from Viet Nam with e-visas
- Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
- Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
- Cam Ranh International Airport (Khanh Hoa)
- Da Nang International Airport
- Cat Bi International Airport (Hai Phong)
- Can Tho International Airport
- Phu Quoc International Airport
- Phu Bai International Airport (Hue)
- Van Don International Airport (Quang Ninh)
- Tho Xuan Airport (Thanh Hoa)
- Lien Khuong Airport (Lam Dong)
- Dong Hoi Airport (Quang Binh)
- Phu Cat Airport (Binh Dinh)
Land border checkpoints:
- Tay Trang Checkpoint (Dien Bien)
- Cau Treo Checkpoint (Ha Tinh)
- Mong Cai Checkpoint (Quang Ninh)
- Cha Lo Checkpoint (Quang Binh)
- Huu Nghi Checkpoint (Lang Son)
- La Lay Checkpoint (Quang Tri)
- Lao Cai Checkpoint
- Lao Bao Checkpoint (Quang Tri)
- Na Meo Checkpoint (Thanh Hoa)
- Bo Y Checkpoint (Kon Tum)
- Nam Can Checkpoint (Nghe An)
- Moc Bai Landport (Tay Ninh)
- Xa Mat Landport (Tay Ninh)
- Vinh Xuong Landport (An Giang)
- Tinh Bien Landport (An Giang)
- Chan May Seaport (Thua Thien Hue)
- Da Nang Seaport
- Duong Dong Seaport (Phu Quoc)
- Hon Gai Seaport (Quang Ninh)
- Hai Phong Seaport
- Nha Trang Seaport (Khanh Hoa)
- Quy Nhon Seaport (Binh Dinh)
Please note that foreigners entering Vietnam with e-visas must use the same checkpoint for entry and exit.
Conditions for obtaining an e-visa
To be eligible for an e-visa to Vietnam, you must:
- Be a citizen of a country that is eligible for the e-visa program.
- Have a valid passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your intended date of departure from Vietnam.
- Not be subject to any entry restrictions to Vietnam.
Vietnam eVisa Q&As
What is a Vietnam eVisa?
A Vietnam eVisa is an electronic visa that allows citizens of certain countries to enter Vietnam without having to obtain a visa at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate. eVisas are valid for a single or multiple entry and are valid for up to 90 days.
Who is eligible for a Vietnam eVisa?
Citizens of all countries/territories around the world are eligible to apply for a Vietnam eVisa.
How do I apply for a Vietnam eVisa?
To apply for a Vietnam eVisa, you will need to create an account on the official Vietnam eVisa website and submit an online application form. You will also need to provide a passport-size photo and pay the visa fee.
How long does it take to process a Vietnam eVisa?
Vietnam eVisas are typically processed within 1 hour to 5 working days. However, it is important to note that the processing time may be longer during peak travel periods.
How do I receive my Vietnam eVisa?
Once your Vietnam eVisa has been approved, you will receive a PDF copy of the visa via email. You should print out this copy and present it to immigration officials upon arrival in Vietnam.
What are the requirements for entering Vietnam with an eVisa?
In addition to your eVisa, you will also need to have a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining. You may also be required to show proof of onward travel and/or sufficient funds for your stay in Vietnam.
Can I extend my Vietnam eVisa?
No, Vietnam eVisas cannot be extended. If you need to stay in Vietnam for longer than your eVisa is valid for, you will need to apply for a visa at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate.
Other frequently asked questions
- Q: Can I enter Vietnam at any port of entry with an eVisa? A: No, eVisas are only valid for entry at certain ports of entry. These include: Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City), Cam Ranh International Airport (Khanh Hoa Province), Da Nang International Airport, Cat Bi International Airport (Hai Phong City), Can Tho International Airport, Phu Quoc International Airport (Kien Giang Province), Phu Bai International Airport (Thua Thien Hue Province), Van Don International Airport (Quang Ninh Province), Tho Xuan International Airport (Thanh Hoa Province), Dong Hoi International Airport (Quang Binh Province), Phu Cat International Airport (Binh Dinh Province), and Lien Khuong International Airport (Lam Dong Province).
- Q: What should I do if I lose my eVisa? A: If you lose your eVisa, you should contact the Vietnam Immigration Department immediately. You may be able to apply for a new eVisa, but you may need to pay an additional fee.
- Q: What should I do if my flight is delayed and I arrive in Vietnam after my eVisa expires? A: If your flight is delayed and you arrive in Vietnam after your eVisa expires, you will need to apply for a new visa at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate.
Vietnam’s e-visa program has made visiting Vietnam easier and more convenient than ever for international travelers. With online applications processed quickly, lower costs, and longer validity periods, the e-visa simplifies trip planning.
Be sure to apply for your Vietnam e-visa through the official website well in advance of travel. Check that you meet all requirements and have all necessary documentation ready to avoid delays.
With an approved e-visa in hand, you can look forward to explorimg the beauty and culture of Vietnam at your own pace, following one of Southeast Asia’s most rewarding and fascinating itineraries.