If you are planning to visit Vietnam, you may be wondering about the visa requirements. In recent years, applying for a visa on arrival has become a popular option for tourists. This article will provide an overview of the visa on arrival process in Vietnam, including who is eligible, how to apply, and the pros and cons of this option.
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Who Is Eligible for Visa on Arrival?
Not all nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival in Vietnam. At present, visitors from 80 countries can apply for this type of visa. Some of the eligible countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It’s important to note that citizens of some countries must obtain a visa prior to arrival, so be sure to check the requirements before making your travel plans.
What Is Visa on Arrival?
Visa on arrival is a convenient way to obtain a visa when traveling to Vietnam. Instead of applying in advance at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate, travelers can apply online for a pre-approval letter. Once the pre-approval letter is issued, the traveler can then obtain their visa stamp upon arrival at one of Vietnam’s international airports.
When Should I Apply For Visa on Arrival?
If you plan to apply for a visa on arrival, it’s important to do so before you depart for Vietnam. The application process typically takes 2-3 business days to complete. Be sure to apply early enough to allow for processing time before your departure date.
How To Apply for Visa on Arrival?
To apply for a visa on arrival in Vietnam, follow these steps:
- Visit the website of a reputable visa agency that provides visa on arrival services.
- Fill out the online application form with your personal information and travel details.
- Pay the service fee online using a credit or debit card.
- Wait for the pre-approval letter to be sent to your email address.
- Print the pre-approval letter and bring it with you on your trip to Vietnam.
- Once you arrive at the airport in Vietnam, proceed to the visa on arrival counter to obtain your visa stamp.
Pros and Cons of Visa on Arrival
As with any travel option, there are both advantages and disadvantages to obtaining a visa on arrival in Vietnam. Here are some of the pros and cons:
- Convenient: Visa on arrival eliminates the need to visit a Vietnamese embassy or consulate in person.
- Easy to apply: The application process for a visa on arrival is simple and can be completed online.
- Fast processing time: Most visa agencies offer a quick turnaround time for pre-approval letters.
- Cost-effective: The service fee for a visa on arrival is often cheaper than applying for a traditional visa.
- Limited entry points: Visa on arrival is only available at Vietnam’s international airports. If you plan to enter Vietnam by land or sea, you will need to obtain a traditional visa.
- Longer wait times: The visa on arrival counter at the airport can get busy, which may result in longer wait times.
- Risk of rejection: While rare, there is still a chance that your visa on arrival application could be rejected.
- Uncertainty: As the visa on arrival is not issued until arrival in Vietnam, there is a degree of uncertainty that comes with this option.
Alternatives to Visa on Arrival
If you’re not eligible for a visa on arrival or prefer not to use this option, there are several alternatives to consider:
- Traditional visa: You can apply for a traditional visa through a Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your home country.
- E-visa: An e-visa is another type of visa that can be obtained online before you depart for Vietnam. This option is available to travelers from 80 countries.
- Visa exemption: Citizens of certain countries are exempt from the visa requirement for a short period of time. Be sure to check if you are eligible for this option.
Tips for Using Visa on Arrival
If you decide to obtain a visa on arrival for your trip to Vietnam, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use a reputable visa agency: Choose a visa agency with a good reputation to ensure a smooth and reliable service.
- Bring cash: You will need to pay the stamping fee for your visa in cash, so be sure to have enough Vietnamese dong on hand.
- Have your paperwork ready: Make sure you have all necessary documents, including your pre-approval letter and passport, ready to present at the visa on arrival counter.
- Be patient: The visa on arrival process can take some time, so be prepared to wait in line.
Comparing Visa Options
To help you decide which visa option is best for your trip to Vietnam, here is a comparison of the three most popular options:
- Visa on arrival: Convenient, easy to apply, and cost-effective, but only available at international airports.
- Traditional visa: Requires visiting a Vietnamese embassy or consulate in person, but allows for entry through all ports of entry.
- E-visa: Convenient and easy to apply for online, but only valid for single-entry and limited to certain ports of entry.
Consider your travel plans and preferences before deciding which option is best for you.
Visa on arrival is a popular and convenient option for travelers visiting Vietnam. Eligible visitors can apply online and obtain their visa stamp upon arrival at one of Vietnam’s international airports. While there are some pros and cons to this option, it can be a cost-effective and hassle-free way to obtain a visa. Be sure to do your research and choose a reputable visa agency to ensure a smooth process.
- How long does it take to get a pre-approval letter for a visa on arrival?
- The application process typically takes 2-3 business days to complete.
- Is visa on arrival available for land and sea entry to Vietnam?
- No, visa on arrival is only available at Vietnam’s international airports.
- Can I apply for a traditional visa and visa on arrival at the same time?
- No, you must choose one option when applying for a visa to Vietnam.
- What is the stamping fee for a visa on arrival?
- The stamping fee varies depending on the length of stay and type of visa, but ranges from $25-$135 USD.
- Will I be guaranteed to receive a visa on arrival if I apply online?
- While rare, there is still a chance that your visa on arrival application could be rejected. However, choosing a reputable visa agency can help minimize this risk.