How To Get The Vietnam Visa Online And The Vietnam Visa On Arrival

How To Get The Vietnam Visa Online And The Vietnam Visa On Arrival

Getting the Vietnam Visa online is easier than you may think. 

It was in February 2017 when Vietnam started its e-Visa program with the aim of simplifying the process of getting into the country. Before then, if you wanted to travel to Vietnam, you’d need an approval letter and you’d get a visa on arrival. 

Nowadays, citizens of 46 countries can apply to get their Vietnam Visa online. If you are a citizen of these countries, you don’t need to visit any embassy – everything is done electronically. 

You will have to show your visa before boarding your flight, and once you land to the immigration officer. The Vietnam e-Visa is a single entry document allows you to stay in the country for no more than 30 days. 

In this post, I explain everything you need to know about the Vietnam e-Visa, and – should you still require a Vietnam Visa on arrival, how to apply for that. 

First of all, let me clarify which kind of Visa you should be applying for. 

Get your Vietnam e-Visa here

Apply for your Vietnam Visa on arrival here

Hoi An Vietnam

Getting a Visa is a requirement to travel to Vietnam

Should I Get A Vietnam Visa Online Or A Vietnam Visa On Arrival?

Good question. Whether you get a Vietnam e-Visa or a Visa on arrival depends on whether you require multiple entries or if you want to stay in the country for more than 30 days

If you are going just once, not going in and out of the country and planning to stay for up to 30 days, go for the Vietnam Visa online.

Get your Vietnam e-Visa here

If you are hoping to go in and of the country multiple times (ie when you are on a longer trip around South East Asia) and / or would like to stay more than 30 days, you should apply for the Vietnam Visa On Arrival – you will need to fly via one of the 5 international airports where the Visa on arrival can be issued. 

Apply for your Vietnam Visa on arrival here

Continue reading to discover what you need to do know to get your e-Visa.

Hanoi

Getting a Visa for Vietnam is really easy

Vietnam Visa Online Questions And Answers

How much does the Vietnam Visa online cost?

The Vietnam Visa online costs $25.00 USD. To this, you have to add a service fee depending on the processing option you pick. 

For standard processing, there is an additional $20 USD to pay. 

For rush processing, you will have to pay an additional $50 USD. 

If you are in a super rush, you will be charged an extra $80.

For more information on the fees check out this page.

How long is the Vietnam Visa online valid for?

The Vietnam Visa online is valid for 30 days since our arrival in the country. It is a single entry visa. You will be able to stay for a total of 30 days.

Which nationalities are eligible to apply for a Vietnam Visa online?

Among others, citizens of the following countries can apply for the Vietnam Visa online:

Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.

Do I have to enter Vietnam from a specific place?

You can enter Vietnam from a variety of places – international airports, landports and seaports. 

Chances are you will be flying into Vietnam. Most travelers land at either Noi Bai Int Airport (Ha Noi), Tan Son Nhat Int Airport (Ho Chi Minh City), Da Nang International Airport, of Phu Quoc International Airport. You can find the complete list of airports here

If you are arriving from a landport, you may be getting in from Cha Lo Landport, Lao Cai Landport, Nam Can Landport among others. 

If you are on a cruise, you may be getting in via one of these seaports: Chan May, Da Nang, Duong Dong, Hon Gai, Hai Phong, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Vang Tau, Quy Nhon. 

What do I need in order to apply for the Vietnam visa online?

These are the documents you will need to submit with your application: 

  • A valid passport (must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival in Vietnam)
  • A credit or debit card
  • In alternative, you need to have a Paypal account
  • A scan copy of your passport  (bio page)
  • A digital passport photo 

What conditions must my passport meet for the Vietnam e-Visa?

Your passport has to be valid for a minimum of 30 days beyond the visa expiry date. You need to make sure it has at least two blank pages.

So for example, if you enter Vietnam today and your visa expires 30 days from today, your passport must be valid for another 60 days.

How long does it take to obtain an e-Visa?

This really varies based on the kind of processing time you pick. 

If you go for the standard processing time, you will get your Visa within 5 business day. 

If you pick the rush processing, you will get it within 4 business days.

If you go for the super rush processing, it will take 3 business days.

For more information on the processing time check out this page.

Can I extend my stay in the country beyond what the e-Visa permits?

You can, but this is a bit tricky. You will have to go to an agency, organization or individual that will sponsor your stay in Vietnam and they will have to apply for a new visa for your via the Vietnam Immigration Department.

Does the Vietnam visa online allow multiple entries?

No. You can only enter once. If you leave the country, you will have to apply for another visa if you want to visit again. 

Am I required to enter Vietnam on the exact date specified in my application?

You don’t have to. The Visa is valid from the specified date of approval and you can enter at any day within that period. You will have to leave once the Visa expires. 

Get your Vietnam e-Visa here

Hoi An Vietnam

You can enter the country from various airports and seaports

Summary Information About The Vietnam Visa Online

Make sure to make a note of the following information, as it is important to guarantee a pleasant stay in Vietnam.

  • The Vietnam Visa online is a single entry visa.
  • The e-Visa is valid for no more than 30 days from the proposed date of entry that you suggest during the application.
  • You can stay in Vietnam for up to 30 days.
  • You must have a passport with at least 6 months of validity from the date you plan to enter the country.
  • If you need a renewal after 30 days, you have to get sponsored / invited by an authority, organization or individual in Vietnam. This is in accordance with the law on foreigners’ entry into, exit from, transit through and residence in Vietnam.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least 30 days after arrival in the country. It must have at least two blank pages for a stamp/sticker from the immigration control officer.
  • If you are a minor but you have your own passport, you still have to complete a full e-Visa application. Minors who are 14 or younger and are included on their parent’s passport must apply for an e-Visa with their parents. 
  • You must carry a copy of your e-Visa during your stay in Vietnam.

Get your Vietnam e-Visa here

Saigon Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the ports of entry into Vietnam

Looking To Stay Longer In Vietnam? Get The Vietnam Visa On Arrival

The first thing you need to know is that the Vietnam Visa on arrival is only available for people who intend to travel to Vietnam by air. If you want to cross the border via land, you will need to apply for the e-Visa.

To get the Vietnam Visa on arrival you must first have an approval letter for entry into Vietnam. You will get the visa once you actually arrive, and pay a visa stamping fee which is of $25 USD for a single entry, or $50 USD for multiple entries. 

One thing that may surprise you is that on the Visa on Arrival letter you may see other travelers’ names listed. You don’t need to worry about it. It happens because the government approves the letters in batches. 

The Vietnam Visa on arrival is valid for either 30 or 90 days from the day you get into the country, depending on which option you pick during the application process. 

You can get an extension of stay once you are already in Vietnam, but this isn’t an easy process so if you feel you may want to stay in the country longer, apply for the 90 days Visa.

Continue reading to discover what you need in order to get a Vietnam Visa on arrival.

Apply for your Vietnam Visa on arrival here

Vietnam Visa on Arrival

The Visa on arrival is a better option if you plan to stay longer in the country

Vietnam Visa On Arrival Questions And Answers

What do I need to apply for a Vietnam Visa on arrival?

You need to fill in the online form and provide any additional documents requested. Click here to find out what you need to submit.

Once you enter Vietnam, you will need to present the following documentation:

  • Vietnam Visa on arrival approval letter – you can get it here.
  • A valid passport – must be valid for at least 6-months from the date you enter Vietnam and have at least 2 blank pages for stamping
  • 2 passport-sized photos 
  • The entry/exit form which is provided by the airline
  • The Visa stamping fee, which has to be paid in cash ($25 USD for the single entry, $50 USD for multiple entries).

How long will it take to process my Visa on Arrival?

Much like the e-Visa, this depends on the kind of processing you pick. There are 3 options:

Standard processing – this takes 3 business days

Rush processing – this takes one business day

Super rush processing – this takes just 8 hours

How much does the Vietnam Visa on Arrival approval cost?

The cost of getting a Visa on arrival approval depends on the number of entries and length of stay you require. 

The following is a breakdown of the costs:

The eVisa on Arrival for 30 days, with single entry will cost you $20 if you require standard processing. For rush and super rush processing, the cost will be $50 or $90 USD.

The eVisa on Arrival for 90 days, with single entry will cost you $25 USD if you request standard processing. For rush and super rush processing, the cost will be $55 USD or $95 USD.

The eVisa on Arrival for 30 days with multiple entry will cost you $30 USD if you request standard processing. For rush and super rush processing, the cost will be $60 USD or $100 USD.

The eVisa on Arrival for 90 days and will multiple entry will cost you $ 45 USD if you require standard processing. For rush and super rush processing, the cost will be $75 USD or $115 USD.

Once you arrive in Vietnam you will also be asked to pay a stamping fee of $25 USD for single-entry visas and $50 USD for multiple-entry visas.

Apply for your Vietnam Visa on arrival here

Should I opt for a single entry or multiple entries visa?

Whether you pick a single or multiple entry visa really depends on what you intend to do. If you are only visiting Vietnam during your trip, opt for the single entry visa. If you know you will cross the border into Laos or Cambodia and then get back to Vietnam, it’s better if you opt for a multiple-entry visa. 

What documents do I need to apply for the Vietnam Visa on Arrival? 

The following are the necessary documents to apply for the Vietnam Visa on arrival:

  • Passport. It must have at least 6 months of validity.
  • A credit or debit card. Alternatively, you will need a PayPal account.

Upon entering Vietnam, you will need to show the following documents:

  • A printed copy of the entry permit form – this is the Vietnam pre-approval letter. 
  • Two passport size photos
  • A valid passport
  • Enough cash to pay for the visa stamping fee. Once you get to immigration, you will be asked to pay for an additional visa fee. The stamping fee is $25 USD for single entry visa (whether you get the 30 days or 90 days one) and $50 USD for multiple entry visa (whether you get the 30 days or 90 days one). 

Apply for your Vietnam Visa on arrival here

Vietnam

You may feel like you need more time to explore the country

Summary Information For Getting A Vietnam Visa On Arrival

This is a summary of what you need to know and have in order to get a Vietnam Visa on arrival:

  • Visa on Arrival is only valid if you are flying into Vietnam. When you get to the airport, you will be asked to fill some documents to get your passport stamped.
  • You can get your Visa on Arrival at one of the country’s international airports: Ho Chi Minh City; Hanoi; Da Nang; Hai Phong; Nha Trang. 
  • You must have a passport valid for at least six months after your indicated arrival date in Vietnam.
  • You must carry two passport size photos.
  • You will be requested to pay a stamping fee on arrival. This is of $25 USD for single entry visa (both 30 and 90 days kind) and $50 USD for multiple entry visa (both 30 and 90 days kind).
  • Make sure to provide the earliest intended date of arrival – you can still fly into the country at a later date.
  • Your departure date if going to be the last day you are allowed to stay in the country, unless you ask for an extension of your visa.

Apply for your Vietnam Visa on arrival here

Further readings about Vietnam

Make sure to read my other posts about Vietnam:

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15 Things To Do In Saigon In Just 3 Days

15 Things To Do In Saigon In Just 3 Days

Going to Saigon and don’t have much time to spend there? Here’s a brief guide to 10 things to do in Saigon in just 3 days!

Saigon is the kind of city that takes you by surprise. You don’t expect much from it, and yet you end up loving it. Its vibe, its positive energy, the sights and the food will all draw you into it, and you will end up wanting to go back – just like it happened to me. 

I visited Saigon  during a trip that took me from Bangkok to Vietnam, which I have crossed from North to South, then to Siem Reap in Cambodia and eventually back to Thailand, in Koh Chang.

In this post, I highlight the best things to do in Saigon and share some useful tips to help you make the most of it. 

things to do in Ho Chi Minh

One of the coolest things to do in Saigon is exploring its secret alleys – photo courtesy of Margherita Ragg

Why You Will Love Saigon

Most people who visit Vietnam stay a mere 15 days – that’s because this is the maximum amount of time permitted to get the tourist (free visa). Then, they end up having only a couple of days, three at most, in Saigon. It’s a pity, because there really are many cool things to do in Saigon and this city really deserves more time.

Make sure to read my post How To Get The Vietnam Visa Online And The Vietnam Visa On Arrival.”

I am pretty sure you will end up falling in love with Saigon the minute you lay foot in the city. As I have said before, you will feel immediately captured by its energy. It is so different from the capital, Hanoi. People in Saigon seem more cheerful, more interested in communicating with travelers (indeed, meeting the locals is what to do in Saigon!). It may well be the sunny weather, that makes it pleasant to walk around.

People are welcoming, indeed. They smile at you and always male an effort to help you find the place you are looking for. They are glad to pose for pictures. Whenever they see you take out your camera, they call out and ask to be photographed (and taking pictures of the every day life of the locals is one of the nicest things to do in Saigon). They seem way more cheerful than their cousins from the North.

Sure enough, you really should make it a point to make the most of your limited time in Saigon. Hit all the most fun things to do in Saigon, and make a not to yourself to go back some day.

Now, without further ado, let me highlight the things that you really should not miss when in Saigon.

things to do in Ho Chi Minh

Notre Dame cathedral is one of the best known Ho Chi Minh attractions – photo courtesy of Margherita Ragg

15 Great Things To Do In Saigon In Just 3 Days

Admire the French colonial architecture

At some point in its history, Saigon was colonized by the French, who left a clear mark in the look of the city. One of the nicest things to do in Saigon is searching for examples of the French colonial architecture. All it takes to admire it is walking around.

Examples of such architecture are scattered around the city. The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the best kept buildings, not to mention one of the most important Ho Chi Minh City attractions; but make sure not to skip the Central Post Office and the National Theater. They are all located in the area known as Dong Khoi.

Here are some great tours of Saigon that will show it’s French architecture:

See Saigon from above

Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Saigon is pretty much flat. But it can be admired from above at the Bixteco Financial Tower. All it takes is a $10 USD elevator ride to get to the Saigon Skydeck. I wholeheartedly recommend it as one of the coolest things to do in Ho Chi Minh.

On clear days, the view is spectacular. There also is a small museum inside, with a nice exhibit on the Ao Dai, the traditional dress worn by Vietnamese women. It is a nice way to learn a bit more about the culture and way of life of the country.

Here’s some tours of Saigon which include a visit to the Bixteco Tower:

things to do in Saigon

Heading to the market is what to do in Saigon when hungry – photo courtesy of Margherita Ragg

Haggle in Saigon’s best markets

With 8 million people living there, Saigon is a great place for shopping and it is packed with interesting markets. And indeed, one of the most fun things to do in Saigon is shopping! Saigon markets are perfect to buy all the latest electronic gadgets and to gorge on street food. They are also a great way to observe a bit of local life.

The best markets in town are Dan Sinh, known as the American Market and which sells war memorabilia; and An Dong, located in District 5 and which sells mostly clothing and accessories. Other fantastic markets are Binh Tay Market and Ben Thanh Market.

Here are 3 good tours of Saigon that go to local markets:

things to do in Ho Chi Minh

Visiting the War Remnants Museum is one of the unmissable things to do in Saigon – photo courtesy of Accor hotels

Get emotional and infuriated at the War Remnants Museum

If there is one museum that you should visit in Saigon, that’s the War Remnants Museum. Its collection includes a number of pictures taken by world famous photographers; documents; uniforms worn by soldiers and more – all from the time of what in Vietnam is known as The American War.

Visiting the War Remnants Museum is one of the unmissable things to do in Saigon, because it is a great place to learn about the difficult history of the country, including about the devastating effects of Agent Orange, whose use was widespread during the war. Be ready to get emotional and to leave infuriated.

Here are two excellent tours of Saigon that both go to the War Remnants Museum:

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The entry fee to the War Remnants Museum is 15000 Vietnamese Dong (around $0.65 cents of USD). The museum is open every day from 7:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:30 to 5:00 pm.

Go to the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City

This lovely museum doesn’t get nearly as many visitors as the War Remnants Museum. It has a great exhibit about the making of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon’s newer name) and about Vietnamese culture. It’s located in a gorgeous building that make it worth visiting in and of itself! 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The entry fee to the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City is 15000 Vietnamese Dong (around $0.65 cents of USD). The museum is open every day from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Visit the Museum of Vietnamese History

This museum contains lots of artifacts that will help you get a better understanding of Vietnamese history and culture. There also is a collection of sculptures coming from Angkor Wat, in Cambodia. Adding to the experience, you can also attend a water pupped show.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The entry fee to the Museum of Vietnamese History is 15000 Vietnamese Dong (around $0.65 cents of USD). It costs 40000 Dong if you want to take photos. The Water Puppet show costs 35000 Dong. The museum is open every day from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:30 to 5:00 pm.

what to do in Saigon

One of the best things to do in Saigon to beat traffic is hopping on a mototaxi

Beat the traffic on a mototaxi

One of the best ways to get around the city is on a mototaxi, not to mention riding is a lot of fun. These kind of taxis can be easily recognized by the fact that drivers are parked at the side of the street, and they hold two helmets. Prices are super convenient, and it is a good way to admire the city from a different perspective – not to mention, they beat the terrible traffic of the city! 

Visit Thien Hau Pagoda

One of the nicest things to do in Saigon is visiting the many temples that are scattered around the city. Thien Hau is bound to become your favorite. It is located in Chinatown (District 5) and it was built in the 19th century in honor of Thien Hau (the Lady of the Sea). Although from the outside it isn’t that impressive at all, the inside is packed with beautiful carvings and intricate details, and the burning incense gives it a beautiful atmosphere.

Visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the most important Taoist temples in Saigon, and as such one of Ho Chi Minh City attractions. It is dedicated to the Jade Emperor, one of the most important gods according to Taoism. What I am sure you will enjoy the most about it is the silence: it is a nice break from the noise of the incessant traffic outside. The incense adds to the peaceful atmosphere.

Go to the Water Puppet show

One of the most touristy yet interesting things to do in Saigon is attending the Water Puppet show. This is a very traditional show during which all the main pillars of Vietnamese cultural beliefs are explained. What makes it interesting is that the puppets are moved from under the water. The trick of how it is done is shown at the very end of the show.

Here’s a few good tours of Saigon that also provide entrance to the Water Puppet show:

things to do in Ho Chi Minh

Eating pho bo is one of the things to do in Saigon

Gorge on all the delicious food

Vietnamese food is delicious and one of the top things to do in Ho Chi Min is eating. Whether in the street or at a trendy restaurant, the choice of food in Saigon is incredible – so much so that one may as well browse a guide of Vietnamese street food to go prepared!

Nha Hang Ngon, in Dong Khoi, is a great place to get acquainted with Vietnamese cuisine: grouped all in one place at a very stylish location there are several street food stalls that serve all the staples of Vietnamese food, from pho bo, a light broth made of beef bones and served with thin slices of beef, fresh soya bean sprouts, and various herbs, to the most mouthwatering desserts. This is not just a restaurant. It is one of the top Ho Chi Minh City attractions!

Here’s a selection of great food tours of Saigon:

what to do in Saigon

Enjoying street food is one of the top things to do in Saigon

Quan Bui appears to be Saigon’s best kept secret. It is a place run by locals, and for the locals, where the occasional tourist makes an appearance. It is in the heart of District 1 and combines delicious food with a stylish yet traditional Vietnamese architecture.

Quan 104 is located on Van Kiep Street and has a limited menu of incredibly tasty dishes. The grilled octopus is mouthwatering.

Don’t forget to accompany a great meal with a good “bia hoi” (cold beer)! Vietnamese people love a good bia hoi, and streets are packed with small places that serve canned or even craft beer. In fact, having a cold beer is one of the top (and most refreshing) things to do in Saigon.

things to do in Ho Chi Minh

One of the most fun things to do in Saigon is enjoying its thriving night scene – photo courtesy of Accor Hotels

Enjoy the incredible nightlife 

Nightlife in Saigon is thriving and one of the things to do in Saigon is enjoying its amazing bar scene. I arrived in Saigon there quite late, as my flight from Da Nang had been delayed, and I was positively surprised to find that most restaurants were still open, and that literally everyone was out drinking and partying.

While younger crowds will love Crazy Buffalo Nightclub, older generations of both locals and foreigners tend to prefer Acoustic Bar, perfect for those who enjoy rock music. This is the kind of place where it is possible to have a drink while listening to The Beatles, The Doors or Jimi Hendrix. There’s also a dance floor that becomes busier and busier throughout the night. Definitely one of the coolest things to do in Saigon is enjoying some good rock music.

Here are some great night tours of Saigon:

Get Saigon views from above

If seeing the city from above is what to do in Saigon, a great choice for a drink is a rooftop bar. For an early start and a great view of the city, head to Saigon Rooftop bar. Rex Hotel Rooftop bar, on the other hand, is only located on the 5th floor, but the views of the People’s Committee Hall and Saigon Opera House are stunning.

Eon 51 Heli Bar is located on the 51st floor of Bixteco Financial Tower. The highlight of the place – other than the views, that is! – is the live music.

Among Saigon’s best bars, there are Chill Skybar, which is located on the 25th floor of the AB tower. It is the kind of place that has a strict dress code, but the selection of cocktails, the good music and the breathtaking view make it all worth it. It’s easy to see why it is considered one of the prominent Ho Chi Minh City attractions.

what to do in Saigon

One of the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh is having a drink with a view – photo courtesy of Accor Hotels

Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels

One of the best things to do in Saigon is getting out of the city. Thankfully, that’s an easy thing to do and there are plenty of places to visit that can be reached without hassle. One of the best day trips from Saigon is that to the Cu Chi Tunnels. These are part of a much larger network of tunnels in Vietnam that were used by the Viet Cong soldiers during the war, as hiding spots and as communication and supply channels. Things such as food, weapons and medicines were smuggled via the tunnels, where many North Vietnamese fighters also lived.

Here is a selection of the tours of the Cu Chi Tunnels:

Go on a Mekong Delta tour with a stop at the floating markets

The floating markets are a great place to visit if you want to get a good idea of the local way of life; whereas the Mekong Delta is an incredibly scenic place, with small villages, lush vegetation, and great photo opportunities. They can be visited on the same day and make for an incredible day trip out of Saigon. 

This is an excellent guided tour of the Mekong: Mekong Delta small group tour with Vinh Trang Pagoda and rowing boat

Further Information To Help You Organize Your Trip

How to get to Saigon

The easiest way to get to Saigon from other cities in Vietnam or even from other countries is to fly there. From the airport, you can take a taxi to your accommodation. Make sure to insist to pay by the meter – more often than not, the flat rates suggested are higher than what you should be paying. 

Safety in Saigon

I found Saigon to be a safe city – but just like with any other major big city, you need to be smart to avoid scams and other issues. The worst areas are those crowded with tourists. It’s not uncommon for tourists to get their phones or cameras snatched – take out your phone on a side street, and by all means do not flash it. Keep your wallet in a safe pocket inside your purse and keep some small change in your pockets.

Where to stay in Saigon

The choice of places to stay in Saigon is very wide. I stayed at the Yellow House Saigon, a lovely small design hotel in a narrow alley where there’s no traffic whatsoever – and considering the level of noise, keeping away from it may well be one of the nicest things to do in Saigon.

Here’s a selection of great places to stay in Saigon:

With so many interesting things to do, it is easy to see why I would love to go back to Saigon. For even more things to do in Saigon, check out these insider tips.

Further readings about Vietnam

Make sure to read my other posts about Vietnam:

Have you ever been to Saigon? What are the things to do in Saigon that you enjoyed the most?

Legal Disclaimer: This article is written in partnership with Accor Hotel Group. All the views and opinions expressed are my own and based on my personal experience. The views expressed are honest and factual without any bias.

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