Types of Visa to Vietnam
Tourist visa (short staying time)
This is what you need to enter and stay in Vietnam within a short period! Normally, it is available for one-month single-entry visa (maximum stay in Vietnam for one month). Tourist visa may be extended once for 30 days after your arrival in Vietnam. If you plan to spend more than a month in Vietnam, or if you plan to exit Vietnam and re-enter from other countries, for eg., Cambodia, Laos or China, you will need a three-month multiple-entry visa with approval from local agents.
Diplomatic and Official Visas
- No fees unless otherwise agreed upon between Vietnam and applicant’s country
- On applying for this visa, the applicant must submit an official letter from the concerned agencies of local government, foreign embassies or consulates accredited to the applicant’s country, international organizations, or other accredited organizations based in that country
Business visas are usually valid for three or six months, allowing multiple entries and the right to work in Vietnam. One-year business visas are also possible with special permission. To get a business visa, you often need a letter from a business sponsor in Vietnam. Getting a business visa has now become cheap and easy, although prices almost double those of a tourist visa. It is generally easier to apply for a business visa once in Vietnam, after having arrived with a tourist visa.
A student visa is usually arranged after your arrival. It’s acceptable to enter Vietnam on a tourist visa, enroll in a Vietnamese language course and then apply at the immigration department for a change in your visa status. In reality, the easiest way to do this is to contact a travel company and have them help you make the application.
Extended Visa vs. non-extended Visa (In terms of extension times)
If you’ve got the dollars, they’ve got the rubber stamp. If you need to stay some more time out of your visa validity, you can get the Immigration Dept extend your visa. Tourist-visa extension costs only around US$10, but it is easier to pay more and sort this out through a travel agency in a more simple way. Getting the stamp you can be a bureaucratic nightmare. The procedure takes two or three days and you can only extend once for 30 days. In theory, you should be able to extend your visa in any provincial capital. In reality, it goes most smoothly in major cities, such as HCMC, Hanoi, Danang and Hue, which cater to mass tourism.
Single Entry Visa vs. Multiple entry (or Re-Entry) Visa (In terms of entry times)
It’s possible to visit Cambodia, Laos or any other country from Vietnam and then re- enter Vietnam without having to apply for another visa. However, you must apply for a re-entry visa before you leave Vietnam. If you do not have a re-entry visa, you will have to go through the whole Vietnamese visa procedure again. Re-entry visas are easiest to arrange in Hanoi or Hochiminh City, but you will almost certainly have to ask a travel agent to do the paperwork for you. They charge about US$25 for this service and can complete the procedure in a day or two.
Tourist visa can only be obtained in Vietnamese embassies, consulates abroad. Otherwise, you can get a visa at the border gates if you are invitees of some Vietnamese competent organs or you are travelling on a package tour organized by Vietnamese travel companies. To apply for a visa, the requirements are as follows:
|Customs procedures in Vietnam are quick and simple. To enter and exit
Vietnam, visitors are required to fulfill the arrival - departure declaration.
1.- Passengers are given duty free allowance for not more than 1.5 liters of liquor with above 22 degrees of concentration of alcohol and 2 liters of liquor below 22 degrees of concentration of alcohol; 400 cigarettes; 100 cigars; 500 gram of raw tobacco.
- Other items which are allowed in accompanying baggage are duty free with value not over VND 5,000,000.
- Passengers bringing goods exceeding the amount as above stated are required to fill in the declaration form No.HQ/2002-PMD and pay duty(ies) according to Vietnamese laws.
2. Passengers who goods are not subject to customs declaration on page 4, 5 (For customs declaration) do not have to declare.
Most visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country. Visas are exempted for the citizens of the countries, which have signed a bilateral or unilateral visa exemption agreement with Vietnam, tourist visa may be valid for 15 to 30 days.
- Entry permit form (which can vary from one Vietnamese embassies or consulate abroad to another) - There are two categories of this form: for foreigners and for Vietnamese overseas.
- Two photos (4cmx6cm or 3cmx4cm)
- Original passport
- Visa fee.
You should send your application and photos to a Vietnamese embassy or consulate abroad, which is most convenient to you. On your requirement, the reply will be returned by post (you must provide stamped envelopes with your name and address).
It is easier to get your visa from a Vietnamese travel agency. The necessary information to the travel agency include:
Vietnamese overseas are required to provide more information:
- Full name
- Birthday and place of birth
- number of your passport
- Entry and exit dates
- Country you plan to receive your entry visa from the Vietnamese embassies or consulates
- Year and reason to leave Vietnam
- Leave Vietnam by means
- Full names and addresses of relations in Vietnam
- Not more than 30 days: for citizens of Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos.
- Not more than 15 days: for citizens of Japan and South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland.
(Vietnamese diplomatic and official passport holders are exempted from visa requirements to enter Japan).
- French citizens holding valid diplomatic passports are exempt from visa requirements when visiting Vietnam and are allowed to stay for up 3 months at one time or on several visits within six months since their first immigration dates. Vietnamese citizens holding valid diplomatic passports also enjoy similar privileges.
- Citizens of Chile and Vietnam holding valid diplomatic or official passports from one of the two countries are exempt from needing entry, exit and transit visas in the other"s territory and are allowed to stay for up 60 days on each visit.
Tourist visas allow visitors to enter and exit Vietnam at Hanoi , Hochiminh , and Danang airports or at any of its nine land borders, there each with Cambodia, China, and Laos
Tourist visas are valid for a single 30day stay. The Government periodically talks about issuing visas on arrival to certain favored nationalities , but as yet this sensible scheme has failed materializes, Arranging the necessary paperwork for a Vietnamese visa has become fairly straightforward, but it remains quite expensive and unnecessarily time-consuming. Processing a tourist visa application typically takes four or five working days in countries in the Vietnam
In Asia the best place to pick up a Vietnamese visa is Cambodia , where it costs just US $ 30 and takes as little as 15 minutes. Bangkok is also a popular place as many agents offer cheap packages with an air ticket and visa through in.
If you have plan to spend more than a month in Vietnam , or if you plan to exit Vietnam and Enter again from China or Laos, arrangement a three-month multiple entry-visa . These Cost around US $ 70 in Cambodia but are not available from all Vietnamese embassies
Business visas are usually valid for three or six months, allow multiple entries and the right to work. Getting a business visa has now become fairly easy. The main drawback is the cost –a business visa is about four times the cost of tourist visa. It is generally much easier to apply for a business visa once in Vietnam
-Tourist Visa extensions cost around US $ 20 , but it is easier to pay more and sort this out through a travel agency. The procedure takes two or three days and you can only extend one time for 30 days
In theory you should be able to extend your visa in any provincial capital. In the practice is goes smoothest in the major cities, such as , Hanoi, Hochiminh, Hue, Danang
It’s possible to enter Cambodia, Laos or any country from Vietnam and then re-enter without having to apply for another visa. However , you must apply for a re-entry visa before you leave Vietnam. If you do not have a re-entry visa, you will have to go through the whole Vietnamese visa nonsense again
Re-entry visas are easiest to arrange in Hanoi or Hochiminh , but you will almost certainly have to ask a travel agents charge about US $ 25 for this service and can complete the procedure in a day or two