What Vietnam visa is right for you?

Visitors going to Vietnam must show a valid Vietnam visa before being allowed into the country. A visa may be requested from a Vietnamese embassy near you, or may be sourced through a reliable travel agency (like Vietnam visa booking, of course).

Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam is a tougher nut to crack where visas are concerned. The rules and costs vary widely depending on the issuing embassy or consulate. The Bangkok embassy, for example, can take your payment and process your visa on the very same day charging 1000 Baht (US$50 in its dollar equivalent; no other currency is accepted). The San Francisco consulate takes five days and $65 to do the same thing. The information presented here may change without prior notice, so double-check with the nearest Vietnamese embassy before applying for your visa.

Visa exemption

Most visitors to Vietnam will need a visa to enter the country, with a few exceptions. Citizens from ASEAN countries are permitted to enter without applying for a visa, and other countries have made similar arrangements for their citizens.

  • Citizens of the following countries may stay, visa-free, for no more than 30 days: Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore;
  • Citizens of the Philippines may stay, visa-free, for no more than 21 days.
  • Citizens of the following countries may stay, visa-free, for no more than 15 days: Denmark, Finland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and
  • Citizens of 5 European countries: Germany, Spain, UK, Italy and France have visa free for 15 days.

If you are not a citizen of any of these countries, you must apply for a visa at a nearby Vietnamese embassy.

In the United States, you may apply at the Vietnamese embassy in Washington, DC if you're on the East Coast, or at the Vietnamese consulate in San Francisco if you're on the West Coast.

Tourist visa

Tourist visas are available for a maximum 90-days stay, with the option to extend your visa for another 90 days upon your arrival in Vietnam (this policy might be changed without prior notice).

In order to get a Vietnam tourist visa from your nearest Vietnam embassy or consulate, download the visa form from the local embassy's website and fill it up.

As the Vietnam visa booking's (VVB) instruction, you'll be required to present:

  • Your original passport - valid for six months more after the planned trip, and with vacant pages for the full-page visa stamp
  • One completed visa application form
  • One 2"x2" passport-sized photo attached firmly to the space provided on the application form
  • A money order or Cashier's check payable to the processing mission. The Embassy asks that you call them to ask for the current fees, although the rates are common knowledge among travelers

Business visa

Business visas are available for business visitors (if you're investing in a business in Vietnam, or if you're arriving for work). Vietnam business visas are valid for 12 months and allow multiple entries.

The requirements for a Vietnam business visa are identical to those for the tourist visa, with the addition of a Business Visa Approval Form from your sponsor in Vietnam. You cannot get this form from the Embassy or the Consulate - your sponsor must get it from officials in Vietnam.

Other Vietnam visa categories

Diplomatic and official visas are issued for visitors with government and diplomatic business. Holders of diplomatic and service passports will be granted these visas, which are free of charge.

The requirements for these visas are similar to those for the business visa, with the addition of a note verbale from the concerned agency, foreign mission, or international organization.

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