All US citizens require a valid visa to visit Vietnam. You can obtain the visa through a variety of means. The visa obtaining process has been largely automated and digitalized for the ease of applicants. To obtain the visa, you need to meet certain pre-requisites. After 1996, the rules have been changed to allow US citizens visa on arrival, which means they will be able to get the visa as soon as they land at the airport.
Ways of Obtaining a Vietnam Visa for US Citizens
In order to enter Vietnam, you must have a valid Vietnam visa. In recent years there have been some changes that have allowed the visa obtaining process to be as smooth and easy as possible. There are many ways for a US citizen to obtain a Vietnam visa such as:
- Obtaining a visa in advance from the Vietnamese consulate or embassy closest to you.
- An e-Visa (also known as a single entry) online from the website of the Vietnam Immigration Department.
- An On Arrival Visa obtained at the Vietnam airport after presenting the approval letter. This letter is usually provided by your travel agency or sponsor.
Any of these three methods can be used to obtain a visa to visit and enter Vietnam. Each of these methods has different requirements for your Visa to be valid. However, all of these different methods require you to have a valid US passport with at least six months of validity.
Visa on Arrival vs. Embassy Visa
Vietnam Visa Requirements for US Citizens
In order to be eligible for a Vietnam visa, you must fulfill the criteria mandated by the Vietnamese Government. You must meet all of these requirements before you can be approved towards a Vietnam Visa. These requirements are as follows:
- The name on your passport must be the same as your legal name. Your passport should not contain aliases or nicknames. Only your full name should be on the passport. The order of your name isn’t that crucial as long as it’s the entire name. You can choose to have your last name go first or your surname, it doesn’t matter.
- The date of birth on your passport should be accurate. You won’t be using the US date format of MM/DD/YYYY but instead will have to use the standard Vietnam date format of DD/MM/YYYY.
- The passport number on your passport should be accurate. This number is usually provided to you when the passport is made. Make sure that the passport number is clearly visible and isn’t blocked by anything. If the number is illegible or even partially obstructed, you should immediately request for a new one from your embassy.
- The nationality on your passport should reflect your actual nationality. This will be the nationality on your birth certificate. If you’re applying as a US citizen you must have a US nationality with a US passport. Any other nationalities or passports will not be valid for this process.
- The date of arrival on your passport should coincide with the actual arrival date. This date will be the exact date you are scheduled to arrive in Vietnam. This date can only be after the date of approval given to you by the Vietnam Embassy. You cannot have a date that precedes the approved date of entry.
- Your passport should have the required photos on it. These photos must be recent and no older than the previous six months. The photo will of standard passport size which is 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm). The photo must be sized in a way that your head is 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the very bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
- You should have empty pages left on your passport. Make sure there are at least two or more pages on your passport that have not yet been stamped. If you run out of usable pages, make sure to request a new passport from your embassy.
- Your passport should not be expired when you enter Vietnam. You should have six months of validity at the very least. This validity will be counted from the date of arrival so make sure you have minimum six months of validity left from your date of arrival.
Procedure for Vietnam E-Visa for US Citizens
An e-visa is a fast and convenient way for you to obtain a visa without having to go through a lot of hassle. You can apply for an e-visa online from the comfort of your home. The process is as simplified and easy as possible to ensure everyone can apply for a visa. Here are the following steps to obtaining an e-visa for Vietnam:
- Go to the Vietnam Web Portal of Immigration and navigate to the E-Visa Request section. This page will also show you the list of countries and their individual requirements.
- Fill out the application form. This page will require entering your personal details such as your name, address, phone no, passport details, emails, etc. You will also have to upload a recent photograph in the required dimensions and size. Once you fill out the form correctly, it will be sent for processing and you will receive a unique registration code upon confirmation.
- Go back to the Vietnam Web Portal and navigate to the status page to check the status of your e-visa. This page will require you to enter your registration code, your email, your date of birth, and a security captcha.
- Print out the visa once your visa is sent to you. This will usually be in a PDF file or other image formats that will be sent to your email once your e-visa is approved. This will contain your details, duration of stay, serial no of your visa, and a scannable QR code on the bottom. This printout will now act as your fully functioning visa.
Vietnam Visa on Arrival for US Citizens Procedure
You can also opt to have a Visa On Arrival to enter Vietnam. In this process, you will be registered for your visa online and receive an approval letter for your visa. Once your visa is approved, copies of your visa and documents will be sent to security check post offices at each of Vietnam’s major international airports.
When you arrive at the airport, all you have to do is show your approval letter. The immigration officers will then have your documents ready. After verifying and stamping your documents, your arrival entry visa will be generated shortly after. You will then be able to enter Vietnam effective immediately. Here are the steps for obtaining an On Arrival Visa:
- Go to the official Vietnam Visa website
- Fill out the application form with your relevant details such as your name, passport number, date of arrival, port of arrival, email and phone number.
- Pay the service fee for the On Arrival Visa. (The fee will vary depending on the type of visa and the urgency)
- After two business days, you will receive an email from the Vietnam Immigration Department notifying you of your visa status. If approved, you will receive your approval letter in digital format.
- Print the official approval letter and keep two recent photos of yourself in the standard size requirements (4cm x 6cm).
- Keep the photos, approval letter, and visa stamping fee with you when you arrive at the airport.
- Present all the required documents along with your approval letter and your photographs to the immigration office.
- Your visa will be stamped and handed to you. You can now enter Vietnam legally.
Vietnam Visa Fee for US Citizens
To generate your Vietnam visa you need to pay a standard visa fee that will facilitate the process of obtaining your visa. This fee will vary depending on many factors such as the type of visa you are applying for, the time it takes to make your visa, and the number of visas for which you apply. Make sure you know how much your visa will cost before applying for it. You can find the pricing on the Vietnam Visa website (URL: https://vietnamvisa.govt.vn/) where you will able to select your visa criteria from the drop box and your price will be displayed in USD.
The price breakdown for the visa is based on the following factors:
Number of Visas
The number of visas you order will greatly affect the pricing. A standard Visa for a single person is charged at $17 and goes up depending on the quantity. Larger bulk quantities will have discounts to them. For example, a single visa can be bought for $17 while 10 visas can be bought for $110 and 20 for $220.
Type of Visa
The type of visa will also affect the pricing factor of your visa. Visas are categorized based on the entry criteria and the duration of stay. You have the option of choosing what kind of entry you would like and how long you would like to stay in the country.
Here are the prices for different types of visas:
- 1 Month, Single Entry: $17
- 3 Months, Single Entry: $25
- 1 Month, Multiple Entry: $20
- 3 Months, Multiple Entry: $65
You can also choose how fast you want your visa to be processed. You can pay a higher fee to get your visa generated quicker than what it would normally take.
Normal processing time takes about 2 working days to process and costs around $17. The urgent processing time is twice as fast and takes only one working day costing you $27. Lastly, you can opt for the super urgent processing time which takes approximately four working hours and costs $37.
You have the choice of opting for optional extras that will change the price of your visa.
- Airport Fast Track: By opting for this service, you can choose to bypass the standard entry procedure at the Vietnam Airport. This means that you don’t have to wait in line to get your passport stamped or go through the customs clearance procedure. The cost for this service is an additional $25 fee on top of your existing visa fee.
- Car Pick up: By using the car pick up service, you will have a car to drive you from the airport. You will be greeted by the chauffeur at the airport holding your name on a sign. You will then be transported directly to your hotel room without any hassle or waiting time. This service will cost you an additional $40 on top of your existing visa fee.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need a visa for Vietnam?
Yes, in order to enter Vietnam you need a valid visa unless you are a Vietnamese citizen.
Can I apply for a Vietnam Visa Online?
Yes, in addition to applying for a visa through an embassy you can also apply for one online through www.vietnamvisa.govt.vn.
What do I need to apply for a Vietnam visa from USA?
You need to have passport with at least six months of validity, a set of recent photographs, and the fee required to process your visa.
How can I apply for Vietnam Visa?
You can either apply for a visa through the embassy or online.
What is the difference between a Vietnam Embassy Visa and a Vietnam Online Visa?
Embassy visas need to be processed by physically going to the embassy and filling out forms while online visas can be applied over the internet. Online visas are only valid for air travel; sea and land travelers will need standard embassy visas.
What does the Vietnam Visa cost?
The standard fee for a single person with 1 month single entry stay is $17. The price changes depending on the type of visa and the required quantity.
Where can I find the Vietnam Visa application form?
The application form can be found on the Vietnam Visa website here
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