Vietnam Tourist Visa – 2018

District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

So, since I posted about my trip to Vietnam, I’ve had a few people ask me about applying for a tourist visa to Vietnam.

Firstly, you can apply for a visa online which gives you an approval letter to get your actual visa upon arrival, or you can visit the Vietnamese embassy in your city.

We’re talking about applying online here.

I ran a few google searches to look up a list of countries that have visa exemption into Vietnam, but if I scroll to the bottom to the page, all of the website I clicked into says that it isn’t the official Vietnam government or embassy website. They’re mostly agencies that help you with applying for a visa approval letter.

I clicked around a little more and basically came to the conclusion that one site isn’t going to differ hugely from another. I used VietnamVisa.org. As of 2018, the fees range from US$12 to US$150 for a 1-year multiple entry visa (this option is only available for American passport holders).

For your approval letter, you have the option of having a “shared” or “individual” letter. The shared letter has a list of other people’s names and information with yours among it and works just fine. For a higher fee, you can opt for an individual letter which means no one gets to see your details.

Once the approval letter is ready (mine took only a couple days), you’ll receive the soft copy via email, where you’ll need to make sure all details are correct. In case they’re not, contact the agency ASAP. You only need to print 1 copy out (they say preferably in color), but to be safe, I recommend printing 2.

You’ll then need to prepare 2 passport photos (2 in x 2 in) and prepare your stamp fee to be paid in USD cash: US$25 – US$50 depending on whether you’re applying for single or multiple entries, and visa validity length (as of September 2018). When you arrive, fill in a form and hand it to the immigration officer along with all your prepared documents and cash and you’re good to go!

To summarize, here is the list of items you’ll require:

  1. Visa approval letter, print two copies in color to be safe (online payment)
  2. Two passport photos (2 in x 2 in but to be honest they’re not too fussed)
  3. Stamp fee in USD cash
  4. Completed form (upon arrival)
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