Types Of Visas In Vietnam: Explained

From the mesmerizing Mekong Delta to the vibrant streets of Saigon, Vietnam is a tapestry of experiences.

But, every journey starts with the right paperwork. Traverse through this guide to find the Vietnamese visa tailored to your unique adventure.

Let’s dive in!


When Are You Required To Have A Vietnamese Visa

Types Of Visas In Vietnam 1

The need for a visa to enter Vietnam depends on your nationality and the reason and duration of your visit. 

1. Visa-Exempt CountriesĀ 

Citizens of certain countries are exempt from obtaining a visa for short stays in Vietnam. Typically, this is limited to 15 to 30 days for tourism purposes.

2. Visa On Arrival (VOA)Ā 

You can apply for this when you are traveling to Vietnam by air.

3. E-VisaĀ 

Vietnam offers e-visas to citizens of various countries for tourism, business, and other purposes. The e-visa application is done online through the official website of the Vietnam Immigration Department.

4. Regular VisaĀ 

For plans to stay in Vietnam for an extended period or for purposes other than tourism,

What Are The Types Of Visas In Vietnam

Vietnam offers different types of visas for purposes of travel and durations of stay:

1. Tourist Visa (DL)

  • Valid for tourism and leisure purposes.
  • Usually available for 1 month or 3 months, with the option to extend in Vietnam.
  • Typically, single-entry or multiple-entry options are available.

2. Business Visa

  • For individuals traveling to Vietnam for business purposes, such as meetings,              conferences, or trade.
  • Valid for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year, with a choice to extend in Vietnam.
  • Single-entry or multiple-entry business visas are available.

3. Student Visa

  • For international students studying in Vietnam.
  • Valid for the duration of the academic program.

4. Work Visa

  • For individuals who plan to work in Vietnam.

5. Family Reunion Visa

  • For family members of Vietnamese citizens or foreign residents in Vietnam.
  • Valid for up to 5 years, with extensions possible.

6. Retirement Visa

  • For foreign retirees who wish to live in Vietnam.
  • Typically issued for 1 year and can be renewed.

7. Transit Visa

  • For travelers passing through Vietnam en route to another destination.
  • Valid for a short duration, usually 5 days to 15 days.

8. Visa On Arrival (VOA)

  • Available for travelers flying into Vietnam with a pre-approval letter.
  • Upon arrival at certain international airports, travelers can receive their visa.

9. Electronic Visa (e-Visa)

  • An online visa option for travelers from select countries.
  • Available for tourism, business, and other purposes.
  • Allows for single-entry stays of up to 30 days.

Single, Multiple And Double Use Visaā€™s

Here’s an explanation of each type:

1. Single-Entry Visa

  • Allow a stay of 30 days or 90 days, depending on the visa you apply for.
  • Have various durations, such as 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year
  • Allows you to enter Vietnam once during the validity period of the visa.
  • Once you leave Vietnam, the visa becomes invalid
  • They are commonly used for short-term tourist visits.

2. Double-Entry Visa

  • Offer the same duration of stay as single-entry visas for each entry.
  • Allows you to enter Vietnam two times during the validity period.
  • After your first entry into Vietnam, you can leave and re-enter the country one more time as long as your visa remains valid.
  • Double-entry visas are useful if you plan to leave Vietnam for a short trip to a neighboring country and then return.

3. Multiple-Entry Visa

  • Grants a 30-day stay for each entry.
  • Has options for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year stays for each entry.
  • Permits you to enter and exit Vietnam multiple times during the visa’s validity period.
  • Suitable for travelers who anticipate multiple trips to Vietnam over an extended period.
  • Often used by business travelers, expatriates, and those with frequent visits to Vietnam.

Where Do You Apply For A Visa In Vietnam

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Here are the main places where you can apply for a Vietnam visa:

1. Vietnamese Embassy Or ConsulateĀ 

When you are in your home country or another country where you find a Vietnamese embassy or consulate, you may apply for a visa personally at the closest diplomatic mission of Vietnam. 

There, you will submit your visa application along with the required documents and fees. It’s recommended to check the specific requirements and procedures with the embassy or consulate beforehand.

2. Visa On Arrival (VOA)Ā 

If you are going to Vietnam by air, you may apply for a visa on arrival (VOA) online by a reputable travel agency or visa service. 

This involves receiving a visa approval letter in advance, which you present upon arrival at one of the appointed international airports in Vietnam (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, or Nha Trang). The visa is then stamped into your passport at the airport.

3. E-VisaĀ 

Some of the nationalities may apply for an electronic visa (e-visa) online through the official website of the Vietnam Immigration Department. 

The e-visa allows you to visit Vietnam for tourism, business, and more purposes and is accessible for certain countries.

Typically, e-visas are available to citizens of many countries, including but not defined to:

  • Majority of European countries.
  • Some North American countries.
  • Some South American countries.
  • Many Asian countries.
  • Some Oceanian countries.

When you are in the United States, you may apply for a visa at the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office (VECO), which holds equal value as an embassy or consulate in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Vietnam.

You may also apply for a visa through various reputable visa service providers. They can help with the application process, especially when you’re unsure about the requirements or if you need assistance with obtaining a visa approval letter for VOA.

What Documents Do You Need For Your Visa Application

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The requirements for entering Vietnam can vary depending on your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the type of visa you need:

  • A Valid Passport: You must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity beyond your planned date of departure from Vietnam.
  • Visa
  • Visa Approval Letter (If Applicable): You will present this letter at the airport in Vietnam to receive your visa.
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Supporting documents (if required):

For a tourist visa, you don’t need extensive supporting documents. 

Although, you may be asked for information of your travel itinerary, accommodation reservations, and proof of sufficient funds.

Business travelers may need an invitation letter from a Vietnamese company, organization, or partner. The exact requirements can be different depending on the embassy or consulate’s guidelines.

For a student visa you will need an acceptance letter from a recognized educational institution in Vietnam.

Requirements for work visas can be more complex and may include a work permit, employment contract, and other documents. 

Consult with your prospective employer and the Vietnamese authorities for defined requirements:

  • Travel Itinerary: Be ready to give details of your travel plans, including your intended entry and exit dates and flight information.
  • Customs declaration Form: You may be asked to complete a customs declaration form upon arrival in Vietnam, declaring any valuable items you are bringing into the country.
  • Sufficient Funds: Immigration officers can ask for proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Vietnam. This should be in the form of cash, credit cards, or traveler’s checks.
  • Return Or Onward Ticket: You can also be asked to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket, certifying that you plan to leave Vietnam at the end of your authorized stay.
  • Proof Of Accommodation
  • Health And Vaccination Requirements

It’s important to check the specific entry requirements for your nationality and the reason for your visit to Vietnam well in advance of your trip.

How To Schedule A Visa Application Appointment In Vietnam

1. Contact The Embassy Or Consulate

Send an email, call the embassy or consulate to inquire about the visa application process and appointment scheduling procedures.

Ask if an appointment is required for your specific visa application. Not all embassies or consulates may require appointments for all visa types.

2. Schedule An Appointment

If an appointment is required, follow the instructions provided by the embassy or consulate to schedule an appointment. This may involve sending an email, filling out an appointment request form, or using an online appointment booking system if one is available.

Hand over the requested information, including your name, contact details, passport information, and the reason for your visit.

3. Receive Confirmation

After you have successfully scheduled your appointment, you should receive a confirmation email or notification. This confirmation will include the date and time of your appointment.

4. Prepare For The Appointment

Ensure you have all the required documents and fees prepared for your appointment.

Arrive at the embassy or consulate on the scheduled date and time with sufficient time before your appointment.

5. Attend The AppointmentĀ 

Be present at the visa application appointment at the embassy or consulate as scheduled. Be prepared to submit your application, provide biometric data (if required), and pay the visa processing fees.

What Are The Fees Of Different Types Of Visas

Visa TypesService Fee (Approval letter)Stamping Fee (On arrival)Next-Day ProcessingSame Day Processing
Single-Entry with 1-month ValidityVND 439200VND 610000VND 658800VND 902800
Single-Entry with 3-month ValidityVND 683200VND 610000VND 902800VND 1146800
Multi-Entry with 1-month ValidityVND 512400VND 1220000VND 732000VND 976000
Multi-Entry with 3-month ValidityVND 1049200VND 1220000VND 1268800VND 1512800

What Is The Processing Time For Vietnamese Visa

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1. Visa On Arrival (VOA)

VOA is generally the quickest option if you are arriving in Vietnam by air. The processing time for a VOA is typically 2 to 3 business days to obtain the visa approval letter (pre-approval).

After arriving at the airport in Vietnam, it might take around 15 minutes to several hours to have your visa stamped, according to the airport’s congestion.

2. Embassy Or Consulate Application

The processing times for visa applications submitted at Vietnamese embassies or consulates in your home country can differ. It mostly takes several business days to a couple of weeks.

Try applying well in advance of your intended travel date to make up for processing time and potential delays.

3. E-Visa

An electronic visa (e-visa) is an option for travelers from select countries. E-visas are typically processed within 3 to 5 business days.

It’s recommended to apply for an e-visa well in advance of your travel to make sure you get it on time.

4. Student And Work Visas

The processing times for student and work visas may differ widely depending on the specific requirements and circumstances. It may take several weeks to a few months to process these types of visas.

Is It Illegal To Work On A Vietnamese Visa That Is Not A Work Visa?

You must make sure that you have the appropriate work permits and visas in place before starting any employment activities in Vietnam. 

Working without proper authorization can have legal and immigration consequences that can negatively impact your stay in the country.

1. Consequences Of Working Without Authorization

Working without a valid work permit and work visa in Vietnam is a violation of Vietnamese immigration and labor laws.

Violations can result in serious consequences, including: 

  • Deportation, fines, and penalties for both the employee and the employer.
  • Difficulties when exiting and re-entering Vietnam, as immigration authorities may flag your departure.

2. Exceptions And Special CircumstancesĀ 

There can be limited exceptions or special circumstances where selected activities, such as short-term business meetings, conferences, or volunteer work, donā€™t require a work permit. 

However, these exceptions are narrowly defined, and it’s necessary to confirm your eligibility with the relevant authorities.

How Can You Stay In Vietnam For An Extended Time Than Stated On Your Visa

In many cases, you can extend your Vietnam visa if you want to stay in the country above the initial visa validity period.

  • Tourist Visa Extensions: Tourist visas can often be extended for an additional 30 days beyond their initial 30-day validity.
  • Business Visa Extensions (DN Visa): Business visas (DN visas) can sometimes be extended for additional periods, such as 1, 3, or 6 months, depending on the specific circumstances and the policies of the Vietnam Immigration Department.
  • Work Visa Extensions (LD, DT, TT Visas): Work visas can be extended in Vietnam, typically for periods corresponding to the duration of the work permit.
  • Student Visa Extensions (DH Visa): Student visas are extended for the duration of the study program.
  • Family Reunion Visa Extensions (NG3 Visa): Family reunion visas may sometimes be extended for periods of 1, 2, or 3 months, according to your specific circumstances and the requirements.
  • Retirement Visa Extensions (NG4 Visa): Retirement visas can be extended for additional 1-year periods, given that the necessary requirements are met.

What Is The Standard Vietnam Visa Extension Fee

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For a single entry, the fee is VND 610000. Opting for a multiple-entry visa extension incurs varying fees depending on the visa duration:

  • 3 month multiple entry visa Vietnam: VND 1220000
  • 3-6 month Vietnam visa: VND 2318000
  • 6-12 month Vietnam visa: VND 3294000
  • 1-2 year Vietnam visa: VND 3538000
  • 2-5 year Vietnam visa: VND 3,782,000

What Happens If My Vietnam Visa Application Is Rejected?

If your Vietnam visa application is rejected, it asserts that you have not been given permission to enter or stay in Vietnam.The notification will include the reason(s) for the rejection.

Depending on the given circumstances and the reason for rejection, you might have the option to appeal the decision or reapply for the visa with corrected or additional documentation.


As the curtain falls on our visa voyage, you’re now equipped to explore Vietnam’s myriad of wonders with the right documentation. From bustling bazaars to serene pagodas, let your Vietnamese journey commence!

Safe Travels!

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