Vietnam Visas

For most nationalities, the Vietnam visa application is fast and straightforward. Whilst some countries are exempt, most tourists will need a visa if staying in the country for longer than 15 days. Many others will require a visa even for a short stay.

Standard Vietnam tourist visas generally last from 1-3 months, and come with either single or multiple-entry.

1. Do I Need a Visa for Vietnam?

Whether you need a visa for Vietnam depends on your nationality and how long you plan to stay. If you have British citizenship, you can stay for up to 15 days without needing a visa. If you plan to stay longer, you’ll need a tourist visa.

Many other nationalities can enter Vietnam for 2 weeks up to 90 days without needing a visa. Check here to see if your country is one of them.

Travellers from the US or Australia require a tourist visa even for short stays.

Special situation: Phu Quoc Island

If you are travelling directly to Phu Quoc Island then you are able to stay there visa-free for up to 30 days. This applies to all countries. You will need to show an outbound ticket once in Vietnam.

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2. What Visa do I Need for Vietnam?

For travellers, a tourist visa is required. Depending on your nationality, you can normally apply for a Vietnam tourist visa for up to 3 months.

Ensure that your passport has a minimum 6-month period left on it, and that at least 2 pages are blank.

If you are travelling for reasons of long-term employment or study, you can apply for a work permit through your employer or educational establishment.

3. Vietnam Tourist Visa

There are three ways to get a Tourist Visa:

  1. Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA)
  2. E-visa
  3. Embassy visa (from the Vietnamese Embassy in your country)

Vietnam Visa on Arrival (VOA)

A VOA is a single or multiple entry 1 – 3 month Tourist or Business visa that you pick up on arrival in Vietnam. You will need a letter of Approval (to pick up the visa) prior to leaving and the easiest way to do this is online from a trusted online site.

Fill out a quick application form online (you will need to know your arrival date and the name of the airport at which you will arrive).

  • Pay the visa servicing fee online
  • Within two business days, you will get an email with your official Vietnam visa Approval Letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department
  • Print the Approval Letter and prepare two (4cm x 6cm) photos of yourself according to noted requirements
  • Bring the printed Approval Letter, photos, and the government Stamping Fee (along with your passport and any other required documents) with you on your trip to Vietnam
  • When you arrive at your destination airport in Vietnam, go to the Visa on Arrival Counter and show the Approval Letter and photos to the Immigration officers
  • Pay the requested amount (usually $US 50 – in cash)

Trusted Online Sites 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the airport queue at the VOA counter?

You do need to queue but with the introduction of E-visas which most eligible tourists get nowadays, queues are much shorter. The wait? 20-40 minutes might be expected.

I don’t trust getting something on line. I’d rather get mine from the Vietnamese Embassy.

VOAs are routine and easy. Visas obtained through the Embassy cost more and are time consuming.

Electronic Visa: Where to Get a Vietnam Visa Online

An E-visa is the easiest, quickest and cheapest Vietnam visa to get. Effectively it has replaced the Embassy visa.

However, not all countries are eligible for an E-visa.  Check this link to see if your country is eligible.

Should you not be eligible for an E-visa then the next best option is a VOA (Visa on Arrival).  It is far cheaper than an Embassy stamped visa and also quicker to obtain.

  • Start at the official Vietnamese government website
  • Upload a picture of your passport (the page with your name, date of birth, passport number etc.. on it) and a passport photo (both in .jpg form).
  • Fill up all required info
  • Pay the E-visa fee using any of the payment methods offered
  • Receive your registration code and save the number


What happens next?

You need to wait for 3 days and then search for your visa.  After accessing your visa using the registration code, email and date of birth you will be able to download and print it.


Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my E-visa doesn’t show after the 3 processing days?

You will need to visit the help desk.

Can I get a Vietnam E-visa with multiple entry because I want to do a week in Vietnam, a week in Cambodia and then a week in Vietnam?

No, you can only get an E-visa with single entry.  If you need a multiple entry visa then you need to apply for a VOA or before you depart from the Vietnamese Embassy in your country.

We are doing a boat trip from Cambodia and entering Vietnam at Tan Chau, I heard there are some places you cannot enter Vietnam on an E-visa, is this right ?

You are able to enter and re-enter Vietnam at most of the international checkpoints on an E-visa.  But it is wise to check points of entry and exit just to make sure they are valid. In this case, Tan Chau is not on the list so you will need to another type of visa.

Embassy Visa

This visa is obtained from the Vietnamese Embassy (Consulate) in your home country before you leave. The E-visa has effectively replaced this visa but not all countries are eligible for E-visas.

Vietnam Visa Cost

Costs differ depending on different nationalities but expect to pay around $25 for an E-visa (usually up to 30 days) and around $50 for a Visa on Arrival (usually up to 3 months).

4. How to Extend a Visa in Vietnam

A visa extension grants you a new staying duration permission in Vietnam. This does not replace your soon-to-expire visa; it pushes back the expiry date. Since this does not require a new visa stamp or sticker, it is cheaper than option a visa renewal.

In order to be eligible for a visa extension, your current visa must meet some conditions, which depend on the type of extension for which you are applying. 1-month visa holders are allowed to apply only for 1-month extensions; 3-month visa holders can apply for either 1-month or 3-month extensions. More specifically:

  • If your current visa is a 1-month single-entry, 1-month multiple-entry, 3-month single-entry, or 3-month multiple entry, you are allowed to apply for a 1-month single-entry extension.
  • Only if your current visa is a 3-month single-entry, 3-month multiple-entry are you allowed to apply for a 3-month extension. 1-month visa holders maynot apply for a 3-month single-entry extension.
  • The total time of your stay in Vietnam – including the extension – must be no longer than 6 months.
  • You may only apply for an extension 2 times, and the 6-month maximum requirement holds for and includes both extensions.
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You must apply to extend your visa before your visa expires. It takes at least 7 working days to process and grant your extension, and you must submit your passport to the Vietnam Immigration Department office for this period of time, so plan accordingly.

The fee for a 1-month extension will be about US$80-120, depending on your nationality. The fee for a 3-month extension will be about US$180-320, depending on your nationality. Furthermore, only some nationalities are eligible to apply for extensions. Presumably, any nationality which is eligible to apply for a visa in the first place would be able to apply for an extension of that visa (if the conditions above are met, of course), but Vietnamese bureaucracy being the opaque mass of frustration and confusion that it is, call the immigration department to find out:

Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Hanoi
Address: 40A, Hang Bai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: (84)438264026: about entry and exit Vietnam, residing of foreigners in Vietnam, repatriating of Vietnam citizens living abroad.

Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Danang
Address: No. 7 Tran Quy Cap, Da Nang city
Telephone: + (84)7511-3823383

Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Ho Chi Minh City

Address: No 161 Nguyen Du, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

If you are eligible to apply for an extension the fastest route is to do so through a local travel agency offering visa extension services. In Hoi An, Hoi An Express (30 Trần Hưng Đạo, 0235 3919 293) is one such agency. Otherwise, you can also apply for an extension in person at the Da Nang immigration office at the address listed above. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 more months and have at least 1 or 2 blank pages.

Visa Renewal/Extension (From Within Vietnam)

Visa Extension will not be an option for you if:

  1. a) you entered Vietnam without a visa, because your country had an agreement with Vietnam allowing its citizens to enter visa-exempt;
  2. b) your current visa does not meet the conditions for the extension you want to get: e.g., you have a 1-month visa, but want to stay in Vietnam for 3 more months; or
  3. c) you have a single-entry visa, and wish to switch to or extend your stay with a multiple-entry visa.

Renewing your visa essentially means replacing it. You can renew your visa from within Vietnam; as it requires a new visa stamp and sticker, though, it is more expensive than extending it. It will cost between about US$200 (one month, single), US$330 (three months, single), and US$350 (three months, multiple).

Again, these prices may change depending on your nationality; contact the immigration department for specific details. A set of documents similar to those required for extension will be needed for renewal, and an in-country renewal can be done by travel agencies like the one provided above or at the immigration office. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 more months and have at least 1 or 2 blank pages. You can renew your visa for a maximum of three months.

Visa Run from Vietnam

This is probably the option you have heard the most about. A visa run is exactly what it sounds like: a run across the Vietnamese border to get a new Vietnamese visa. There are two main ways to do this: by leaving Vietnam and flying back in, and by leaving Vietnam and re-entering over land (typically by a bus).


Flying will, of course, be more expensive, but if you’re planning to travel a bit anyway, the avoided hassle and pain of a 2-day bus journey may be worth it. Flying back into Vietnam via an international airport will also allow you to get a Visa on Arrival, an option which is not open to land crossers.

If you choose to fly, you’ll be following the same process, with the same costs, that you did when you got your current visa. If you have a single-entry visa, you can do the visa run at any time: by leaving the country, you are voiding your visa, and will have to re-enter on a new one.

Before you leave, apply for the e-visa if you are of a nationality eligible for e-visas; otherwise, get your Visa on Arrival approval letter from a company such as Vietnam Visa Pro and all the required documentation. If you are on a multiple-entry visa, you will have to wait to leave until around when your visa expires: plan so that your visa expires once you are out of the country, and re-enter once it has expired.


The cheaper but much more laborious option. Check out these sites for step-by-step guides:

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