How to apply for a visa-on-arrival Last updated 20 February 2011

Answers to common questions on how to get your visa upon arrival.


Further information

How does visa-on-arrival work?

You need to fill in the online application form with the requested information. Please make sure your name and passport number match the original document to avoid delays and other complications. After your application is processed, we will send you an approval letter by email. Print it and bring it to the airport to board the plane. At Vietnam Airport, you will fill out a short form, together with 2 passport-sized photos, your passport and your approval letter. The Immigration Officers will stamp your passport with the visa.

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Is visa-on-arrival legitimate?

The short answer: Yes. Visa-on-arrival (VOA) is completely legitimate.

The more detailed answer: Visa to Vietnam can be issued by two different authorities: Vietnamese Embassies abroad or the Department of Immigration based in Vietnam. VOA is issued by the latter office and recognized as a legal document by the Vietnamese government.

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Why should I apply online for a Vietnam visa?

Each visa application option offers you some advantages. VOA is especially beneficial for those who live far away from the Vietnamese embassies. However, the disadvantage is that sometimes you have to wait for long time at Vietnam airport due to large number of arrivals.

So, if possible, we advise that you apply for your visa through the embassy before you go!

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How long does it take to have my visa application processed?

Normal processing time: is usually 2-3 business days. You can speed up the process by applying for same day or next day processing with some additional fee.

For same-day processing: If you apply before 8 A.M. Monday to Friday (Vietnam time, GMT +7), you will receive your approval letter by noon of the same day. If you apply after noon, you will receive your approval letter by 5 P.M. Any application made after 5 P.M. will be processed by noon the next working day.

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Am I eligible for visa-on-arrival?

Visa on arrival is made available to all applicants from all countries, however, we just accept applications from certain countries listed on our application form.


Additional information


Citizens from Southeast Asia do not require visa to visit Vietnam. Japanese, South Korean and Nordic nationals are allowed to stay in Vietnam for 15 days without having to obtain a visa. If you intend to stay for longer than the allowed period, you can apply for visa-on-arrival.

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How do I pay for the application?

We have developed an advanced online payment system where your personal information is completely secure. We currently accept Paypal, Western Unions, Bank Transfer and most major debit and credit cards (Master, Visa, Amex).

For security reason, we do not process payment over the phone.

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How long does it take to finish the procedure at Vietnam Airport?

It depends on how many people are arriving at the same time as you and who also need a visa. The wait time hardly exceeds 30 minutes and is usually around 15 minutes. Make sure you have all required documents ready to avoid delay:


  • * Print-out of your Visa-Approval letter.
  • *  A passport valid for at least 6 months from your date of exit out of Vietnam.
  • * Passport should have at least one blank page where the Visa sticker can be placed.
  • * Cash US$ to pay for the Visa Stamping Fee at Vietnam airport (US$45,- for single entry, US$65 -95,- for multiple entry visa).
  • * 2 recently-taken photos with regular passport size.

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Will the approval letter be sent to me by mail?

We will send you the approval letter by email. This is a major advantage of visa on arrival since it is both time saving and completely secure. Make sure you provide us with an accurate email address at the time of applying.

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Can I change the details after I get the approval letter?

Once you receive the approval letter issued by the Department of Immigration, you cannot modify the information stated on the letter such as your name, gender and date of birth. In case you need to change these details or plan to arrive earlier than the approved date, you will need to reapply for a new visa letter.

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I plan to arrive in Vietnam by air but exit by crossing the border to Cambodia. Can I still apply for visa-on-arrival?

You can use visa-on-arrival provided that your first point of entry to Vietnam is an airport in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang. You can exit or re-enter Vietnam by land and still able to use the visa on arrival.

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Do I need to purchase return ticket before I apply?

You do not need to purchase your air ticket upon applying for visa-on-arrival. In the application form, we ask for an estimate date which you think you will travel to in Vietnam. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to enter the country before this stated date.

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How can I extend my visa when I am in Vietnam?

To extend your visa, please visit the Vietnamese Department of Immigration, located at 40 Hang Bai Street, Hanoi or 161 Nguyen Du, Ho Chi Minh City. The visa form extension can also be downloaded online (

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How long am I allowed to stay in Vietnam

The maximum period you are allowed to stay is 3 month. You can, however, extend your stay while you are in Vietnam.

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How do I check my application status?

You can check your application status by visiting this link. Your status will be in one of the three formats: Application Submitted; Payment Received and Order Complete.

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Can I apply for my family member or relatives?

Yes, you can. Make sure that all the information provided on the application form matches the original documents and that you forward the approval letter to the person who travels.

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