Navigating the rich cultural tapestry of Vietnam has been a favored travel choice for Australians, forging a robust relationship between the two nations. With its diverse landscapes, unique culinary experiences, and vibrant history, Vietnam has seen a steady inflow of Australian tourists.
In 2019 alone, over 317,000 Australian travelers embraced the allure of Vietnam, contributing to a substantial A$1.2 billion in recreational travel expenditure. Australians are known for their longer stays and higher spending habits when touring Vietnam, thereby significantly bolstering its tourism industry. To streamline this connection, a clear understanding of the Vietnam visa process for Australian citizens is crucial. This article aims to elucidate the Vietnamese visa requirements and procedures for Australian passport holders, making their travel planning smoother and more efficient.
For Australian citizens planning a visit to Vietnam, securing a visa is a necessary step before their journey. Vietnam provides visa-on-arrival services for Australians, but the experience is often more seamless when they apply online for an eVisa. The eVisa primarily serves tourists, simplifying the visa acquisition process and enabling adequate preparation for the trip.
Essential details are needed for the online application, and having this information at hand speeds up the process. This broad service includes a range of visa categories, each designed to meet specific travel requirements. The eVisa for tourism, as indicated by its name, is meant for travelers aiming to immerse themselves in Vietnam’s rich culture and stunning landscapes.
For those Australians intending to have a longer stay in Vietnam for professional reasons, such as entrepreneurs or investors, the long-term business visa, investor visa, or work and holiday visa offers the ideal solution. These visa types allow for an extended stay and facilitate meaningful interactions with local businesses and potential investment opportunities. They have to apply for it through the Vietnam embassy or consulate.
While visa-on-arrival is an available choice, it often entails prolonged wait times and possible uncertainties. Therefore, online applications are encouraged. Understanding these distinct visa categories will help travelers make the most suitable choice for their trip, ensuring a smooth experience from the planning stage to their arrival in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese eVisa offers Australian tourists a convenient, efficient option for visiting Vietnam. This digital visa grants single-entry access for 30 days, with an entirely online application process through the Vietnamese Immigration Department website. The eVisa caters to tourists, families traveling with minors, and others seeking short-term stays in Vietnam.
To apply, Australians fill out an online form with personal data and travel plans. Requirements include a valid Australian passport, digital passport photo, travel details, a debit or credit card for eVisa fee payment, and an active email for application submission.
Key features of the eVisa encompass single entry, validity for a month, and permission for various activities like cultural visits, tourism, family visits, business meetings, journalistic work, short-term medical consultations, and transit. The processing generally takes three business days, with approved eVisas emailed to applicants. Upon arrival at any international port of entry, visitors join the eVisa queue at passport controls for entry verification.
For longer stays or different travel purposes, a traditional visa from the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate is advised. The cost of the Vietnam eVisa for tourism is USD 25. This streamlined process enhances the travel experience, making it a preferred choice for Australians visiting Vietnam.
For last-minute trips to Vietnam, the Visa on Arrival (VoA) stands as an optimal choice, affording a fast and simple path to visa procurement. The VoA requires a fee for both the visa approval letter and the stamping process. The cost stands at US $25 for a single-entry visa and US $50 for a multiple-entry visa that is valid for up to three months.
The process of obtaining a VoA commences with a four-step application on the official website of Vietnam Immigration. Following a successful application, an approval letter is typically issued within two working days. In urgent circumstances, however, this time can be reduced to a mere 4 to 8 hours, or even one hour for extremely pressing cases.
Receipt of the approval letter necessitates its immediate printout, ensuring it accompanies the traveler on their voyage to Vietnam. Upon landing at one of Vietnam’s international airports (Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh), the letter is to be presented to the Vietnam Immigration Officer.
Following the payment of the stamping fee to the Vietnam Government, the visa is officially stamped, concluding the visa acquisition process. This expedited and streamlined procedure renders the VoA a favored option for travelers planning an impromptu visit to Vietnam.
The Vietnam Work and Holiday Visa is an opportunity for young adults aged between 18 to 30. For Australian citizens seeking this visa, there’s a multi-step process that should be initiated at least 30 days prior to the intended departure. The application can be submitted at the Vietnamese embassy in Canberra or the Vietnamese consulate general.
Within five days of submission, the embassy forwards the visa application to the Vietnamese labor department. The department then evaluates the request. Following the verification, the labor or employment department forwards the permit or NA2 form to the Vietnamese immigration department. This department then informs the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in Australia about the status of the application. Once the visa is processed, the applicant pays the required fee at the embassy. Following this, they can travel to Vietnam, where they will be issued a certificate of temporary residence and, subsequently, a permit to work.
The necessary documents for application include a completed application form, a letter of support from the Department of Home Affairs, proof of sufficient funds (at least AUD 5000), a return ticket, and health and character certificates. Applicants should note that they cannot bring dependent children and should not have previously visited Vietnam with a Work and Holiday visa.
Australian citizens have the opportunity to apply for a 5-year visa exemption, facilitated by a Vietnamese guarantor such as a relative. For this exemption, applicants and their Vietnamese guarantors need to substantiate their familial ties through corresponding documents.
Visa-free entry for Australians to Vietnam necessitates the following conditions:
To apply for the 5-year visa exemption, applicants need to submit a request form, two 4x6 white-background photos, a valid Australian passport or travel document, and papers verifying familial relationships, such as marriage or birth certificates, confirmation of a parent-child relationship or adoption decisions.
Vietnamese Australians living in Australia can also avail of a 5-year visa exemption. The necessary documents include an application form, two 4x6 white-background photos, a valid passport or international travel document, and documents confirming eligibility for the exemption. These may comprise Vietnamese citizenship certificates, decisions to restore or renounce Vietnamese citizenship, Vietnamese passports (valid or expired), ID cards, birth certificates issued by authorized Vietnamese agencies, original household registration book, pre-1975 travel permit books, or ID cards, and certified copies of birth certificates issued before 1975.
Individuals looking to apply for a Vietnamese long-term visa (such as work and student) can do so independently at the Vietnam Embassy in Canberra. They will need to prepare several documents, including their original, signed Australian passport, that should maintain at least 6 months of remaining validity. Two passport-type photographs, sized 4 x 6, will also be required.
Based on the visa type, they may have to submit additional documents. They have to submit the complete applications form along with the documents at the Vietnam Embassy and consulates in Australia, which are located at the following addresses:
When planning a trip from Australia to Vietnam, there is a host of airlines from which travelers can choose. These include Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Scoot, Vietnam Airlines, Cathay Dragon, Singapore Airlines, and Jetstar Asia, offering a range of options based on budget and convenience.
Most Australian visitors tend to fly into Ho Chi Minh City due to its southern location and typically more economical flight options compared to other Vietnamese airports. However, affordable and convenient flights are also available to other international airports, such as Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport and Da Nang International Airport, offering travelers options based on their destinations within Vietnam.
In addition to these, Vietnam is home to several other international airports like, Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Cam Ranh International Airport in Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc International Airport in Phu Quoc Island, among others. Travelers can opt for these based on their specific travel plans.
For those preferring to travel by sea, Vietnam also houses several international seaports, including Hai Phong Port, Da Nang Port, and Ho Chi Minh City Port. Additionally, land crossings are also an option for those coming from neighboring countries. Some of the key land entry points include the Moc Bai Border Gate (Tay Ninh Province), Lao Bao Border Gate (Quang Tri Province), and Nam Can Border Gate (Nghe An Province), each offering a different perspective on the country’s diverse landscape and culture.
Vietnamese driving licenses are a compulsory requirement for all operators of motor vehicles and for bikers whose motorcycles have a capacity of over 50cc. Australian citizens residing in Vietnam can only drive legally within the country if they obtain a temporary Vietnamese driver’s license.
In order to convert an Australian driving license into a temporary Vietnamese one, the holder must have a valid Vietnamese residency permit that lasts for at least three months. To execute this change, one can visit the Department of Transportation’s office in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or Da Nang. For those located in other provinces, it’s recommended that they seek additional information by contacting their local Department of Transportation.
When Australians are planning a journey to Vietnam, there are several insightful tips that they can incorporate to enhance their experience and ensure a smooth trip. Before setting out, it is important for them to obtain a valid visa, which can be arranged online through the Vietnam eVisa application system. Being aware of local customs and traditions is paramount. Vietnamese people are generally warm and welcoming, but it is crucial to show respect for local traditions.
Health and safety should be a top priority; getting all recommended vaccines before leaving Australia is advised. It’s also advisable to purchase travel insurance that covers medical expenses. In Vietnam, drinking tap water isn’t recommended, so opting for bottled water is always a safer choice. Vietnam’s tropical climate varies greatly from North to South, so packing accordingly is necessary. Additionally, it’s essential to carry enough cash, preferably Vietnamese Dong, as credit card acceptance is not ubiquitous.
For transportation, utilizing registered taxis or reputable ride-hailing apps can help avoid scams. Additionally, being mindful of heavy traffic in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is necessary.
Finally, they shouldn’t miss out on the local cuisine! Vietnamese street food is a delight. However, dining at reputable places to avoid food-borne diseases is a smart move. With these tips, an Australian’s adventure in Vietnam is bound to be enriching and memorable.
Losing an Australian passport in Vietnam can be a stressful experience. If this unfortunate event occurs, the immediate course of action should be to contact the Australian Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The embassy provides Consular Services, which are available by appointment between 09:00 am to 1:00 pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
These services include the issuance of replacement passports and travel documents for a fee. It’s crucial to note that children aged 16 or 17 will need to attend passport interviews with a parent or guardian. The Consular Services Charter outlines the assistance provided, but it’s important to remember that in some circumstances, the assistance might be limited.
Understanding the visa process is key to a successful trip from Australia to Vietnam. From applying for an eVisa online to arranging a last-minute visa-on-arrival or pursuing a long-term work and holiday visa, the options are versatile and designed to suit a range of travel purposes. With the tips provided, Australians can look forward to a seamless, enriching journey filled with Vietnamese cultural experiences, fascinating landscapes, and delightful local cuisine. Embracing these pointers will ensure not only smoother planning and travel but also a more fulfilling exploration of Vietnam’s vibrant essence.