Deciphering the intricacies of Vietnam’s visa policy might seem intimidating for international visitors intending to visit the country. There are various aspects of Vietnam’s visa regulations, encompassing visa exemptions, the eVisa system, and the procedures for obtaining a pre-arranged visa.
Embarking on a trip to Vietnam necessitates a thorough comprehension of one’s visa obligations. Should a visa be mandatory and identifying the suitable variant can ward off unexpected complications while conserving resources and time? This article offers a detailed analysis of the various types of Vietnamese visas, differentiated by the purpose of the visit and their validity periods.
Vietnam maintains a visa exemption policy for citizens of 25 countries, facilitating an easier entry process for these travelers. All that’s required is an ordinary passport with at least 6 months of validity and two blank pages for stamping purposes. Additionally, Vietnam extends this privilege to many diplomatic passport holders, further simplifying entry.
Key among the exempted countries is the UK and Chile, where citizens can enjoy a visa-free stay of up to 90 days, albeit for non-income-generating purposes. Citizens of Panama enjoy a similar privilege. Travelers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines can stay visa-free for a duration varying between 21 and 30 days, depending on the country, with some restrictions applying for specific activities.
For instance, Malaysian travelers can engage in tourism, conferences, seminars, family visits, and business negotiations during their 30-day visa-free stay. Singaporean visitors, however, are prohibited from any income-generating activities during their visit.
Further, down the list, citizens of Brunei and Myanmar are granted a 14-day visa-free period. Belarusians’ visa-free stay varies based on their origin country, with the maximum duration reaching up to 30 days. Beyond these standard exemptions, Vietnam offers a unique 5-year visa waiver to overseas Vietnamese. This long-term waiver allows multiple entries and exits over 5 years, though each stay must not exceed 180 days. To extend the stay beyond 180 days without leaving the country, the visa must be extended accordingly.
Lastly, the island of Phú Quốc has a special provision. Travelers not exempted from visa requirements can visit Phú Quốc visa-free for up to 30 days. They must arrive directly from a third country or from domestic terminals in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City after clearing immigration.
Launched on February 1, 2017, Vietnam’s electronic visa (eVisa) system is a progressive step towards simplifying travel to this Southeast Asian nation. The eVisa, costing US$25, offers a single-entry visa valid for up to 30 days to nationals of 82 eligible countries, including Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Russia, and the UK.
Vietnam’s eVisa is a type of travel document issued electronically by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. It provides foreigners with the permission to travel to and enter the country. Those wishing to apply for an eVisa can do so personally or by inviting or guaranteeing agencies and organizations based outside Vietnam. All eVisa fees are processed via an electronic payment gateway prescribed by the Immigration Department, and these are non-refundable if the application is denied.
Specific entry and exit points have been designated for eVisa holders. These include several land ports such as La Lay, Cha Lo, and Song Tien. A range of international airports like Noi Bai in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Cam Ranh, and Phu Quoc are also on this list.
The conditions for obtaining an eVisa are straightforward. Applicants must be foreigners living outside Vietnam, possess a valid passport, and must not fall under the entry suspension cases as prescribed by Vietnamese law.
Notably, eVisa holders in Vietnam may be considered for a new visa if invited or guaranteed by an authority, organization, or individual in accordance with Vietnamese law. However, all foreigners entering Vietnam must strictly adhere to Vietnamese law throughout their stay.
The Vietnam tourist visa is an essential immigration prerequisite for travelers visiting the country for leisure purposes. This visa is typically valid for 15-30 days, but it can be extended once the traveler arrives in Vietnam. In certain situations, a tourist visa can be issued for up to three months, following the same procedure as the one-month visa.
To apply for this tourist visa online, specific information needs to be furnished. This includes the applicant’s full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number (with a minimum validity of six months from the date of arrival), and exact arrival date. Photos are only required upon arrival at Vietnam’s airports.
The Vietnam tourist visa comes in four variations depending on the validity period and number of entries: a one-month single-entry visa, a one-month multiple-entry visa, a three-month single-entry visa, and a three-month multiple-entry visa. However, since July 1, 2020, tourist visas valid for more than 30 days have been stamped with a 30-day temporary residence permit, although extensions are possible.
Additionally, US travelers have the option of applying for a one-year multiple-entry tourist visa. There are currently three methods to obtain a tourist visa for Vietnam: through Visa on Arrival (highly recommended for air travelers due to its undeniable benefits), via a Vietnamese embassy, or by applying for an eVisa (available for a one-month single-entry and only for nationals of 80 countries).
Business travelers to Vietnam are required to secure a visa for entry. For business purposes, there are options for a one-month or three-month visa, either as a single or multiple entry. A key prerequisite for obtaining a business visa is a sponsorship or invitation letter from a Vietnamese business partner.
Business travelers can apply for a visa on the government website online, where sponsorship or invitation letters for conducting business in Vietnam are also provided. The information required for a Vietnam Business Visa includes the full name as per passport (name order is not important), date of birth (formatted as DD/MM/YYYY as per Vietnamese convention), nationality, passport number (which should be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival), and the precise date of arrival. It’s noteworthy that travelers can enter Vietnam later but not earlier than the approved date.
Business visas for Vietnam are categorized into two types: DN1 visas are granted to foreigners working with Vietnamese businesses and organizations with legal status, and DN2 visas are issued to foreigners offering services, establishing a commercial presence, or performing other activities under international treaties that Vietnam is a party to. Foreigners on a business visa (DN1) can work in the country for a short period, not exceeding 90 days. If they wish to exceed the duration, they have to get a work visa.
Like tourist visas, Vietnam business visas can be subdivided based on validity and number of entries into a one-month single entry, one-month multiple entries, three-month single entry, and three-month multiple entry visas.
Undertaking an internship in Vietnam provides an exceptional opportunity to immerse oneself in a new cultural and professional environment. With its rapidly growing economy and the expansion of numerous multinational companies, Vietnam offers a wealth of internship opportunities for young professionals.
Foreign interns in Vietnam are obligated to secure a DH student visa or an intern visa. It’s crucial to note that although some organizations may offer informal and unpaid internships to individuals with tourist visas, working legally in Vietnam requires the appropriate visa type.
The process of obtaining an internship visa varies depending on the nature of the internship. If the internship is paid, the company generally assumes responsibility for visa processing. The intern is simply required to provide a copy of their passport and other relevant information, and the processing typically takes about a week.
However, if the intern is responsible for visa processing, they can approach the Vietnamese embassy in their home country or engage the services of an agency in Vietnam. The latter option allows online application submission. Regardless of the method, administrative and acceptance fees apply unless covered by the sponsoring company.
Securing a formal internship with a Vietnamese company typically necessitates providing proof of qualification or certification. Several industries in Vietnam, including information and computer technology, education, tourism, and agriculture, are known for actively seeking foreign interns. Each of these sectors offers unique opportunities for learning, professional growth, and immersion in Vietnam’s vibrant culture and economy.
The Vietnam Investor Visa, often called the DT visa, has been designed particularly for foreign investors and practicing lawyers in Vietnam. The visa is further classified into different categories based on the nuances of investment. The burgeoning Vietnamese economy and ample labor force are fueling an increased demand for this Investor Visa. This interest is observed among a rising number of investors who are initiating or expanding their businesses in the country.
The ĐT1 visa category targets foreign investors or representatives with a hefty capital investment in Vietnam or those investing in sectors supported by the Vietnamese Government. This visa type provides a tenure of up to 5 years. The ĐT2 visa category caters to foreign investors or representatives who contribute a significant but slightly lesser capital amount or invest in government-backed business areas. This visa also offers a 5-year validity period.
The ĐT3 visa category is for foreign investors or representatives contributing a smaller capital amount and provides a validity of up to 3 years. The ĐT4 category accommodates foreign investors or representatives contributing the smallest amount of capital. This visa type offers a validity of up to 12 months.
Holders of the Vietnam Investor Visa can apply for a temporary Vietnam card that can be valid for up to 10 years. Those with a ĐT1, ĐT2, or ĐT3 visa can also sponsor visas for their spouse or children. Extensions of visas are also achievable by adhering to certain specified procedures.
The trend of globalization has paved the way for a myriad of job opportunities, particularly for expatriates seeking employment around the world. In Vietnam, English is the primary language for communication with foreigners, and fluency in this global language is highly desirable. Consequently, numerous individuals are establishing longer-term stays in the country, charmed by its striking attributes.
Typically, foreigners can arrive in Vietnam on a tourist or business visa to explore employment prospects. Once they secure a job, their employers – who must be registered and recognized in Vietnam – sponsor their work permits. To be eligible for a work permit in Vietnam, an applicant must be over 18 years old, possess relevant technical qualifications and work experience, be in good health, have a clean criminal record, and have an approved employment status in writing from a competent state agency. They also must not enter Vietnam on a tourist visa, barring special exceptions.
There are specific cases where foreign workers might be exempt from needing a work permit, such as holding positions in certain roles, including a chief representative or director of a project, or being responsible for an international or foreign non-governmental organization’s operations based in Vietnam. Other exemptions include staying in Vietnam for less than three months to provide services, being married to a Vietnamese citizen, and contributing a specific capital value to a limited liability or joint-stock company.
To obtain work permits for foreign employees, employers must complete two procedures: seeking approval for foreign employment and applying for work permits. This process involves submitting a report outlining the need for foreign employees to the provincial-level People’s Committee chairperson, followed by an application for a work permit. The employer must submit these documents at least 15 working days before the foreign employee begins work, and the Department will reply within 10 working days.
Work permits are valid for up to two years and can be extended once for an additional two years. Employers are required to apply for extensions of at least five but no more than 45 days before the work permit expires. Once extended, the foreign worker and employer must sign a new labor contract before the worker resumes work, and a certified copy of the contract must be sent to the authority extending the work permit.
Designed for travelers with connecting flights in Vietnam, a transit visa caters to those foreign visitors intending to explore the country during their layovers of over 24 hours or those who need to exit the transit area for necessary purposes like retrieving luggage for ongoing flights.
Not everyone transiting through Vietnam’s airports needs this visa. Exemptions can apply for individuals with an existing Vietnam visa exemption, those with a connecting flight within the next 24 hours, those staying within the designated transit area supervised by authorized agencies of the international border gates, or those who can prove their onward journey through documents such as a visa or passport.
For successful transit through Vietnam without a transit visa, foreigners need to carry a valid passport or international travel document with at least six months validity, hold a ticket to a third country, and possess a valid visa for that country, unless a visa exemption is applicable.
Should a transit visa be necessary, there are three primary means of obtaining one. The first is through a Vietnam Embassy or Consulate in the traveler’s home country, where they submit their documents and receive their transit visa in advance. Costs are subject to the policies of each Embassy or Consulate.
The second option involves applying online for an e-visa, a process increasingly favored due to its convenience and efficiency. This entails the online submission of all necessary documents and information, with a standard review process of three business days. This service, costing $25, is available to citizens of 81 eligible countries.
The third option is to secure a visa on arrival, particularly straightforward for air travelers. This involves obtaining a pre-approved visa letter through a third-party visa agency, submitting information online, preparing requisite documents (like a visa application form, photos, and passport), and receiving the visa stamp upon arrival at a Vietnamese airport.
The Vietnam Pre-arranged visa is a travel document that can be procured prior to arrival in Vietnam. This process involves acquiring a visa letter, endorsed and stamped in major Vietnamese cities such as Hanoi, Da Nang, or Ho Chi Minh City by the country’s Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security or the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This visa, valid for a period of one or three months, can subsequently be collected at selected airports across Vietnam, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Phu Quoc, Hai Phong, Da Lat, and Nha Trang.
The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC), a special card issued by member countries, provides another method of entry for individuals from certain countries. An ABTC issued to passport holders from countries like Australia, Brunei, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand, are permitted visa-free entry into Vietnam for business trips up to 60 days. This card greatly simplifies business travel across the Asia-Pacific region by providing such visa-free privileges.
These are the major visas granted by the Vietnamese government. The government also issues other visas like diplomatic visas.
The application process for a Vietnam visa varies depending on the method one chooses. For a traditional visa, one applies at a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in one’s home country. This process necessitates a completed application form, a passport photo, the original passport, and the visa fee.
When opting for an e-visa, one applies online through the official Vietnamese government website. This process involves completing an online form, uploading a passport photo and a copy of the passport’s data page, and paying the visa fee. After approximately three working days, the e-visa is received via email.
For a visa-on-arrival, one first applies online for a visa approval letter, typically issued within three working days. Upon arrival in Vietnam, this letter, along with the passport, two passport photos, a completed entry/exit form, and the stamping fee, are presented to receive the visa.
In all scenarios, the passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the planned arrival date. The visa application process requires meticulous attention to detail to prevent complications.
Vietnam’s visa policy, with its variety of visa options, seeks to facilitate travel while ensuring national security. It reflects Vietnam’s openness to global interaction yet implies a strict adherence to immigration rules.
However, complexities around application procedures and visa types may pose challenges for travelers. As Vietnam seeks to boost tourism and international cooperation, ongoing reforms to streamline and digitize visa processes are anticipated, improving user-friendliness and transparency