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Vietnam Visa Policy

Vietnam has some of the world’s busiest cities, most beautiful landscapes, and of course, incredible food. It’s a popular tourism destination for people from all over the world who want to learn about its complex history, experience its thrilling motorbike culture, or even eat their way through traditional Vietnamese fare. 

In order to be able to enjoy your time there, whether for work or pleasure, taking the time to ensure you meet all the travel requirements, including visa requirements, is a critical step before you depart.

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to resolve an issue during the immigration process into a country where you don’t speak the language and don’t know what’s expected of you. To avoid any headache upon entry, follow our guidelines below on securing the right visa for your trip to Vietnam.

Is a Visa Needed to Visit Vietnam?

Though residents from a few select countries are eligible for visa exemptions when visiting Vietnam, most travelers are required to secure a visa in order to enter the country. Even for countries with visa exemptions, those exemptions are only for short trips that are centered around tourism. Longer trips, and trips for businesses or studying will still require visas.

The good news is that the process for acquiring visas meant for travel to Vietnam is fairly easy. There’s a range of visa types and each type may have unique requirements, but for tourists, the process is simple.

Vietnam Visas for Different Types of Travelers 

Like many countries, Vietnam has different regulations for travelers that are visiting for pleasure than visitors who are trying to conduct business or work in the country. Be sure to check with the State Department to get the most up-to-date requirements for your trip, but the details for some of the most common traveler types are below: 

Tourist Visas

Categorized by the Vietnamese government as a DL visa, a tourist visa is meant for visitors who plan to enjoy Vietnam for a set amount of time with no plans to work in the country. There are five types of tourist visas available: 

  1. 1 month, single entry
  2. 1 month, multiple entry
  3. 3 months, single entry
  4. 3 months, multiple entry
  5. 1 year, multiple entry (Note: this is only for U.S. citizens)

The fees for these visas range from $25-$50, depending on the type, and can be applied for online and received upon arrival in Vietnam, or you can work with the embassy nearest to you prior to your trip.

Applying for a visa on arrival is very common and widely accepted in Vietnam and is often a bit more simplified than working with an embassy before your trip.

Student Visas

Only granted to students who are taking courses at an official university in Vietnam, the student visa process is generally done after you are already in the country. Most international students in Vietnam arrive on a tourist visa, then work with the immigration office to secure a student visa. You will be required to show proof of your course enrollment to qualify for a student visa. 

Working Visas

Issued to visitors who are entering Vietnam with a plan to work, such as teaching in a school, working visas have a maximum validity of 2 years, after which, those visa-holders will be required to apply for a temporary residence card.

There are two types of working visas: an LD1 visa is for workers who have a work permit exemption and an LD2 visa is for workers who need a work permit to work in Vietnam. The organization you plan to work for in Vietnam should apply for the LD visa approval letter on your behalf before you arrive in the country.

Business Visas 

Commonly confused with working visas, business visas (DN1, DN2) allow foreigners to work with Vietnamese businesses or establish a commercial presence in the country. With working visas, the person is planning on working for a Vietnamese organization, while business visas are usually for business owners or entrepreneurs to conduct business in Vietnam.

A business visa offers the same number of options for foreigners as a tourist visa and can also be received upon arrival in Vietnam or at an embassy prior to your trip.

Diplomatic Visas

Meant for visitors who are members of a delegation invited by the government to visit Vietnam, who work as consulate personnel in the country, or who are visiting to work with consulate members for a limited time, diplomatic visas are valid for 12 months.

Diplomatic visas require an official letter from the government entity of your home country that is asking you to travel to Vietnam.

Investor Visas

Categorized into four different types of visas, investor visas are meant for foreign investors who visit Vietnam. The categories are based on the amount of money each investor plans to contribute and the length of stay is also dependent on this tiered system.

DT1 visas are for investors who contribute at least VDN 100 billion and are valid for up to 5 years. DT2 visas are granted to investors who invest at least VDN 50 billion and are also valid for up to 5 years.

DT3 visa holders invest between VDN 3 billion and VDN 50 billion, with the passports lasting up to 3 years. Lastly, DT4 visas are valid for 12 months and granted to investors who contribute less than VDN 3 billion.

How to Get a Visa for Vietnam

The process may vary slightly depending on the type of visa you’re trying to obtain, so be sure to do the due diligence that you are applying for the right type of visa and meeting all the necessary requirements. Overall, though, visas for travel to Vietnam are fairly straightforward.

Though visitors can work with the embassy nearest them in their home countries, it is often easier to get approval online and receive a visa on arrival in Vietnam. Be sure to give yourself some time before your trip to receive your approval letter, as that can take anywhere from 2-7 days.

Once you arrive in Vietnam, you’ll be required to show the customs agent a hard copy of the visa approval letter so don’t forget to print it out! You’ll also need to provide your passport, and a passport photo to be eligible to be granted a visa at the airport. 

Getting a Visa Before Your Trip

Some visitors prefer to have their visa secured prior to their trip, and that’s perfectly acceptable as well. While the convenience factor of a visa on arrival is nice, getting things sorted before leaving your home country can provide extra peace of mind.

You’ll need to work with the embassy closest to you to submit the documents, wait for approval, and get your visa stamped in your passport.

Documents Required for the Visa Application

In the process of getting a visa for your trip to Vietnam, you’ll need to provide the following documents for every visa type. Keep in mind that a specific visa may require supplementary documentation, such as a work visa requiring a visa approval letter prior to entry. 

  • Passport with at least 6 months validity and 2 blank pages.
  • Passport photos that are recent and do not have face coverings or glasses.
  • The application form known as the M3 entry/exit form.
  • Fee amount will be required; it is $25 for single entry visas and $50 for multiple entry visas.
  • Approval letter printed out for visa on arrival. 

If you still have questions about the documents required, be sure to reach out to the embassy near you for helpful information.

Visa Extensions During Your Trip 

If you want to extend your stay in Vietnam, you’ll need to extend your visa as well. Though there was some leniency for visitors who overstayed their visa during Covid-19, that level of leniency is no longer available. It is up to each individual traveler to ensure they are in accordance with the requirements of the Vietnamese government.

If you wish to extend your visa while in Vietnam, you will need to work with the consulate near you and you will be provided with eligibility requirements and next steps.

Remember, you’ll need to consider whether your visa is multiple entry or a single entry, as that will impact renewal eligibility. You may find out that you need to renew your visa, which is different from an extension.

Don’t Let Visas Stop You

If you hear the word “visa” and get overwhelmed, feeling like you’ll need to wade through hours of paperwork and massive headaches to visit Vietnam, take a deep breath. The process is simple, and for most visitors, a tourist visa is sufficient. Vietnam, and many other countries, have worked to make the visa process as streamlined as possible.

With just a few clicks on your computer before your departure, you can have everything you need to be ready to get a visa once your flight lands in Vietnam. Enjoy your trip and be sure to stay safe!

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