Vietnam offers visa-free visits for some nationalities but mostly for a limited number of days. You can check out the visa exemption details in this website.
If you would like to travel longer than your visa exemption period or if you are required to have a visa, you can get a visa on arrival. Visa on arrival means you will have to apply for an invitation / approval letter through an agency and get the visa stamped when you arrive Vietnam. Visa on arrival is only possible for those who enter Vietnam via Hanoi, Danang or Ho Chi Minh airports.
There are many online travel agencies that will process the visa invitation letter for a fee. The process is very simple and easy, so all you have to do is some research to find out the most reasonably priced one and apply.
You can get a visa through Vietnamese embassy in your country and you’ll not have to wait in queue at the airport in Vietnam, but applying online might save you time from physically visiting the embassy or sending and receiving visa by post. Call up the nearest embassy to check the price and procedure and see which option suits best for you.
There are three things you should prepare and bring with you to Vietnam:
Stamp fee – 25USD for single-entry or 50USD for multi-entry visa
2 passport photos
Application form – optional as you can get it at the airport in Vietnam, but you’ll save some time to fill the form there.
You can pay the stamp fee in USD or VND, but it’s better to pay USD as the rate might not be so beneficial for you.
Visa on arrival desk in Hanoi Noi Bai airport is beside the immigration checks. If you have not prepared the application form in advance, you can go to the Visa Application desk on the right side to get one.
Fill in the form provided (picture above). There’s a page at the back too, so don’t forget to fill in the back page. Once you have filled in the form, prepare the photo and stamp fee and go back to the Visa Application desk and hand over them. You can then sit down and wait for your passport photo and name to be shown on the TV above the desk – which is when your visa is ready.
The waiting time really depends on how many people there are for the arrival visa. Sometimes it could take more than 1 hour and sometimes only few minutes. This is why most visa agencies offer fast track service for an extra fee. If you’re in a rush or simply don’t want to wait long, fast track can save you some time.
The pink piece of paper is the receipt and you’ll have the visa stamp on your passport as above. Double check if all the details are correct before proceeding to the immigration desk.
Have an amazing trip in Vietnam then!