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All You Need To Know About A Vietnam Tourist Visa In 2019

13/04/2019 986 Views
Visitors to Vietnam must obtain a visa from one of the Vietnamese diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or countries eligible for electronic visas. Your passport must be valid for six months upon arrival in Vietnam. Some nationalities need a visa in advance for all visits, some don't.
The standard validity for most visitors to Vietnam is visa 1 month (inclusive of dates of entry and exit), single or multiple entry. For visa-exempt nationalities it is 15 days. Of course, you can extend for 1 month visa or 3 months more if you want to stay longer. And please note that the extension fee of Vietnam Visa is subjected to be higher than a new visa getting when you are outside the country. 
UPDATED ON 27 May 2019: The 6 months and 1 year visas are temporarily not available for non-US citizens.
Until recently there have been three methods of applying for a Vietnam visa : a Visa on Arrival (VOA) via online agencies ; e-visa for a limited number of nationalities ; or visa via a Vietnamese embassy or consulate.

1. Visa-exempted nationalities

On 10 May 2018, the Vietnamese Government adopted Resolution No.54/NQ-CP, including Decision No. 8, on the unilateral exemption of visas for the citizens of five countries of Western Europe including France, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy, regardless of reasons for stay and types of passport. The citizens who benefit from unilateral Vietnam visa waiver conditionally. It means that to get visa exemption, their stay in Vietnam must meet the following conditions : 
  • The visa exemption period will be effective from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021.
  • The length of stay allowed is and will remain for 15 days.
  • THEIR ARRIVAL DATE DOES NOT FALL WITHIN 30 DAYS FOLLOWING EXIT DATE OF THEIR LAST STAY IN VIETNAM WITH VISA EXEMPTION.

Exception for Vietnam visa exemption policy for those to Phu Quoc island :
Those directly traveling to Phu Quoc Island are exempted from Vietnam visa for up to 30 days there. In case they wish to stay there for over 30 days or wish to travel to other localities, they will get the visa issued right on the spot by the Immigration Department.

2. Types of visa

  • E-visa
E-visa is currently available to 46 countries and 28 eligible border-crossings according to the Decree 17/2019/ND-CP of Vietnamese authorities for a period of two years from February 1st 2019 until February 1st 2021. E-visa is single-entry only, valid for 30 days (non-extendable), and cost US$25. Processing takes three to five working days.
E-visa can be applied online at www.evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn. Please note that the result does not arrive automatically by email, you must go get it yourself on the website.
  • Visa on Arrival (VOA)
Visa on Arrival (VOA) is the preferred method for most travellers arriving by air, since it's cheaper, faster and you don't have to part with your passport by posting it to an embassy. Online agencies send the visa approval letter to you directly by email. Nevertheless, there are two drawbacks including : you might wait long if there are too many requests ; it is available only in Vietnam's international airports, not at land crossings. The process is simple and straightforward :
  1. Contact the travel agency to proceed with the request for prior authorization from the Immigration Department of Vietnam.
  2. Receive the visa approval letter by email (taking up to 3-5 working days).
  3. Prepare this letter printed + 2 passport photos + cash for the stamping fee (US$25 for a visa 1-3 months single entry's type, US$50 for a visa 1-3 months multiple entry's type) at the arrival airport.
(An amount of US$ by cash will be recommended for stamping fees at the airport. If you take euros, you might be subject to a high exchange rate of EUROS to US$.)
  • Visa via an Embassy or Consulate

You can also obtain visa through Vietnamese embassies and consulates around the world, but fees are normally much higher than using a visa agent and (depending on the country) the process can be slow. It takes 7 to 10 business days for any request to the embassy. For further formalities, please contact the Vietnamese Embassy in your country. The list of diplomatic representations of Vietnam in abroad is also available on our website.

Embassies and General Consulates of Vietnam in America
Embassies and General Consulates of Vietnam in Europe
Embassies and General Consulates of Vietnam in Asia - Oceania

3. Visa Extension

It is possible to extend the tourist visa in Vietnam. Make a request to a local agency, or go directly to the Immigration Department. You can extend your visa in other big cities, but if it's done in a different city from the one you arrived in, it'll cost you US$50 to US$70. In practice, extensions work most smoothly in HCMC, Hanoi, Danang and Hue.


4. Other tips

Scan or make a photocopy all your important documents (passport, credit cards, insurance paper, train/airplane/bus's tickets, driving license, etc.). Keep these copies apart from the originals or send them to your own email. This will help you in case of loss or theft.
The (very complicated) visa situation has recently changed for many nationalities. Always double-check visa requirements before you travel as policies change regularly.
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For further information, or simply a free quote, please contact us at any time via our email: info@galatourist.com, our experienced consultants will reply to you within 48 hours.
Sincerely yours & see you soon!
GALATOURIST since 2005.
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