Getting a Vietnam Visa: Answers to Your Questions
If you're traveling from most Asian countries, you probably won't need to present a visa to enter Vietnam. Most people visiting Vietnam from countries outside Asia will need to present a visa to enter the country. Visitors from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark don't need a visa if they're staying fifteen days or fewer. Visas for visitors from other countries are good for stays of thirty or ninety days.
How do I Get a Visa to Vietnam?
There are two ways to get a visa for Vietnam - have one issued by the embassy before you travel, or pickup your visa on arrival at the airport in Vietnam. In order to get a visa from the Vietnamese embassy, you will have to present your documents and information at the embassy in your home country within six months of your expected date of travel. You'll need to present - either in person or by mail - your valid passport, your completed visa application with a 2x2-inch photo and the required visa fee.
To get a visa on arrival, you can go through several different companies that offer Vietnam visa services. You'll apply for your visa online and pay a fee, which usually includes a service fee paid to the company for facilitating the visa. You'll receive an approval letter, which you can print out. It will include a blank space for a visa approval number. When you arrive at any one of the three major airports in Vietnam, you'll present your letter and receive your visa.
The visa on arrival is the quickest and cheapest way to get your visa for Vietnam. You'll usually have your visa approval letter within two working days of your application, and you can pick up your visa at your destination airport. There's no need to wait weeks for your visa to arrive from the embassy, or to make a special trip to an embassy to get your visa.
The visa is actually issued by the Vietnamese immigration department. The Vietnamese government offers visa on arrival as an alternative to the lengthier visa application process. It is approved by the International Air Traffic Association. Visa on arrival is also recognized as a valid travel document by the U.S. Department of State and the British Embassy in Hanoi. The visa on arrival approval letter can be obtained through your travel agent.
The visa on arrival is only valid if you are entering Vietnam through one of the three international airports. It is not valid for overland entry or for entry from a seaport. If you are planning to enter Vietnam by land or from a cruise ship, you will need to get your Vietnam visa through the Vietnamese embassy.
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