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In a Hurry? Here's How to Get a Rush Visa to Vietnam

Vietnam is now open and welcoming international visitors from around the globe. That's great news for people who want to visit this exceptional country. With a few exceptions, most visitors to Vietnam will need to present a Vietnam visa in order to enter the country and stay for more than fifteen days. Those visiting Vietnam for business or pleasure from the United States and most other western countries must obtain an entry visa for Vietnam for visits of any length.

Usually, the process for obtaining a Vietnam visa is lengthy and complicated. People planning to visit Vietnam can apply to the Vietnamese embassy for a visa up to six months before they intend to travel. The application must include the original passport with at least six months of eligibility remaining on it, a 2-by-2-inch passport photo and a completed application for a Vietnam visa. It can take several weeks to get a visa for Vietnam this way.

For those who need a visa to enter Vietnam in a shorter time frame, the Vietnamese government has approved the visa on arrival program. Visitors to Vietnam can receive a travel visa for Vietnam within two business days using the visa on arrival program. Rather than being issued by the embassy, these visas are issued by the Vietnamese immigration department and picked up upon arrival at one of Vietnam's three international airports.

Advantages of the Vietnam Visa on Arrival Program

The biggest advantage of the visa on arrival program is the time saving - you can enter Vietnam within two days of applying for your visa. Your travel agent can help facilitate the visa approval, or you can apply for your visa through one of the companies who have been set up to make the application to the immigration department on your behalf.

It is generally less expensive to obtain your visa through the visa on arrival program. In most cases, you'll pay a $10 to $25 service fee to the company, and a $25 stamp fee when you arrive at the airport.

How the Vietnam Visa on Arrival Works

To get a visa for Vietnam through the visa on arrival program, you'll usually fill out an application for the visa online. You'll have to provide your passport number, a photo and other information requested on the form. The company will submit your application to the immigration department in Vietnam and obtain an approval letter for you to enter the country.

Within two days, you'll receive an email with your approval letter attached. Print out the approval letter and bring it with you on your flight to Vietnam. When you arrive at the airport, you'll go to the visa pickup desk and present your passport, your photo and your approval letter to an immigration official on duty. The official will issue you a visa, which will be honored as any other visa would be.

In many cases, the travel agent or visa company can also do a rush order for your Vietnam visa if you need your visa in less than two days. The price will generally be considerably higher than the standard cost, but in most cases, you can have your visa for Vietnam ready for pickup at the airport within one day.

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