More and more reports are coming in of travellers in Vietnam who ended up in trouble because they didn’t possess the right papers. Without an (e-)visa it is not possible for European travellers to stay in Vietnam for longer than 15 days.
This also applies to backpackers, who visit different countries in a short time. They also need to figure out which countries require a visa before going on their backpacking trip. If you are backpacking in Asia, odds are you need a visa for Vietnam.
Backpacker needs Vietnam visa
A good backpacker is well-prepared for their trip. If you want to travel around in Asia and stay in Vietnam for longer than 15 days, you need a Vietnam visa. That’s why it’s important to check before departure whether each country requires a visa.
In some cases, it’s possible to still get a visa on arrival in Vietnam. The best way to do this is to apply for this document online before departure. This is because an airline is not allowed to let passengers board that haven’t applied for their visa yet. When boarding, you will be asked for a so-called ‘visa approval letter’. Once it is provided, the traveller can still board. The Vietnamese embassy discourages travelling in this manner (with a ‘visa approval letter’).
No visa, no boarding
Without a visa, you can’t stay in Vietnam if you plan to stay for longer than 15 days. That’s why it is advised to arrange your visa beforehand, or alternatively to provide an approval letter. If this isn’t the case, it’s not possible to board.
If you are a backpacker who is already in Vietnam and needs to apply for their visa, you first need to travel to another country and apply for the visa from there. The Vietnamese embassy is closed during the weekend, which means that it can take up to three workdays before the Vietnam visa is issued.
Vietnam visa requirements
If you are adequately prepared for your trip, you won’t be faced with unwelcome surprises. A Vietnam visa can be applied for in advance. By applying for a Vietnam visa before departure, you avoid having to pay for a stamping fee for the visa on arrival.
This makes the e-visa Vietnam a fair bit cheaper. Even the Vietnamese embassy recommends no longer using the visa on arrival. To apply for a Vietnam visa, a number of requirements apply. When applying for the visa, an estimate needs to be provided of the dates of arrival and departure. It is not necessary to know the exact dates. You also don’t need to have booked transportation. Arranging for a visa before you’ve booked your right, is therefore possible.
The Vietnam visa allows you to enter and leave the country once. The stay in Vietnam can last a maximum of 30 days. This includes the days of arrival and departure. When applying, you already need to have established a place to stay in Vietnam.
Finally, the Vietnam visa needs to be in your possession before starting your trip. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 30 days after the date of arrival in Vietnam. Furthermore, the traveller cannot have any mental afflictions or transmittable illnesses which can cause a threat to their environment.
The traveller cannot have been deported from Vietnam in the past three years. The Vietnam visa grants you the right to arrive and depart from the selected airport, seaport or border posts once.
Until last year, the visa on arrival was by far the most popular way to travel to Vietnam. The Vietnamese embassy discourages people from travelling in this manner anymore. The government can no longer guarantee that travellers will be able to make it passed the passport check with a visa on arrival.
The visa on arrival is basically a letter which states that the traveller can purchase an entry stamp in arrival in Vietnam. This is known as an approval letter. If you make use of the visa on arrival, you are in theory only buying an approval letter. These can be acquired at visa agencies, but not at the Vietnamese embassy or consulate.
Once you arrive in Vietnam, you need to get in line to receive your stamp. This stamp comes with a fee, which is between €25 and €50. This makes the visa on arrival almost always more expensive than applying for the Vietnam visa through our website. Also keep in mind the long queues.
That’s why the embassy of Vietnam discourages people from using the visa on arrival starting January 1 2018. According to the government, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to apply for an e-visa Vietnam. Many visa bureaus advertise a ‘vietnam visa’, while in reality only providing an approval letter. Through this website, you can get a real e-visa. This makes it certain you will be granted permission to enter the country.
Vietnam visa application
These days, applying for the Vietnam visa can be easily done online, This can be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through this website. In the application form, fill in the required information. It’s possible to apply for several people at once and pay for all the visas in one go. Carefully write down the passport information, to avoid future trouble.
Vietnam visa application
Generally, the visa is issued within seven workdays after applying. With urgent applications, the visa is generally approved within three workdays. An added fee applies of €17,50. That’s why the best way is to simply apply for the visa well on time.