Vietnam visa on arrival: Application and Requirement

A Vietnam visa on arrival is one of the best ways eligible travelers can enter a country without the need of a visa before departure. It is not just a way to save time but best for people who travel frequently for business or many other reasons. 

When you are eligible for a visa on arrival, you receive a visa at the point of entry into the country you are traveling to. However, when you are traveling to a place like Vietnam, you need a pre-approval letter before entering the country. This letter is what will show the Immigration officials that you are eligible for a visa on arrival. Aside from that, you have to provide other important information and documents that I will show you as we go on. 

Which Vietnam Airport is eligible for visa on arrival 

Before you can become eligible for a visa on arrival, you have to enter the country by plane at the airport. Not all airports are eligible for this so see some of the airports that will issue you a visa on arrival. 

  • Noi Bai international Airport in Hanoi 
  • Can Ranh Airport in Nha Trang 
  • Tan Son Nhat Ho Chi Minh city 
  • Cat BI Airport in Hai Phong 
  • Danang Airport in Da Nang. 

What about those traveling to Vietnam by sea? Well, this offer is only for those flying to the country. Travelers using sheep and road boarders will need to have a normal visa before arrival. 

Requirements for Vietnam visa on arrival 

If you want to utilize the visa on arrival then You also have to have these documents with you when entering the country. 

International passport 

A valid passport that has a minimum of 6 month validity and also has two empty pages for visa stamps. 

Passport photographs 

Provide two recent passport photos that are identical. These passports should have not been edited before. They should also; be 4 cm x 6 cm, have white background, have neutral facial expressions, glasses or contact lens not allowed. Wearing of any headgear or cap is also not allowed. (except it’s a known religious headgear) 

Entry and exit form

When you will receive a form of entry and exit which you must complete before entering the country. Another important thing is fees for visa stamps. 

Invitation letter 

These are additional documents you need to possess when traveling to Vietnam. To replace this when it’s not available, you need to provide a proof of accommodation. Other invitation letters are conference invitation letters in case you will be attending a conference or another event. 

How to Apply for Vietnam visa on arrival 

Although it’s a visa on arrival, you have to apply for it before entering Vietnam. The goal is to get a pre-approval letter which you will present to the immigration department then get your VOA. 

#1. Obtain the pre-approval letter 

Some agencies or visa agents can help you to get the approval letter but this agent must have the authorization of the Vietnam immigration department. They mostly charge a certain fee to secure the pre-approval letter. 

To get the pre-approval letter, follow this guidelines:

  • Provide your passport information including your passport number in the correct column 
  • Make payment for the application and other fees
  • Then you have to be patient as they process your request 
  • After waiting, the pre-approval letter will arrive your email 
  • Print a hard copy of it and hold it while you travel to Vietnam.

2. Receive the visa on arrival 

You will get your pre-approval letter in the first step above. Then you have to  follow the next steps to know how to use it in Vietnam. 

  • At any of the airport I listed earlier, wait on the Immigration counter for your passport to get stamp 
  • Prove the immigration officer with all the important details they ask for 
  • They will then stamp your passport and offer a visa to you. 

How long will I wait for the Vietnam visa on arrival 

The main part that will take much time is the letter of approval which may take up to one week in some cases. Although, some agents do offer expedited services which will make the pre-approval letter to be out on time. It will incur more fees but the service is worth it if you are planning to travel faster. 

Furthermore, when you have the letter and enter Vietnam, it will take the immigration officers about 25 minutes to confirm your details and offer you a visa. 

Is a visa on arrival extendable? 

Even though you have some ability to extend your visa, it will be best if you contact Vietnam about this case. Moreover, there are still clear possibilities that you can extend the one month visa. It is possible to extend this type of visa to another one month. So, the extension of any Vietnam visa solely depends on whether you have the right visa Eligible for extension or not. Also, you have to note that immigration rules are always changing. When it states that there’s a possible extension then you can apply for it. 

Frequently asked questions 

What are the requirements for a Vietnam visa on arrival

Applicants will first need to acquire the pre-approval letter. They can get this through any agency that handles this type of service. After that, they can go ahead to travel with their passport, photos and flight tickets. 

Is a Vietnam visa on arrival available for everyone

No. Depending on the country you are traveling from, you may need to apply for a visa before departure. Also, when you are traveling from an eligible country, you still need to meet other requirements. 

Can I enter Vietnam without a visa? 

Yes. However, you must be traveling from a Vietnam visa-free country. Although, you may need other documents like your international passport, Two recent passport photos, proof of accommodation and other minor documents. 

Is a Vietnamese visa on arrival easy to get? 

It depends on your country and the travel agency you are using. In some rare cases, you have a better chance of traveling to Vietnam faster with a normal visa. This is because, when you apply for the visa on arrival and it takes time to get approval, your travel will be delayed. 


Vietnam visa on arrival is available for some countries while other countries have access to E-visa and other free visa entry. The visa on arrival is simple to use but you need to get the pre-approval letter. 

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