VIETNAM VISA ON ARRIVAL vs. VISA AT EMBASSY

The differences between getting visa on arrival and getting visa at Vietnam Embassy

During the past few years, foreigners who wished to apply for a Visa to Vietnam have had ONLY one way: Obtaining visa application at the Vietnam Embassy in the country. Fortunately, thanks to Vietnam’s open policy to attract more and more visitors, foreigners traveling to Vietnam will find it much easier to get a visa.

Currently there are two options to get Vietnam visa application: applying Vietnam visa at Embassy (traditional way, visa picked up at Vietnam Embassies) or applying for a visa on arrival (visa picked up at Vietnam International Airports).

However, please be noted that each way has its own applicable applicants and procedure. You can find out some major points indicating the differences between these two options, as follows.

Vietnam Visa on Arrival

Vietnam Visa at Embassy

Applicable Applicants
  • Travelers to Vietnam by air only
  • Travelers to Vietnam by any means of transport
Required documents
  • Only need to fill out the online application form.
  • This document is only required for getting Visa approval letter
  • Application form with signature and photo attached
  • Original passport or copy of original passport (for loose-leaf visa request)
How to submit application
  • Submit your visa application form online via our secured network
  • We will process your visa information and submit your visa application to and do other necessary procedures on your behalf with Vietnam Immigration Department.
  • (Licensed travel agent in Vietnam could submit visa applications pursuant to Article 13, Vietnam Government’s Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP)
  • Hard-copy of documents
  • In person or by post
  • Might use services of a travel agent or organization in submitting the visa application
Required Fees
  • Visa service fee for visa approval letter arrangement (paid to travel agent upon submitting visa application) – published on the website
  • Visa stamping fee for visa stamp (paid to Vietnam Immigration Officers) – pay later in cash at airports upon arriving in Vietnam
  • Fee for stamping visa.
  • Other current fees such as visa approval arrangement fee, processing fee, shipping, handling and expedited services…(varying from embassy to embassy)
How to track the application
  • Check you account provided by our system, make a phone call, chat or email to our support staff
  • Make a phone call to embassy or come in person to Vietnam Embassy to check the visa.
Processing Time
  • 2 working days for normal service
  • 1 working day for urgent service
  • 4 working hours for super urgent service
  • Around 5 working days for normal service
  • 1-2 working days for urgent service
  • Contact the embassy for accurate information
Get visa stamp
  • When arriving in Vietnam
  • At Visa on Arrival counter
  • Present visa approval letter with required documents & fees at Immigration Counter to have visa stamped onto your passport
  • Along with original passports picked up from the Vietnam embassy
  • At Vietnam Embassy where you have applied for visa
  • Visa already stamped onto your passport when embassies sent the passports back
The Advantages
  • No need to send your original passport away
  • A complete online process
  • Taking only a short time to apply for a visa on arrival online, the thing you need is a computer with internet connection
  • No dealing with immigration authorities. We deal with them on your behalf.
  • Especially convenient for those who are currently staying far away from available Embassies
  • Having visa already stamped onto your passport before getting on plane
  • Dealing directly with Vietnam embassies
The Disadvantages
  • Queuing in front of Immigration Counter at arrival airports in Vietnam to have visa stamp
  • Possibly having names of other people on your approval letter
  • Foreigners cannot apply for visa on arrival themselves, the application must go through authorized travel agencies in Vietnam or organizations
  • Parting with your original passport
  • Having to drive to nearest embassies or sending documents by mail
  • What if the nearest Vietnam embassy is too far from your place?