Obtaining a Visa to enter Vietnam

This what a  Vietnam visa looks like - the example is a one year visa - a tourist visa is much cheaperYou have three options
With the exception of travellers from a few neighbouring countries, all non-Vietnamese passport holders are required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam. Visitors can obtain a tourist visa in one of three ways:

Please note: Options 2 and 3 are only available to people who have booked an itinerary with Haivenu - we cannot process visas for casual visitors. Option 1 is only applicable to people living in a country with a Vietnamese Embassy.

1) Do it yourself
In countries with a Vietnamese Embassy, prospective travellers to Vietnam can visit the Embassy to collect an application form. Once the form has been completed and returned, the visa will be ready for collection about three working days later assuming there are no complications. In some countries, it is possible to have a visa sent by post, but the applicant will have to send his or her passport to the Embassy for validation.

The cost will be about $25 US or $30 US per visa, and the Embassy will levy a service charge on top. To find out how much the Embassy charges, and whether the Embassy will issue a visa by post, intending visitors should ring the Embassy and ask for the Visa Section.

2) We deal with the paperwork
We send customers a form requesting basic information (names, dates, passport numbers and so on) by e-mail. When the completed from is returned, we apply to the Immigration Office in Hanoi. After about five working days, we will receive an approval paper and fax it to the Vietnam Embassy in the customer's country. The customer can then send his or her passport by post to the embassy with a cheque for the visa fee, or collect it in person. It will be necessary to ring the Embassy to arrange a time for collection.

For this service, we charge $10 US per person to cover our costs - this fee can be added to the cost of the tour or holiday. The visa fee will be about $25 US or $30 US, making a total cost of $35 US to $40 US per person.

3) Visa on arrival
For customers without a Vietnamese Embassy in their country, those booking late, or those preferring to minimize paperwork, we can process a 'visa on arrival'. For this, we obtain permission to enter the country on your behalf, and you collect your visa when you enter Vietnam.

We ask you to provide the basic information we need to apply to the Immigration Office in Hanoi for approval for a 'visa on arrival' arrangement. When the official confirmation is issued, we send to you as a fax, or scan it and send it by e-mail. Strictly speaking, it isn't necessary, but just in case an over-zealous check-in clerk at your departure airport queries your travel status, we prefer to make sure that you won’t be inconvenienced.

Hundreds of our customers use the ‘visa on arrival’ option. So far, there's only been one problem – a passenger boarding at London Heathrow was asked for his visa. Unfortunately he had forgotten his faxed confirmation. The matter was resolved in ten minutes via a 'phone call and a faxed copy from us. Nevertheless, we'll stick to our ‘better safe than sorry’ philosophy.

The process from our receipt of a customer's information and his or her receipt of the visa approval takes a maximum of three working days. As the Immigration Office is closed at weekends, no approvals can be issued on those days.

Of course, this being Vietnam, you don't escape the paperwork altogether – that has to be For a 'visa on arrival' , once you've paid your fee at the immigration desk, your visa will be glued into your passportdone at Hanoi airport. However, when you arrive a member of our staff will be waiting in the baggage retrieval area to assist you - the process takes about half an hour at most. You'll be able to sit down and relax - your contribution will be supplying the information, providing a colour passport photograph, and handing over the $25 US fee for the visa sticker.

For this service, we charge $20 US per person for the application procedure and assistance at the airport, which can be added to the cost of your tour or holiday if you wish. If you prefer, we can also include the US$25 visa fee in your tour price so that you won’t have to bother about payment when you first arrive.

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