As many other countries, Vietnam only applies visa exemption policy for a little nationals in specific cases. Almost all of the foreigners must have a visa in advance to check in flights to Vietnam. Conventionally, officials of Vietnam Embassy or Vietnam Consulate in Bangkok shall issue Vietnam Visa and directly stamp on the applicant’s passport. Nevertheless, procedures have been exceedingly cut off because of the execution of Viet Nam Visa On Arrival. Unluckily, if you are fully unaware of the legal requirement on the visa to Vietnam, you might be in deep water upon arrival.
UPDATE: The Vietnamese government has brought the implementation of E-Visa scheme in use from February 1, 2017.
You can apply for E-Visa on the official website of the Vietnam Immigration Department. After filling out the application and uploading the required photo, you must pay the full payment of the fee. The system will be specified on what date your visa will be approved as well. When informed that your visa is issued on the Immigration Portal, you are able to print out the document and walk through the Immigration Area at the airport. You should note that E-visa is completely different from VOA (Visa On Arrival).
UPDATE: Visa Exemption Policy is applied for Citizens of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain From July 2017
Travelers who come from Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain will no longer have to get the visa to enter Vietnam if they stay less than 15 days. In case of wanting to stay longer than 15 days in Vietnam, they must have a visa as normal.
Application for A Vietnam Visa Online
In contrast with the past, with people who don’t have enough time to go to the Embassy or Consulate for a visa issue, they can have their Vietnam visa online in their leisure time with just an application. After filling out an online application and paying for fees, after a few working days, applicants will get approval letters issued by the Immigration Dept of Vietnam. This letter will let the applicant be able to get visa stamped upon arrival at any Vietnam international airports. People call this is Visa on Arrival.
Visa obtaining to Vietnam at the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok
Alternatively, it is not difficult to have a Vietnam visa in Bangkok. Firstly, get a taxi or BTS Skytrain to Wireless Road (Soi Wittayu) in the center of Bangkok. On the Skytrain, you must get off at the Phloen Chit stop. Secondly, walk out through the elevated skywalk and then go down the stairs onto Wireless Road. If you see a huge dark gray futuristic-looking building on the corner called Park Ventures Ecoplex on the corner of Sukhumvit Road and Wireless Road, you’re in the right place. Let’s walk down Wireless Road towards All Seasons Place, which is a huge mall and office block. (Look at a big map on a board in the BTS station – check it before you go out through the exits to ensure you know where you’re going).
You need to have two photos for your Vietnam visa application. If you haven’t got them yet, there is a photo shop that can do passport photos in Wave Place, that is the mall on the opposite side of the road from Park Ventures Ecoplex. Wave Place can be seen from the Skywalk before you go down on the street.
After you walk along Wireless Road for about five minutes, the Vietnamese Embassy is just along here, but it’s easy to miss because you are so close to it. Below is photo of the door you need to look for, it is the entry to the Visa Application area.
When coming inside, fill in one of the application forms and then submit it at the window along with the appropriate fee.
Do not forget: Vietnam Visa Fees
From February 2015, it takes you 3000 Thai Baht for a single-entry visa if you want it ready next day, or 2400 Baht for a processing in 4 days. At the current time, there is no kind of process can give you a visa in a day. Applications should be submitted in the time between 9 am to 11.30 am and 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm. Applicants should pay attention carefully to the working hours to make sure that their visa will be issued timely.
Please note that the Vietnamese Embassy can change visa fees in some cases as well as the delivery schedule. It is a normal thing if the processing fee increase or the processing time becomes longer than before. So you had better bring with you some cash in case of arising fees, amounts. If you are willing, please leave a comment here with changes to pricing and we will update the article accordingly – thanks!
Also, make sure that you request a multiple entry visa if you purpose to exit and re-enter Vietnam during your travels, if not you’ll have to apply for a second visa all over again. Unsurprisingly, multiple entry visas will cost more.
You can have a check on the Vietnamese Embassy website for updates to prices and opening times, but the site seems in semi-hibernation.
Process Vietnam Visa with the express process in Cambodia
If you are on trip to Cambodia and intending to go on to Vietnam afterwards, you should get a Vietnam visa at the Sihanoukville Vietnam Embassy as a result of it’s issued quite fast. This trick is listed in the Lonely Planet Cambodia and I myself have done it (though it was a long time ago so you should double check it’s still operational). You easily turn up at the VietNnam Embassy – rather midmorning as somebody are going to be there and had time to handle with your request – and that they issue the visa on the spot. You know, the gentleman who issued Louise’s visas and mine was certainly friendly than the harried Bangkok visa staff.
The Vietnam Embassy in Sihanoukville is marked on most maps of the town, though it will take a small amount of cruising up and down the road on the back of motorbike taxis to identify its entrance gates.
Note that this immediate issue solely appears to happen in Sihanoukville and not the other Cambodian cities, together with the capital Phnom Penh. You will be able to still get a Vietnam visa in Phnom Penh, but you’ll have to wait for it.