How to Apply for a Vietnam Tourist Visa

A Vietnam tourist visa grants you permission to travel throughout Vietnam as a tourist for a maximum of 30 days. But if that’s not long enough, you can extend your visa for as little as US$10 when you’re in the country. This type of visa is required for almost anyone who wants to enter Vietnam, including people from Australia, New Zealand and (if you’re planning on visiting for more than 15 days) the UK.

Fransipan. Vietnam Tourist Visa
To visit Fransipan in Vietnam, you need to get a visa tourist Vietnam. Image via Flickr, Eustaquio Santimano / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

How to apply for a Vietnam Tourist Visa

Until Vietnam completely rolls out their new e-visa scheme, there are only two main ways to obtain a Vietnam tourist visa. The first method is to get your visa by using a Vietnamese embassy or consulate. However, this is the least popular way because it is the most expensive. It can take a long time and you sometimes have to send off your passport.

The second method is using an online visa agent such as Visa First. This is a much better way to get your Vietnam tourist visa because it works out cheaper than using an embassy or consulate. It’s much faster and you don’t have to part with your passport. Keep in mind that you can only apply for a Vietnam tourist visa through an online visa agent if you’re flying into one of Vietnam’s five international airports. If you’re travelling to Vietnam via a land crossing, you can’t apply for a visa this way.

Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months to get a Vietnam tourist visa. Image via Flickr, Sean Hobson CC 2.0
Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months to get a Vietnam tourist visa. Image via Flickr, Sean Hobson / CC BY 2.0

Collect all necessary documents

To apply for a Vietnam tourist visa you need:

  • Passport valid for at least six months and a minimum of one month longer than your Vietnam visa validity
  • Completed application form (you’ll receive a blank form after submitting an inquiry when using an online visa agent)
  • One passport photo taken within the last 12 months affixed to the application form
  • Visa fee
  • Copy of your travel itinerary and travel reservations (only for Australian residents)

Present your documents

When using an online visa agent, you present all your documents online. After filling out the online application form and paying the agency fee, you’ll receive an email from Visa on Arrival with an approval letter signed by the Vietnamese immigration. You need to print this letter out and present it on arrival in a designated queue at customs, where you have to pay a visa stamping fee in cash in US dollars.

When applying for a Vietnam tourist visa, you can submit all the paperwork online.
When you apply for a Vietnam tourist visa, you can submit all the paperwork online.

Processing time

How long it takes for your visa application to be processed really depends on the country you’re applying from. In Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, it can take up to one week for your visa to be delivered. But if you use Visa First, you can get your visa in as little as one working day in Australia or three working days in the UK.

Visa fees

The visa fees are dependent on the online visa agent you use. But regardless of how much you pay the agent, you’ll still have to pay $25 for a single-entry stamping fee or $50 for a multiple-entry stamping fee upon arrival in Vietnam.

About Nicola Quinn


Nicola is a travel and food writer living in the Canary Islands who loves exploring far-off places, pushing herself to the limit and trying local eats wherever she goes.

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