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Apr, 2020


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A Complete Guide about Vietnam Visa for US citizens

A Complete Guide about Vietnam Visa for US citizens

By Vietnamvisavoa

Commonly known for strikingly beautiful landscape, diversified array of food and warm-hearted hospitality, Vietnam is making it a hot spot for travelers across the world, especially US visitors to explore and experience at least once in the lifetime.
 
Being US passport holder, if you want to visit the country, you must have a Vietnam visa. The incredible thing is that Vietnam Government has strived to offer a couple of ways for US citizens to easily and conveniently obtain a visa to Vietnam.   

In this article, we will describe in detail about each of visa method and will guide US citizens through the entire process. 
 
 

03 legitimate ways to get Vietnam visa for US citizens

 
US passport holders require a visa to travel to Vietnam, as it is a mandatory requirement for citizens of any other country need to enter into Vietnam. There are three ways of getting a Vietnamese visa.  
 
 
1. You can apply and obtain a visa in advance from the Vietnam Embassy. 
 
2. You can obtain a visa on arrival.  
 
3. You can apply for an E-visa
 
Of these three, obtaining a visa on arrival is a popular choice. It is convenient and cheap. But keep in mind, when it comes to Vietnam visa on arrival, you need to start the process of obtaining a pre-approval letter before you start your flight to Vietnam. Be warned, if you don’t have a invitation letter, your entry request will be denied.   

 

Vietnam visa for US citizens on arrival 

 
Visa on Arrival or VOA means making arrangements before getting your visa approved by the Vietnam Immigration Office and get it stamped when you arrive in Vietnam. 
 
VOA is provided for one or three month single/multiple entry cases for touristic and business purpose. In case your purpose is business, you can also avail an option of six-month multiple entry visa. As a US passport holder, you are also eligible for a one-year multiple entry visa. 
 
 

1. How to get visa on Arrival

 
You can contact an agency approved by the Vietnamese government for getting a VOA. All you need to do is find an agency, provide your passport details and receive an “Pre-approval letter”. 
 
Spend 5-10 minutes in providing the required details to the agency online. Once you submit the details to the agency, it takes 2-3 days (you can avail for a faster option i.e. 4 hours response time) in getting the pre-approval letter. 
 
 
Although VOA is the most popular option, it has some restrictions too. Visa on Arrival only works when you are entering Vietnam with a flight through any international airports which include Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hai Phong, Phu Quoc, or Da Lat International Airports. If you plan to enter Vietnam by land or sea, visa on arrival is not an option for you.
 

04  steps to EFFORTLESSLY apply visa on arrival with Vietnamvisavoa.com

 
 
 
 

2. Documents required

 
• A passport (must be valid for 6 months on starting day of travel and should stand valid till 30 days after your date of exit from Vietnam)
 
• Two passport size (4x6 cm) photographs (no glass wear and should hold light background)
 
• Vietnamese Application form (Entry/Exit Form)
 
• A printout of Pre-Approval letter
 
• Cash – 25USD or 50USD for stamping fee, depending on type of entry. 
 
Everything seems easy. That’s correct! But unfortunately, you may concern about cases where travellers are tricked by unauthorized agencies as well. Don’t worry, you just need to find an authentic agency to make it really easy for you.
 
For that recommendation goes with Vietnamvisavoa.com as they are authorized and provide extended support for getting your visa done. You can even ask them for assistance in filling the application form (known as entry/exit form) to minimize your efforts and avoid mistakes while applying. 

 

3. How much does Vietnam visa on arrival cost for US citizens?

 

Vietnam VOA only includes visa service fee and stamping fee.

 

For the visa service fee, it varies from this agency to another agency. Whereas, the stamping fee is fixed and directly paid to the Immigration Officer at the airport.

 

When it comes to choose a visa agency, don’t always compromise good service for a cheap price.

 

To apply visa on arrival with Vietnamvisavoa.com, you can check visa service fee in the tables as bellows:

 

VISA TYPE SERVICE FEE (USD) STAMPING FEE (USD)
1 month single entry $18 $25
1 month multiple entry $22 $50
3 month single entry $30 $25
3 month multiple entry $50 $50
6 month multiple entry $50 $95
1 year multiple entry  $50 $135

 

Table 1: Vietnam tourist visa for US citizens

 

 

VISA TYPE SERVICE FEE (USD) STAMPING FEE (USD)
1 month single entry $79 $25
1 month multiple entry $90 $50
3 month single entry $110 $25
3 month multiple entry $119 $50
6 month multiple entry $150 $95
1 year multiple entry  $ 200 $135

 

Table 2: Vietnam business visa for US citizens

 

 

 

 

Vietnam visa from the Vietnam Embassy

 
If you don’t want to use internet for applying a visa, you always have the option of applying for it via Vietnam Embassy/Consulate in United States. After your successful application, you are granted a sticker or a loose leaf visa, and both are equally valid. 
 
But keep in mind, this is a traditional way and requires a proactive approach. Since the visa fees is dependent on type and duration of visa, you are advised to contact the nearest embassy or consulate to brief you about it.
 
 
The benefit of this method allows flexibility on applying for single or multiple entry, this sticker or leaf visa allows you to enter Vietnam via land, air or sea.
 

1. How to get visa from the Vietnam Embassy

 
You can identify nearest Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Contact them and confirm your understanding of visa requirements before you visit and apply there.
 
To contact Vietnam Embassy in US
 

1. Vietnam Embassy in Washington, DC

 

Address 1233, 20th St., NW Suite 400 DC 20036, Washington, United States
Phone  +1-202-861-0737, +1-202-861-2293
Fax      +1-202-861-0917, +1-202-861-0694
Email  vietnamembassy@msn.com, info@vietnamembassy-usa.org, consular@vietnamembassy-usa.org

 

2. Vietnam Consulate in San Francisco, CA

 

Address 1700 California St.Suite 430, CA 94109, San Francisco, United States
Phone +1-415-922-1577, +1-415-922-1707
Fax  +1-415-922-1848, +1-415-922-1757
Email: info@vietnamconsulate-sf.org

 

3. Vietnam Consulate in New York, NY

 

Address 866 UN Plaza Suite 428, NY 10017, New York, United States
Phone +1-212-644-0594, +1-212-644-2535
Fax +1-212-644-5732
Email:info@vietnamconsulate-ny.org

 

4. Vietnam Consulate in Houston, TX 77056

 

Address 5251 Westheimer Rd #1100, Houston, TX 77056, United States
Phone +1-713-850-1233


Note: business hours for embassies are 9:00 A.M – 12:00 P.M and 02:00 P.M – 04:30 P.M from Monday through Friday. On weekends and holidays in US or Vietnam, embassy is closed so get an idea about it before you make a visit for application or make an arrangement for it. 

 

 

2. Documents Required:

 
•  Application Form (Downloaded at https://visa.mofa.gov.vn/_layouts/registration/ApplicationForm.aspx and filled with required details).
 
•   A passport (must be valid for 6 months on starting day of travel and should stand valid till 30 days after your date of exit from Vietnam. If you request a loose-leaf visa, a copy of your passport can work too)
 
•  Two passport size (4x6 cm) photographs (no glass wear and should hold light background)
 
•    Visa fees (In cash is you are applying in person. It must be money order or cashier’s check)
 
•    Prepaid self-addressed envelope if you want to get your passport returned via post
 
For Business visa, a letter of support from your sponsor agency or company in Vietnam is an additional requirement.
 
Keep in mind that getting a visa from an embassy can take 7-10 business days. If you are using it can get extended to 3 weeks, so apply accordingly.
 

Vietnam E-visa for US citizens

 
E visa or electronic visa is a travel document granted by the government of Vietnam, to promote the Vietnam tourism. As a US passport holder, you are eligible to get an E-visa for travelling to Vietnam. 
 
Getting an E-visa is simple. You will not need an  approval letter and stamp. But this option restricts you to go for a single entry mode for a maximum of 30 days. After 30 days, you are required to get your visa renewed. 
 

 

 
 

1. How to Get Vietnam E-visa

 

You need to go to the official Vietnam e-visa website and follow the relevant steps as described as bellows:


Step 1: Upload your passport date page and photo on the official E-visa website, then fill in the form with your personal details.

 

Step 2: Pay E-Visa fee with a valid credit card and receive your invoice confirmation.

 

Step 3: After 3 business day, return the “E-visa search” tab and enter your verification code, birth of date and email to download your e visa confirmation.

 

2. Documents Required:

 
•  Scanned copy of passport
 
•  Scanned copy of a passport size photograph (no glass wear)
 
•  Valid Credit/Debit card for payment
 
•  Email address to track off your visa application and download E-visa confirmation
 

3. Cost and processing time of E-visa

 
It takes around 15 minutes for provide details (if you are already with requirements) and pay for E-visa fees which is 25$ (payment mode may charge you 1$ more).
 
The time taken by Vietnamese authorities to provide E-visa document (a pdf file, which you need to get printed) is 3 business days, but can take up to 6 days as well. So make sure you apply for E-visa, at least two weeks prior starting your travel.
 
Quick notes:
 
There are a couple of important points while you apply for E-visa. You must take a safe note (may be screenshot) of a verification code, which you receive after verifying your details. Once the process is complete, keep your registration code safe as it will require for getting your visa from the same portal where you applied it.
 
Keep in mind, you are not getting any email for confirmation so do not wait for it. Lastly, don’t forget to take a print of E-visa (a one page pdf file) from the portal. Keep this with you throughout your stay in Vietnam.
 

Common types of Vietnam visa for US citizen

 

1. Vietnam visa type by purposes

 

1.1 Tourist visa (DL)

 
Tourist visa allows a US citizens for enter Vietnam with a purpose of touring or meeting friends and relatives in Vietnam. A tourist visa allows 1 or 3 month stay with single entry or a multiple entry option for a maximum period of 12 months. US citizens can stay no more than 90 consecutive days on tourist visa.
 

1.2 Business visa (DN)

 
Business Visa is issued by Vietnamese government when a US citizen intends to enter Vietnam for business or trade purpose. US passport holders are eligible to get single entry business visa for 1 or 3 months and multiple entry business visa for maximum of 12 months. US citizens can stay no more then 90 consecutive days on business visa. 
 

1.3 Work visa (LD)

 
Work Visa is a type of visa when a US citizen intends to visit Vietnam for the purpose of working with a Vietnamese registered company. A working visa is issued for no more than 24 months to US nationalities.
 

1.4 TT/VR visa

 
TT and VR are types of visa which are issued to US passport holders for the purpose of visiting their spouses, children, parents who are 
 
- Vietnamese or,
 
- Foreigners holding work visa, resident card holders or LV1, LV2, DT, NN1, NN2, DH, PV1, Visas
 
TT allows an eligible US citizen to stay for a maximum of 3 months whereas in case of VR, the maximum limit is 6 months. 
 

1.5 Investor visa (DT)

 
Investor visa is issued to US nationalities who are entering Vietnam in order to either invest in Vietnamese business or to Lawyers who intend to practice their profession in Vietnam. Initially investor visa is issued for a 12 months in maximum, but can be transformed into a temporary resident permit which is valid for 60 months.
 

1.6 Five-year visa exemption 

 
This is issued as a certificate but acts as a long term visa. The certificate is issued by the Vietnamese government to US citizens who are spouses or children of Vietnamese people (living in Vietnam or residing abroad). Once issued the certificate allows its holder to visit Vietnam at any time within 5 years but only permits to stay for maximum of 180 consecutive days in one trip.
 

2. Vietnam visa types per duration

 

2.1 Short term visa

 
A short term visa is granted by Vietnamese government in case a US citizen intends to stay in Vietnam for 1 or 3 months for touristic or business purpose. Apart from traditional way of applying at embassy, US citizens are eligible to get a short term visa as “E-visa” (allows a single entry stay for 30 days) or visa on arrival (allows 30 or 90 days of stay with single and multiple entry option).
 

2.2 Long term visa

 
If a US citizen wish to stay for more than 3 months, the person needs to opt for a long term visa option. Long term visa allows multiple entries to US citizen for 6 or 12 months for the purpose of tourism and business. Apart from applying at embassy, the only option to obtain a 6 or 12 month visa is to get it on arrival. Note that in case of tourist visa, US citizens are permitted to stay for a maximum of 90 consecutive days in Vietnam per each entry. 
 
As a long term stay option Vietnam government also grants a five-year visa exemption certificate to US citizens who are spouses or children of Vietnamese people. The certificate does not restricts number of entries to its holder for 5 years but allows a stay of maximum 180 days per visit. 
 

3. Vietnam visa types per entry 

 

3.1 Single entry

 
A single entry visa allows a US citizen to enter to enter Vietnam just once during with within validity dates of visa.
 

3.2 Multiple entry

 
A multiple entry visa allows a US citizen to enter Vietnam several times during the period while the visa is valid.
 

How to get Vietnam visa urgent and emergency for US citizens? 

 
US citizens who wish to obtain a visa on arrival in lesser time can avail for urgent and emergency services from Vietnamvisavoa.com. In urgent cases, pre-approval letter (required to get visa stamped on visitor’s passport) is provided in 1-2 business days whereas the same letter is granted in a single hour if requested as emergency case.
 
Four simple steps to get a rush Vietnam visa
 
Step 1: Fill up the visa application online or send your passport copy to our email at support@vietnamvisavoa.com 
 
Step 2: Pay the visa service fee online.
 
Step 3: A visa approval letter will be sent to your email within the requested time.
 
Step 4: Provide printed version of approval letter, 2 passport size photographs (4X6 cm) and stamping fees to get visa stamped on arrival 
 
 What are the fees of urgent and emergency?
 
The visa service fee of urgent and emergence includes an extra cost for expediting visa processing time on the top of the regular visa fee. More details, you can check the price tables underneath. 
 
Tourist visa service fee with urgent and emergency service for US citizens:
 
 
Business visa service fee with urgent and emergency service for US citizens:
 
 
 
 

Visa extension and renewal are available to US nationals

 
If a US citizen is already into Vietnam and intends to stretch the duration of stay, he/she can go for visa extension or renewal. In case of extension of visa, only the validity of existing visa is increase and other attribute remains the same. But in case of visa renewal, US passport holders get a new visa sticker on their passport, which can be completely different from the previous visa. Both options permit you to legally keep you in Vietnam without leaving.
 

How to apply

 
US passport holders can apply for visa renewal or visa extension at Immigration office but the easier way is to do it online.
 
Step 1: Submit request and details for extension/renewal with a copy of passport and visa at support@vietnamvisavoa.com
 
Step 2: Wait for confirmation on feasibility of the request along with relevant service fee and processing time.
 
Step 3: Pay the fees and provide your passport to Vietnamvisavoa office via post or in person. 
 
After the estimated time of waiting (generally around 10 working days), collect your passport with extended or new visa.
 
If you want to directly submit at the Vietnam Immigration Deparment, here is the contact list of the Immigration Office
 
• Vietnam Immigration Department in Hanoi (or known as A18)
 
Address: 44-46 Tran Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
 
Phone: +84 43 826 4026
 
• Vietnam Immigration Department in Da Nang (or known as A18)
 
Address: 80 Le Loi, Hai Chau Ward, Da Nang city
 
Phone: +84 236 3860 191
 

• Vietnam Immigration Department in Da Nang (or known as A18)

 

Address: 337 Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
 
Phone: +84 838 299 398
 

How much does extension and renewal cost for US citizen?

 

Extension fee: Basically, the longer you want to stay the more you will pay for extending your visa. For example, if you are on 1 month tourist visa and want to extend for another 1 month or 3 months, it costs from $90-$150 or $180-$300 respectively for US citizens.
 
Renewal fee: the fee for renewal is a bit higher than the extension fee because you are required to pay all inclusive for visa stamp glued on your passport. This way is very strict to do sometimes. For example, if you are on 1 month business visa, want to renew for 3 months, it cots $250-$300.
 
 

Visa run for US citizen – another alternative to stay longer in Vietnam

 
In case the extension or renewal is no more a valid solution for an intended longer stay, US citizens have an alternative to perform a “visa run”. Visa Run is basically an legal exit from Vietnam to another country and then re-entering in Vietnam with a fresh visa. Visa run is a completely legal option and requires a just requires a proactive approach.
 
In order to make a visa run successful, US citizens must ensure
 
•  A valid passport with 4 blank pages
 
•   A pre-approval letter for getting Vietnamese visa stamped on re- entry.
 
•   Two passport size photographs.
 
•   Visa Fees for relevant Vietnamese visa
 

Visa run through land border/ the airport–steps to do

 
Step 1: Arrange for pre-approval letter from Vietnamvisavoa.com before leaving Vietnam.
 
Step 2: Arrange for transportation to another country by land border or airport.
 
Step 3: Perform exit formalities (at land boarder or at airport).
 
Step 4: Apply for a Lao/Cambodian/Thailand visa on arrival.
 
Step 5: Perform exit formalities at Lao/Cambodian/Thailand and reach at Vietnam immigration. 
 
Step 6: Submit pre-approval letter, photographs to get a Vietnamese visa stamped again and enter Vietnam.
 

 Visa run cost

 
 • Visa fee: It is sum of visa on arrival fees for Lao/Cambodian/Thailand, Vietnamese agency fees and visa stamping fees which is 25$ for single entry and 50$ for multiple entry.
 
•  Transportation cost: Depends of the country and mode of transportation selected for visa run.
 

 

Frequently answered questions about Vietnam visa for US citizens

 

Q: How much is Vietnam visa for us citizen?

 
A: It depends on the method, type and duration of Vietnam visa you apply for. In general, cheapest option can be visa on Arrival.
 

Q: How do I get a visa for Vietnam from the US?

 
A: You can get it from authorized agency such as Vietnamvisavoa.com or equivalent. Also you can get it from nearest embassy or from Vietnamese E-visa portal 

 

Q: How long can a US citizen stay in Vietnam?

 
A: US passport are allowed to hold 1 year multiple tourist visa, but the maximum stay allowed is 90 days in one visit. It means that you can't stay in Vietnam for more than 3 months at a time, and have to leave the country and return for another 3 months of stay.
 
 
 
 
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