My Experience Applying For A Vietnam E-Visa

My Experience Applying For A Vietnam E-Visa

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I’ll be heading to Vietnam soon for a review trip, which will mark my first trip to Southeast Asia since the start of pandemic. Vietnam still requires visas for most travelers, so in this post I figured I’d outline my experience applying for a Vietnamese e-visa.

Ironically since applying for an e-visa with my US passport, I realized that Vietnam currently has a visa waiver program in effect for those with German passports. So since I have dual citizenship, I didn’t actually need to go through this process, but I figured it’s an interesting data point nonetheless.

Basics of Vietnam’s e-visa process

Traveling to Vietnam from most countries requires a visa, which has to be applied for in advance (visas on arrival typically aren’t permitted without an invitation letter). Fortunately nationals of 80 countries can request e-visas. You can find the full list of eligible countries here — as you can see, the United States is included.

Vietnam issues single entry tourist visas at a cost of $25, allowing you to stay for up to 30 days. The good news is that the application process online is easy. The bad news is that it’s not an instant process.

Note that Vietnam also has a visa waiver program for citizens of select countries. This includes several European countries, and allows you to visit Vietnam visa-free for up to 15 days.

My experience applying for a Vietnam e-visa

Here’s the page where you can apply for a Vietnam e-visa. This page outlines the basics of what you’ll need to apply, and then you’ll want to select the “For Foreigners” option to get started.

Vietnam e-visa application page

For the first part of the application, you’ll have to upload a copy of your passport picture page and a portrait picture. The good news is that neither of these pictures have to be “professional.” I just used my iPhone to take a picture of my passport’s picture page, and then took a portrait picture with my iPhone (you just have to look straight at the camera and take off glasses), and uploaded that.

Vietnam e-visa application process

The rest of the form asks the questions you’d expect, including your full passport details, occupation, religion (hmmm…), permanent address, etc. You’re also asked your intended date of arrival and departure, as well as your intended points of entry and departure.

Vietnam e-visa application process

At this point you’ll be granted a registration code, which you’ll later need to look up the status of your application. This page also asks if you’re accompanied by any children under the age of 14.

Vietnam e-visa application process

One thing that’s not terribly clear is whether you have to enter your exact arrival and departure date, given that the e-visa is valid for 30 days. I just entered the exact dates I’m traveling, though when my visa was actually issued, it was valid for a total of 15 days around my stated dates. That’s useful in the event that your plans change, you have irregular operations with your flight, etc.

At this point you’ll be asked to pay the $25 non-refundable e-visa application processing fee.

Vietnam e-visa application process

You can pay by credit card, including with an Amex, Mastercard, or Visa.

Vietnam e-visa payment process

You’ll then receive confirmation that your payment was successful.

Vietnam e-visa payment process

Checking Vietnam e-visa application status

Vietnam claims that it can take up to three working days for your e-visa to be approved. You can check on the status of your application here. You’ll have to provide your registration code, email, and date of birth. That’s why it’s important that you take note of your registration code (though you should also be emailed this upon submitting your application).

Your application will show as being “in processing” until the approval happens.

Vietnam e-visa application status page

How long Vietnam e-visa approval takes

Vietnam claims it can take up to three working days for a visa to be approved. I planned this trip pretty last minute (around a week out), and submitted my e-visa application on December 30, 2022, at 8:30PM Vietnam time. My visa ended up being approved on January 5, 2023, at 11:30AM Vietnam time.

In other words, it took just under six calendar days to get approved, and just under three “working days” (Saturday and Sunday were the weekend, and Monday was a holiday). So based on my experience, the visa does in fact come through within the promised timeline.

Note that while you should receive an email informing you that your visa has been approved, often that comes with a bit of a delay. So you’ll want to always check the status application page, because that may reflect an approved visa earlier. That is also where you’ll go to print your visa, once approved.

Vietnam e-visa approval email

Now, there are some reports from others about it taking a bit longer. The issue in general with these kinds of visa applications is that it’s not like there’s a customer service phone number you can call. If your application just keeps showing as being “in processing,” there’s not a whole lot that can be done.

Expediting a Vietnam e-visa approval

What happens if your e-visa takes longer than expected to be approved, or if you plan a last minute trip and don’t have time to wait a few working days? Fortunately there are quite a few services that offer expedited visa approval for a fee, within a certain number of working hours (typically same day).

In some cases I believe these services get you an invitation letter for Vietnam, so that you can then get a visa on arrival.

OMAAT readers have lots of recommendations regarding good services in the comments section, so if that would be useful to you, check out those comments. Since I don’t have any firsthand experience with any of these, I can’t personally recommend one.

Bottom line

Vietnam issues e-visas to nationals of 80 countries. The application process as such is pretty easy, and the cost is $25. The only major consideration is that it can take three working days to process the application, which could pose some issues if you plan a last minute trip, and your days prior to travel are the weekend or a holiday. If you need a visa with less notice than that, fortunately there are lots of services that can help.

If you’ve applied for a Vietnam e-visa, what was your experience like?

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  1. Bryan Guest

    This is the second time I've tried to apply for a Vietnam e-Visa. I did it once back in July 2022. When it was taking longer than expected, I reached out via e-mail and the immigration web page. I got no response, and I didn't find out until months later that my application was declined. They never provided me a reason why.

    I am trying again, in 2023. I applied on January 10th. And it's...

    This is the second time I've tried to apply for a Vietnam e-Visa. I did it once back in July 2022. When it was taking longer than expected, I reached out via e-mail and the immigration web page. I got no response, and I didn't find out until months later that my application was declined. They never provided me a reason why.

    I am trying again, in 2023. I applied on January 10th. And it's the 16th, the fourth working day. Still no approval, and I reached out again via the immigration website.

    My first application in July 2022, I didn't provide an exact address, and I suspect that my photos might have been off or not to their liking. But I was also in Vietnam for about 20 months during COVID, and when I left, they charged me an overstay fee. Even though I was trapped in a lockdown in Da Nang, and businesses were closed, so I couldn't use an agent to re-new my visa. Even though I'd paid every month for it before that.

    I know I'm not the only person who left Vietnam with a visa overstay during COVID. So, I'm wondering if I might be blacklisted or how to even find that out. Because everywhere I read about the Vietnam e-Visa, it seems like everybody got theirs eventually. And I know a girl in Vietnam who said the same thing, that everybody got their e-Visa except me.

    Any information on how to determine if I'd be blacklisted? Or if anybody else might have come across that issue?

  2. Pointmetofirst Guest

    Make sure you print it out and have a physical copy. I’m in Vietnam now on holiday and some in our party had a real issue with not having a paper copy.

  3. John Baker Guest

    Why in the world would anyone want to go to Vietnam? So many members of the U.S. military died or were wounded there - it’s not relevant whether or not you believed in that war.

    1. pdxguy Guest

      In that essence, we should not go to Germany, Japan, Europe and many places in the US during Civil War since many members of US military died there. What a stupid comment!

  4. Hilary Guest

    My daughter is in the Philippines with a flight booked to Vietnam on Monday 9th Jan and intends to travel there for a month - but she only applied for her evisa yesterday. What happens if it hasn’t come through by the time she flies? Do you have a link for any of the expediting services? Thanks.

  5. John John Guest

    Also worth noting is that if you fly direct to beautiful Phu Quoc Island (it not via Hanoi, HCM etc - we went Bangkok direct) it is visa free. As a tourist island you go straight to the short arrival line and get stamped in - no paperwork at all.

  6. John Guest

    The evisa is way more convenient than the old physical visa and VOA. Which required you to bring cash and passport photos and wait while they processed in personnand the point of entry. Cambodia and Laos were very similar with their evisas.

  7. glenn t Diamond

    Hi Ben, Will you use the visa you have been approved for to enter, or simply use your German passport on arrival?
    I'm thinking if you did the latter it may cause complications if their IT system is up to scratch.

  8. Edward Guest

    I was just in Ho Chi Minh City two weeks ago, departed 23 December SGN-BKK-JED (Vietjet Air/ Saudi Arabian Airlines) the online visa process is pretty straight forward though I do agree you should give yourself at least two weeks prior to your selected arrival date. I received my e-visa in five days, the day before my departure from BKK. Once I arrived in SGN, I presented my printed copy of e-visa approval and swiftly...

    I was just in Ho Chi Minh City two weeks ago, departed 23 December SGN-BKK-JED (Vietjet Air/ Saudi Arabian Airlines) the online visa process is pretty straight forward though I do agree you should give yourself at least two weeks prior to your selected arrival date. I received my e-visa in five days, the day before my departure from BKK. Once I arrived in SGN, I presented my printed copy of e-visa approval and swiftly moved through passport control. A word of note do not make the mistake I made by going to the Vietnam embassy in Bangkok as I did (in an attempt to get the visa in person), during my stay in Bangkok...a total waste of time.

  9. Lux Travel Guest

    Hope you have a much better experience than I did. Despite submitting a copy of my passport page with my recent visa application, I had a missing digit on my passport number when I submitted the evisa form. My passport number on my evisa was incorrect with only 1 missing passport number digit. I tried to get this correctly for a few days with the relevant authorities. I was denied entry upon arrival and had...

    Hope you have a much better experience than I did. Despite submitting a copy of my passport page with my recent visa application, I had a missing digit on my passport number when I submitted the evisa form. My passport number on my evisa was incorrect with only 1 missing passport number digit. I tried to get this correctly for a few days with the relevant authorities. I was denied entry upon arrival and had to pay an emergency $200USD fee to an "agent" instead of $25USD. It is critical you ensure that the following are correct - arrival or departure dates, passport number, date of birth, spelling of name, city of arrival, passport expiration etc. Watch full video of experience on YouTube https://youtu.be/ddQjrq57Ccs

  10. JP Guest

    From experience, we paid for the expedited version with the fast track (where they oddly send through through the diplomat desk when you arrive).
    You're white so should be fine, but my partner and I are Asian and the security told us off and pointed us to the normal lane until our escort came and told him off. With a surprised look on his face, he ended up letting us through, wasn't the greatest experience but glad that we had a guide.

  11. TA Guest

    You can get VOA if you have visa approval letter from a tourist agency. https://www.myvietnamvisa.com/ OR http://www.vietnamvisapro.net/ OR www.visa4vietname.com. You will need to pay stamping fee at airport. Take 2 photos and cash with you.

  12. Eric Maul Guest

    Ben we are in Viet Nam currently at Hoi An. The visa does arrive within time frame specified. Very easy process. I applied thirty days out from trip. Great place to visit.

  13. Timo Gold

    I did it back in 2015, and it came on the 3rd working day. There was no problem. BTW, I always use ItsEasy website for any complex visa apps like China. They do a good job & are very quick if you pay the expedite fee.

  14. SullyofDoha Guest

    @Ben,
    It takes 3 working days.
    I've done it several times this year.
    No need to hold your breath, it will come!

  15. Andrew - Miami Beach Guest

    I used agencies twice to expedite my e-Visa and I had my doubts but they were there as I got off the plane in Hanoi, took my passport and those of a few other clients, and bypassed long lines by taking the passports and e-visa documents to a special window while we sat and relaxed for ten minutes or so. They came back handed us the paperwork and walked us through the immigration line, leaving...

    I used agencies twice to expedite my e-Visa and I had my doubts but they were there as I got off the plane in Hanoi, took my passport and those of a few other clients, and bypassed long lines by taking the passports and e-visa documents to a special window while we sat and relaxed for ten minutes or so. They came back handed us the paperwork and walked us through the immigration line, leaving us at baggage claim. I don't think it was more than $20 or $30 extra for the service and it worked well.

    However on the next trip I flew Cathay from Hong Kong to Phu Quoc, a Vietnamese tourism island off the coast of Cambodia. My research determined I did not need a visa, but Cathay stopped me at check-in to tell me I did, indeed, need the e-visa. I had been to the Cathay ticket office in Hong Kong the day before, just to double check and they confirmed the e-visa was not necessary. So I can tell you that an e-Visa can be issued in one hour, as Cathay got one for me before the plane boarded (never a waste of time to get to the airport early). And the only reason I was in Vietnam was to use the second half of my Cathay "mistake" first class round trip Hanoi to JFK for $1,000 that should have been more like $10,000...if you remember, they honored the tickets they sold before shutting down the offer a day or two after they saw the pricing error. That was a great trip!

  16. iamhere Guest

    At least you can apply in advance and use a credit card. In some way it is easier that VOA because that takes a while once you arrive and many places the credit card machine does not work. Alternatively could be in this kind of situation.

  17. iamhere Guest

    At least you can apply in advance and use a credit card. In some way it is easier that VOA because that takes a while once you arrive and many places the credit card machine does not work. Alternatively could be in this kind of situaton.

  18. RB Guest

    Contact these guys: [email protected]

    They were referred to me by the Vietnam Embassy. Cost about $125 and delivered the visa in three days.

  19. Lise Guest

    Hi Ben! I have applied for and received my e-visa on December 1 (Monday) and got it on December 7 (Thursday). I’m Canadian. Indeed, passport holders from 13 European countries do not need a visa to enter Vietnam. I agree with you it can be frustrating not knowing if something got wrong or not. The last time I was in Vietnam, in 2016, I applied through a local travel agency. I hope it works out fine for you.

  20. Jamie Guest

    I had a lot of issues with my Vietnamese visa in December. It took 3 business days, but the kept rejected my photo. I do a passport photo that I scanned it. The eventually accepted a brand new photo, after 3 different tries and 3 different photos. Ben, one thing you can’t hadn’t counted on during your 3 day period, is the holidays where the office was closed for new years and such.

  21. Raio Guest

    I got the e-visa last month. It took four working days. I’m sure you’ll get it in the next 24 hours.

  22. Kiwi Guest

    This is one of the reasons I keep my APEC Business travel card with my NZ passport, as it gets me visa free entry and priority immigration in all APEC countries except US/Canada (not relavent to me as I’m a citizen of both).

  23. hartd8 Member

    If you get a letter of introduction u cn get the visa at the airport...

  24. Mary Guest

    I did it in November and mine took exactly the three business days to process if I counted days based on their time zone and not when I submitted.

  25. Steven Guest

    I just went to Vietnam from Singapore. I’m a Canadian citizen. My approval took 4 working days. When I landed in Hanoi, I did notice that there was a working counter that was issuing visa on arrival. So that could be your fall-back plan…

  26. Frank Guest

    For those who are waiting for their VISA to be processed, go to Phu Quoc Island which is VISA free for everyone for 30 days and you can stay at the Marriott there while you wait for VISA approval.

  27. Nicole Guest

    We applied (and got the payment confirmation) on December 28. The email with the visa approval arrived today.

  28. Junebug Guest

    I traveled to Vietnam several weeks ago with some friends and we applied only several days ahead which was ignorant 3 of us got ours fairly quickly the other 2 was a hassle we didn't have them when we got to the check-in counter in Bangkok there is a number on there website that says something about 24 hour service we called that and they emailed it to us within minutes

    1. Devon Guest

      Hi,

      I am a u.s. traveler traveling from SF to Hanoi via China Airlines and a connection in Taiwan. I applied for my E-VISA on Dec. 31, 2022 and still says it is processing. As you mentioned, did your friends successfully have luck with the expediting service? If so, which one did they use?

  29. Cameron Guest

    Hi Ben,

    I used to do a lot of work in Vietnam and have used https://www.vietnam-visa.com/ many times, without issues. They once sorted me out a visa in a few hours while I waited in the Singapore airport.

    1. skimegheath Gold

      Have also used this company many times as an Australian living in Singapore.

  30. Mike1977 Guest

    I have applied for and received the Vietnamese w-visa several times before and after Covid. I followed all the same steps as you, and have never needed to bother with an agency that charges a fee. Considering it was a major holiday since your application, give them the full three calendar working days. I’ve never had an issue getting it approved. I’m sure things will be fine!

  31. Nishant Singhvi Guest

    Hi Ben,

    Even I faced delay in evisa in Nov22. Contacted em throug below, and got quick revert.

    H (+84)832-320-320 M (+84)835-299-299
    E [email protected]

    1. alinsfca Guest

      Agreed. I was rejected with the explanation that my name is incorrect, which was not true. I got an evisa before using the same name which is exactly what is on my passport, except "-" which you cannot use on the evisa website. I emailed Email support: [email protected] and it was approved a few days later.

  32. Gary Counihan Guest

    As one who has applied for 3 or 4 eVisas I would suggest editing your face and passport pictures to a smaller file size. One that the evisa process accepts. Then save them so they can be used again as necessary.

  33. Andy Diamond

    As a Swiss citizen I can also only do the eVisa (or the traditional one at the embassy), but not Visa on Arrival. Same as US citizens.

    My pre COVID experience is somewhat mixed. The eVisa always got approved, no worries. But there were always long lines at SGN for those holding an eVisa. At one stage, I changed to the embassy visa (Vietnamese embassy in Berne, by mail), which was a breeze (3 working...

    As a Swiss citizen I can also only do the eVisa (or the traditional one at the embassy), but not Visa on Arrival. Same as US citizens.

    My pre COVID experience is somewhat mixed. The eVisa always got approved, no worries. But there were always long lines at SGN for those holding an eVisa. At one stage, I changed to the embassy visa (Vietnamese embassy in Berne, by mail), which was a breeze (3 working days, including mail delivery both ways) and allowed me to jump the line …

  34. tda1986 Member

    Based on all the comments, it seems like the process takes exactly three working days. That was also my experience back in 2017.

  35. Jesper Guest

    Hi Ben,

    Did you not get a German passport? Germans can get a visa on arrival if they stay less than 15 days, and have not been to Vietnam in the last 30 days. Many countries have this option. Though US passport holders don't.

    1. RJ Guest

      Hi Jesper,

      Regarding the 30 day period between visa-free visits, this limit was actually removed with a law change I believe in July 2021. So you can effectively depart Vietnam and re-enter the next day for another 15 days now, officially. That’s how I read it for UK passports anyway, it was stated on the official ministry for the interior website (I think that was the name of the department).

    2. Andrew Guest

      The information in the article’s title is wrong and confusing and could cause unnecessary hassle .
      Vietnam allows visa WAIVER for nationals of many European countries for stays of up to 15 days . So you are not even applying for a visa upon arrival- you just don’t need a visa .

    3. Jesper Guest

      True that it is actually a visa waiver, but it does allow you to just jump on a plane and arrive.

    4. David Eresthet Guest

      He directly addressed this literally in the second paragraph.

    5. Jesper Guest

      Yeah, because it is an updated post today, majority reposting old stuff but adding this little bit. He did not address it in the initial post. Someone told him about the option....

  36. NC Guest

    Hi Ben ! Before going for an expedite e-visa application, make sure that you are allowed to have two e-visas at the same time as one of the two application might be rejected. You could also try to contact them using this form : https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/en_US/web/guest/lien-he

    I wish you the best of luck and I am sure you will sort this out !

  37. Jesper Guest

    Hi Ben,

    3 working days is the expected reply time. And you are looking at it as 5 calendar days.
    You submitted the 30th, which was probably already after hours on Friday. The 2nd in Vietnam was a public holiday due to new year's. So your 3 working days only start counting on the 3rd in Vietnam, so you'd probably get a reply on the 4th US time/5th Vietnam time.

  38. MC Guest

    You should get your visa in a day or two. They're pretty busy with the amount of foreigners and American Vietnamese coming back for Lunar New Year. However I'm guessing you're using your German passport to gain visa free entry.
    As for the arrival date and departure date on the form, you can use either your actual travel dates or the 30 days period. The passport control person never asks for your ticket anyway.

  39. Hudute Guest

    Do you still have a German passport? You can enter Vietnam on those for up to 7 days (iirc) as long as you have an onward ticket to present on arrival. Might be worth looking into.

    1. Devin sherman Guest

      Wait like don't ask for flight ticket or for visa ? And what d you mean you can do 30 days or your actual dates ? Whe I go to apply it says I have to put in the dates

    2. Al Guest

      15 days, actually, for a few countries including Germany. Just went to Vietnam last month on my German passport and didn't have to do anything in advance at all, just arrived at the airport!

  40. Ralph4878 Guest

    @Ben - don't you have a German passport? If so, I believe you can enter Vietnam visa free.

  41. SEAmericanExpat New Member

    Ben, I have visited Vietnam over 20 times, and I always use the same service for my visa: http://www.vietnamimmigration.org/

    They also have an expedited service for the times you are in a rush.

    Once you are approved, don’t forget to print out a copy of your visa so that you can show it to the airport staff before boarding a flight to Vietnam. Not all airlines look favorably upon digital copies…

    Have fun, and...

    Ben, I have visited Vietnam over 20 times, and I always use the same service for my visa: http://www.vietnamimmigration.org/

    They also have an expedited service for the times you are in a rush.

    Once you are approved, don’t forget to print out a copy of your visa so that you can show it to the airport staff before boarding a flight to Vietnam. Not all airlines look favorably upon digital copies…

    Have fun, and if you visit Hanoi don’t forget to hit the best street food in the old quarter:

    Quán Gốc Đa
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/U6idLamUDxXQHwW3A?g_st=ic

  42. SEAmericanExpat New Member

    Ben, I have visited Vietnam over 20 times, and I always use the same service for my visa: http://www.vietnamimmigration.org/

    They also have an expedited service for the times you are in a rush.

    Once you are approved, don’t forget to print out a copy of your visa so that you can show it to the airport staff before boarding a flight to Vietnam. Not all airlines look favorably upon digital copies…

    Have fun, and...

    Ben, I have visited Vietnam over 20 times, and I always use the same service for my visa: http://www.vietnamimmigration.org/

    They also have an expedited service for the times you are in a rush.

    Once you are approved, don’t forget to print out a copy of your visa so that you can show it to the airport staff before boarding a flight to Vietnam. Not all airlines look favorably upon digital copies…

    Have fun, and if you visit Hanoi don’t forget to hit the best street food in the old quarter: Quán Gốc Đa
    +84 94 665 60 56
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/U6idLamUDxXQHwW3A?g_st=ic

  43. Tama Guest

    I just recently went to Vietnam in November of 2022. I encountered some bugs as when we were applying they switched payment processor so was getting errors. But once it went through it did get approved within 3 business days. I will recommend to put an arrival date before your actual arrival in case you have flight changes. The arrival date you put on your application is the earliest you can arrive in Vietnam (JAL...

    I just recently went to Vietnam in November of 2022. I encountered some bugs as when we were applying they switched payment processor so was getting errors. But once it went through it did get approved within 3 business days. I will recommend to put an arrival date before your actual arrival in case you have flight changes. The arrival date you put on your application is the earliest you can arrive in Vietnam (JAL changed my flight so I rebooked to arrive a day earlier and had to waste another $25 per passenger to apply for an updated visa). So if you’re not intending to stay the full 30 days put arrival date a couple days earlier.
    Also Lucky, if you don’t get the visa in time I do think they still do visa on arrival? When we were at Hanoi we saw an office there before immigrations so you may look into that (and if you go before Jan 8 before the opening of China, then there may not be a long line)

  44. Lukas Gold

    Four years ago I had to use one of these expedited visas companies and it worked out for me. Looks like you are set now with your German passport though. Enjoy!

  45. Willem Guest

    My first time going to Vietnam was around their National Day and they warned of high volume and delayed processing times. As another reader suggested, I paid for a site that gave me an “Invitation Letter”, and got my visa on arrival at Hanoi. Took 1 hour, lots of other travelers do the same…

    As an aside, I’m flying thru Brussels today and Air Belgium is back in operation! Scheduled to Cape Town and JNB tonight

  46. etdundon Guest

    I entered Vietnam with a e-visa in 2018 and mistakenly put down my date of arrival as the day after my actual day. It was a bit of a pain after landing, but there were many "expediters" there who were able to fix the issue with an additional ~$40-50. Just be sure to bring some cash (USD) and you'll be able to solve any issue that may come up upon arrival.

  47. HA Guest

    Hi Ben !

    I've travelled to Vietnam to 5 times in the last 4 years and always stayed at 2 same hotels in Ho Chi Minh (Park Hyatt & The Reverie Saigon). Both hotels offer an expedited visa processing service (for a charge ofcourse) but in all 5 cases regardless of the hotel I went through, my E-Visa came in approx. 2-4 hours. I would recommend getting in touch with your hotel to see if they offer a similar service.

  48. JohnRossa Member

    "Traveling to Vietnam requires a visa....." Not really. If you have a passport from another ASEAN nation (which I do), you don't need a visa if you're staying less than 30 days in Vietnam.

  49. Giovanni Guest

    Did this a few weeks ago, also last minute. Took about 2 days. One thing to know is that the visa gets issued before you get an email - if you go to the website and enter your details, you'll get a PDF of your finished visa. Got the email notifying of a changed status a couple days after I had already downloaded the visa.

  50. Ed Guest

    I got my visa in 3 working days. I never received an email from the visa service center - some issue about Yahoo email and foreign sourced email servers not flowing through. I suspect those expediting services are scams. I would trust the government website and not an intermediary.

    1. Franklin Guest

      Some are scams, some aren't. That used to be the only way to do it, and they really do work. I've used one or another on my four trips to Vietnam, all smooth and totally unscammy. Just need to find one that is trusted.

  51. AA70 Diamond

    Relevant to my interests as I am also planning a Vietnam trip. Curious to hear what you think about Bamboo vs Vietnam airlines

  52. AlanT98 Guest

    Why dont you use your German Passport? With it, you can enter visa free for 15 days

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ AlanT98 -- Oh wow, that's pretty awesome. Not sure how I missed that. Seems there's nothing needed in advance to take advantage of this? If so, whew...

    2. Tim Guest

      Hey Ben, nothing is needed, German passport gets you in visa-free.
      https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/vietnamsicherheit/217274#content_4
      Enjoy your trip!

    3. TTravel New Member

      Hi Ben, just watch out with this, I was refused travel to Vietnam without the visa (which was late being approved, about 12 hrs later then the 3 days). I explained I'm allowed to go to Vietnam without the visa but they flat out refused to check in.

    4. AlanT98 Guest

      Not that I'm aware of. Of course, if you get your evisa (with your US passport) approved on time, I'd rather use that one already

    5. Stephen in Vegas (now Saipan) Guest

      Lol. This must be what Ben meant when he says in the article that he "realized" he could use his German passport. That means "I realized it after I was clued in by a reader" that he could use his German passport. Way to give credit where credit is due, @Ben.

  53. Jon Guest

    Hey Ben,
    Bring your German passport and you won't need a visa. For whatever reason...

    1. David Guest

      The Germans didn’t napalm Vietnamese kids a few years ago

  54. Grey Diamond

    https://vietnamvisa.govt.vn

    Can always try them if you are in a rush. Will still need to get the actual visa on arrival, but at least it seems they claim you can get the approval letter within 4 working hours...

  55. Santastico Diamond

    I find them asking your religion as irrelevant as most forms in the US now asking for your sexual orientation. Who cares?? My state asked my sexual orientation when I was applying to get a Covid vaccine. People have lost their minds.

    1. glenn t Diamond

      For sexual orientation just tick indicating 'YES.'

  56. Grey Diamond

    https://vietnamvisa.govt.vn

    It is incorrect to claim there is no option for visa upon arrival in Vietnam. You do need to first apply for a letter and it is not instant, but it is a visa upon arrival and you can get the approval within a few hours if you are desperate...

  57. Robert Guest

    You can get a visa upon arrival, but it will cost you several hundred USD. I arrived pre-COVID without a visa due to a misunderstanding. I, and the airline thought, that my APAC card was sufficient. It was not.

    Basically, you get pushed over to a set of windows with lots of people waiting. An "expediter" will be assigned to you. You'll wait a bit. I think I waited an hour or so. You'll be...

    You can get a visa upon arrival, but it will cost you several hundred USD. I arrived pre-COVID without a visa due to a misunderstanding. I, and the airline thought, that my APAC card was sufficient. It was not.

    Basically, you get pushed over to a set of windows with lots of people waiting. An "expediter" will be assigned to you. You'll wait a bit. I think I waited an hour or so. You'll be asked to pay in cash and USD only. There is, conveniently, an ATM near the windows.

    The bigger problem is that the airline will likely not let you board without a visa. I was able to board because of my APAC card, but as I learned it wasn't sufficient.

  58. Klaus Guest

    12/31 – Saturday
    01/01 – Sunday
    01/02 – Monday (bank holiday)
    01/03 – Working day 1
    01/04 – working day 2
    01/05 – working day 3

    So you should get it approved tomorrow

  59. Reed Guest

    I went to Vietnam earlier this summer on business. Used an e-visa but did so via a visa service, since there’s some additional paperwork (a sponsor letter from the hosting company) required. Either way, it came back within about a week, as a printed PDF document with a QR code.

    Anecdotally, while waiting to be called to the passport check desk, I noticed many people (clearly western tourists) in the passport line at Ho Chi...

    I went to Vietnam earlier this summer on business. Used an e-visa but did so via a visa service, since there’s some additional paperwork (a sponsor letter from the hosting company) required. Either way, it came back within about a week, as a printed PDF document with a QR code.

    Anecdotally, while waiting to be called to the passport check desk, I noticed many people (clearly western tourists) in the passport line at Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) who apparently didn’t have a tourist / business visa. They were all just being redirected to a different booth in the arrivals hall to get a “visa on arrival”, and from my observation, they all seemed to be successful in doing so. It seemed to be mostly about collecting the ~$25 e-visa fee, then actually screening anyone that extensively.

    The actual passport check itself was brief, efficient, and uneventful. I followed advice to keep the e-visa paper I had printed out inside my passport during my stay in Vietnam, although from that point on, it was never examined by anyone.

    Have a great trip! Even back in August, I was extremely impressed with how Vietnam seemed fully reopened for tourism, and was totally bustling and busy. Saigon, for what it’s worth, now has one of the tallest buildings in the world - and there’s an open air observation deck on the 130th floor with a great view of the city and river.

  60. TrvlGuru Guest

    I used (https://www.vietnam-evisa.org/) pre-pandemic and had no issues. I did their fast-track service and car and driver as well. Not sure how they are now, but they were good pre-pandemic.

  61. Jason Guest

    When I did this, i received it no problem in the amount of time promised.

  62. Tyler Laurinaitis Guest

    Hey Ben. I travel to VN every couple of months so I am familiar with this process. You'll get the E-Visa, don't worry. I just applied within the last 2 weeks and it took the advertised time. Make sure to proactively check their website instead of waiting for the email confirmation (I've noticed this email can come through days after the visa is approved). The other 2 routes for getting the visa would be 1)...

    Hey Ben. I travel to VN every couple of months so I am familiar with this process. You'll get the E-Visa, don't worry. I just applied within the last 2 weeks and it took the advertised time. Make sure to proactively check their website instead of waiting for the email confirmation (I've noticed this email can come through days after the visa is approved). The other 2 routes for getting the visa would be 1) Going to a consulate or 2) doing a visa on arrival. I used to use option number #2 quite often. Websites like you included will give you an "invitation letter" which you present when boarding the plane. Upon arriving in VN there is a Visa counter where you supply them with the cash, paperwork, invitation letter, and photos. Process takes around 15-30 minutes. That being said.... VN has not been consistent with its Visas over the last couple years. Last year when I went they were not accepting E-Visas and only accepted Visa on Arrival. When I went a few months back, they were no longer doing Visa on Arrival and only accepting E-Visas. If I was you I'd wait out the E-Visa.

  63. John T Guest

    What is the purpose of a tourist visa like this? Is it just to collect additional revenue from visitors? Surely they aren't carefully scrutinising each application to consider whether that person is of proper character to enter their country?

    If the government just wants some extra cash, why not just collect a tourist tax on arrival?>

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ John T -- I agree and have the same question. Or at a minimum you'd think they could just approve it instantly. What's actually being investigated here?

    2. Erica T Guest

      I think they are being quite generous considering the visa process that Vietnamese citizens must go through to visit the US!

      Really hoping this works out for you, Ben

    3. Santastico Diamond

      It is called bureaucracy. I have spent enough time in Vietnam to know how they work. They have extra steps for everything, added tasks and people to do stuff that is totally unnecessary just as a way to provide people a job.

    4. Mick Guest

      I did an e visa through a company in November. Randomly chose one as I booked flights for my family two days out from Dubai and missed the removal of the arrival visa. Sent my details via WhatsApp and got the visa that evening on email.

      Iris was my contact and she was great.

      [email protected]

      I also had the same qn. What takes 3-5 days? Surely no one is manually checking these details?

      ...

      I did an e visa through a company in November. Randomly chose one as I booked flights for my family two days out from Dubai and missed the removal of the arrival visa. Sent my details via WhatsApp and got the visa that evening on email.

      Iris was my contact and she was great.

      [email protected]

      I also had the same qn. What takes 3-5 days? Surely no one is manually checking these details?

      And how do these services get expedition? Are they chums with the government? Why doesn’t the government offer the same service? Noting it cost me $500 for our family of five to get same day service. That’s revenue the government could get.

      Incidentally I also did the visa on arrival in Laos and it was seamless. Did not require a passport photo. In fact it was quicker than the regular visa queue. Both entries were seamless.

    5. Mick Guest

      Incidentally I was in vietnam when you posted the article re the new aero plan partner. Was staring at a bamboo airways plane when I suggested them :)

      My son who is 9 was researching their flat bed seats

  64. Hanson Guest

    I applied Dec 22nd 1215am EST and got my approval Dec 27th 415am EST. Thats 3 working days or 5 calendar days.

  65. Joe Guest

    I was in Vietnam in august. I applied for the e-visa online and received it in a few days. When I went to check in for my flight, however, they wouldn't let me on because my middle name wasn't on the e-visa. They are very strict with the e-visa, make sure you enter your details exactly as they appear on your passport.

    To your question, fortunately I used www.Vietnamvisavoa.com to get an expedited one...

    I was in Vietnam in august. I applied for the e-visa online and received it in a few days. When I went to check in for my flight, however, they wouldn't let me on because my middle name wasn't on the e-visa. They are very strict with the e-visa, make sure you enter your details exactly as they appear on your passport.

    To your question, fortunately I used www.Vietnamvisavoa.com to get an expedited one that they literally got done in an hour. They have a WhatsApp number you can contact. It was about $240, although it might be cheaper if you don't need it within the hour like I did.

    Good luck!

    1. Tyler Guest

      I've had this happen once before with an E-Visa. But it was Cathay Pacific saying they weren't accepting E-Visas to VN. Every other airline I've flown there hasn't been an issue (Bamboo, Vietnam Airlines, Qatar, JAL, Singapore) but just one time CX rejected the visa.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Cameron Guest

Hi Ben, I used to do a lot of work in Vietnam and have used https://www.vietnam-visa.com/ many times, without issues. They once sorted me out a visa in a few hours while I waited in the Singapore airport.

1
Nishant Singhvi Guest

Hi Ben, Even I faced delay in evisa in Nov22. Contacted em throug below, and got quick revert. H (+84)832-320-320 M (+84)835-299-299 E [email protected]

1
Jesper Guest

Hi Ben, Did you not get a German passport? Germans can get a visa on arrival if they stay less than 15 days, and have not been to Vietnam in the last 30 days. Many countries have this option. Though US passport holders don't.

1
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