Well here’s some great news for U.S. citizens looking to visit Vietnam. As of February 1, 2017, it’s possible for U.S. citizens to get an e-visa for Vietnam. There are actually 40 countries eligible for this e-visa, and the U.S. is one of them. The cost of a single entry 30 day visa is $25, which is much cheaper than any of the other current options available.
To request your electronic visa for Vietnam, visit the Vietnamese e-visa web portal.
The process is fairly straightforward, though you do have to upload a picture of yourself, and the approval process can take up to three days.
This is so much better than the current options available for Vietnamese visas, which include the following:
- You can get a Vietnamese visa through a consulate in the U.S., though that requires sending in your passport
- You can always use a service here in the U.S., which will handle the process for you, but again, you have to send in your passport, and it’s pricey
- You can work with an outside company in Vietnam that will issue you a visa on arrival, though the whole process seems shady; they put your name and passport number on a sheet of paper that they share with a bunch of other people
I actually had a one night overnight in Vietnam a few months ago while in international transit, so spent the night in Hanoi. I was shocked by the cost of a visa — I had to pay the full $135 visa fee, plus an additional $17 service fee. I actually didn’t realize I needed a visa for a transit of less than 24 hours, so I had to pay a $49 rush visa fee as well (that part is my fault) In the end I paid over $200 just for the privilege of spending one night in Vietnam — ouch! At that price I was tempted just to sleep in the airport.
It’s fantastic to see Vietnam make their country more accessible for tourists. It’s a beautiful country, though it’s a pain when they make it both costly and complicated to visit. Now you can get an e-visa for Vietnam for $25, which is great.
(Tip of the hat to The Flight Deal)