Vietnam visa requirements for United States of American passports

Vietnam visa requirements for United States passport holders

According to the Vietnam immigration policy, all the United States passport holders do require a visa to Vietnam for either tourist or business purposes. As the citizen of United States, whether you are living in United States of America or currently residing in foreign countries, you should follow these instructions to obtain a visa to Vietnam.

Vietnam Embassy has been established in United States;
Vietnam visa is required for all United States citizens;
United States citizens are eligible for 30 – 90 days single/multiple entry e-visa from 45 USD;
United States citizens can get visa on arrival from 30 USD + stamping fee;
United States businessmen can apply for DN business visa for working with Vietnam Enterprises;
United States businessmen can apply for 2 years Temporary Residence Cards;

1. What do United States visitors prepare for Vietnam visa?

The passport should satisfy following requirements:
– Have at least 2 blank pages to get visa sticky and stamp;
– Have at least 6 months validity counted from your date of arrival;

– Portrait must be taken in the last 6 months on white background;
– Portrait should be taken clearly with straight eyes look and without glasses;
– If you are applying for Vietnam e-visa, you are requested to upload a portrait and a photo of passport (less than 3MB each file) to the visa application form. The photo of passport must be clear enough so the officers can read all the information on it easily.
– If you are applying a visa on arrival you will prepare a printed passport photo (4×6) to present at the visa counter at arrival airport. If you don’t bring one you could have it taken at the arrival airport.

Stamping fee:
– Stamping fee for visa on arrival must be paid in cash (VND or USD) not by credit cards and the stamping fee for e-visa is not required;
– Other currency will be converted using given exchange rate;
– There is no ATM, money changer or any other way to withdraw money in the immigration hall so that cash (25 USD for single entry or 50 USD for months multiple entry; 95 USD for 6 months visa and 135 USD for 1 year visa) is required.

Entry and exit form:
– This form can be downloaded from our website and should be filled in advance to save your time at arrival airport;
– The completed form will be submitted at the visa desk along with your passport, visa approval letters and stamping fee;
– Learn more how to fill in the Entry and exit form.

2. How do United States citizens apply for Vietnam visa?

2.1. Apply online for a Vietnam visa on arrival

The United States passport holders can apply for a Vietnam visa on arrival from anywhere outside of Vietnam. In this case, a visa will be picked up at the arrival airport in Vietnam by showing a printed visa approval letter. The visa approval letter is an official document issued by Vietnam Immigration Department, giving the visitors a permission to receive a visa upon arrival. Without the visa approval letter the United States travellers can not get on the plane and of course, can not receive a visa on arrival to enter Vietnam.

The approval letter will be sent to the visitors via email within 3 working days (normal processing service), 8 working hours (rush processing service), 4 working hours (urgent processing service) or even 2 working hours (emergency processing service) depending on which option you’ve chosen when submitting the visa application. Vietnam visa on arrival is especially beneficial for those living far from the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate in United States or those who can not get an e-visa in time.

In order to get a Vietnam visa on arrival, the United States applicants should pay two types of fee: the processing fee and the stamping fee.
Processing fee: The processing fee is the fee paying to the Vietnam visa agency for expediting the visa approval letter.
Stamping fee: The stamping fee is the fee paying to the Vietnam immigration officers in cash at the visa counter at arrival airport to get a visa stamp.

– Visa on arrival is only applicable for US citizens traveling by air to Vietnam.
– Please check the information on the visa sticky carefully to ensure the visa validity cover your whole trip and all the information is totally correct.

2.2. Apply for e-visa for Vietnam (highly recommended)

This is new pilot visa system which has just official launched in February 2017. In order to apply for e-visa for Vietnam, the United States applicants will prepare a file of passport copy and recently taken photo (it should show your full face, straight eyes look without glasses, light colored plain or white background). The e-visa fee (including the service fee and stamping fee) is paid once when the United States citizens apply for e-visa, thus no cash is required at arrival airport.

Vietnam e-visa is good for those who travel Vietnam less than 90 days with single or multiple entry. Since the visa fee is paid once when applying for visa, the travelers don’t have to bring cash for stamping fee at immigration counter therefore, the visa process at arrival airport is faster accordingly.

When applying for e-visa for Vietnam, please note that:

  • Payments for e-visa applications are non-refundable;
  • The applicants should check the information on a granted e-visa against the passport to make sure there is no mistake;
  • The processing time may take longer than 3 working days that probably affect to your flight time. You are strongly recommended to buy a flight ticket when you already received your e-visa;
  • The applicants have to leave the country before applying for the next e-visa.
  • While your visa application is being processed, you may receive a request for amending your visa information. In this case, the processing time will take more 3 – 5 working days after the revision is made. If you need to speed up the visa process to board your flight, we can help you with the rush Vietnam visa service. You just need to provide us with your visa registration number and email then your e-visa process will be accelerated and completed in time.

How to apply e-visa for Vietnam?

Step 1: Fill in the visa application form with required information.
Step 2: Pay the visa fee and get e-visa in maximum 3 – 5 working days (2 hours, 4 hours or 1 working day for a rush visa).
Step 3: Receive an email containing e-visa upon successful application. Please print out the e-visa, bring along with your passport to get on the plane.
Step 4: Present your e-visa at the immigration counter to get entry into Vietnam.

2.3. Apply for Vietnam visa directly at the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulates

For those who want to get a Vietnam visa beforehand or want to travel to Vietnam by land or sea, they can go to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate nearest their location.
The address of Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in United States for your information:
Embassy of Vietnam in Washington DC, United States
Address: 1233, 20th St., NW, Suite 400, Washington DC, 20036, United States
Phone: (1-202) 861 073
Fax: 1-202) 861 0917

And other Consulate General of Vietnam in United States for your information.

There are some differences between Vietnam visa on arrival and e-visa. However, once issued they have exactly same validity and condition of use. Please see table below for the differences between 2 kinds of visa:

 Visa on arrival (VOA)
Electronic visa (e-visa)
Visa feeFrom US $30 + 25 USD stamping fee for 3 working days processingFrom US $45, no stamping fee is required;
Non-refundable in case your visa application is refused
Entry typeSingle or multiple entrySingle or multiple entry
Issuing authorityVietnam Immigration DepartmentVietnam Immigration Department
BeneficiariesThe travellers arrive in Vietnam by airplaneThe citizens of all the countries
Purpose of visitVacation, business, family or friend visit, and othersVacation, business, family or friend visit, and others
Visa validity1 - 3 months (tourist visa), 6 months or 1 year (business visa)90 days maximum
Processing time- Normal: 3 - 5 working days;
- Urgent: 2 working days, 1 working day, 4 working hours and weekend;
- Normal: 3 - 5 working days;
- Urgent: 2 working days, 1 working day or 4 working hours.
Entry gateNine (09) international airports in Vietnam, consisting of Noi Bai Airport, Tan Son Nhat Airport, Da Nang Airport, Phu Bai Airport, Cam Ranh Airport, Phu Quoc Airport, Can Tho Airport, Van Don Airport, Cat Bi Airport.37 entry gates including:
- 9 international airports;
- 16 land ports and;
- 12 seaports across Vietnam.
See the list of entry gates
How to get?Step 1. Go online at the visa application form and select "Vietnam visa on arrival";
Step 2. Make payment of service fee;
Step 3. Receive the visa approval letter via email;
Step 4. Get visa stamped at Vietnam airport upon arrival by presenting original passport, photos, entry and exit form and stamping fee in cash.
Step 1. Connect to the visa application form and select "30 days single entry (tourist e-visa)"
Step 2: Complete the form and attach it with photos of yourself and your passport page;
Step 3. Make payment of visa fee;
Step 4. You then will be provided with a digital code to check the application progress and print the e-visa once it has been issued.
WarningIt may, but just sometimes, take you up to 30 minutes or 1 hour to get visa stamped at Vietnam airport if there are too many people arriving at the same time.- As this kind of visa is very new, of which some certain airlines or even immigration staff at the airports may have not been aware and therefore may refuse it, you should check with your airlines in advance to avoid this;

3. Common issues with Vietnam visa application for US citizens

Problem with a visa on arrival:

  • Vietnam Immigration Deparment uses a digital signature for the visa approval letter, so it may be strange to the airline staff as they can not find any wet ink signature or red stamp as before. It will take time to explain to them and sometimes they need the instruction from the head office;
  • Visa on arrival will go with the visa approval letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department in advance. Many United States travellers thought the visa on arrival can be done directly at the arrival airport without any pre-approved document that will cause a serious problem;
  • Visa data inconsistent with passport details: The entered information must be exact as the passport details. If the applicants entered the information incorrectly, the visa will be issued with this wrong information that makes their boarding declined. You are highly recommended to attach with the photo of passport in the visa on arrival application so that we can complete the visa approval letter with correct data.

Problem with an e-visa

  • Lengly processing time: Normally, it takes 3 – 5 working days to complete an e-visa. However, if you filled in the form with the incorrect information or photos, the processing time will be extended. This may affect to your trip to Vietnam as you can not board the plane with an “in processing” e-visa;
  • Typos or spelling mistakes: If you complete the form with the data that doesn’t match your passport details, the visa application will be denied and need to be amended. Many United States travellers forget their middle name when filling in the form, thus more 3 – 5 working days is needed for the visa approval;
  • Images quality: If you uploaded a poor quality or incorrect images your visa application will be denied. Please prepare the images of passport and portrait at good quality that all the information can be read easily.
  • The address in Vietnam: You will need to provide with the specific address of a temporary residence in Vietnam. Please do not fill in the form with the name of hotel only, but write down the hotel address including the street, ward, district and province (or city).
  • Apply for e-visa when you are inside of Vietnam: It is not possible to apply for an e-visa when you are still staying in Vietnam. In order to apply for a new visa to stay long in Vietnam, you will need to fly out of the country and make an application from outside of the country.
  • Visa fee reimbursement: If your visa is rejected by the Vietnam Immigration Department, your money will not be refunded.

In case you have any problem with your visa on arrival or e-visa application, you please contact us as soon as possible, we can help you expedite an urgent visa, or speed up the e-visa process or even correct your granted e-visa at the last minutes.

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