Vietnam visa requirements for United States of American passports

Vietnam visa requirements for United States passports

All US passport holders need to apply visa to Vietnam for either personal or business purposes. As the citizen of United States, whether you are living in America or currently traveling outside, you should follow these instructions to obtain a visa to Vietnam. US is the only nation whose citizens are offered 1 year multiple entry tourist visa with staying duration up to 90 days each visit.

Vietnam Embassy has been established in United States;
Vietnam visa is required for all United States citizens;
United States citizens are eligible for e-visa 30 days single entry from 45 USD;
United States citizens can get visa on arrival from 6 USD + stamping fee;
United States citizens can apply for 1 year tourist visa (90 days stay each visit);
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 need for Vietnam visa?

Passport:
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;

Photos:
– Have a white background;
– Be taken in the last 03 months;
– Eyes look straight on without glasses, photos should be taken clearly with the appearance of 2 ears;
– You have to upload one colored photo (4×6) to the application form in case you are applying for e-visa for Vietnam.

Stamping fee:
– Stamping fee must be paid in cash (VND or USD) not by credit cards;
– 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 1 – 3 months multiple entry; 95 USD for 6 months visa and 135 USD for 1 year visa) is required.
– For e-visa, stamping fee is paid in advance, so no money is required on arrival;

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 passports apply for Vietnam visa?

2.1. Apply online for a Vietnam visa on arrival

The United States passport holders can apply Vietnam visa on arrival from anywhere outside of Vietnam. The Vietnam visa will be picked up upon arrival at the Vietnam airports by showing up the printed approval letter.

The approval letter will be sent via email within 1 or 2 working days (normal processing), 4 working hours (urgent processing) or even 1 hour (emergency processing) depending on which option you’ve chosen when submitting online visa application.

The aim of visa on arrival is to make the trip to Vietnam easier and cheaper. It is applicable only to those traveling by air to Vietnam. Vietnam visa on arrival is especially an advantage to those living far from the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate in United States.

By using Vietnam visa on arrival, the US citizens do not need to wait too long to get the approval letter, an official document issued by Vietnam Immigration Department, giving permission to get the visa upon arrival.

In order to get a Vietnam visa on arrival, the United States applicants should pay two types of fee: the service fee and the stamping fee.
Service fee: The service fee is for visa approval letter processing.
Stamping fee: The stamping fee is paid in cash to the Vietnam Immigration Officer at the arrival airport to get the visa stamp.

Useful notes:
– Visa on arrival is only applicable for US citizens traveling by air to Vietnam.

2.2. Apply for e-visa for Vietnam

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 citizens will need to prepare a file of passport copy and recent taken photo (it should present your full face, front view, eyes open without glasses, background should be plain light colored or white). The e-visa fee (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.

E-visa is good for those who travel Vietnam less than 30 days for tourist purposes. 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.

However, there are several countries whose citizenship are eligible for e-visa up to now. See full list here.

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

  • E-visa is single entry and valid for maximum 30 days;
  • Payments for e-visa applications are non-refundable;
  • The applicants should check the information on e-visa again the passport to make sure there is no mistake;
  • E-visa is accepted in specific arrival ports. The applicants have to determine the arrival border gates or airports when applying for e-visa. Changing of arrival ports after submitting e-visa is not allowed.

How to apply e-visa for Vietnam?

Step 1: Fill the requirement information in the application form.
Step 2: Pay the visa fee and get e-visa in maximum 3 – 5 working days.
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 immigration counter to get entry into Vietnam.

Notes : If there is any missing or incorrect/unidentified information, your application will not be accepted.

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
Email: consular@vietnamembassy.us

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

There are some differences between Vietnam visa on arrival and traditional 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:

DescriptionVisa on arrivalTraditional visa
Issued byVietnam Immigration DepartmentVietnam Embassy or Consulates with the approval of Vietnam Immigration Department
Passport required or not?No need to send your original passport awayParting with your original passport
Processing timeNormal service: 2 working days;
Urgent service: 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours or 1 working day;
3 - 5 working days
Processing fee (*)From US $6 + stamping fee, 100% refundable if visa rejectedFrom US $45, non-refundable in any case
Payment methodMoney order, cashier’s check, company checkCredit cards, Paypal, Western Union, bank wire transfer
Additional feeNonePostal cost, driving fee and even air fares to reach the Vietnam Embassy
Visa applicationOnline totallyIn person or by post
Travel byBy airplanes onlyBy any means of transport
Get visa stampedQueuing in front of Immigration Counter at arrival airport in Vietnam to get visa stamped. This can be skipped with our fast track service.Having visa already stamped onto your passport before entry Vietnam.
SupportLimited online support24 hours a day, 7 days a week
ConvinienceIt is especially convenient for those who are staying far away Vietnamese Embassy.Difficult for those who is living in the country with no Vietnam Embassy
AvailabilityFor travelers to Vietnam by air onlyFor travelers to Vietnam by any transports

Vietnam visa on arrival facility is obviously more beneficial than traditional visa. Therefore, there are more and more travelers select visa on arrival for their travel. However, the Vietnam Embassy or Consulates is still helpful in case the travelers decide to travel Vietnam by train, by bus or cruise ship. It’s hard to say which one is more important but it will go together to make your trip to Vietnam easier than ever.

Notice: United States is the only nation whose citizens are offered 1 year multiple entry tourist visa. With a tourist visa, the US passport holders can stay in the country maximum 90 days each visit. Please keep in mind this regulation and do not overstay.
For example, as the 1 year tourist visa in the image below, it is valid from February 7th, 2018 through February 7th, 2019 but the applicants are allowed to stay in Vietnam until May 7th, 2018 for the first visit.
This US traveler doesn’t know about this and he stayed in Vietnam from February 7th, 2018 until January 15th, 2019 (8 months overstay). Now he is encountering a big problem with Vietnam immigration and heavy fine. See more

For those who want to stay in the country 12 months continuously without leaving the country, please select 1 year multiple entry business visa instead. There are also other business visa with the validity from 1 month, 3 months, 6 months available for US citizens. This visa is categorized as DN type, which can be used for working with the Vietnamese Enterprise, applying for Temporary Residence Card later when you arrived in Vietnam.

3. How United States citizens apply for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year visa for Vietnam?

For the United States who expect to travel Vietnam more than 1 month, with single or multiple entry they can opt for visa on arrival.
Visa on arrival designated to assist the travelers who can not use e-visa or apply visa at the Vietnam Embassy. It fills up the blank of ‘Vietnam visa picture’, to satisfy almost traveler’s need on Vietnam visa.
The United States can neither travel Vietnam more than 1 month nor travel Vietnam multiple times with e-visa, but they can do it with visa on arrival. Visa on arrival provides the visa validity up to 12 months, with single or multiple entry. In order to apply for 3 month tourist visa, the United States citizens just follow the instruction “Apply online for a Vietnam visa on arrival” mentioned above. For long term visa (from 6 months to 1 year), in addition to the instructions mentioned above, the United States passport holders kindly provide us your passport copy. This long term visa will be categorized as DN business visa (visa for working with the Vietnamese Enterprise).
For the United States businessmen who expect to stay in Vietnam more than 1 year, we can help you to apply for 2 years Temporary Residence Card. The Temporary Residence Card will be normally classified as LD sign (LD sign is assigned to the foreign workers working in Vietnam).

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