Are you looking for Vietnam visa?

How to get a visa for Vietnam

by Juan José Herranz | November 4, 2020
Get your visa for Vietnam

Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia. It neighbours China and Laos to the north and Cambodia to the west. With Hanoi consistently ranked among the world's top destinations, a Vietnam travel has become a widely popular option for tourists. Vietnam covers an area of approximately 330,000 km2 and has about 95 million inhabitants. Are you planning on travelling to Vietnam? Do you wonder how to get a visa for Vietnam? 

Do I need a visa to travel to Vietnam?

Most nationalities need to apply for a Vietnam visa before traveling. A select few nationalities can travel to Vietnam without needing to obtain a visa, but only for the purposes of tourism and if the stay does not exceed 15 days. Currently, those with the following passport can travel to Vietnam without the need for a visa:

Brunei, Belarus, Cambodia, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Norway, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

If you intend to stay in Vietnam longer than 15 days or will be travelling for a purpose other than tourism, then you must apply for a visa regardless of your nationality. How to get visa Vietnam? In the following lines, discover how to get a visa for Vietnam.

boats on a bay in Vietnam

Types of visas

There are different types of visas to travel to Vietnam. Some visas can be applied for online, and others will require you to apply in person at the embassy.

Tourist Visa (Online or in-person) (DL)

This visa is necessary for all individuals traveling to the country for tourism purposes and who are not exempt from obtaining it. You can process it online, and there are two types of E-visas available for selection. One of them allows for a single entry into the country with a maximum stay of 30 days, while the other permits multiple entries, each with a duration of 90 days.

Business visa (DL)

This visa is required for all people travelling to the country on business, to establish industrial companies in the country or to attend commercial meetings. The business visa allows a maximum stay in the country of 30 to 90 days and can be a single entry or multiple entries, depending on the visa selected.

Student visa (DH)

To apply for this visa, you will first need to enter the country with a tourist visa. Once you are in the country, you must apply for the study visa by presenting the invitation letter from the institution where you are going to carry out your training. The duration of this visa is 1 year.

Investor's visa (DT)

If you intend to invest in a company or a project in Vietnam, then you should apply for an investor’s visa. It has a maximum validity of 5 years.

Working Visa (LD/DN)

This visa must be applied for by people travelling to the country to take up paid employment within Vietnam. You must be employed by a Vietnamese company or work for a company that will perform a service in Vietnam. It has a maximum validity of 2 years.

Workers' (NGO) visa

This visa must be applied for by people, such as volunteers or missionaries. It is then possible to practice and offer assistance to any Vietnamese non-governmental organisation. It has a maximum validity of 1 year.

Diplomatic visa (NG)

This visa is required for all people working in embassies, members of international organisations, officials and assistants, regardless of whether or not they have a diplomatic passport. This visa has a maximum validity of 3 to 6 months.

Vietnamese women working with bamboo

How to get visa Vietnam?

There are two possible ways of applying for a visa to enter Vietnam, either online or face-to-face at an embassy. If your purpose is tourism, you can apply either online or in person, as long as you are eligible to apply for a visa. Applying online is the easiest and quickest way, as it avoids possible queues and mishaps that can happen in person.

Who needs a visa for Vietnam?

Currently, most countries require a visa to enter Vietnam. The fastest and most efficient way to process a visa is online. The e-Visa is active for 80 countries worldwide. 

What are the requirements for applying for a visa to Vietnam?

To apply for a tourist visa, there are some Vietnam entry requirements. You must have a passport with more than 6 months validity from the date you plan to enter the country, as well as a recent photograph. To get a list of required documentation for the other types of visas to enter Vietnam, it is necessary to request information at the embassy.

Can the visa be modified once it has been processed?

Once the electronic visa has beenprocessed and delivered, no changes are possible. If you have made a mistake, you will have to apply for a new visa and pay the government fees again.

boat on a shore in Vietnam

How much does does the visa to Vietnam cost?

The electronic visa costs £20 in government fees. All other visas must be processed from the Vietnamese embassy. You will need to contact the embassy to confirm the prices and the documentation required.

How far in advance do I need to apply for a Vietnam visa?

The electronic visa is the fastest to process. Once processed, the resolution will generally be emailed to you within five working days. Typically there are no issues, but in some cases, the embassy may request additional documentation, so it is recommended that you process your visa a minimum of 15 days before travelling to avoid any mishaps.

For visas issued in person, processing times are somewhat longer. We recommend processing a tourist visa at least 1 month in advance to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Do I need a transit visa for Vietnam?

If Vietnam will only be a transitory point in your trip, a visa is not required. You must leave within 24 hours of arrival and do not leave the airport or transit area. If you want to leave the airport, then you should have a transit visa.

What are the ports of entry to Vietnam?

It is possible to enter Vietnam by land, sea and air. These are the most common ports of entry:

Main airports

  • Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) is located in Hanoi, and the largest airport in the country, but only the second in terms of traffic. It is located about 30 km north of the city.
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), is the main airport, which receives the most traffic. Located north of Ho Chi Minh City, it's 8km from the centre.
  • Da Nang International Airport (DAD), located in Danang City, is the third-largest airport. It is about 5 km from the city centre.
  • Cam Ranh International Airport (NHA) is the fourth in traffic. Located in Nha Trang city.
  • Phuc Quoc International Airport (PQC) is located in Phu Quoc Island. Although it is an international airport, most of the traffic is medium-sized aircraft.
  • Can Tho International Airport (VCA) is located in the city of Can Tho, in the Mekong Delta.
  • Phu Bai International Airport (HUI) is located about 14 km from the city of Hué in the centre of the country.


It is not common to enter or leave the country by sea, although it can be done. However, it is common is to travel around the area on a cruise ship, and the main ports of entry are:

  • Da Nang Seaport is located in Da Nang City at the mouth of the Han River.
  • Nha Trang seaport is located in Khanh Hoa province.
  • Ho Chi Minh City seaport is located in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Haiphong seaport is located in the north of Vietnam.
  • Vung Tau seaport is located in Bà Ria province.
  • Duong Dong seaport is located in Phu Quoc Island.
  • Hon Gai seaport is located in Quang Ninh province.
  • Quy Nhon seaport is located in the south-central coast.

green fields in Vietnam

Land borders

There are 8 land borders to access Vietnam: 3 in Cambodia, 3 in China and 2 in Laos.


Cambodia borders South Vietnam with 3 border crossings; Ha Tien, Ving Xuong, and the busiest one being Moc Bai. Please note that if you enter through Cambodian territory, you will need a Cambodian visa as well as a Vietnamese visa.


Vietnam and Laos are separated by a borderline of more than 2000 km. The most common land borders to cross from one country to another are Laos and Keo. Remember that you will need a Laotian visa in addition to the Vietnamese one.


To cross to China from Vietnam, or vice versa, you can do this through these 3 border crossings; Dong Dang, Lao Cai and Mong Cai. As is the case with the two previous countries, if you cross to China, you will also need a visa for the country.

At the listed land, sea and air border crossings, you can cross the borders with your online visa or e-Visa from each country. The only country that does not have an online visa procedure, at the moment, is China. If you cross the border from Vietnam into China, you must have visited the Chinese embassy in advance to deliver the necessary documentation.