Which Vietnam Tourist Visa Option is the Easiest / Quickest Choice?

When you travel as much as most of us do, there will be a time when visa requirements for visiting a country get confusing… and expensive. For instance, I have family I visit in Chile, so before the visa requirements for U.S. citizens were changed, I was paying a hefty visa fee each time I went to Chile. My cousins are worth it – thanks cousins for reading TWG :)

Checking each country’s visa requirements, even when you think you know what they are, should be on everyone’s pre-trip travel checklist. For a trip to Vietnam, I checked about visa requirements for U.S. citizens in two places. The Wikipedia page shows that Vietnam does require a visa and it mentions an eVisa. But there is no link that tells me more about what that is.

Then I went to this page, CIBTvisas. It’s an easy site to check for visa requirements. It shows that Vietnam does require a visa and when you click Start Visa Application Process, you’ll see a page that allows you to start the process and also explains that you’ll need to send in your passport and follow their process.

I also asked a Vietnamese friend of mine, and his research sent him to this site. It’s interesting but not particularly helpful unless you live in a city with a Vietnamese embassy. He did tell me that you can get a visa upon arrival, but his suggestion was to have all this sorted out before arriving. I also asked my travel agent cousins what they recommend for their clients and they suggested two good visa service companies, one of which was CIBT, the site I mentioned above.

But what about the eVisa process that was mentioned on the Wikipedia page? After doing some research on eVisa, that turned out to be an easy, no hassle, quick, small fee elegant solution. And it didn’t require me sending my passport anywhere! Why didn’t more people, especially travel agents, know about this? I know it’s a relatively new way to apply for a single-use eVisa for Vietnam, which speaks even more to my point about checking visa options and requirements carefully before traveling.

From the eVisa home page, choose the For Foreigners option. Besides filling out a form, you’ll be required to upload two photos, enter your date of arrival, and pay $25. You’ll receive an email with a verification code. Be sure to copy this or take a screen shot because you’ll need this code if you want to check on your eVisa. It’s easy to check on the process, and you’ll receive a message that says “Still in Process”. But even if you don’t check, you’ll receive an email telling you your eVisa has been processed. You can then go and print out your eVisa. I printed out a few copies of mine just to have extra copies.

Easy process all done in 3 business days. I applied on Thursday and by Monday, I received my email telling me my eVisa was ready. Be sure to check out all your options when applying for a visa, and if you need one for Vietnam, eVisa is the way to go. Have you used eVisa before? Did it go as smoothly for you as the process went for me? Any questions? Let me know!

16 thoughts on “Which Vietnam Tourist Visa Option is the Easiest / Quickest Choice?

  1. e*

    I have done the e-Visa twice now (just did one last week for my upcoming trip in a few weeks!)

    The e-Visa arrives in about 3 days by email, be sure to print it out.

    I always get the e-Visa for a day or two before my actual arrival, just in case.

    1. e*

      Last time I forgot to print them out, but the hotel I was staying at prior to going to Vietnam (Park Hyatt Bangkok) printed it out for me no problem.

      Also I think it should be mentioned that if you’re doing any tours in Vietnam, they will often give you a free visa, so you could even save $25 per person that way. I am doing a Halong Bay cruise on this upcoming trip, and wish I had booked my cruise before doing the e-Visa because they pay for the visa!! Too late now…

      1. Shelli Post author

        Great to know that your tour company will give you a free visa. Certainly worth asking about. Thanks again for adding to the Visa conversation.

  2. Shawn

    We used the e-visa for a stay in Hanoi back in July. I wouldn’t call it the easiest of processes, but certainly much better than having to go through the Vietnamese embassy/consulate in DC prior to my previous trip. Definitely a welcome improvement.

  3. Bob B

    My family and I just got back from Vietnam. We did the eVisa using the official government website. The website requires you to submit a digital passport photo and a copy of the picture page of you passport. They charge a small ~$1 fee to use your credit card. The best way to check visa requirements for countries is to go to the US State Dept website. They have links to most official government visa websites versus third party sites that may overcharge for their services. Also, I do not think you can simply show up in Vietnam and get a visa on arrival. I would be very careful doing that.

      1. Bob

        We loved Vietnam. Great fresh food and friendly people. Hanoi has lots of history and a great food scene. Phu Quoc was a great beach area and laid back. Hoi An was cool (literally) and we did a great bike ride to My Son.

    1. MommaTraveler

      You can get a Visa on Arrival in Vietnam, but you have to apply online before you go for a Vietnam Visa Approval letter, which you need to print out and take with you. Information available at this website


      Also, as a point of interest, if you hold a British passport, you don’t need a visa to visit Vietnam. Just turn up with your passport, no need to get approval letters or anything else. Immigration officer just stamps you in and you’re on your way!

  4. MommaTraveler

    p.s. the link in my post above is not an official government site; it is a visa service site, but it has lots of good information.

  5. Christine Hall

    Thank you so much, Shelli! I am going to Da Nang, Vietnam next week and followed your directions and applied for an eVisa online last evening. It was very, very easy. It has been less than 24 hours and I already heard from them that my Visa is approved. I’m all printed out and ready to go.

    I got a visa-on-arrival for a trip to Hanoi last year and this was easier, faster, and cheaper.

    I would like to add that scanning my passport photo and the photo page from my passport was a snap using Microsoft’s fee app Office Lens. Very cool app!

    1. Shelli Post author

      So glad to hear this news, Christine. I too like easier, faster, cheaper:) Grant always says if one person is helped by what we write, we’re happy…….so thanks for the happiness! Enjoy your trip and thanks for reading and taking the time to add to the conversation.

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