Getting a visa for your trip to Vietnam? Not only is getting a Vietnam visa a more complicated process than getting a visa from neighboring countries, it's now more expensive too: a new government circular just doubled the visa stamping fees.
"The government stamping fee for single entry visas (1 month and 3 month) has gone up from US$25 to US$45," we were informed by vietnamvisacenter.org's Jason D. "As well as increasing the stamping fees for visas-on-arrival, visas provided in Vietnamese consulates and embassies have also gone up roughly 50 percent - therefore it still makes sense to apply on-line."
Stamping fees for multiple-entry Vietnam visas have also been hiked: "Multiple entry stamping fees were US$50, but now a one month multiple will cost US$65 (if it is less than 30 days) or US$95 for visas that are 30-90 days," Jason explains. "There is also an issue regarding 3 month multiple entry visas. The Government sometimes makes them available, sometimes not. At the moment, immigration is not issuing them."
The repricing move has met with stiff opposition from Vietnamese travel professionals - "the removal of visa exemption may lead tourists from these countries to rethink their plans to visit Vietnam," reported Vietnam.net.
Certainly, higher visa fees run counter to a proposed target of 7.2 million foreign visitors in 2013, but the increases may be offset by tourists from visa-exempt countries like Russia, South Korea, and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Find out more about getting a visa for Vietnam, or visit vietnamvisacenter.org if you'd rather have your Vietnam visa taken care of by an expert on the ground. You should also read our other indispensable tips for first-time Vietnam travelers: Vietnam Travel Information, Weather in Vietnam, and Money in Vietnam.