In the previous page, we took a look at the basic requirements for getting a Vietnam visa. In this page, we'll show you how to speed the process along.
The fees charged for a Vietnam visa vary widely from embassy to embassy; the Washington DC embassy advises that you call them to inquire as to the visa fee at present.
Confusingly, Vietnam visas are levied two different fees: the visa fee and the visa processing fee. The visa fee varies from embassy to embassy, but the visa processing fee is covered by Circular 190, issued 2012, which prescribes the following rates:
- US$45 for 1-3 month single-entry visa
- US$65 for 1 month (29 days) multiple-entry visa
- US$95 for 30 days to 3 months multiple-entry visa
- US$135 for 6 months or more multiple-entry visa
If applying by mail, enclose a self-addressed postage-paid envelope for your passport's return trip. (The Vietnamese Embassy recommends you use a self-addressed pre-paid FedEx Shipping Label with effective FedEx account number, or a pre-paid US Postal Office service envelope).
Vietnam Visa Tips
Want to get a Vietnam visa faster and cheaper than you can get it in the States? Get it from an embassy at a neighboring Southeast Asian country. If you're entering Vietnam from elsewhere in Southeast Asia, that country's Vietnam embassy may be able to process your visa quicker and more cheaply than you ever could in the U.S. The Vietnamese embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is a popular source of Vietnam visas for many travelers.
Take note: the rules are different from embassy to embassy. While the consulates in the U.S. permit you to apply for longer-term visas, that’s not necessarily true of every Vietnamese embassy or consulate. “Some consulates in Southeast Asia only provide a two-week visa for Vietnam,” says Vietnam Visa Center’s Jason D., “and prices from consulate to consulate vary a great deal.”
Don't start the application process until your travel plans are are sure to push through. The official forms require you to state your ports of arrival and departure, and it's far too much trouble to change this at the last minute.
Allow plenty of time for the embassy to process your visa. Don't file for your visa at the last minute.
Vietnam embassies and consulates are closed on Vietnamese holidays too, so take that into account before visiting.
Visitors to Vietnam must finish an entry/exit form and a customs declaration in duplicate. The yellow copy will be given back to you, and you must keep this safe with your passport. You will be required to present this when you leave.
If you're departing Vietnam overland, get a visa that sticks to your passport, not a loose-leaf visa that is only lightly attached to your documents. The latter visas are often removed by Vietnamese officials when you cross the border, leaving you with no evidence of exiting Vietnam. This has caused trouble for passengers, particularly those making the crossing into Laos.
A knowledgeable Vietnam travel agency may be able to secure a Vietnam visa for you at an additional cost, with minimum headache.
The next page provides a list of Vietnam embassies and consulates in the U.S. and around the world, with particular emphasis on Southeast Asia (for travelers looking to apply for a Vietnam visa before making the short hop across the border).