Getting tourist visas usually is straight forward. However, there are certain countries where it can be quite confusing due to multiple options and ways to obtain it. The tourist visa for Vietnam is one of them.
In order for you NOT TO WASTE any time on researching the right tourist visa for Vietnam, I will explain the different options to you and name their advantages and disadvantages.
One important information upfront for people from Germany: Since 2015 Germans can stay in Vietnam for 15 days (including arrival and departure day) WITHOUT a visa.
Tourist Visa for Vietnam
Option 1 – E-visa
This is the fastest, cheapest and best option when applying for a tourist visa for Vietnam. Since February 2017 this visa has been introduced and you can apply for a stay up to 30 days maximum. Simply follow the instructions when filling out the form.
This tourist visa for Vietnam will cost you 25$ (price may change yearly) and takes around 1-3 days to get approved.
Once everything is approved you will get a registration code to download the visa as a PDF and print it. During the passport control in Vietnam, you then need to show it.
Here is the right link to apply for a tourist visa in Vietnam online.
What you will need for the e-visa:
- Passport photo in digital form
- Passport in digital form
- Credit card to pay for the visa
- Cheapest option as you don’t pay an intermediary
- Super fast with only 1-3 days approval time
- No need to go to an embassy or other places in person
- No need to queue anywhere at the airport to get a visa as you can go straight to the passport control
Option 2 – Visa through an Agency
Getting a visa for Vietnam through an intermediary, like a travel agency, is a very common way as well. People like when “professionals” take care of things and might be afraid of applying for something wrong. The agency basically does all the work for you against a service fee.
However, be aware! There are thousands of agencies who claim to help you with the visa process, but unfortunately, there are loads of scams amongst them. You will find price variations as big as 10-150€. Should you go for this option, do thorough research about the agency to know if it is a legit one and no scam.
- All paperwork is done for you
- Potential scams
- More expensive than an e-visa (option 1)
Option 3 – Visa from the Embassy
Another option to get a tourist visa for Vietnam is to visit the embassy in your country before your trip. For Germans that means visiting Berlin.
At the embassy, you will have the option to apply for a visa longer than 30 days, actually up to 3 months. You will also need to choose between a single (entering the country once) and multi (entering the country multiple times) entrance visa. The multi entrance visa for Vietnam makes sense if you plan to visit neighbouring countries, such as Cambodia or Laos, but then want to go back to Vietnam again.
- Can apply for a visa for more than 30 days
- You need to print all documents and send them via post or go there in person
- It will take more time than e-visa (option 1) to get approved (approx. 1 week)
- You will be without a passport during the application process as the embassy has it
Personal Experience with visa application for Vietnam
I have entered Vietnam with the e-visa from option 1. Since I was not sure for how long I am going to stay (2 weeks only or more), I applied for a single entry visa for 30 days. The whole application process was super simple, fast and without complications.
I hope this overview helps you to better understand the options on how to apply for a tourist visa in Vietnam. Should you have any further questions, feel free to ask, or if you know reliable agencies, please share them as well.
Also, check out those 6 fun things to do in Dalat, the flower city of Vietnam, if this city is on your list. It definitely has been one of my favorites.
Important note: This article is based on my personal research and own experience. Since the entry requirements may change at any time, my information is without guarantee. Legally binding information can be found at the Vietnamese embassy.