A brisk crowd moved through the airport corridors. I sat on a chair comfortably, waiting for my number to be called. I was at the Ho Chi Minh airport, a major entry point in Vietnam. Within a few minutes, I got the Vietnam Visa without much hassle and was off to explore the lovely country.
After visiting Indonesia and Singapore, Vietnam was the 3rd country as a part of my first solo trip. Acquiring a Vietnam Visa has a simple process. My aim for this blog post is to list down those steps to get a Vietnam Visa. So, before you start planning your Vietnam tours, I recommend you get to know the process to obtain Vietnam Visa through this blog.
Before talking about the process, I would like to emphasize on one point about obtaining Vietnam Visa. For Thailand and Indonesia, I didn’t have to carry anything while entering the country. For Singapore, a Visa was required beforehand. But, for Vietnam Visa, the major difference is obtaining an approval letter. An approval letter is necessarily a letter which you receive from an entity in Vietnam. There are many websites which offer this service at a certain price. For example, https://www.vietnam-visa.com/ is one such website which offers you end to end services for acquiring a Vietnam Visa on an Indian passport.
Vietnam Visa can be acquired in two ways. You can either get it beforehand or upon arriving in Vietnam. Here, it is noteworthy that if you are entering Vietnam by air, only then you are eligible for Visa on arrival. If you plan to enter Vietnam by land or sea, obtaining a visa beforehand is mandatory. To avoid the hassle of visiting immigration offices in India, you can opt for Visa on arrival for Vietnam. I also opted for Visa on arrival and was pleased to experience the smooth process.
Steps to get Vietnam Visa on arrival
Here, I am mentioning the steps to get a Vietnam Visa on arrival. I hope you find it useful.
- Get the approval letter
As mentioned earlier, you cannot obtain Vietnam Visa without a valid approval letter. You can receive an approval letter within 3 to 5 days of filling the application form. Most of the travel agents also offer a fast-track service in which you can receive the approval letter within 2 hours of sharing necessary details for the application form. However, there are extra charges for this service. When I was planning for Vietnam, I forgot to get the approval letter beforehand because of my hectic travels in Indonesia. Hence, I ended up paying extra to get the approval letter in one day. If you plan better, you will be able to save this extra cost.
The application will ask for your details such as passport number, residence and contact information in India. It will also ask you to fill in your travel plans so make sure you have the entry and exit dates are fixed. However, having a fixed itinerary is not required. Sharing details of your host in Vietnam is also not mandatory.
When you receive your approval letter, you might see other names as well. This is common as the approving companies share details of multiple customers to the immigration office. But, if you don’t want to share your passport number with others, you can opt for a confidential approval letter at an extra cost. Only your name will be mentioned on this confidential approval letter.
Please note, it is mandatory to carry the printout. You will have to submit the printout along with documents and photos.
2. Carry necessary documents along with passport size photos
Along with the approval letter, you would require carrying your identification documents and passport size photos. As you would have your passport with you, no other identification documents will be required. For the passport size pictures, the dimensions are 4 x 6 cm. You will also have to fill a Visa application. This is different from the approval letter application. Many airlines distribute visa application forms during the flight. However, these forms are also available near the airport immigration desk.
3. Visit the immigration desk at the Vietnam Airport
Once you land in Vietnam, you can just carry your documents and approval letter printout to the immigration desk. They will take your passport and process the Visa within 15 to 20 minutes. However, the waiting time would also depend on the rush at the airport. You need to pay the Visa processing fees separately at the immigration desk in Dongs. You can exchange a certain amount of dollars to Baht at the airport in order to pay. I would recommend converting the rest of your dollars outside the airport. Generally, you don’t get a good exchange rate at an airport. If you wish to pay the Visa processing fees online, you can opt for that as well.
You need to pay the Visa processing fees separately at the immigration desk in Vietnamese Dongs. You can exchange a certain amount of dollars to Dongs at the airport in order to pay. I would recommend converting the rest of your dollars outside the airport. Generally, you don’t get a good exchange rate at an airport. If you wish to pay the Visa processing fees online, you can opt for that as well.
That’s it! 3 simple steps and your Vietnam Visa will be approved. The process is simple and hassle free.
I hope you found my blog helpful. Please feel free to ask me questions in the comments section below. Safe travels!