How to Get Vietnam Visa on Arrival as an American

To get a Vietnam visa on arrival, you have to obtain an approval letter. I applied for and received a visa approval letter for both my daughter and me in less than 24 hours electronically.using the website, My Vietnam Visa. The process was very simple and the service was quick.

Once they processed my application, they emailed me the visa approval letter. The letter contains a list of travelers arriving in Vietnam on specific dates who used their services to obtain approval to get an entry visa on arrival. In the letter, it listed our names, nationalities, sex, date of births, and passport numbers. In addition to our expected date of arrival. Signed and sealed, all I had to do was print the document and present it at the airport with our passports.

What Happens When Landing in Hanoi, Vietnam?

Once you deplane and head to immigration, there are two areas in Noi Bai International Airport: regular immigration and an area for those seeking a visa on arrival. You must go to the latter and present your passport, two passport sized photos, and the approval letter. Then, you will pay the visa stamp fee. Once you received the visa stamp in your passport, then you will go through the normal immigration line to be permitted to enter. They will scan your passport, stamp it with an entry date and sign it. Then, you are all set to travel and explore Vietnam.

What Happens if You Common Without Passport Size Photos

I flew into Hanoi from Hong Kong and I didn’t have my photos. When the immigration officer asked for our passports, approval letter, and passport size photos. I told him I didn’t have the photos and needed them to take them. He asked us to have a seat. I looked back and there were so many people seated. And I began feeling regret for not having the photos because it was so late, well past my daughter’s bedtime.

There was only one officer working the area and I thought we would have to wait forever. However, after ten minutes, our names were the first to be called. I quickly jumped up and I assumed it was because I was traveling with my toddler. Another immigration officer came out from the back and handed me an invoice with the visa stamp fee and then asked for the photos. I told him I didn’t have them. He said okay, pay the fee. I handed him the cash and he handed us our passports back with the visa stamp.

The Cost of Vietnam Visa on Arrival 

At the time that I applied (2015), the visa approval letter cost us $19.99 each, but I paid extra to expedite the process. Once we got to Vietnam, the visa stamp cost $45 each. Check out current rates and secure a visa on arrival for Vietnam here.

How Long Are You Permitted to Stay in Vietnam?

This depends on your nationality and what immigration approves. As an American, you can now apply for a multi-entry visa that is valid one year.

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I am an American living in South Korea and the creator of Allured Abroad, an expat lifestyle blog focusing on expat family life, parenting abroad, and raising multicultural kids. I’ve been living abroad for nearly five years and what I have realized through travel and cultural immersion is that we’re just one in 7+ billion people. With so much variation in the world, what are the possibilities?

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