How to Get a Visa on Arrival for Vietnam as an American

To get a visa on arrival for Vietnam, you have to obtain an approval letter. I applied for and received a visa approval letter for both my daughter and I in less than 24 hours electronically using the website, MyVietnamVisa. 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 for arrival. Signed and sealed, all I had to do was print the document and present it at the airport with our passports.

What happens once you land in 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 show up and you don’t have your passport 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 to regret 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 of waiting and more people being directed to come and have a seat, our names were called first. 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.

How much did you have to pay?

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.

How long are your permitted to stay in Vietnam?

This depends on your nationality and what immigration approves. I am an American and I applied for a single entry visa, which was valid for one month.

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