U.S. Citizens Can Now Get An Electronic Visa For Vietnam

Well here’s some great news for U.S. citizens looking to visit Vietnam. As of February 1, 2017, it’s possible for U.S. citizens to get an e-visa for Vietnam. There are actually 40 countries eligible for this e-visa, and the U.S. is one of them. The cost of a single entry 30 day visa is $25, which is much cheaper than any of the other current options available.

To request your electronic visa for Vietnam, visit the Vietnamese e-visa web portal.

Vietnam-Visa

The process is fairly straightforward, though you do have to upload a picture of yourself, and the approval process can take up to three days.

Vietnam-Visa-1

This is so much better than the current options available for Vietnamese visas, which include the following:

  • You can get a Vietnamese visa through a consulate in the U.S., though that requires sending in your passport
  • You can always use a service here in the U.S., which will handle the process for you, but again, you have to send in your passport, and it’s pricey
  • You can work with an outside company in Vietnam that will issue you a visa on arrival, though the whole process seems shady; they put your name and passport number on a sheet of paper that they share with a bunch of other people

I actually had a one night overnight in Vietnam a few months ago while in international transit, so spent the night in Hanoi. I was shocked by the cost of a visa — I had to pay the full $135 visa fee, plus an additional $17 service fee. I actually didn’t realize I needed a visa for a transit of less than 24 hours, so I had to pay a $49 rush visa fee as well (that part is my fault) In the end I paid over $200 just for the privilege of spending one night in Vietnam — ouch! At that price I was tempted just to sleep in the airport.

Bottom line

It’s fantastic to see Vietnam make their country more accessible for tourists. It’s a beautiful country, though it’s a pain when they make it both costly and complicated to visit. Now you can get an e-visa for Vietnam for $25, which is great.

(Tip of the hat to The Flight Deal)

Comments

  1. I love it when countries make it easier to visit. I don’t understand why some countries make it hard for you to experience their culture and spend money in their economy to benefit their citizens.

  2. It’s called reciprocity… the US makes it difficult for Vietnamese to visit even for a short holiday on a B-1/B-2 visa as well! Online submissions of application for visa which one needs to prove financial well being such as bank balances. AND a trip down to the US embassy for an interview in person. AND a US$160 processing fee. Do to others what you want others to do unto you.

  3. @ Lucky I totally agree with the current option of the visa on arrival being shady. I visited Hanoi this past Christmas and was worried the whole time that it was a scam and I’d get held at the airport saying my name wasn’t on the list. Had a Qatar award booked back to Bangkok that same evening just in case. Canceled once I made it through customs. šŸ˜‰

  4. @Lee:
    It’s all about political motives and not economic ones: we make it hard for them to visit us, so they do the same in reverse to us… Or to use the political term: reciprocity

  5. Remember that German passport holders (along with some other western nationalities) have been enjoying visa-free tourist stays for up to 15 days for a while now.
    Before that I’ve used the visa on arrival service a couple of times. While probably slightly over $25 incl the agent fee and the actual visa fee, it worked flawlessly and you could choose if you didn’t want your name printed on the same invitation letter as other people.
    But of course, visa free entry makes visiting much easier.

  6. Have a trip where I will enter in Hanoi, and then Re-Enter in Phu Quoc. Is it possible to get a multi-entry electronic one month?

    At least they have gotten away from the 1-year required that you (and I) ran into last year!

  7. If my country treats citizens from another country poorly, I should expect the same treatment when I go to their country. That’s crappy for me, but I can’t argue with the fairness of it.

    Some of the commenters here seem to think the US should be immune from this general principle of “do as you would be done by”, though it’s not entirely clear to me why. American exceptionalism again?

    Loss of tourism revenue? If another country chooses to cut off its nose to spite its face, well, that’s their choice. Maybe they have different priorities – I dunno, maybe getting the maximum possible amount of dollars is less important to them than something else? I would have guessed we’d think that was ok – after all, most of us like to travel because we want to experience different cultures, not for everywhere to be just like little old home.

  8. I have such poor timing. Visited the consulate here in San Francisco in mid-January to get my visa. What was supposed to be a 3 business day processing time turned into 3 weeks. My biggest FWP is the consulate doesn’t take credit cards for payment. Missed out on 80 points! haha

  9. I agree with feeling it’s odd that Canada is not on the list.
    Well, at least I got my Dutch passport as back up, since at first glance all the western EU nations qualify.
    Oh, wait, the Netherlands is not on the list either.

    Hmmm… makes me wonder, are Canada (vs. the U.S.) and the Netherlands (vs. the rest of the EU) THAT stringent on Vietnamese citizens?

  10. I used the visa on arrival 2 years ago and it worked fine. Much better than sending anything off to a consulate. I was worried though and I tried to keep a sharp eye on the guy I handed my passport to.

  11. The directions state that the picture should be “straight looking” what happens if my picture is decidedly gay looking? šŸ™‚

  12. Are you going to be flying VietnamAirlines anytime soon Lucky?

    While the sale mentioned on Flyertalk at the moment out of London to MEL requires R/T flights you can get relatively cheap one-ways at around $1700 LHR-SGN-MEL or LHR-HAN-SGN-MEL with the HAN-SGN on the A350 longhaul on the B787.

    Also possible with B787 out of LHR to either HAN or SGN with A321 connecting to BKK, KUL, SIN, HKG, ICN or HND for around $1300.

    Seems possible to add HAN-SGN A350 to BKK, KUL and SIN if you use multicity search and stay the night in SGN.

  13. I’m in Vietnam (hello from the Four Seasons Nam Hai!) right now. The visa on arrival process at HAN was fine, and my travel agent handled the pre-arrival letter at no cost.

  14. Australia and New Zealand aren’t on the list either. Odd.

    @Paul – I don’t think it’s “American exceptionalism” so much as Americans wondering why some countries seem to be leaving tourist dollars on the table. The flow of tourists isn’t going to be symmetrical, since there are a lot more Americans than (in this example) Vietnamese, and we’re a lot richer. Personally, I can understand why countries would want to stay with the principle of reciprocity – there’s a lot to be said for standing on principle, but I can see some people with a different viewpoint might think countries like Vietnam would be better off going for the greenbacks.

  15. @Matt… I also visited the San Francisco consulate in mid-January. Was able to pay with a credit card, and an extra $30 to get them to turn it over in 30 minutes. Now I’m out $85 for the visa verses what the on arrival one would have cost…

  16. Estimates range up to, and over 1 million Vietnamese people, civilian and military, were killed by the US in the Vietnam War. This war was started by the US’s Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which was a lie, the incident never happened. Why would I, as an American, wish to go to the country where we committed such crimes? That it occurred all those years ago matters not, we are guilty.

  17. Hi guys, so $25 for US citizens to visit VIetnam ( 1- Month Single Entry)?
    Are there any other costs such as prior to or on arrival?

    Thank you so much

  18. Is the visa application link you provided more reliable than the other $10-20 visa service websites I’m seeing on a google search?

  19. I booked a roundtrip flight to Vietnam for 3 weeks but I plan on going to Thailand for a week within that time. Would this evisa still work or does it not comply with “single entry”

  20. I will be taking a cruise next March where among other cities in Asia, we will be stopping at

    Ho Chi Minh City, Hue/Da Nang and Hanoi.
    Obviously we will be cruising from one city to another without stopping in any other country in between. Will this count as one entry or 3 entries since we really aren’t entering another country during this time period?

  21. Ahhhh yes, the good old Hotel Majestic Saigon. The hotel that was polite enough to call me first to tell me they were calling the police for bringing in a Vietnamese woman to my room. Was awfully nice of them to warn me lol.

  22. Hi does this only have single entry? Im trying to get multiple entries in vietnam. please advise

  23. Filling out online evisa application. It seem children(less than 14) does not required a passport to upload?

    thanks

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