Hip hip hooray! U.S. citizens traveling to Vietnam now have a simplified process for obtaining travel visas directly from the Vietnam government. As reported by our friends over at The Flight Deal, Vietnam recently introduced an e-Visa (electronic visa) application system for citizens of 40 countries, including the United States and United Kingdom. Sorry Canada and Mexico, you guys are not included in this list yet. Vietnam e-Visas will allow citizens of these 40 countries to visit Vietnam for up to 30 days.
The 40 countries included in the Vietnam e-Visa program are Armenia, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Myanmar, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Timor Leste, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.
This new two-year, e-Visa pilot program will be in addition to the current Vietnam travel visa processes in place. Holders of the new Vietnam e-Visas will be allowed to arrive into Vietnam through any of the eight international airports including Da Nang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh; any of the 13 international land border crossings; or by any of the seven seaports including Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau. No word has been confirmed yet regarding the arrival by rail.
Vietnam e-Visas will cost you a flat fee of $25 USD for a 30-day, SINGLE-ENTRY visa. Your 30 days will start when you arrive into Vietnam, not when your e-Visa is approved. This visa will only be valid for a single entry into Vietnam for up to 30 days, meaning you can’t fly into Vietnam, stay for a few days, travel to Cambodia and then return to Vietnam for your flight back to the United States. You can only enter Vietnam once. If you need a multiple-entry visa or want to stay in Vietnam for longer than 30 days, you can read my post here on how to obtain a Vietnam travel visa here.
Vietnam e-Visa application process
You will need a scanned copy of your valid U.S. passport details page and a scanned passport photo. According to the website instructions, the passport photo must be “straight looking and without glasses.” I’m assuming this means looking forward at the camera and without a smile (and nothing to do with your sexual orientation).
Starting February 1, 2017, U.S. citizens can apply online for a Vietnam e-Visa through this website, https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt
- Click on “For Foreigners.”
- Upload your passport photo and a copy of your passport details page. These are two separate uploads. You can’t upload your passport details page twice.
- Enter in all the required information.
- Pay your $25 USD fee and submit your application. Your fee is non-refundable even if your application is later denied.
- Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a “registration code.” Keep this code.
- At the time of this posting, the e-Visa turnaround time is approximately 3 business days. After the processing time, return back to the website and click on “Search” in the top menu bar.
- Enter in your registration code to search for your application to see if it was approved.
- If approved, you can print out your Vietnam e-Visa as proof for travel.
I know this sounds a little complicated but trust me, this Vietnam e-Visa process is much simpler than the uncertainty and hoops we used to jump through. We no longer have to deal with third-party companies for visa approval letters or mail in our passports to the Vietnam consulate offices. Overall, this is a win-win for U.S. travelers and it’s a step in the right direction. I’m hoping that multiple-entry visas and longer term visas will be added to this system if it proves to be successful.
Disclaimer: Please understand this is a pilot program so there might be some glitches along the way. I have not personally applied for a Vietnam e-Visa through this process so I can’t test out how reliable it is. If any of our readers has any feedback or real life experiences with obtaining a Vietnam e-Visa, please share them with us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!