Vietnam Visa Requirements for US Citizens

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Wed Jan 31 2018

Vietnam is popular among American tourists for its low cost of living, amazing beaches, and – for some – the most desirable gateway to Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, US citizens still have to go through a network of channels to legally enter Vietnam, which usually means visa applications, and visiting a consulate. Single-entry e-visas are available online and visas on arrival can even be issued in certain cases, but understanding the Vietnam visa requirements for US citizens is a good first step to beginning your journey.

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Different ways to get a visa to Vietnam

Applying at a consulate or embassy

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam allows you to mail your application or apply in person at their embassies and consulates nationwide without an appointment. Just bring the completed visa application form, your US passport valid for at least six months, a passport photo, and a money order or cashier’s check for paying the fee (see below for details). If you’d like your visa and passport to be mailed back to you, be sure to bring a prepaid addressed envelope as well. Applying in person usually takes 2-3 business days, with expedited processing available for 24 hours. These single-entry tourist visas (DL) are valid for up to three months

Applying online

If you plan on a shorter stay in Vietnam and aren’t able to visit a consulate in advance of your trip, you might consider an e-visa. These visas are valid for one month in Vietnam for tourists.

Visas on arrival

Some travel agencies are authorized to write letters giving immigration the approval for a visa on arrival. However, because this is not the most common way US citizens enter the country, the rules and regulations on arrival are somewhat in flux, with no standard fees and the risk of being cheated (especially when using land border crossings, though visas on arrival are best used in airports).

Vietnam Visa Requirements for US Citizens

how much is a visa to vietnam

There are no restrictions for US citizens visiting Vietnam provided they have a passport valid for at least six months with enough space for a visa. Though visas on arrival are allowed with the proper authorization letters, visitors who haven’t made arrangements through an official tourist agency or business may be denied entry.

A variety of visas to Vietnam are available to US citizens from single entry to multiple entry, one month to one year. E-visas are a particular attractive option for Americans visiting Vietnam for tourism simply because the fees are so low when compared with those of applications in person: $25 to apply online. Similarly, visas on arrival (not including any fees paid to a tourist agency) are $25 for one month. When applying at an embassy or consulate, a one-month, single-entry visa costs $80, with the option to pay $30 for expedited processing.

Do I have to hand over my passport for a Vietnam visa application?

Tourists traveling to Laos by land after their stay in Vietnam should ask for an adhesive visa to be applied to their passport rather than a detachable one, as this is required by immigration in Laos. However, if you do not plan on traveling to Laos during your stay in Southeast Asia you can apply for a Vietnam visa using a copy of the information page of your passport to obtain a loose-leaf visa – just be careful not to lose it!

What are some of the questions you have about getting a visa to Vietnam?