There are many ways for a foreign national to enter into Vietnam depending on your nationality and your visit purpose.
Here are the 5 ways compiling by Phil Hoolihan, an expat in Vietnam
1. Visa exemption
Up to date, Vietnam grants visa exemption for 25 countries as below:
- Chile, Panama: 90 days
- Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Singapore, Thai, Kyrgyzstan: 30 days
- Philippines: 21 days
- Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Russia, Japan, Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belarus: 15 days
- Brunei, Myanmar: 14 days
If you plan to visit Vietnam for a short term and you hold one of the above nationalities, you DO NOT need to apply for visa.
Foreigners from 80 nationalities can apply for electronic visa, follow this link for more information: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/en_US/web/guest/khai-thi-thuc-dien-tu/cap-thi-thuc-dien-tu
E-visa is a 30 days (Maximum) tourist visa, single entry
25 USD is the payable upon online application which covered the visa stamp fee.
The disadvantage of e-visa, that you cannot extend it.
3. Tourist visa
If you are not listed in the above 80 countries, you can obtain a tourist visa which is sponsored by a tour company.
The tourist company can apply for a visa approval letter. The visa is issued on arrival.
By showing this letter when entering into Vietnam, you will get the visa stamp with the stamp fee of 25 USD payable at the airport/land border gate.
Tourist visa for 30 days maximum, single entry, without extension possibility.
4. Business/investor visa
Business/investor visa is applicable when you have a sponsor company.
That company can apply for a visa approval letter.
Business/investor visa can be valid for three months maximum, and single or multiple entries are up to your choice.
This visa is not a visa on arrival (except for the case your country does not have a Vietnamese embassy). Only Vietnamese Embassy issue this Visa, you must go to a Vietnamese embassy in a prescribed country to get the visa stamp and pay the stamp fee of 50 USD to 80 USD to them.
Business/investor visa CAN extend:
- First time of extension will be another 3 months maximum, thereafter you can get (5-7 times) extension, from one month to 15 days per each.
- If you have a work permit or if you are the investor, you can apply for a long-term visa/Resident Card after the visa expiry.
Be very aware of scams offering business visas to those who are simply travelling as tourists. Punishment is typically a fine, extradition and black listing from reentry.
5. Family visa
Family visa is applicable when you have direct family relationship with a person who is a Vietnamese citizen.
A family visa can be valid until the same term of your family member’s visa. Single or multiple entries are also up to your choice. Similar to business visa, this is also not a visa on arrival (except for the case your country does not have a Vietnamese embassy). It means you need to go to a Vietnamese embassy to get visa stamp after obtaining the visa invitation letter.
In this option, one critical document is a paper proving the family relationship (e.g., birth certificate, marriage certificate). If this document is issued overseas, that paper needs to be notarized, legalized and translated into Vietnamese.