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How to get a Vietnam visa for US citizens

With a powerful US passport, you can travel to many countries in the world without a visa. However, if you’re thinking that Vietnam is one of those countries, you are totally wrong. The US passport holders do require a visa to visit Vietnam for both personal and business purposes. Hopefully, Vietnamese government will soon extend waiver program to the United States. But that’s what happens in the future. Now let us help you clear up the confusion about process of getting a Vietnam visa for US citizens.

From the United States or anywhere else, you are able to obtain a visa to Vietnam in 2 ways: before arrival at embassy/consulate or on arrival at airport. What option is better? Let’s compare:

In terms of

Visa before arrival

Visa on arrival




Documents required for application



Visa fee

>150 USD(Non-refundable in any case)

·From 10USD application fee (paid online)-100% refundable in case of visa rejection

·Plusstamping fee (paid on arrival)

Payment methods

Money order, Cashier’s check, company check

Onepay/Paypal, Western Union, Bank transfer, Cash

Processing time

2-5 working days

1-48 working hours


9:30 AM – 12:00 PM and 02:30 PM - 05:00 PM Monday through Friday

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

For cruise passengers: almost cruise companies offer visa on board. You will be given an application form to fill out and pay some fee. When you arrive in Vietnam, the visa will be granted. If the cruises over-charge the visa, please contact directly with the nearest embassy to submit application.

Vietnam Visa On Arrival facility is obviously more beneficial than traditional visa. It’s no surprise when there are more and more travelers select “Visa On Arrival” for their travel. However, the embassies still play an important role in issuing the visa because Visa On Arrival just works excellent for arrivals by air. If you schedule to enter Vietnam overland, make sure you obtain full visa well from embassy before reaching the border.

Select appropriate visa

Good news for you that from 15th December, 2016, Vietnam Immigration Department offer more choices of visa type for U.S applicants rather than just 1 year multiple entry as before.

American passport holders now can select among 6 types of visa accoring to their wish of stay, and of course at more reasonable prices than the previous ones Now let’s comapre to see how the most updated regulation works.

Vietnamv visa for us citizens price compare

Now you have decided type of visa? Let's move onto How to get Vietnam visa in the United States.

1. Apply visa at embassy/consulate


· A valid passport: the expiration date should be no earlier than 1 month after your visa expiration date. If you don't want to provide the origin passport, you may send passport copy to request loose-leaf visa (visa not attached to passport).

· Visa application form completed and signed (the form is available at Immigration Department page You can also enter the website of Vietnam Embassy in United States to get the form.

· 01 passport-sized photograph if you apply for traditional visa and 02 passport photographs for loose-leaf visa request (make sure you have no glasses and hats on)

· Prepaid return envelope: is required if you want the passport and visa to be delivered by post. One envelope can be used for more than one applicant.

· Fees: is slightly various at each embassy/consulate in different countries. Contact with the embassy at which you apply for the visa to get the quote.

Processing time: 3-5 business days. The expedited processing (1-2 business day) is available for additional cost.

2. Visa on arrival

Visa On Arrival facility was put into operation since 2007 and its name caused some confustion and troubles to travelers. Many US visitors assumed they will receive visa on arrival without notice about application. Consequently, all of them were refused boarding plane and their well-planned trip failed because of that. So how visa on arrival works finally? Well, first of all, you have to apply online for approval letter and then use letter to check in flight and pick up visa on arrival at airport.

There are plenty of local agents providing visa approval service. You can easily find one in a few seconds searching with Google. Each agency has a different application form but all of them request the same information including: date of birth, full name, passport number, intended date of entry. Questions about port of entry and date of exit are optional so you can leave them blank if you are not sure about it. 

How to apply?

For tourist visa request: Please enter here to complete application form online and make payment with credit/debit card then. The visa fee changes depending on processing time. The price is cheaper if you apply for a group of more than 3 persons. Look at pricing table below for details:

Tourist visa Normal Services Urgent
Urgent Services
Stamping Fee
1-2 pax 3-5 pax 6-9 pax >10 pax
1 month single $16 $14 $12 $10 plus $10 plus $30 $25
1 month multiple $23 $21 $19 $17 plus $10 plus $30 $50
3 months single $26 $24 $22 $20 plus $10 plus $30 $25
3 months multiple $45 $43 $41 $39 plus $10 plus $30 $50
6 months multiple (for U.S citizens only) $50 $48 $46 $44 plus $10 plus $30 $95
1 year multiple (for U.S citizens only) $55 $53 $51 $49 plus $10 plus $30 $135

Note: One hour rush service is not available online. You have to apply via email by sending copy of passport page to [email protected] and pay $95 visa fee through our provided link.

For business visa request: Please supply copy of your passport and proposed date of arrival to [email protected] to make application. The fee structure is listed below:

Business visa

7 business days

2 business days

1 business day

Stamping fee

1 year multiple


Contact us

Contact us


The visa approval enables you to get visa stamped at all Vietnam's airports (Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh, Phu Quoc, Cam Ranh). Each airport sets up a Visa On Arrival booth to process visa on arrival. The documents you need to present for getting visa stamp include original passport (valid for at least 6 months), visa approval, completed entry-exit form and 01 passport photo. The waiting time is around 10-20 minutes depending on the queue. For those who are afraid to wait in queue for the visa stamp, we suggest stamping assistance service (USD 22/pax) to be collected by immigration officer and get visa in flash of an eye.

Before receiving the passport back with a visa stamp inside, you have to pay stamping fee. The fee must be paid by CASH in US Dollars or VN Dong. If you forgot to bring the cash, the immigration officer will escort you to the ATM to withdraw the money. Be aware of that the officer is not always available to solve your problem so you'd better prepare some cash to avoid any inconvenience.Be sure you check for errors on the letter after you got it. Don't be panic if you find other names in the letter. When there are too many applications submitted in one day, the agents often put them into groups to speed up processing. If you are not comfortable with the idea of using the letter with strange people, please let us know at time of application.

Have a question regarding Vietnam visa for US passport holders? Just feel free to contact us anytime. 

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