As Indonesian citizen, I don’t need Visa to enter Vietnam, so I did’t really know about what to do to apply for visa on arrival until recently. My friend wanted to visit me from Singapore, but she is a Dutch nationality. Two days before arrival, she asked me if she needs visa to enter or not. I told her that she might not need a visa, maybe just Visa on Arrival, but that day I wasn’t sure so I checked on google just in case.
Dutch nationality needs a visa to enter Vietnam! And it was a day before departure that we knew about it. I found the information on this visa site. Indonesia and some other countries in ASEAN are listed for visa exemption. This is the full list of Vietnam Visa Exemption :
1. Citizens of Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos for visits of 30 days at the maximum.
2. Citizens of Philippines for visits of 21 days at the maximum.
3. Citizens of Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia and Finland for visits of 15 days at the maximum.
4. Citizens of Brunei for visits of 14 days at the maximum.
5. Citizens of France holding valid diplomatic or official passports for visits of 90 days at the maximum or several visits of 6 months at the maximum.
6. Citizens of Chile holding valid diplomatic or official passports for visits of 90 days at the maximum.
7. APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Holders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies for visits of 60 days at the maximum.
8. For those who travel to Phu Quoc Island – Vietnam : Foreigners and Vietnamese nationals bearing foreign passports who enter Vietnam through an international border gate and then travel to Phu Quoc Island and stay in Phu Quoc less than 15 days will also be granted Vietnam visa exemption. Passports must be valid for at least 45 days. After arriving in Phu Quoc Island, if visitors want to travel to other localities or stay in the island for more than 15 days, the immigration department will be responsible for issuing visas right on the spot.
If your country is not on the list then you need to apply for a visa. It is easy to apply it via online. There are 2 types of fee that you need to pay for Vietnam Visa, which are approval letter fee (paid online) and stamping fee (paid at Vietnam Airport). You can check for the fee here. It is better to do it at least 3 days before your departure so you have time to prepare. The closer you are to departure date, the more expensive is the fee. For example for my friend case. She had to choose “Super Urgent” processing time (4 hours), which cost her US$37 for 1 Month Single Entry.
You don’t need to prepare any document to apply for online approval letter. Just fill out the Visa application form on the website by clicking “Apply Now” and pay the fee online. And they will send you confirmation to your email. Airport Fast-Track is not necessary to choose, unless you travel with a lot of people and don’t mind paying US$25 for it. Also for Car pick up, it is not necessary. There are a lot of taxis in front of the Exit. Please use only Vinasun and Mailinh Taxi for your safety (although it is not 100% guaranteed but they are safest than other taxi).
Before leaving your country, make sure you bring US dollar and a photo size 4×6 cm. On Vietnam airport, you will need to go to Visa counter and pay for stamping fee US$25 per person for Single Entry Visa, or US$50 for Multiple Entry Visa.
After you get your Visa, you can take your baggage and exit to Arrival Hall.
Congratulation and Welcome to Vietnam!
Hope this helps.