November 15, 2019
Vietnam Visa on arrival posts
E-Visa vs Visa on Arrival for Vietnam: weighing the pros and cons
What is an e-Visa? What is the difference between the e-Visa and a Visa on Arrival? Which one is better? How do you know which one you need to apply for? These are a few of the questions that may come to mind when applying for a Vietnam visa. If you are trying to figure out if you need the e-Visa or a Visa on Arrival, we are going to go through the pros and cons in this article in order to make it easier for you to make a decision.
At the moment, there are 2 types of visas for foreign travelers who wants to travel to Vietnam: the Visa on Arrival and the e-Visa. In order to obtain either one, you must have a valid passport. Please note that almost all nationalities are required to have a Vietnam visa and this should be sorted out before boarding the plane.
Pros and Cons with the e-Visa
The e-Visa, which is an electronic travel authorization, is one of the most popular ways to obtain a Vietnam visa amongst travelers. One of its main advantages is that everything is completed online, which means you do not have to go to the Embassy or Consulate. All you need is stable WiFi, and a tablet, mobile or computer to apply from.
If you choose to apply for the e-Visa for Vietnam, you will not have to pay for a stamp fee upon arrival at the airport. Most applications are processed within 3 business days. However, due to delays in the past because of holidays and so forth, it is advisable to apply for the visa at least 7 days prior to arrival in Vietnam.
Once the visa has been approved of, the e-Visa will be valid for 30 days from the day you stated you would enter Vietnam. You may use the electronic visa to enter Vietnam through 33 different ports of entry. List of ports accept Vietnam e-visa.
However, the disadvantages with the e-Visa is that only 81 countries are eligible for this type of visa (Country list for Vietnam e-visa). If your country is not on the list, you may not apply for the e-Visa. An online visa is non-extendable. If the visa application will be denied, they cannot obtain a refund from the government of Vietnam.
In order to apply for the Vietnam e-Visa, you must have:
- A digital passport photo, in which you are strongly advised not to wear glasses, scarves, etc. Both ears must be shown. Photo-requirements.
- A digital scan of the passport photo page. It can be in color or black and white but the info should be readable.
- A credit or debit card to pay for the e-visa fee.
You must provide details of your port of entry and exit point when completing the Vietnam e-Visa form. You must also provide an address in Vietnam. Your passport must also have a minimum validity of 6 months from the expected date of arrival in Vietnam and the passport must have two blank pages. When the e-Visa has been approved of, print out a copy of it so you can present it at the airport. With the electronic visa, you can skip the visa on arrival line and head straight to the border control where the immigration officers will stamp your passport.
Pros and Cons with the Visa on Arrival
As with the e-Visa, there are pros and cons with the Visa on Arrival as well that is worth considering. What makes this type of visa good is that travelers can choose between a 30-day or a 90-day stay. So if you intend on staying in Vietnam for a longer period of time, this is the type of visa you should apply for. American citizens may even request a one-year stay in Vietnam. The processing time should take no longer than two business days and the visa can be extended.
However, the disadvantage is that you must arrive to Vietnam by flight. You cannot enter Vietnam through a land border crossing for example with the Visa on Arrival. It is also only available at seven main international airports in Vietnam. In addition, the Visa on Arrival requires more paperwork than the electronic visa. You will need a debit or credit card to pay for the visa approval letter and then pay for visa stamping fee on arrival in cash.
There are a few things you need to know before applying for the Visa on Arrival. You will have to print the Approval Letter and have two passport-style photos of yourself for attaching on the Vietnamese visa application form (NA1). Upon arrival, you must present the Approval Letter and the photos to the immigration office located at the airport before getting in the regular immigration line.
You will also have to pay an additional “stamping fee” at the airport, besides the fee for the visa approval letter. This fee must be paid in cash and you can either pay it in USD or Vietnamese Dong. ATMs are outside the customs area so make sure that you already have the money in cash so you can pay for the fee.
In order to obtain the Visa on Arrival, you need to complete an online form stating your personal details and passport information. In order to pay for the visa fee, you must have a valid debit or credit card.