Tourist visas are currently available in three flavors: 30-day single entry ($65), 30-day multiple entry ($130) and 3-month multiple entry ($150). To obtain one, you simply complete a 1-page application and send it to the embassy together with your passport, one passport-size photo, a check or money order for the appropriate fee and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Allow two weeks for processing. (We usually Fed-X our applications with a return airbill and receive our visas in 4-5 days.)
Click here to download an application or call the Vietnamese embassy at (202) 861-2293. (Outside the US contact the Vietnamese consulate or embassy in your country.)
Obtaining a business visa is a little more complex. (And a little more expensive!) Business visas do have the advantage of a longer stay, up to 6 months, and multiple entry. To obtain a business visa you must also include a visa authorization letter with you application. To obtain the authorization letter, your Vietnamese sponsor will submit a request to the Ministry of the Interior on your behalf. You must provide your sponsor with your full name, profession, expected date of arrival and passport information, including passport number, date of issue and expiration, date and place of birth. (We just send a copy of our passport.) Upon approval, your sponsor will send a visa authorization letter to you, which you then send to the embassy along with the rest of your stuff (see above).
Visa on Arrival
This is a bit misleading since you must apply for your visa in advance and receive approval. You obtain the actual visa in your passport upon arrival. It costs the same or a little more than getting your visa in advance. We've done it, but try to avoid it when we can as it delays your getting through immigration and confuses the airlines, who prefer to see the visa in your passport. Visa on arrival is most often used by tour operators who simply find it more convenient than monkeying with their clients' passports.
Whatever visa you get, extensions can usually be obtained once in Vietnam. You'll see numerous travel agencies and hotels offering this service in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Rates vary, as does the official policy regarding extensions. Like most things in Vietnam the availability of an extension is related to the size of your wallet. Please Contact Us with your recent experience with extensions.
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