Visas for Southeast Asian Countries (a 2020 Guide)

Visas for Southeast Asian Countries (a 2020 Guide)

By CindyUpdated Jul. 14, 2021

Are you planning to travel to Southeast Asia but are confused about the visa requirements of different countries? Here we have put together all the information you need regarding visa requirements and restrictions for specific countries in Southeast Asia.

Visas for Southeast Asian Countries

Visa Guide to Southeast Asian Countries

Southeast Asia is made up of 11 countries. Most of them allow easy visa-free entry or visa upon arrival for stays ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months for certain nationalities.

(Take into account that information on visas is particularly vulnerable to change at this time, as all travel to the region has been strictly restricted from March onwards due to the impact of COVID-19. For more detailed information, please see Is it Safe to Travel to Asia During the COVID-19 Outbreak?.)

  • Thailand: visa exemption for up to 30 days
  • Vietnam: visa required for visitors from most countries, and visa exemption for up to 15 days for some nationalities
  • Cambodia: visa on arrival for 30 days
  • Laos: visa on arrival for 30 days
  • Burma (Myanmar): visa required for up to 28 days 
  • The Philippines: visa exemption for 30 days
  • Singapore: visa exemption for 90 days
  • Malaysia: visa exemption for 3 months
  • Indonesia: visa exemption for up to 30 days
  • Brunei: visa exemption for 90 days
  • Timor-Leste: visa on arrival for 30 days

Tourists of most nationalities do not need to apply for a visa to Thailand.

Citizens of 51 nations (including the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and most EU nations) are eligible for 30-day visa-free entry on arrival in Thailand by air or land.

Staying longer in Thailand: if you wish to stay longer in Thailand, you can get a 60-day tourist visa before you travel — the cost is about US$40. You need to apply for it in person at a Thai embassy before you travel.

You can extend your stay by as much as 30 days if you apply for visa at the Thai Immigration Bureau office in Bangkok. The cost is about US$60.

See more detailed information about Thailand visa requirements.

Vietnam Visa Requirements

Most foreigners must obtain a visa to enter Vietnam unless they are coming from one of the visa-exempt countries.

15-day visa-free entry is granted to citizens of the UK, Norway, Russia, Belarus, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, South Korea, and Spain.

If you are not in this list of visa-exempt countries, you must obtain pre-approval for a visa.

Three Ways to Get a Vietnam Visa

  • Go online to apply for the Vietnam e-visa, which costs US$25 and is valid for 30 days.
  • Visit a nearby Vietnamese embassy before traveling in order to secure a visa.
  • Visa on arrival requires you to enter Vietnam by an international flight landing in Hanoi, Da Nang, or Ho Chi Minh City. The cost is about US$45 per person for single entry and US$65–95 per person for a multiple-entry visa.

See more information about How to Apply for a Vietnam Visa.

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Cambodia Visa Requirements

Most nationalities are required to apply for a visa to Cambodia. You can apply for a visa on arrival or an e-visa.

A visa on arrival or a VOA is valid for 30 days and costs US$30.

If you are eligible, you can apply for an e-visa at the cost of US$37. The processing time is 1–3 days.

See detailed information about Visa Requirements for Cambodia.

Laos Visa Requirements

Citizens from most countries must obtain a visa to enter Laos.

Three Ways to Get a Laos Visa

  • Get a visa on arrival.
  • Apply for a Laos e-visa.
  • Obtain a visa in advance by visiting your nearest Laos embassy.

The visa is valid for 30 days, and the price varies depending on where you are from. For reference, a visa for tourists from the USA or UK is priced at $35, Australia at $30, and Canada at $42.

See detailed information about visa requirements for Laos.

Myanmar Visa Requirements

People of most nationalities require a visa to enter Myanmar (Burma). You can apply for a visa via the online e-visa system or through a Myanmar embassy or consulate.

The tourist e-visa costs US$50 and takes 3 days to process. Note that it is eligible for up to 28 days.

See detailed information about visa requirements for Myanmar.

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The Philippines Visa Requirements

Citizens of most nationalities do not need a visa to enter the Philippines, and this is inclusive of all citizens of EU countries, the US, Australia, Russia, and South American countries.

The visa-free period is 30 days. You can also get a tourist visa for US$30 for a stay of up to 59 days from the Philippines embassy before traveling.

Singapore Visa Requirements

Visitors from most countries in the world can enter Singapore without a visa and are granted 30–90 days visa-free entry, depending on their nationality.

All EU citizens as well as those from the US, Australia, Norway, South Korea, and Switzerland are eligible.

Malaysia Visa Requirements

Visitors from most European countries, North America, South Africa, and Australia are not required to obtain a visa to visit Malaysia and can stay for a maximum of 90 days.

Indonesia Visa Requirements

All EU citizens, US citizens, and citizens of most other nations can visit Indonesia without a visa for up to 30 days.

No extensions are allowed on visa-exempt entry. If you wish to stay longer in Indonesia, you can get a visa on arrival at the cost of US$35 for 30 days.

Brunei Visa Requirements

Citizens of 56 countries can travel to Brunei without obtaining a visa. Visa-free stay ranges from 14, 30, to 90 days depending on where you are from.

Visitors from the USA, UK, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein can stay in Brunei for up to 90 days without a visa; those from New Zealand, Turkey, and 7 other countries can stay for 30 days; and tourists from Canada, Russia, and 23 other countries can stay up to 14 days. Visitors from Australia may obtain a visa on arrival at Brunei International Airport.

Visas for Southeast Asian Countries

What Documents Do You Need to Prepare?

Even though the required documents might be slightly different in each country, the common documents that are usually required are listed here:

  • A valid passport. You must have two completely free pages in your passport, as well as 6 months of validity
  • Two recent passport photographs
  • A return air ticket or an onward ticket to another country
  • Proof of sufficient funds, that is, documents to prove you have the financial means to support yourself during your entire stay in the country that you are going to visit
  • Accommodation details
southeast asia visa requirements

More Visa Tips

  • Store a photocopy of your passport and visa separately or keep an e-version of your passport in your e-mail account.
  • Plan your trip according to the length of the stay specified on your visa. If you plan to stay longer, it is better to apply for a longer visa at the embassy in your home country.
  • To obtain your visa on arrival, you will be required to pay in cash in the local currency or US dollars. Make sure you have the correct amount in advance.
  • Visa on arrival or e-visas are often valid for air travel. If you are entering a country by land or sea, check the visa requirements in advance.

(Please note that information regarding visas is particularly vulnerable to change and double-check when planning your tour.)

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