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Vietnam Visa Approval Letters in 2023/2024

Vietnam Visa Approval Letters in 2023/2024

By Ruby ZhaoUpdated Jan. 17, 2023

Vietnam eased its travel restrictions from March 16, 2022, so now all fully-vaccinated travelers are exempt from quarantine.

If you're from Iran, South Africa, Mauritius, Ukraine, Kenya, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, or the country not in the list for visa exemptions or e-visas for Vietnam, you will need to apply for a Visa Approval Letter (usually mistakenly called a “Vietnam Invitation Letter”) in order to obtain a visa on arrival at the airport or a visa via a Vietnamese Embassy.

Visa Approval Letters are issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department, which takes usually 7-10 working days. Before COVID-19 they could be applied for online, but now you can only get one through an authorized travel agency.

How to Apply for an Approval Letter for Vietnam Visa

It usually takes 7–10 working days for the Vietnam Immigration Department to issue a Visa Approval Letter. For urgent processing (3-4 working days), you can contact us to check the details. 

Pay USD250 per person for the Visa Approval Letter application via Asia Highlights. The Letter will be sent to you via email. You need to print it out and take it with you to the airport, as it will be checked before you board your flight for Vietnam. Once you get your Approval Letter, double-check it to make sure everything on it is correct.

One-month single entry is given by default. If you prefer one-month multiple entry, three-month single entry, or three-month multiple entry, let us know. We will need to check if you are qualified to obtain a non-default Approval Letter.

Documents Required to Obtain a Visa Approval Letter:

  • 1. Your Vietnam tour itinerary
  • 2. Your hotel booking confirmation letter
  • 3. Your flight e-tickets to and from Vietnam
  • 4. Your travel insurance policy (travel insurance from is available to people from over 130 countries)
  • 5. Scanned copy of all passports (they must have six months' validity from the Vietnam arrival date) .

If your tour booking (itinerary, hotel, flight tickets, etc.) is made with Asia Highlights, we will prepare the documents 1-3 for you. Check out our Vietnam tour itineraries for inspiration or submit an inquiry for worry-free planning.

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If you arrange your Vietnam tour yourself, you can pay USD250 per person for the Visa Approval Letter application. Though all applications from us have been approved so far, we have no control over the success of the application. If the application is denied, your payment of USD200 is refundable. Besides the above documents, the following formalities are required:

  • A phone number or WhatsApp to reach you when you're in Vietnam. You'll be contacted each day to have your itinerary checked.
  • Send a copy of your boarding pass to our local contact when you leave Vietnam, which will be forwarded to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Start planning your tailor-made tour now. Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.

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Does My Child Need a Visa Approval Letter?

Yes. You are also required to apply for Visa Approval Letters for your children using their passports. The procedure and fee is the same as for an adult.

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How to Obtain a Visa on Arrival after Getting an Approval Letter

A Vietnam Visa on Arrival (VOA) is a popular way to arrive by air in Vietnam, as you can avoid the trouble of going to an embassy. However, it is only obtainable when you enter Vietnam via one of these five Vietnam international airports:

  • Hanoi: Noi Bai International Airport (IATA: HAN, ICAO: VVNB)
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Tan Son Nhat International Airport (IATA: SGN, ICAO:VVTS)
  • Da Nang: Da Nang International Airport (IATA: DAD, ICAO: VVDN)
  • Hai Phong: Cat Bi International Airport (IATA: HPH, ICAO: VVCI)
  • Nha Trang: Cam Ranh International Airport (IATA: CXR, ICAO: VVCR)

Upon arrival at one of the international airports in Vietnam, your visa on arrival (VOA) can be picked up after submitting the following at the Immigration Counter:

  • Your passport
  • A printed copy of your Approval Letter
  • Two passport-type photos (4*6 cm)
  • A completed Vietnamese Visa Application Form (download)
  • The fee in cash (US dollars or Vietnamese dong).

It usually costs US$25 for one-month and three-month single-entry visas, but US$50 for one-month and three-month multiple-entry visas. The fee might vary a little based on Vietnamese policy updates.

Do remember to bring cash with you to pay the fee in US dollars (preferred) or Vietnam dong. The VOA office does not accept credit or debit cards. You will not be allowed to enter Vietnam without cash for the payment. The bank notes must be in good conditions without any marks, nicks, or tears.

There are no ATMs near the VOA counters at Hanoi airport and Da Nang airport. If you need to withdraw cash there, you will have some inconvenience. At Ho Chi Minh Airport, an ATM is available adjacent to the VOA office.

The whole procedure shouldn't take more than 15 minutes in low season (March to May), but it can take up to 2 hours in high season (December to February) when there are many tour groups. If you don't want to take the risk of waiting a long time at the airport, you should consider applying for your visa via a Vietnamese embassy or consulate.

The Best Southeast Asia Tour for First-timers

Visiting Vietnam with Asia Highlights

Asia Highlights welcomes the chance to help you design your perfect trip to Vietnam, and we are able to obtain Vietnam Visa Approval Letters if you need them. Your knowledgeable 1:1 travel advisor will assist you in selecting destinations, accommodation, and activities that best suit your requirements.

Check out the following links to learn more about our tour designs and get a head start on planning your hassle-free vacation today!

Why Travel with Asia Highlights During the Pandemic

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
  • Worry-free planning: Your 1:1 travel consultant in Asia will take all the uncertainty out of your planning, helping you navigate any travel restrictions. 
  • No-risk booking: 100% refund policy! (prior to 3 weeks before departure, more details)

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At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.

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