When arriving at the International airport of Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City, you need to go the immigration counter to get your full visa. Department of Immigration staff at the airports handles the whole process. The opening time of the VOA office is the same as that of the airports.
What is a Vietnamese Visa on Arrival? (Advantages and Disadvantages)
While you can also apply for a Vietnamese visa at the embassy or consulate in your home country in advance, it is easier to get your visa on arrival. Advantages of doing this are that you won’t have to leave your passport at the Vietnamese embassy and collect it again on a later date.
The disadvantages are, however, that you have to wait in line at the airport in Vietnam with everyone else who has applied for the visa on arrival. Luckily, this shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes in low season but can take up to 2 hours in high season when there are many tour groups.
See more on the three ways of obtaining a visa for Vietnam and about Visa Exemptions for Vietnam.
Procedure for Visa on Arrival Application at the Airport
- Present the required documents at the VOA counter
- Sit down and wait for the process
- Pay for the stamping fee when it is your turn
- Get your passport back with a full visa inside and a receipt of your payment
- Pass through the immigration control post and take your luggage downstairs
When you get your Visa on Arrival, make sure to double check to see everything on it is correct at the counter. Keep it carefully as you will need it whenever you check-in hotels or board an airplane.
Required Documents For VOA in Vietnam
- Your passport with at least six months validity remaining
- The printout of your Vietnam visa approval letter
- One passport-sized photo (Photos service is available but not recommended)
- A completed entry and exit form (Form N1)
- Stamping fee in cash: both US dollars or Vietnam Dongs are doable
Continue to read How to Get an Approval Letter
How Long It Will Take to Obtain the VOA at the Airport
The whole procedure takes 15 minutes in low seasons (from March to October) to get a full visa. You may even arrive at the luggage carousel before your luggage does.
In high season (from November to December), it is likely that you will have to wait for an hour or even two hours when there are many tour groups.
For passengers in a hurry, some visa websites offer assistance service at the airport at US$22 per person. Ask for more details when dealing with the application on the website.
For visitors who don't want to spend your time waiting in the line, we suggest you to consider the 30 days e-visa or obtain a visa via Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate.
Visa on Arrival Cost
For single entry visas (one month and three month), the processing fee is US$25. For multiple entry visas (one month and three month), it is US$50. Children need to pay for the same fee as adults do.
Do remember to bring cash on you to pay for the fee —US dollars or Vietnam Dong are accepted. US dollars are preferred. The VOA office does not accept any 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 by your card, it may bother the immigration staff to escort you to the nearest ATM for money withdrawal. At Ho Chi Minh airport an ATM is available adjacent to the VOA office. However, you should consider the exchange rate and additional card charges.
Differences between the Three International Airports in Vietnam
At Ho Chi Minh Airport
HCM airport is called Tan Son Nhat International Airport (IATA: SGN, ICAO:VVTS), which is the largest and also the busiest airport in Vietnam. When you enter the immigration hall, you will see the VOA office with a Landing Visa sign posted on the left at the far end. Then go and follow the processing steps.
Ho Chi Minh City Vespa Tour
Depending on the different seasons your wait time will vary. Note that they may not return your passport and visa in the order received.
When it is your turn to get your full visa, you will be called and you will see your passport with the photo page showing at the window. After paying for the stamping fee, pass through an immigration control post and get your luggage downstairs.
At Hanoi Airport
Noi Bai International Airport opened a new international terminal in January 2015, serving all international flights to Hanoi. The VOA office is opposite the immigration posts. It is not very easy to recognize the place as the signage is not very clear.
Old Quarter in Hanoi
Go to the counter and first hand in the required documents at the right-hand side of the counter. Sit down and wait for your turn. When your visa is ready, you will see your personal information show on the large-screen to the left of the counter.
Go to the left side of the counter to pay and get your things back. You may get your visa affixed to a page of your passport or a loose-leaf visa. For processing a group of several passports at the same time, you will get one pink receipt for all of them. Check your visa to make sure there are no errors on it. Following through an immigration control post signed Foreigners. It may take 10 minutes or one hour.
At Da Nang Airport
Danang airport is not very big. The VOA office is easy to recognize on the left side of the hall. The whole procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes. However, passing through the Immigration Control could take longer time as all passengers will have to queue up and go through the same post! No separate posts are set to separate Vietnamese and foreigners.
Bana Moutain in Danang
If you are traveling with other people, it is advisable to let one person of your group to wait for visas and pay while others join the queue for immigration control.