Vietnam - Travel Preparation
Required by citizens from all countries except the following:
(a) Nationals of Bulgaria, Cuba, Korea (Democratic Republic) and Romania;
(b) Nationals of Malaysia and Thailand for 30 days and nationals of the Philippines for 21 days;
(c) Transit passengers continuing their journey within 72 hours, provided holding valid return or onward tickets. At present visas can be issued to either groups or individuals.
Note: For security reasons, it is advisable to carry copies of documents rather than originals when in Vietnam.
What documents will be required?
Passport is valid for at least 6 months after date of arrival or 1 month after expiration of visa required by all.
Time required in issuing visa
2 days (Tourist visa, express application); 5 days (Tourist visa, normal).
How to apply?
Application to: Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Contact Addresses section.
Application requirements: (a) Completed application forms. (b) One passport-size photo. (c) Valid passport. (d) Fee (non-refundable), payable by cash or cheque. To have your passport returned by post, please add £5 and include a stamped self-addressed envelope. Business visas to be issued on the strength of an approval obtained through a Vietnamese sponsor.
What is the cost of a visa?
Tourist: £43 (single-entry); £55 (express service); £70 (multiple-entry). Single-entry Business: £40 (1 month). Multiple-entry Business: £70 (1 month); £90 (3 months); £120 (6 months or more).
How long is the visa valid for?
Tourist visas are valid for 1 month from proposed date of entry. Visas can usually be extended for another month, at extra cost, in the larger towns.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age arriving within 6 days of visiting infected areas.
Following WHO guidelines issued in 1973, a cholera vaccination certificate is not an official condition of entry to Vietnam. However, cholera is a serious risk in this country and precautions are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought before deciding whether these precautions should include vaccination, as medical opinion is divided over its effectiveness. For more information consult local Vietnamese Mission.
Vaccination against typhoid is advised.
Malaria risk exists throughout the year everywhere except urban areas, the Red River delta and the coastal plains north of Nha Trang. The risk is highest in the southern provinces of Bac Lieu and Ca Mau, and highland areas. The malignant falciparum form is reported to be highly resistant to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine.
How to Apply for a Visa to Vietnam?
A VISA to Vietnam can be applied for by mail or in person at the Embassy of Vietnam as early as six months prior to the date of travel. The applicant must submit:
Original passport (which requires at least 01 month validity prior the date of exit from Vietnam and/or 06 month validity to meet airlines’ requirements). In urgent cases, a loose-leaf-visa can be requested for; then a copy of passport (photo and personal details pages) may be submitted instead of the original passport.
Application form. The form must be completed, signed and attached with 01 original photo (2x 2in). In case of a loose-leaf-visa request, 01 additional photo must be stapled to the form. If the applicant has already got a visa approval, she/he may write the reference number on the top of the form. For anyone who comes to Vietnam for less than 3 months and does not have visa approval, just leave “visa approval number” blank and the Embassy will take care of it. Additional processing fees for visa approval may be required.
A prepaid return envelope, if the applicant requests the visa to be returned by mail may be sent to get the visa by post. Please use USPS - United States Postal Service (prepaid postage stamped envelope or return label bought online at www.usps.com) or prepaid return FedEx label (bought online at www.fedex.com - The Embassy does not accept credit card for FedEx mailing service). For your documents’ safety, the Embassy advices you to use USPS Express Mail or FedEx with the tracking numbers. Applicants applying jointly may provide one envelope for visas to be returned to the same address. For international shipping, please pay in the form of money order payable to the Embassy of Vietnam.
Diplomatic and official visas will be granted GRATIS unless otherwise agreed upon between Vietnam and the applicant’s country. In addition to the documents specified, the applicant must submit a note verbal or an official letter from the relevant agencies of the US Government, Embassies or Consulates accredited to the United States, and international organizations.
II/ Processing Time: Five business days are required to process visa applications with approval. Express processing requires one to two business days after the Embassy has received the application (additional fee required).
Note: Please keep the tracking numbers of the envelopes to and from the Embassy. When the above deadlines have passed, use the tracking number to check with the mailing service first.
Please do not make telephone inquiries on the status of your application (make sure that you keep your passport number for this request) until after the 3rd business day for an expedite case and the 7th business day for a regular case.
The Embassy will be closed on Saturdays, Sundas and Vietnamese and US holidays in 2010. Please take account of the observed holidays in planning for your visa application and travel. In addition, no mail can be delivered at the Embassy during weekends and holidays.
For further information, please contact the Visa Section of the Embassy:
Opening hours: 9:30 – 12:30 Monday through Friday.
Phone: (202) 861- 2293, (202) 861- 0694 and (202) 861- 0737 ext. 221, 222, 236, 237 during 10:00 – 12:00 AM and 2:30 – 5:30 PM Monday through Friday.
On arrival in Vietnam, you must complete arrival-departure card. One copy along with your passport and other travel documents to be kept ready to register yourself at hotels, guesthouses or with local police. The registration procedure may take up to one day/night.
From April 2003, on arrival you also are required to declare your health upon check-in.
The airport tax can be paid in VND or US$ at airport only.
International flights: US$14 per adult and US$7 per child.
Domestic flights: US$2.5 per adult at Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City airports
Goods and Materials Import
Cigarettes: 400; Cigars: 100 gr. Tobacco: 100 gm Liquor: 1.5 liters.
Perfume and jewellery for personal use.
Small gift items valued at not more than US$ 300
Materials under Declaration
Foreign currency: in excess of US$ 7,000.
Gold and jewellery not for personal use.
Video tapes, CDs… (These items may be retained by Customs for screening for a few days).
Weapons, firearms, explosives and inflammable objects
Opium and other narcotics
Goods and Materials Export
Materials of high values:
Antiques, some precious stones and animals listed in Vietnam’s red-book will not be brought out of the country. Goods with high value may require export permits issued by the customs authorities. So when buying these goods, ask the retailer a receipt and ask if the good can be exported or not.