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US passport holders need to obtain a visa or a visa exemption document from a Vietnamese embassy or consulate prior to traveling to Vietnam. Alternately, a written approval letter for a visa upon arrival may be obtained by contacting a travel agency prior to departure. However, there have been reports of unscrupulous travel agencies that take advantage of travelers by charging them exorbitant fees upon landing. Those opting to go this route are advised to proceed with caution.
Visas for Vietnam may be requested as early as 6 months prior to the date of travel. They are usually valid for a single entry, unless the traveler has expressly requested for a multiple entry visa. Those planning to leave Vietnam and re-enter from another country are strongly advised to obtain multiple entry visas. Applicants requesting for multiple entry visas may be charged an increased fee.
- Original US passport with validity of at least 1 month beyond the departure date from Vietnam. Please note that airlines may require their passengers to carry passports with validity of at least 6 months from the date of travel.
Note: In extremely urgent cases, a loose-leaf visa can be requested, and then a copy of the valid passport’s personal and photo pages may be submitted instead of the original.
- 1 fully accomplished and duly signed visa application form with 1 original and recent 2” x 2” photo attached (visa application form may be downloaded in PDF or DOC format).
Notes: In case of a loose-leaf visa request, 1 additional photo must be stapled to the visa application form.
If the applicant has already obtained a visa approval, they may write the reference number on the top of the form. Those traveling to Vietnam and remaining for 3 months and do not have visa approval must leave the “visa approval number” blank. Additional processing fees for visa approval may be charged.
- For applications sent by mail: A prepaid return envelope. Please use USPS (prepaid postage stamp 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 or FedEx mailing service. For the safety of documents, please use USPS Express Mail or FedEx with tracking numbers.
- Visa fee.
- After the Embassy has received the applications, it takes 5 business days to process visa applications with approval and 1 to 2 business days for expedited processing (for an additional fee).
- Applicants are requested to keep the tracking numbers of the envelopes to and from the Embassy and use those tracking numbers with the mailing service first before calling the Embassy to inquire on the status of the applications.
- Applicants are advised to keep their passport numbers for reference when inquiring on the status of their applications. Please do not call until after 3 business days for expedited cases and 7 business days for regular cases.
- No mail can be delivered to the Embassy during weekdays and holidays. A Holiday Calendar is available.
Visa Processing Fees:
Visa fees must be paid in the form of money order, cashier’s check or certified check, made payable to “The Embassy of Vietnam”.
For inquiries on the visa fees, please email email@example.com or call (202) 861-0737.
US citizens are to be aware that Vietnam has 2 fees: the visa fee and the visa processing fee. US officials have received reports of processing fees varying from applicant to applicant and even from one issuing office to another. The matter has been brought to the attention of Vietnamese officials; however, it still persists.
The above-mentioned information is subject to change at any time. US citizens should obtain the latest visa, entry and exit requirements for Vietnam before traveling.
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1233 20th Street NW
Telephone: (202) 861-0737
1700 California Street
San Francisco, CA
Telephone: (415) 922-1707