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All information needed about Vietnamese visas for US citizens

September 16, 2019

If you are a US citizen who intends to stay in Vietnam within 30 days, a visa is required for your travel.

Currently, there are three ways that a US citizen can apply for a Vietnam visa: (1) Visa on arrival that requires a letter of approval in advance, (2) Visa from Vietnamese consulate or Embassy and (3) E-Visa at Vietnam Immigration Department’s website. Each option owns both advantages and disadvantages as described below. Consider these three options, I hope you can choose the best way to have a Vietnam visa and enjoy the journey to our mystic Vietnam.

Vietnamese visas for US citizens


1. Vietnam visa on arrival

This is the most popular option for travelers entering Vietnam by air.

Advantages of opting Vietnamese visa on arrival for US citizens:

Convenience is the first plus point. All US citizens are entitled to visa as soon as you land at Vietnam International Airport, which means that you do not need to go to the Vietnam embassy. This type of visa saves a lot of your time and money.

Secondly, the visa upon arrival is safe as it ensures your privacy as the Vietnam Immigration Department does not require any of your original documents to apply for a visa. (You are only required to fill out the form and pay online)

Disadvantages of choosing Vietnam Visa on arrival

Visa upon arrival is only acceptable for visitors coming to Vietnam by air travel. So if you want to get to Vietnam by land or sea, you will have to apply for a visa at the Vietnam embassy in the traditional way.

Another disadvantage of visa on arrival is that sometimes the time to get a visa stamp may be extended and the applicant will have to queue at the airport. (It usually takes from 30 minutes to 45 minutes)

2. Visa at Vietnam Embassy in the United States

Advantages of applying for Vietnam visa at the Embassy of Vietnam:

One advantage of this option is that you have a visa stamp on your passport before departure. In addition, you can directly contact with the Embassy of Vietnam in your country.

Disadvantages of getting a Vietnam visa at the Embassy

However, this option has some drawbacks: your personal information has to be registered, and getting a visa should take at least 5 days. While applying for a visa at the Embassy might be considered an advantage, those living far from the Vietnam Embassy will find it difficult to do so.
To discover if there are any Vietnam Embassies / Consulates close to your home, check out this article:

3. E-visa ( E-visa )

Advantages of Vietnam E-visa:

US citizens can easily obtain an e-Visa anywhere with internet connection via smartphones, laptop, PC to tablet, which will save you much time and money.

In addition, your personal information is already filled in online, so it will not take as much time with the staffs of the Department of Immigration Vietnam as Visa on arrival.

Disadvantages of Vietnam E-Visa

However, e-visas allow US citizens to stay for only 30 days in Vietnam and only for travel purposes. For your visa application to be approved, it will take no more than 3 business days.

If there are any problems and you want to contact Vietnam Immigration Department, it will take some time to receive a response from the Department.

In addition, some airlines may not acknowledge or are unfamiliar with E-Visa and decline boarding, so you should check with your airline in advance to avoid any inconvenience.

All in all, each visa application has its advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, this article can provide a base for you to make the most informed decision.