In order to get a Vietnam visa on arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport (Ho Chi Minh City), you need to prepare these documents in advance (you can do all the process online and download the e-visa form here)
- Original Passport
When you travel abroad, a passport is surely the most important document. Without this document, you cannot enter any country. Moreover, please do not forget that your passport must be valid more than 6 months prior to the entry date, and it is required to have at least 2 blank pages on your passport.
You cannot use the expiry passport to enter Vietnam. In case you applied for a visa in advance, make sure that the passport number in the application form is the same as your current passport number.
- Visa Approval Letter
Many people misunderstand that they can get a visa on arrival without any application in advance, and they are refused to get a visa at the arrival date. Please note that you only can get a visa on arrival if you already applied a document which is called “visa approval letter”.
Visa approval letter is the letter that is approved, signed and read sealed by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. Your name and the other applicants’ name will be shown in the letter with the information “these below people are granted to get visa on arrival at the international airports”. It is also considered as a “pre-approval visa”, but it is used for boarding the airplane and getting a real visa at the airport only.
You need to apply a visa approval letter before flying to Vietnam
Visa approval letter, as its name, is not a real visa. It is the “approval notice”, which allows you to get a real visa at the airports on arrival date. However, if you do not apply this letter before arriving, you cannot get a visa at the airports.
You need to prepare two photos size 4×6 (one for sticking on the Vietnamese visa application form, one for back up).
Prepare 2 photos before coming to Vietnam
- Size: 4×6 cm
- Must clearly show a full face, front view, and open eyes
- Make sure photo presents full head, from top of hair to shoulders level
- Take the photo in a plain white or off-white background
- Avoid shadows on the face or background
- Face should be in a natural expression (with mouth closed)
- No sunglasses or hats are to be worn, as they obscure the full face
- The contrast and lighting conditions in the photo should be normal
- Vietnamese visa application form (Form NA1)
This is the form to collect information about your trip. You can get this form in front of the “visa upon arrival counter”. Or you can download the form online here
It should be better to print it out and fill out before coming to Vietnam (cause you can learn it in advance and clearly know how to fill out it correctly). It also saves you time.
You have to pay the stamp fee to get your visa on arrival. The visa stamp fee is the fee that you directly pay to the Immigration officer at the Visa Upon Arrival counter to get the real visa and visa stamp.
- Single entry for 1 month up to 3 months staying is 25 USD per person
- Multiple entries for 1 month up to 3 months staying is 50 USD per person
- Multiple entries for 6 months staying is 95 USD
- Multiple entries for 1 year staying is 135 USD
The stamp fee is collected in cash only, so you need to prepare some cash before coming to Vietnam. Both US Dollars or Vietnam Dong are accepted, but US dollars is recommended. If you pay in Vietnam Dong, you may pay a higher fee than this amount in US Dollars (due to balance exchange).
Here is what you need to do for obtaining a visa at the Ho Chi Minh Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
- Before Boarding
The airlines only allow you to get on the airplane in case you have a visa (Of course, if you are free of visa to enter Vietnam, you just tell them you are visa exemption). The visa can be the real visa sticking on your passport, Evisa document, or visa approval letter. So, you just show the airline staff your original passport + the visa approval letter. They will check and then you are allowed to fly to Vietnam.
airlines staff check the visa approval letter before letting you boarding an airplane
- When Arriving at the Airport
After arrival, you will see the signboard which shows you the way to come to the “Landing visa counter”.
landing visa counter signboard in Tan Son Nhat Airport
- At the “Visa Upon Arrival Counter”
You submit the documents (original passport + visa approval letter + completed visa application form with a photo attached) to the Immigration Officer. After receiving your documents, she will ask you to come to the seat for waiting a few minutes. After checking, she will call your name, and ask you to pay the visa stamp fee.
getting visa on arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport
- At the Cashier Counter
You come to the cashier counter (nearby the Visa Upon Arrival counter) to make payment. Please note that only cash is accepted and USD is recommended. After paying, you get back your passport with your visa inside.
Please carefully check the information showed in the visa. If any wrong information, you need to ask her to revise it immediately.
- At the Immigration Custom Check and Passport Control
At that time, you already had a visa. You just show your passport at the passport control counter and do the custom check. After this step, you are in Vietnam already.