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My successful experience getting a Vietnam Visa on Arrival

a glass of drink on a balcony overlooking a city

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My successful experience getting a Vietnam Visa on Arrival

I can’t tell you how many times I searched for reviews on getting a Vietnam Visa on arrival and couldn’t find anything that really broke down the experience.  There are TONS of stories about people getting sold fake E-Visas, letters of approval, but not much in the way of successful experiences. In the end, I rolled the dice and thought I’d give it a go. It was super easy, albeit a little time consuming, but it was successful and saved a lot of cash. Here’s a how-to guide on getting a Vietnam Visa on Arrival.

If you live in a city ( D.C., San Fran, or New York) that has an embassy you can have them processed there. Unfortunately, Los Angeles does not have one. You can also have them processed in a foreign country and people have had successful experiences having them done same-day. I didn’t want to risk that in Taipei on New Years Eve.

You need a letter of approval prior to entering the country.  I used – it cost $30. BTW – Landing visas and arrival visas are one in the same.

And no I don’t have any sort of relationship with them…it just worked. If you use a visa processing company like Travisa you can end up paying LOADS more, and shipping fees.

You will fill out quite a bit of stuff and ultimately receive a confirmation email:


24 hours later I received welcome letter which look like this.

There is also a private letter that you can pay a surcharge for…I used one that was for group approval. You should know that your name and passport number will be collectively reported on one approval letter. If that makes you uncomfortable, pay the extra charge for a private – it’s nominal and honestly had I known all passport numbers were collectively reported I’d have opted for that.


You need the following as well items as $135 straight CASH for a US, 1 year, multi-entry visa.

They will not issue anything but this at the airport, and they will not take anything other than cash. The pictures aren’t a big deal. I happened to have a extra set of passport photos that I brought, but my buddy Dave just paid the $5, which is in fact, considerably cheaper than getting them in the states.

When you get to Vietnam, at least in Saigon, you’ll see this:


Immediately to the left you’ll see the Landing Visa or Arrival Visa counter.


The lines are NOT short.

We got in at roughly noon and had to wait a little less than an hour. Immediately after us a HUGE wave of people came in. I’d say we were pretty lucky to get processed in that short of time, but it was very simple. We did have our paperwork filled out ahead of time and that will more than likely save you a solid 10 minutes.

Here’s a list of other prices.


Get in a cab, check-in, and then go to SAIGON SAIGON and enjoy yourself a Passionfruit martini and watch the mind-bending traffic of motorbikes cut and weave with chaotic precision.


This review is a part of the Trip Report: Miles Traces his roots in Southeast Asia

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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