We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

visa on arrival

midlands uk
Level Contributor
23 posts
144 reviews
visa on arrival

hi wonder if anyone can advise me on this? wa are due to fly to vietnam in around 4 weeks & wanted to know if the visa on arrival system actually works or is it a scam? the ''company I contacted for this don't take a credit card payment directly themselves & it seems a little odd.any advice would be helpfull.

Somewhere
10 posts
1. Re: visa on arrival

Hi, Visa on arrival is good. Really easy and fast

(3 working days and can be faster if pay extra).

A reliable travel agent should accept payment by credit care.Ask them why not and may try another, any agent can help you. Good luck.

midlands uk
Level Contributor
23 posts
144 reviews
2. Re: visa on arrival

thanks for info.what was the procedure like on arrival in hanoi? have to get visa on arrival stamped there.

Somewhere
10 posts
3. Re: visa on arrival

Well, you only have to send an agent your information ( fullname, passport number, exact arrival date, nationality,DOB) and pay them the fee. After about 3 days, they send you an approval letter.

When you arrive in Hanoi airport, you give the letter to immigration desk, pay immigration more 25USD for stamping fee and give them your 02 ID photos 4x6cms. Then the immigration stamp the Visa for you.

Note that this is only the cost for tourist Visa 1 month, if request more days in Vietnam, must pay different price.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
15,148 posts
74 reviews
4. Re: visa on arrival

It worked fine for me, but I did not like the fact that I still had forms to fill out when I arrived (and it was after midnight and my eyes were not fully open). I tried to give 2 pictures, but the man at Than Son Nhat Visa only took 1? - can anyone tell me why? (so many thing in VN just don't make sense, but it does make it interesting!)

I used Aodai Travel in Saigon for Visa - ask for Kevin (also known as Visa-in-Vietnam) - SUPER SERVICE!

midlands uk
Level Contributor
23 posts
144 reviews
5. Re: visa on arrival

thanks guys for the advice much appreciated.looking forward to trip.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
15,148 posts
74 reviews
6. Re: visa on arrival

Forgot to mention that Aodai allows for payment without credit card - I used the Xoom funds transfer service (San Francisco) to send funds directly from my checking account - cost a grand total of USD .99!

Byron Bay, Australia
Level Contributor
45 posts
41 reviews
7. Re: visa on arrival

Whether you get the visa on arrival or pre-obtain a visa in your home country, you'll still be paying quite a bit.

We found it cheaper to do the visa on arrival (VOA) as it was going to cost significantly more getting it locally in Sydney. Check with you local Vietnamese consulate in the UK what it would cost there, then decide if you should do the VOA or just get it in your home country before departing. A VOA would cost in *total* between about USD43 to USD50.

With the VOA, just about every travel agent in Vietnam will do it for a fee, so check up on what they are charging (and haggle if you must). Our hotel did it for us at USD23 each. I've seen it advertised for as low as USD18. I may be wrong, but I think only the Vietnamese travel agents are able to submit the application for you (like you, I wondered why I couldn't just do it myself). This initial fee goes to the travel agent for making the application - not to immigration. Also, note that not all travel agents in Vietnam accept credit cards online. I don't believe that if cards are not accepted, it is because they are attempting a credit card scam (it's a two way thing, they are also trying not to be scammed by those bearing false cards). It's probably just the nature of banking there. As I mentioned, there are numerous agents, so find one that does accept cards.

You only need one photograph when you arrive and an additional USD25/- that goes to the immigration authorities. When you arrive, don't join the queue at immigration - instead, let an airport staff know that you have the VOA and they will direct you accordingly to fill in other paperwork - we made the mistake of joining the queue through the immigration counter and ended up queuing twice and were the last two out of the airport.

Well yes, at the end of the day it is a money making venture, but just wait till you try getting a tourist visa for Australia - it'll make the Vietnamese visa look like it was free!

Santa Barbara, CA
1 post
8. Re: visa on arrival

I'm sitting in a room at the Holiday Inn near the Inchon airport (Seoul, Korea) licking my wounds over this precise issue. I flew to Ho Chi Mihn City three days ago assuming that If a visa was required that I could obtain it upon arrival. After landing and in the entry line at the airport, a customs agent sent me to a window where I was told that since I had no visa that I would have to fly back to Inchon immediately. The only way I could stay in Vietnam, according to this officer, was to use a travel agency specified by him to arrange for a visa. When the travel agent appeared 5 min. later, he told me that I would have to pay him $100 and accompany him to a hotel of his approval. My response to him was that the $100 was OK but that I had already paid for a room at The Continental Hotel and wished to stay there. He said that would not be possible and that I would have to accompany him to his hotel if I wished to stay in Vietnam.

During the flight there, I had revealed on my entry paperwork that I was carrying $5000 in cash plus travelers checks and felt that this agent probably had that information. I decided, that it wouldn't be safe to leave the premises of the airport with this guy. I declined his offer and handed over my credit card (They already had my passport) so they could buy me a return fare, which they did. They wouldn't let me buy my own ticket and I'm sure that they took a cut of that as well. The costs were adding up - $365 for my flight there; $150 for the hotel I couldn't use: $380 for the return flight to Inchon, $100 Holiday Inn in Inchon; $400 for another flight back to the area; over $1500 spent and I'm back where I started. They also made me sign an affidavit (While holding my passport and credit card as leverage) that the fault for this entire incident was mine alone and that I had broken Vietnamese law by entered the country before obtaining a visa before arrival.

Also, I requested that they let me fly to either Bangkok or Cambodia or some other closer destination. They refused and led me to the boarding area where they motioned for me to board, which I began to do. Suddenly, a Korea Air official or Vietnam official (I couldn't tell which cause they were interchangeable at this point) demanded that I step back out of line and in an insulting manner, stated that I would be the last to board. They finally let me board and 6 hrs. later, here I am in Inchon, where I don't want to be. My suggestion to you is not only don't get a visa before or after you go but don't get one at all - the country is corrupt as heck.

Hanoi
Level Contributor
218 posts
9. Re: visa on arrival

Hi,

" Approval letter" costs ~ $15/pp. Upon arrival airport, you have to pay ~$25 to get the visa for 1 month.If you come to Hanoi first, the travel agent I would like to recommend is Vietnamtripadvisor, minmaxtravel, Tonkin travel, octopus travel, Intrepid travel...All you can pay online or give the credit card for guarantee !!!

Cheer

Llanbrynmair...
Level Contributor
14,941 posts
13 reviews
10. Re: visa on arrival

What an unfortunate experience robcob!

It's such a shame you didn't read the many posts on this forum about visas on arrival before your journey. In Vietnam's case the term 'visa on arrival' is somewhat of a misnomer as you have to obtain a letter of approval from the immigration department (via a travel or visa agent) before flying into Vietnam. After arrival you present your passport for the official stamp, but this will not be granted without an approval letter.

You are understandably angry, but please do not write off an entire country because of the mercenary behaviour of one travel agent. Also, it is the international responsibility of all airlines to reboard passengers who do not have a valid visa for the country in question, when applicable.