Vietnam Holiday - eVisa or Approval Letter/VOA

10 replies

NiallG

Member since 11 Dec 2018

Total posts 14

We are traveling (for holiday) to Vietnam next March (<14 days length) + am a bit confused about the Visa options. Note it's a family trip + we will fly in/out to Vietnam from HK (as we are going Cathay Pacific and doing stopovers there).

The 'e-Visa' appears to be the simplest/cheapest way to do this (USD$25/pp). The alternative Pre-Approval letter + Visa on Arrival appears to be far more complicated and expensive (via 3rd party $100+/pp). However, many sites (like Qantas/Visalink) don't even mention the eVisa as an option.

Is there any reason why'd we would not go with the eVisa?

Additionally (on Viet gov site) - the sparse wording on eVisas says 'valid for up to 30 days' - just wanted to double check that we can in fact arrange them in advance (for March) and that it means we have 30 days from our arrival date (and not from date of purchase).

Any advice appreciated - thanks in advance!


Husko

Member since 11 Mar 2017

Total posts 6

Hi NiallG, I did eVisa last year from official site and was cheapest and very easy. I think it came back within a day or 2. It was for a conference and there was other delegates who used the 3rd party letter and VoA, some even paid for the escorted services. It all took about the same time for us to get through (arrived in Hanoi), even though the VoA was a 2 step process at immigration.

I don't think anyone paid near $100 for VoA - was more like $15, but it is up to who you use.

In terms of how early you should get it - I got mine a week or 2 in advance and specified my arrival and departure dates at time of application.

You pay at the end so wont hurt to go through the official site and see if it offers any more clues when you select your dates.

787boeing

Member since 26 Aug 2019

Total posts 1

Hi NiallG

My family and I (5 people) are travelling to Vietnam next week via KUL and have bought the official eVisa. We only bought ours a week ago and they were approved within 3-4 working days. Reviews have been good and no dramas with them. Based on my experience, there probably your best option.

Cheers

S

Member since 13 Sep 2013

Total posts 99

Don't get the visa on arrival if you're able to get the evisa.

The major difference is:

The VOA: You have to line up and fill in more paperwork at a different counter when you arrive. They then take your passport for 20-30 mins and put a full page sticker in your passport. I've waited at the VOA counter for over an hour before.

EVisa: No lining up, no forms, just head straight to immigration with the printed out evisa and off you go.

Husko

Member since 11 Mar 2017

Total posts 6

There was no additional time with my 1 time experience but agree with S as to using official site. Note that sometimes the site is slow and can bomb out so just try again until you get it done.

NiallG

Member since 11 Dec 2018

Total posts 14

Thanks everyone for the replies/advice. Sounds like the eVisa is definitely a winner - also had a good look at the form and you specify when you are traveling (so no harm in getting it well in advance for us).

One thing I thought was quite odd was that it asks you what 'religion' you are on the application form (and it's a mandatory field too). I can't imagine why on earth they'd need that information (quite un-PC to even ask too in 2019). Is there any faiths they'd be discriminating against?

NiallG

Member since 11 Dec 2018

Total posts 14

ps - the Qantas website (travel/visa advice) points you at a site called VisaLink (which I think is owned by Qantas given logo in header).. Their quoted fees (for pre approval letter) are insane - ~$200 for combined "Consular + Visalink fees" and that's 7 day service. The 'Same Day' service costs over $430... These don't even include the VOA cost either... Quite dodgy they don't even mention the existence of eVisas.

Last editedby NiallG at Sep 12, 2019, 11:31 PM.

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 397

Interesting that Vietnam is asking for religion, a question quite common in Asia and depending on the status of minority religions may prompt additional questions; also some Christian sects are rabidly anti communist and so this may also prompt additional questions at the border.

pb2492

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 31 May 2019

Total posts 5

Arrived in Vietnam on Monday. Used the e-visa from the official government website (linked from smarttraveller.gov.au) for $25 USD. Got the a4 visa, printed, took it straight to the normal immigration desks and had no problems! Couldn't be easier. FYI I put religion as none for anyone wondering if that's an issue.

While we're on it - download Grab app for cars from the airport. DO NOT use a taxi. They're all scams. If you get one to the city hotels and it's more than ~150,000 VND you're getting ripped off.

silverme

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 31 Aug 2016

Total posts 1

Could you advise the best way for us to apply for Vietnam Visa? We arrive by cruise ship and visit 4 ports over 5 days.

What is our best option?


NiallG

Member since 11 Dec 2018

Total posts 14

Originally Posted by silverme

Could you advise the best way for us to apply for Vietnam Visa? We arrive by cruise ship and visit 4 ports over 5 days.

What is our best option?


For eVisa have a look at the 'List of Ports' link on here - https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/en_US/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt - it may be determined by exactly what port your cruise ship is arriving at. Otherwise you may need to get the regular Pre-Approval letter / and Visa on Arrival.

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