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Info for U.S. citizens getting a Vietnam Visa in the U.S.

  • bianco

    Joined Travelfish
    27th March, 2010
    Posts: 12

    Here is some info for U.S. citizens looking to get a Vietnam visa before arrival in the U.S.

    My girlfriend and I are going to Vietnam in July. We decided to send in our visa applications early after reading about all the trouble other people have had. We decided to use the San Francisco Consulate rather than the embassy in D.C. because we live 45mins away.

    How it went down: Went to bank and got a single money order for $170 or $85/per person. We then went to the post office and bought a large envelope and a small envelope and addressed them properly ($1.50). We paid for postage w/ signature on receiving end ($3). Printed out visa application and stuck two photos (not the correct sizes) on them. Stuffed all of it inside and sent them off. Took around 30 minutes to complete everything. Shipped on the 22nd of April and received them exactly one week later on the 29th.

    Total cost: around $87/person

    #1 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 08:37

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  • UCSBrown

    Joined Travelfish
    28th November, 2009
    Posts: 24

    The $85 is for rushed (2 Days) you can get a visa for $65 (5 Days). Of course these are 1-month single entry prices.

    #2 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 08:58

  • rawjer

    Joined Travelfish
    20th January, 2010
    Posts: 104
    Total reviews: 9

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Of course there is also the Visa On Arrival method, which is even cheaper, doesn't involve sending off your passport, takes only a few minutes online and then a few more minutes in the back of the arrival hall at the airport.

    It might feel a bit dodgy because it's new and performed by travel agencies, but there are several threads on this board with people, like me, who it worked flawlessly for.

    If you feel more comfortable sending your passport to an embassy or consulate that's fine too.

    #3 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 14:11

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2090
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    I agree with rawjer on this. I organised mine through http://www.myvietnamvisa.com and it went very smoothly. Apply online for Visa on Arrival for US$20 (standard 2-day processing) or $30 (express). They email you a PDF approval letter that you need to print out and take with you.

    When you arrive in Vietnam, you need to fill in an On Arrival form (download from here and fill it in ahead of time: http://www.myvietnamvisa.com/download-form.html)

    and hand it over with your passport, approval letter and US$25 'Stamping' fee. They take about 10-15 mins to process it and give you back your passport with visa.

    Total cost US$45 per person, and reasonably simple. And you don't have to send your passport off.

    I believe there are other online websites as well... I had no problems with the one referred to above.

    #4 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 17:17

  • Archmichael

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd July, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 396
    Total reviews: 2

    Visa on Arrival is definitely the way to go. That's how we did it last time (worked with Mr. Vu Tuyen at TCD Travel in Ha Noi ... referred to him by a mutual friend; he is quite reputable). It worked out just fine. I dislike the idea of mailing my passport anywhere, and VOA is less expensive as well.

    Keep in mind that the term Visa On Arrival is somewhat misleading. You do have to go through the process of working with someone such as Mr. Tuyen or the company Busylizzy refers to above, to get an approval letter that you have to show (at the appropriate window, of course) when you arrive in Viet Nam.

    #5 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 20:51

  • Archmichael

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd July, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 396
    Total reviews: 2

    Visa on Arrival is definitely the way to go. That's how we did it last time (worked with Mr. Vu Tuyen at TCD Travel in Ha Noi ... referred to him by a mutual friend; he is quite reputable). It worked out just fine. I dislike the idea of mailing my passport anywhere, and VOA is less expensive as well.

    Keep in mind that the term Visa On Arrival is somewhat misleading. You do have to go through the process of working with someone such as Mr. Tuyen or the company Busylizzy refers to above, to get an approval letter that you have to show (at the appropriate window, of course) when you arrive in Viet Nam.

    #6 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 20:52

  • NYTim

    Joined Travelfish
    11th September, 2009
    Posts: 106
    Total reviews: 2

    I shipped mine to the Embassy in DC. I sent it on a Monday and it arrived back in my house one week later. Visa on arrival seems fine in theory, but when I arrived in HCMC last year, my travelling companion spent one hour on line to get his "Visa on arrival."

    #7 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 21:39

  • bianco

    Joined Travelfish
    27th March, 2010
    Posts: 12

    UCSBrown - Unless we got shafted, the $85 is the new 5day return fee.

    #8 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 22:46

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 954
    Total reviews: 2

    The main reason I use Visa on Arrival is because I don't like the idea of sending my passport anywhere. Then there's the cost, and I don't exactly trust the USPS (they recently lost an uninsured package of mine), so that means expensive FedEx charges. I've used VOA for 3 trips, and would not consider any other way.

    #9 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 23:41

  • UCSBrown

    Joined Travelfish
    28th November, 2009
    Posts: 24

    bianco - I got mine in November. That's what I was told when I went into the consulate in SF. I live in the city so it I just walked over.

    The VOA must be really recent.

    Or, if you are in another SEA country it is cheaper. I got another Visa in Feb in Vientiane. I paid my guest house $55 for a Rush (less than 24 hours) and they went and stood and line and did everything for me. I think 3 days was ($45 including the guesthouse $5 commission/processing fee).

    #10 Posted: 1/5/2010 - 02:06

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  • vbeck

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2013
    Posts: 9

    Because Visas were increased from $25 to $45 on 1/1/2014 or 1/1/2013

    #11 Posted: 10/5/2014 - 04:15

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