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Vietnam forum

Vietnam visa on arrival: true or not?

Posted by JeremyNicholl on 22/11/2016 at 06:20

I'm in Thailand at the moment and plan to go to Vietnam next week. Everything I've read says the easiest way to get a visa is through a Vietnamese travel agency who will arrange a VOA for collection when you arrive at a Vietnamese international airport.

Then today I read this: < http://www.vietnamembassy-thailand.org/en/nr070521170031/nr150604213446/ns151110183200>. That's a pretty strict announcement from the Viet consulate that such visas are not legal, and that people should avoid dealing with the agencies offering the.

So has anyone successfully used one of these VOA agencies recently? Or has anyone bought one and had problems on arrival?

#1 JeremyNicholl has been a member since 17/10/2016. Posts: 8

Posted by DLuek on 22/11/2016 at 20:26 TF writer

Interesting -- that notice does seem pretty clear. In any case the VOA service requires you to Western Union cash to the travel agent and then print the letter once it's sent; I don't even think you'd have enough time anyway if you're heading to Vietnam next week.

Given the notice and the fact that you're already in Thailand, I'd suggest picking up a visa in person. The only options in Thailand are the main embassy in Bangkok and the consulate-general in Khon Kaen. There's also an embassy in Vientiane.

Also, rules changed in 2015 and citizens of several countries can now enter Vietnam without a visa. They include the UK but not US, Australia or any other mainly English-speaking country.

#2 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,344

Posted by harada on 23/11/2016 at 05:20

My wife and I visited Vietnam in June by ourselves, there are many travel companies can do this service, it is pretty easy, you just need to send them a copy of your passport with full names, date of birth, nationality and they can finish in a few days, you can search around for a local company with this service, some sites for your condideration


It cost about 10$/ person, hope this helps

#3 harada has been a member since 23/11/2016. Posts: 1

Posted by somtam2000 on 23/11/2016 at 06:31 admin

Just a quick note I removed the links to the two visa agents mentioned by harada as both agencies have been banned from Travelfish for repeatedly spamming Travelfish and impersonating travellers...

Please don't post any agency links in this post, they will be deleted.

To Jeremy,
Yes the embassy link is correct in saying these agencies are not legally permitted to issue visas -- and they don't actually do this - they issue an invitation letter which then allows you to pick up a visa at the airport. As far as I know, that still works, but, if you are concerned, as David suggests I would just grab a visa in Thailand beforehand.

The embassy warning is over a year old and I've friends who have been in and out on Vn on agency arranged visas no problem, so I think while the embassy may prefer you don't use these agents, in practise, at least for now, it does not appear top be a problem.

Hope that helps

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,065

Posted by JeremyNicholl on 23/11/2016 at 23:52

Thanks for the advice everyone. Since I have to go to Bangkok anyway I agree it makes sense to just go to the Vietnamese consul there: I should just have enough time to get an urgent visa before my Thai visa expires. Even if I can't it's not a disaster, I can just go to Laos and get my Viet visa there. I was planning to go to both countries anyway and I don't think it matters what order I go in.

#5 JeremyNicholl has been a member since 17/10/2016. Posts: 8

Posted by DLuek on 23/11/2016 at 23:59 TF writer

In that case this article may help: https://www.travelfish.org/orientation_detail/thailand/bangkok_and_surrounds/bangkok/bangkok/136 Hasn't been updated for a while but I think the info is more or less still accurate.

#6 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,344

Posted by JeremyNicholl on 24/11/2016 at 19:39

Yeah, plan to be there 9am tomorrow, thanks.

#7 JeremyNicholl has been a member since 17/10/2016. Posts: 8

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