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Vietnam forum

Visa - from the US or Thailand?

Posted by DrTomPhD on 17/8/2008 at 03:50

Hi, I'm an American and I will be traveling to Vietname from Thailand in about three weeks. I was wondering if it would be easier/cheaper to get a visa from Thailand rather than from here (through a site like If so, how do I get it once i'm in Thailand?


#1 DrTomPhD has been a member since 10/7/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by exacto on 18/8/2008 at 07:48

Dr Tom,

I'm afraid I don't know much about Vietnam, but since nobody else has responded, I thought I could at least give your post a bump and keep it near the top.

From what I've read, the clock on your Vietnam visa starts ticking from the time of issue, not from the time of entry. So perhaps calculating the timing will help you decide if you need to wait and get the visa in Bangkok or not.

If it were me, I'd try to arrange the Vietnam visa before I departed for Thailand, assuming that you still have enough time to do so in the three weeks before you depart. It may even be possible to do this by mail. That way you'd have this chore out of the way and not have to worry about it while in Bangkok. Look up the Embassy of Vietnam in Washington's website for specific visa requirements and to see if there is a consulate or visa-issuing agency near you.

Should you need to get the visa while in Thailand, you could either apply directly yourself or go through a travel/visa assistance company. Again, look up the Embassy of Vietnam to Thailand website for more details.

You can also look through the forum postings and feature articles on Travelfish to see if this question has been addressed before. Odds are it has been in some form or another.

Hopefully someone else with more direct experience will chime in here too. Have a good trip. Regards.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,679
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Posted by somtam2000 on 18/8/2008 at 12:39 admin

I'd say get the visa in Bangkok. It's straightforward to go to the embassy yourself, or get a travel agent to do it for you.

Link: The Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,644
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Posted by exacto on 18/8/2008 at 21:37


What's the typical turnaround time at the Vietnam Embassy Bangkok? Is it usually the same day?

Also, what's up with the visa approval form/number? Is that something that is still required and if so is it difficult or expensive to get? Cheers.

#4 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,679
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Posted by daawgon on 19/8/2008 at 02:29

If you're arriving in VN by air, you can simply arrange an approval letter (Visa on Arrival) with one of many agencies in VN. I've used this one:

If you pay by cr card (approx $20.) the emailed letter/JPEG arrives same day. You must print it out, show to your airline, and present to the VISA desk at the VN airport. You pay an additional $25., need 2 pics and fill out a 1 page appliction on arrival - takes 15 min. at airport. works very well/easy too!

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Posted by Beckstar on 18/11/2008 at 21:43

I'm planning to go to Vietnam from Laos. Almost definitely overland. I leave in two weeks! Is it too late to take care of this (visa) before I leave? I assume so. So I should get it in BKK? No one answered about turn around time.

Does anyone know? Is it same day?

#6 Beckstar has been a member since 9/11/2008. Location: United States. Posts: 5

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