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Vietnam forum

Vietnam Visa

Posted by timeeee on 4/5/2009 at 19:55

Hi, I'm in the UK and travelling to Saigon on 15th June and trying to get a visa sorted.

I need a multiple entry 3 month visa and emailed the UK vietnam embassy who told me overall including postage of passport would cost me £106.

However was looking at these 'visa's on arrival' thorough where you get a confirmation letter sent via email and get this stamped on arrival at the airpiort (which apparently will only cost me £57). Has anyone used this before? Is it reliable? as dont want to get there to be told not.

Would be very grateful for some help...THANKYOU

#1 timeeee has been a member since 4/5/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by chrispyrolls on 5/5/2009 at 00:44


I've never used 'visa on arrival' service, but at $57 I would guess this is single entry, given that single entry direct from the emabssy in London is £38... which can't be far off $57 these days.

The embassy add £8 per passport for postage but you can save this if you are in the area and can collect. Then again you will probably pay £8 for a sandwich down the smoke, so you may as well just get it posted!


#2 chrispyrolls has been a member since 2/11/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 197
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Posted by timeeee on 5/5/2009 at 00:48

Thanks but thats what i thought. But its £57 not dollars comes to around $85. And it definitly says 6 month multiple entry any else used this service??

#3 timeeee has been a member since 4/5/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by chrispyrolls on 5/5/2009 at 02:38

aaah yes ... must remember to read the post before flying in!

#4 chrispyrolls has been a member since 2/11/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 197
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Posted by brucemoon on 5/5/2009 at 07:02


There has been a long 'dialogue' in relation to the 'visa on arrival'.

An understanding of some of the side issues may help.

The VN gov't has a dual approach to money-making: one price for locals, a higher price for westerners. And, in pursuing a higher price for westerners, it 'prices' visa's according to what it thinks people in that country can pay. For example, the cost of a visa for me in Australia is a little over two times as much as if I got it in Malaysia, and nearly three times as much than if I got it in Laos.

Given this, there are many westerners that seek to save money by pursuing alternate options.

Some travel agents offer the prospect of 'visa on arrival', meaning that they will get a visa for you and have that visa waiting for you when you arrive at either Hanoi or Saigon (apparently, the only two places thus far).

These travel agents obviously charge a fee.

For me, the 'cost' of the fee makes the single entry 'visa on arrival' nearly as much as the visa from the VN Embassy here in Australia.

But, the 'downside' for me is that I have learnt that I can NO LONGER have any trust in Vietnamese business people. So many promise so much, only not to deliver what they promised.

The real question you need to ask yourself is "what would happen if the 'visa on arrival' was mucked up and I had to fly out of Hanoi (or Saigon) to get a visa to then (re)enter"?

Are the few extra pounds you save worth the fear of a stuffed up 'arrangement'?

Over to you.


#5 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by smkuchta on 5/5/2009 at 18:22

We got the visa on arrival (1month) from . Worked flawlessly didn't have to send our passports anywhere. Took only a couple of days to get the processing letter and no hassles at Hanoi Airport where we landed. It cost $22 to vietnam stay for each of our visas plus $25/pp for the actual stamp in Hanoi.

It was cheaper and easier than sending our passports to Washington and would defintely do the VOA again.

#6 smkuchta has been a member since 10/8/2007. Posts: 72

Posted by Archmichael on 17/5/2009 at 10:36

I obtained the "visa in advance" through a travel agent in Ha Noi. Have had several dealing with him and found him to be honest and reliable. I can send his e-mail address if you like. The cost was about half what you quoted, and I didn't have to send my passport off to the Viet Nam Embassy.
What I got was a multiple-entry visa, by the way. Calling it "visa in advance" is a little misleading, though. What I received was a letter of approval from the government, authorizing the issuance of a visa when I arrived in Viet Nam. Worked problems at the airport.

Happy Trails!

#7 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 395
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Posted by anhluc on 18/5/2009 at 11:43

Archmichael has it right. A tour operator will get you these things real easy. For some of them it is a courtesy service they provide for those booking tours/travel through them. US $25 at Noi Bai airport per person in correct and the process takes less then 5 minutes. Whoever you get it the pre-authorization letter from, have them e-mail you a copy of it as some of the air carriers won't let you board without it. Delta Airlines asked for it and China Airlines made me sign an afidavit that I would hold them harmless if I couldn't get in the country.

With your pre-authorization letter you are good to go. Remember, you will still need two passport photos when you get there. This service may save you more money depending on the embassy/consolate office where you are located. The consolate I work with requires me to FEDEX the visa application and provide a pre-paid FEDEX envelope back to me. This service though is really great if you buy tickets and leave three days later like I did last month.

Figure out the costs - but you won't have any problems getting in the country doing business this way.

#8 anhluc has been a member since 15/5/2009. Posts: 32

Posted by timeeee on 28/5/2009 at 17:57

Thanks guys really good help...I've just ordered one online and they've already sent my letter of confirmation, so looks good so far will let you all know if it works on the 16th of june or not! THanks very much guys...

#9 timeeee has been a member since 4/5/2009. Posts: 4

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