Wikitravel is claiming that from 1st January visa on arrival is now available at HCMC airport (and presumably Hanoi & Da Nang) without e-visa pre-approval. Could anyone please confirm this? Certainly sounds like a lot less hassle than applying online.
I am not aware of that change. I checked the recent threads and post on Trip Advisor and nobody mentions a VOA at the airport. Try calling your nearest VN Embassy and see what they say.
#2 SoloHobo has been a member since 12/1/2013. Posts: 10
That doesn't sound right to me -- will have our Saigon writer look into it. Very peculiar as they just announced a visa price hike and I'd have expected a change like this to get a lot of press -- I've seen nothing.
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,644
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This is what it says on Wikitravel. On re-reading it I detect a smidgin of ambiguity but overall implication seems the same:
Since August 2012, it is no longer necessary for most passengers to fill in any immigration or customs declaration cards. (The latter may be necessary if you are intending to stay in Vietnam for a long period, or carrying unusual goods.) AS OF JANUARY 2013, YOU CAN OBTAIN A VISA ON ARRIVAL AT HO CHI MINH AIRPORT. A single entry visa costs US$45, a multiple entry visa costs US$65, and a transfer visa costs US$15. It is not necessary to have exact change nor US currency, but the process is faster if you do. There are online companies such as Vietnam Visa Pro that arrange for and provide you with a visa approval letter prior to your arrival in Ho Chi Minh. As of January 2013, this service cost US$25. HOWEVER THIS STEP IS NOT NECESSARY AS ALL OF THE RELEVANT FORMS AND DOCUMENTS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE AT THE AIRPORT VISA COUNTER.
Keep in mind it is the airlines that enforce the Visa as well, they will not allow you to board a plane, unless you have particular documents/Visa for your given country/Passport. (I think Swedes and a few other countries dont need a Visa at all).
#5 SoloHobo has been a member since 12/1/2013. Posts: 10
That's a negative. I believe you misread something. I believe the part that says "HOWEVER THIS STEP IS NOT NECESSARY AS ALL OF THE RELEVANT FORMS AND DOCUMENTS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE AT THE AIRPORT VISA COUNTER." refers to the form on arrival which many of us download prior to travel - optional since the form is available at the VOA desk, but the Approval Letter is still required.
The only change on Jan 1st was the increase in the stamping fee at the airport - from $25. to $45. for single entry.
I'll read Wiki and see what it says? Answer: Nothing of that nature is on the Wikitravel site for Vietnam, and I used the find feature to search for 'January'.
Just noticed that WikiVoyage, the newly re-branded version of WikiTravel, has had that misleading section completely deleted. So the nays have it. Looks like I'll have to be getting the e-visa just like everybody else. Any hints on which provider is the least dodgy?
Not certain where you're based. I know here in the UK, it's pretty easy to get a Vietnamese visa directly from the embassy (download the form from their website and send the application off by special delivery with a money order for the fee. A week later you get your visa and passport back).
There are plenty of companies that can pre-arrange visa-on-arrival, however the UK government's FCO website says:
"We are aware of reports of bogus companies that claim to be able to arrange for a visa on arrival. As the British Embassy and Consulate cannot confirm whether a company has a legitimate arrangement in place, the safest way to obtain a visa is via the nearest Vietnamese Embassy."
The Vietnamese Embassy in the UK also says they are unable to verify the accuracy of any provider (gotta love the way the system works!) so... if it was me, I'd just go the Vietnamese Embassy route to avoid any chance of problems on arrival.
the only change on Jan 1st was the increase in the stamping fee at the airport - from $25. to $45. for single entry
Oh yeah - I got a multiple-entry visa that I paid for already . . . stamping fee for that?