Thanks to the development of internet and the opening policy of the Vietnamese Government, the visa applicants may find it much easier to obtain a visa since they currently have two options to go about this matter:

  1. Firstly, to visit the Vietnam Embassy to apply for a visa to Vietnam (visa issued by the Vietnam Embassy). This is the traditional way for visa application; OR
  2. Secondly, to apply online for a visa approval letter and then get visa stamped onto the passport upon arrival at Vietnam international airport (visa issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department). This is a new option for getting a Vietnam visa.

But many visa applicants are still confused about the legitimacy of the second option for visa application: visa on arrival.

First of all, the visa approval letter which is an official permission allowing the visa applicants to get on flight and get visa stamped upon their arrival at Vietnam airport is issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department, not the travel agency even the visa applicants work with the travel agency. The travel agency only works as connection between the applicants and the Vietnam Immigration Department for visa approval letter processing.

Secondly, the legitimacy of this option has been once confirmed by article 6 of the Ordinance dated April 28, 2000 on Entry, Exit and Residence of foreigners in Vietnam. Accordingly, foreigners applying for entry shall be granted visas at Vietnam’s international border gates in the following cases:

  1. They enter for funerals of their relatives, for visits to their seriously ill relatives;
  2. They depart from countries where Vietnamese diplomatic missions and/or consulates are not available;
  3. They enter for visits under programs organized by international tour enterprises of Vietnam;
  4. They enter to provide urgent technical support for programs, projects; to give first-aid to seriously ill persons, accident victims; to provide rescue for victims of natural disasters and epidemics in Vietnam;
  5. For other urgent reasons.

In addition, recently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has once again confirmed the legitimacy of the visa on arrival upon their launch of an online visa application channel. As announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it takes only 2 working days to process the visa application which is submitted online and email the visa approval letter to the visa applicant.

Generally, no matter which travel agency which are licensed for assisting foreigners to get visa on arrival you submit your visa application to, the visa approval letter once issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department is legitimate.