Vietnam evisa and Vietnam visa on arrival

There are probably a few concerns about visa that come to your mind when travelling to a foreign country, not only for Vietnam. Currently, there are 2 ways to get a visa to Vietnam: Online Visa and Embassy visa.

Online Vietnam Visa is a visa issued by the Immigration Department to the visitors via the electronic system and it consists of 2 types: Vietnam e-visa and visa on arrival (VOA). We’re going to figure out differences between the two and share the pros and cons of each one. So, you have a clearer picture and it is easy to make a decision if Vietnam e-visa or visa on arrival is better for you.

1. Vietnam e-visa vs visa on arrival

Although both types are issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department and they grant permission to legally enter Vietnam, Vietnam e-visa and visa on arrival differ in some aspects. We emphasise on some of the key contrasts below:

  • Eligible applicants: While-visa on arrival is applied for all travellers who enter through airports, e-visa is effective for passport holders of 80 countries only.
  • Entry check points: Vietnam visa on arrival holders can enter through 33 ports in Vietnam including 3 types: airports, land ports and seaports. However, e-visa only allows foreigners to come in through 8 international airports.
  • Visa validity: There are some types of visa period and number of entry for applicants to choose from up to their needs for visa on arrival. They are: 1 month (single/ multiple entry), 3 months (single/ multiple entry) and 1 year (multiple entry) for US citizens. Thus, it’s good for tourism and business visits. Vietnam e-visa is not flexible like that because it is valid for 1 month and serves single entry only, which is good for tourism purposes.
  • Visa fee: In order to get a visa on arrival, you need to pay 2 kinds of fee at 2 different timing: a sum is approval letter fee which varies by agency and paid to the agency itself, another sum of fee is visa stamping fee (it’s either $25 for single entry or $50 for multiple entry) at arrival airport. In contrast, the Vietnam e-visa requires you to pay $25 at once when applying on the system.
  • Where to get a Vietnam visa: Visa on arrival is picked up upon arrival at Vietnam airports provided that you have a visa approval letter on hand by applying online. For e-visa, you can submit the application form and download the approved visa online on the Immigration Department website.
  • Visa form: Vietnam e-visa is issued in a pdf file. It is the equivalent to a visa, but there’s no stamp or label placed in the passport. But for a visa on arrival, you only receive the approval letter online then get a stamp in your passport upon arriving at airports.
  • Processing time: E-visa will take you 3 business days to get the result. However, for a visa on arrival, the time is different from type to type. Standard time for tourist visa is 2 working days while that of business visa is 7 working days. Luckily, some agencies provide express service which allows you to get the-visa approval letter within hours.

2. Pros and cons of each visa type

Obviously, those differences lead to pros and cons of the 2 visa kinds. In order to see which is beneficial for you, we will help you go through advantages and disadvantages of Vietnam e-visa on arrival and Vietnam e-visa below:


Visa on arrival            E-visa
  • A single application form can apply for a group of travelers
  • You can enter Vietnam through any airports among 8 international ones in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Da Lat, Khanh Hoa,Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Phu Quoc. There is no fixed entry points in visa or approval letter.
  • All air travellers are eligible no matter which nationality they are.
  • There are options of visa validity to choose from, up to 60 days (for non US citizens)
  • Visa validity can be extended
  • It offers averagely faster processing time in urgent cases (only 2-3 hours)
  • The process is entirely online from application to visa receipt. You can get a visa with any electronic devices and an Internet connection.
  • You are not required to pay the fee one more time in cash.
  • There’s no need to queue up at arrival airports to process visa stamping.
  • It works at 33 check points in Vietnam.
  • Follow-up procedure is required at arrival airports to get visa stamped, which takes more time of applicants.
  • More papers are needed during application submission and visa obtainment (2 passport photos, printed visa approval letter).
  • Visa fee is unfixed since it depends on the particular agency’s services.
  • You need to pay an additional fee of $25 or $50 at arrival ports and prepare it in cash.
  • The-visa fee is not refundable if your application is denied.
  •  One application form is valid for 1 person only.
  • The-visa holder must enter and leave Vietnam at the check points indicated in application form/ e-visa. No changes can be made if only a new visa is obtained.
  • Limited number of countries are eligible to apply for Vietnam e-visa.
  • Only single entry is allowed, which is not convenient for those who need frequent commuting or long accommodation in Vietnam.

Both two types of Vietnam visa require advance preparation and an online application, but they’re quite different in terms of price, ease of use, process and what they allow holders. And each type has distinctive advantages and certain drawbacks that applicants need to consider carefully prior to submission. As a result, you will see if Vietnam e-visa or voa is the optimal option for your trip to Vietnam.