So you’ve decided to visit Vietnam.
First of all – excellent choice! There’s so much to explore in this beautiful country, from gorgeous beaches to bustling cities. Whether you’re looking to visit on a week long trip, or stay a while and become a Vietnam digital nomad, this guide to getting a Vietnam visa for US citizens breaks down everything you need to know.
Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, US citizens need a visa to enter Vietnam. Luckily, the entire process can be done online in advance. Let’s take a look at the Vietnam visa process for US citizens, including cost, entry requirements, and the different types of visas available.
Disclaimer: I am not a legal professional and this is not legal advice. You are responsible for doing your own research and staying informed with ever changing laws and rules that varies person to person, country to country, and time after time.
1. Decide what type of visa you need.
As of August 2021, there are multiple types of Vietnam visas for US citizens. The tourist visa options include:
- 1 month single entry ($21)
- 3 months single entry ($34)
- 1 month multiple entry ($26)
- 3 months multiple entry ($55)
- 1 year multiple entry ($35)
Note: Prices are accurate as of 2021 but are subject to change.
So how do you know which visa you need? The price difference between visas is relatively small, so if you think you’re not sure how long you plan on staying, go for the longer visa. You can also apply for a visa extension later in your stay (more on this below).
Americans on a tourist visa can stay in Vietnam for a maximum of 90 days. After that period is up, you need to leave the country and re-enter, or apply for a visa extension.
What about the 1 year Vietnam visa for US citizens?
Under the 1 year Vietnam visa for US citizens, the maximum for each stay in Vietnam is 30 days. You cannot stay in Vietnam for more than 30 consecutive days with this visa. If you plan to stay for longer, the 3 month visa might be a better option.
Note: This advice applies to Vietnam tourist visas. Those on a 1 year business visa are able to stay in the country for up to 6 months at a time.
2. Apply for the Vietnam visa online.
There are multiple websites that offer a Vietnam visa for US citizens, so make sure you’re using a reliable one. I recommend Vietnam-Visa.com – this is the site we personally use, and many Vietnam digital nomads use it as well. (NOTE: we are not responsible for anything that happens on this site).
Although you also have the option to apply in person or by mail at your local Vietnam Embassy/Consulate, I recommend using the online process. Not only is it faster, but it’s also super easy!
Once you fill out the form online and complete payment, you should receive your approval by email within a few days. Then you simply show this letter at the Vietnam airport on arrival, get it stamped (there is a small fee for this), and you’re good to go!
Tip: I recommend applying at least 2 weeks in advance. The website advertises approval only taking 2 business days, but it sometimes takes a week or more. If you wait until the last minute, there is no guarantee you’ll get your visa on time.
3. Vietnam Visa for US Citizens: Entry Requirements.
Before you arrive in Vietnam, make sure you have the following documents:
- Passport (must be valid for 6 months after your planned departure from Vietnam and have at least 2 blank pages)
- 2 Passport sized photos (4 x 6 cm)
- Printed out Approval Paperwork that was emailed to you
You’ll also need to pay the stamping fee in US Dollars. This varies depending on which visa you chose, so check your paperwork to see how much cash you’ll need (this fee is different from the one you paid online).
Make sure to get the US Dollars cash BEFORE you get on your flight to fly to Vietnam.
4. Arrival in Vietnam.
When you land in Vietnam, go to the Visa on Arrival desk and show them your documents, pictures, and passport. You may have to wait anywhere from 5-30 minutes for your visa to be processed. Once you pay the stamping fee, you’ll be on your way!
Can you extend a Vietnam visa for US citizens?
If you wish to stay in Vietnam for longer than 90 days, you can apply for a visa extension and add another 30 days to your stay.
Note that the extension fee is more expensive than applying for a new visa, which is why many Vietnam digital nomads choose to visit a neighbouring country (for example, Thailand) and then re-enter on a new visa.
Read more about extending a Vietnam visa for US citizens here.
Vietnam Visa for US Citizens: Summary
Vietnam is a wonderful place to visit or base your digital nomad lifestyle. Although your trip may require a little advance planning, this post should help you navigate the visa process. For more info on being a Vietnam digital nomad, make sure you check out this post!
If you’re ready to jetset around the world without having to worry about using up your vacation days, check out the Laptop Lifestyle Blueprint, a free 30 day guide to setting up your online business and living a freedom lifestyle!
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