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Vietnam Visa On Arrival vs Embassy

Vietnam is a country notable for its scenic beauty, culture, and its rich history. In the past, people who wished to visit this charming place had only one option – contacting the Vietnam embassy. However, these days, apart from the traditional way of obtaining a visa, you have another alternative – Visa on arrival.

Getting a visa on arrival is much better because it only takes a few minutes to complete the online Visa on arrival application and costs approximately $10. Dealing with the embassy can take a couple of weeks and is much more expensive since you have to cover embassy fees and postal charges.

Vietnam Visa On Arrival vs Embassy

Both of these methods come with their own pros and cons. In this article, we’ll tackle the differences between Visa on Arrival and Embassy Visa to help you choose as per your convenience.

Do You Need A Visa To Visit Vietnam?

The Visa requirement depends solely on your nationality. There are several countries that are exempted from the visa requirements for staying for a limited amount of time. 

  • Chile – up to 90 days 
  • Cambodia – up to 30 days
  • Indonesia – up to 30 days
  • Kyrgyzstan- up to 30 days
  • Laos- up to 30 days
  • Malaysia- up to 30 days
  • Singapore- up to 30 days
  • Thailand- up to 30 days
  • Philippines – up to 21 days
  • Brunei – up to 14 days
  • Myanmar – up to 14 days
  • Belarus – up to 15 days
  • Japan – up to 15 days
  • Russia – up to 15 days

If you do not belong to any of the countries mentioned above and are planning a trip to Vietnam, then you will require a visa. Find out the main differences between the two modes of visa application for Vietnam.

What Is Visa On Arrival?

Visa on arrival essentially allows foreign visitors to get a visa or a VOA on arrival at airports. The visas can be obtained from specific airports such as the International airports in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. 

What Is Vietnam Visa At The Embassy?

This is the more conventional and traditional approach to get a visa to visit Vietnam. Travelers have long preferred the “Offline mode” of getting a visa before the more convenient Visa on Arrival was started.

How To Apply

How To Apply For Visa On Arrival?

Before arrival in Vietnam, you will need to apply for a Letter of Approval from the Immigration Department of Vietnam. To do this, a travel agency or visa application agency can be consulted. 

Your travel agent will then guide you to an online portal where your passport information needs to be filled. An additional service payment needs to be paid, after which, your request for a visa will be approved. 

You will receive your Letter of Approval in 2-4 working days. With the letter, visa stamping fee and other documents required, you can travel to Vietnam.

After arriving at the Vietnam airport, you can approach a counter and get your visa stamped on your passport, which will grant you entry to Vietnam.

How To Apply For An Embassy Visa?

To get a visa through an Embassy, you need to first make an appointment with the Vietnamese Embassy in your locality. After receiving an application form, fill in the necessary details, and submit them with all the necessary documents.

Upon completing the payment for the visa fee, wait for your visa to get approved. Following this, you will receive your passport and a Vietnam visa stamped on it. You can use this to visit Vietnam. 

Documents Required 

For Visa On Arrival

The documents required to get a Visa on Arrival are

  • A Letter of Approval from a travel agency or visa application agency.
  • Four passport-sized photos of the traveler.
  • An application form for entry and exit that you’ll get upon arrival at Vietnam. 
  • A fee for Vietnam visa stamping in cash.

For Embassy Visa

The documents required to get a visa through the Embassy are

  • Your passport that has a validity of at least six months.
  • Passport-sized photograph, preferably with a white background.
  • Vietnam visa application form that you will receive from the Embassy.
  • Proof that you paid for the visa fee.

Applicable Applicants

Visa On Arrival

Travelers are constricted to only travel through the air.

Visa At Embassy

Travelers traveling with a visa obtained from an Embassy can travel by any means of transport such as by car, train, air, or water.

Required Fees

For Visa On Arrival

  • Visa service fee that you will have to pay online for your letter of approval
  • Visa stamping fee that you will pay at the Vietnam Airport in cash
  • The stamping fee comes up to USD 25 

For Visa At Embassy

  • Visa stamping fee
  • Other fees for an approval letter, processing of the visa, shipping cost, handling fee, and expedited services. These factors depend on Embassy to Embassy. 

How To Track Visa Processing Status

For Visa On Arrival

The ways to track your visa processing status for visa on arrival is solely through online platforms. You can check via chat, call, or email to the respective agency’s support staff.

For Visa At Embassy

  • You can actively make a direct phone call to the Embassy to check your visa processing.
  • You can travel to the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate.

Processing Time

For Visa On Arrival

  • If you require the visa to go to Vietnam through normal services, the processing time takes 2-4 working days.
  • If you have to go to Vietnam urgently, you can opt for the urgent services that take one working day to process.
  • In case the requirement is extremely urgent, special services can be taken up that will take 2-4 working hours to process your visa.

For Visa At Embassy

  • Generally, the processing time for a visa at an embassy is 4-5 working days.
  • Unlike Visa on Arrival, there is no same day approval of a visa. 


Advantages Of Vietnam Visa On Arrival

  • There is no hassle of sending over hard copies of documents like passport. Everything is handled online.
  • The entire process of getting a visa is simple and secure.
  • There is no need to go to the Immigration Office. Your travel agent or visa application agent will handle it for you.
  • This method is convenient for those who don’t have the Vietnam Embassy around them or cannot visit the Embassy.
  • The process has an active 24/7 support in case of any inquiries.
  • The option of emergency visa processing is available that takes much less time to process and approve of a visa.

Advantages Of Vietnam Visa At Embassy

  • You can be assured since you will have your Vietnam visa before you leave for Vietnam.
  • With this visa, you can travel through any mode of communication, instead of only being able to travel through the air.
  • The payment in this method is one time. You don’t have to pay anything upon arrival in Vietnam.
  • This method is more traditional and trustworthy than an online method where poor connection would be an issue.


Disadvantages Of Visa On Arrival

  • You have to stand in a queue at the Immigration Counter upon arrival at Vietnam International Airport to get your visa stamped.
  • Letting an agency handle your visa requirements might open up the possibility of getting conned.
  • You have to restrict your travel via flight only.

Disadvantages Of Vietnam Visa At Embassy

  • You have to send your original copy of your passport away for shipping.
  • This method requires you to send all the documents by post or come in person to the Embassy.
  • You have to visit the Vietnam Embassy and directly deal with them.
  • Compared to Visa on Arrival, there are more payments to be made.
  • There are no possibilities of getting through quick approval in case of emergencies.
  • No definite or fixed pattern of procedure and fees at Embassies. The process depends on Embassy to Embassy.

Summing Up

Vietnam is an undeniably beautiful place to visit. Its charms can mesmerize just about anyone in the world.

To visit Vietnam, you must be aware of all the procedures to get a proper visa. We hope this article helped you to choose a mode of obtaining a visa that is convenient for you.