Vietnam Tourist Visa: A Detailed Guide For First-Timers

Vietnam Tourist Visa: A Detailed Guide For First-Timers APPLY FOR VISA | Vietnam Motorbike Tours


If you are planning a motorbike trip to Vietnam, the Vietnam tourist visa is the first thing to work with. From March 2022, the government has reinstated the visa policy. 

Also, from May of the same year, international visitors do not need a vaccination certificate and COVID-19 testing to enter this beautiful country. That’s right; nothing can stop your travels anymore. Check out our guide for the visa policy, and book a flight now!

Vietnam Visa Exemptions

Most airport authorities require travelers to show their passports, invitations, and airline tickets to be qualified for entry. However, the Vietnamese government has reached mutual agreements with 22 countries by allowing unilateral visa exemptions. 

In other words, you can visit Vietnam for a specified period if you hold one of the following passports:

Vietnam Visa Exemptions
Visa to Vietnam concept. Vietnamese flag near passport and judge hammer on dark wooden background top-down
Valid Visa-free Time Countries
14 days Myanmar, Brunei
15 days United Kingdom, Belarus, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia, South Korea (ROK), and Japan.
21 days The Philippines
30 days Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan
90 days Chile, Panama

The visa extension is invalid when the passport holders above want to extend their stay in Vietnam. A visa renewal can be done at the Immigration Department. You can also choose to pay $25 to agencies to receive an invitation letter (3-month single entry).

Vietnam Tourist Visa: An Overview

Suppose you are not a legal citizen of the countries mentioned above. In that case, a Vietnam tourist visa is the only way to legalize an individual’s entry into Vietnam for recreational purposes. During the stay, you are not allowed to do business or work.

Popular Types Of Vietnamese Visa

Tourists can apply for one of the following five tourist visa categories:

  • 1-month single entry
  • 1-month multi-entry
  • 3-months single entry
  • 3-months multi-entry
  • 1-year multiple entries (for US passport holders only)

Vietnam Tour Visa Requirements

Whichever visa option you choose, you need to submit the following required documents:

  • Your passport valid for at least 6 months with two blank pages for visa and immigration stamps
  • A completed application form (paper or online)
  • Two passport photos (hard or soft copy, depending on your application method)
  • Service fees

Application Method

There are two ways to apply for a Vietnamese tourist visa:

  • Online
  • At the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate

Processing Time

The process usually takes 2-3 business days for a letter of acceptance but expedites in 4-8 hours for urgent cases. Time may vary to each applicant’s circumstances and be extended during public holidays.

Processing Time
Visa passport stamp from vietnam and Vietnamese money (Dong)

Applying For Vietnam Travel Visa Online


E-visas are now available in 80 countries and territories. It is an electronic document issued by the Vietnamese government with a 30-day expiry date.

The registration process includes the following:

  • Step 1: Prepare the necessary documents (the above items + credit or debit card). You must also provide your temporary residence address and entry and exit location in Vietnam.
  • Step 2: Visit National Web Portal On Immigration > E-visa Issuance.
  • Step 3: Submit the prepared documents.
  • Step 4: Link your credit card to pay the $25 visa fee.

The process often takes 3 working days, and you get visa approval in your email. Print it in two copies and take it with you. 

Travelers who apply for an electronic visa can go directly to the immigration counter instead of waiting at the visa counter at the point of entry.

Visa On Arrival (VOA)

If your trip is intended to last more than 30 days, you should apply for VOA at the border. This type of visa also requires the same steps as an e-visa, but the applicant then needs to get a stamp at international airports (Noi Bai – Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat – Ho Chi Minh, and Danang Airport).

The entire application process repeats itself as the one for the e-visa. However, you must pass by the VOA counter in Vietnam. Airport staff provide you with visa stickers and stamps after checking your documents. Note that you must pay an additional stamp fee (VND or USD is acceptable) for this service.

Applying visa online saves time at this government webpage:

Applying For Vietnam Embassy Tourist Visa

In case you want a visa already available for your passport or are not eligible for an online application, take the time to visit the Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam near you. What you need to do includes:

  • Make an appointment with the Embassy and contact them for instructions on the procedures and materials.
  • Submit the required documents to the Embassy and pay fees. Some agencies also accept mailing.
  • Visit the Embassy again to get the visa. You may sometimes receive an approval letter in the post or email.

Note that the application through a visa agency takes longer than the online process since most applicants take almost a week to complete the entire procedure.

Applying For Vietnam Embassy Tourist Visa
Colombian riders rode 12 day motorbike trip in Vietnam

How To Extend Your Stay In Vietnam

Visa Extension

This procedure extends your stay provided that you do not leave the country. The Vietnamese authorities grant permission to prolong your domestic travel with a new stamp specifying a different departure date. 

Unfortunately, the necessary procedures are only done at immigration offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

All the steps are not too complicated, but the extended period is tied to the original visa type. For instance, a 1-month tourist visa often lasts 15 or 30 extra days. 

Other options cover three or six months, depending on your actual circumstances. Remember that you must pay a fee for this service which varies by nationality. A month of extension costs around $50-$160, while three months charge up to $320.

View more: Best motorbike tours in Vietnam 2024-2025

Visa Renewal

Those who reach Vietnam under visa exemption only need to sign for visa renewal to increase tourist days in Vietnam. This way, you get a stamp and one more sticker to prove your legal presence.

Foreign visitors can apply for a maximum extension of 3 months or upgrade their visas (1 to 3 months or one to multiple entries). The process is similar to the visa extension, but the cost is higher. A single entry visa requires $200, while a maximum of $350 applies to multiple entries within 3 months.

Visa Run

This option is popular with passport holders who cannot extend their visa the usual way or do not want to pay a hefty fee. Instead, they take Vietnam motorbike tours to the international border, exit, and carry out the visa application again when entering Vietnam. The process costs the least and allows you to stay for up to three more months.

Visa runs can take place in two forms:

  • By air: Travelers travel by plane to another country, stay there for a while, and fly back to Vietnam.
  • By road: Foreign tourists move to land border crossings and head to neighboring countries. Then, they return to Vietnam again.


A Vietnam tourist visa is relatively easy if you meet some required criteria (e.g., not wanted or have a deportation stamp on your passport). You can also travel without a visa if you stay on the charming island of Phu Quoc for 30 days. You should call the Vietnamese Embassy before starting the process to update the latest information and avoid mistakes.

If other questions about Vietnam motorcycle tours still bother you, don’t hesitate to drop some lines below! We’re all ears!

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