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How to Get a Vietnam Visa for U.S. Citizens? Ultimate Guide for 2024

International travelers always need to stay informed about visa requirements when traveling to other countries, and for U.S. citizens traveling to Vietnam it is no different.

Luckily getting a visa for Vietnam is convenient and straightforward. American citizens have several options for entering the country, and this guide will tell you all you need to know about how to get a Vietnam visa for U.S. citizens.

Do American Tourists Need a Vietnam Visa for Visiting?

As of 2024, U.S. citizens travelling to Vietnam for tourism need to apply for a visa before arrival.

A standard, single-entry, 30 or 90 day tourist visa can be applied for online for people traveling to one of the 33 international checkpoints. These checkpoints include the international airports in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc, as well as many major land and seaports, including several locations along the Laos, China, and Cambodia borders.

U.S. citizens planning to enter Vietnam through other points of entry must apply for a visa through the nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate.

---More things to know before visiting Vietnam: 17 Vietnam Tourism Facts You Have to Know for Planning Perfect Vietnam Trip

Da Nang International Airport

Is It Easy for U.S. Citizens to Get a Vietnam Visa?

Obtaining a tourist visa for Vietnam is very easy for U.S. citizens.

The United States is one of 80 nations that are eligible for Vietnam’s e-Visa system. The online e-Visa can be personally applied for by individuals and is processed within 3 working days after the Vietnam Immigration department receives the completed application and full e-Visa fee. Under normal circumstances, all tourists from the U.S. can expect to be approved.

Applying for a Vietnam Visa through a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate is a longer procedure. It is necessary to obtain visa approval before applying through a hosting / inviting organization or individual. Once approval has been obtained, a visa can be applied for in-person or by mail through the Embassy.

The standard processing time is 3 working days, and an expedited 24 hours service is available for an additional fee.

Be sure to check with the Embassy for their available working times as it will be closed on both U.S. and Vietnam holidays. The Vietnam Embassy in the U.S. is located in Washington, D.C., and consulates are also located in San Francisco, California, New York, New York, and Houston, Texas.

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Can a U.S. Citizen Get a Visa on Arrival in Vietnam?

U.S. citizens are eligible for a visa on arrival in Vietnam providing they are entering by air and an approval letter has first been obtained.

As of April 2023, an approval letter is only available to visitors who travel to Vietnam through a local tour operator. By booking a tour itinerary through us, we can apply for the approval letter on your behalf.

The normal visa is a 30 day, single entry visa, visas for longer stays are also available. Approval letters are usually processed within 1-2 working days. There are two fees for the visa on arrival. The approval letter fee varies based on type and processing time, and the stamping fee is $25 USD paid at the airport in cash, US dollars or Vietnam Dong.

Part of the approval letter

After receiving the approval letter it should be printed out and brought to the airport together with the following documents:

▶ Two 4x6cm (1.57 x 2.36inches) photos, directly facing the camera with no glasses
▶ Entry/exit form
▶ Visa fee
▶ Valid passport with at least 6 months of validity

✍Here are a few tips to help make the process easier:

▶ Prepare all documents before you go and keep them together for easy access at immigration
▶ Plan for the visa processing time. It typically takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to receive the visa stamp, but peak travel seasons, and morning to mid-afternoon can see longer queues.
▶ Prepare the exact amount for the stamping fee in USD or Vietnam Dong in advance.

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What is the Easiest Way for U.S. Citizens to Get a Vietnam Visa? What Documents are Needed? How Much for the Visa?

The easiest way to get a visa for Vietnam is to apply for a visa online.

On the Vietnam government immigration website, navigate to the e-Visa page where there is a link to personally apply for the visa. As of August 15th, 2023, tourists can apply for 90, single entry visa through the updated application site.

---Site to apply for visa online (e-Visa): Vietnam evisa - National portal on Immigration (

---Updated application site: Cổng Dịch vụ công Bộ Công An (

The application form requires two photos and asks for standard personal and travel information, including travel dates and place of stay in Vietnam. After completing the form and paying the $25 USD fee, the information is sent to the Vietnam immigration department where it is usually processed within 3 working days.

You can log in to check the status of the visa application at any time and download the visa after it has been processed successfully. The visa should then be printed and presented at the immigration checkpoint at the airport.

To apply for the visa you will need to make sure your passport is valid for 6 months past your trip date and has two blank pages. You will also need to know your arrival date and the name of the airport at which you will arrive in order to complete the online application form. Two photos need to be uploaded, a 4x6cm portrait photo looking straight at the camera and without glasses, and the passport data page including photo, personal information and ICAO lines.

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Under What Conditions, the U.S. Citizens Don’t Need a Vietnam Visa

For U.S. citizens travelling to Phu Quoc Island for stays of less than 30 days, a visa is not required. To qualify for the visa exemption in Phu Quoc a passport with 6 month validity is needed, along with proof that your stay will not exceed 30 days, usually in the form of a return ticket. For those travelers planning to visit other parts of Vietnam after they stay in Phu Quoc, or stay longer than 30 days a visa is required before entry.

It is also important to note that visa-free travel to Phu Quoc is only available when arriving from an airport outside of Vietnam. To visit Phu Quoc as part of a larger tour of Vietnam, a visa must be obtained first.

U.S. citizens who are the spouses or children of Vietnamese citizens can be exempt from the visa requirement to enter Vietnam. In order to enter the country, people meeting these requirements need to have obtained a Certificate of visa exemption in advance. The exemption is valid for multiple entries and up 180 days of consecutive stay on each entry.

The visa exemption can be applied for online through the Vietnam Embassy website. The requirements are similar to the standard visa process plus some proof of the relationship to a Vietnamese citizen. Visa exemption certificates are valid for up to 5 years.

U.S. citizens transiting through one of Vietnam’s international airports do not need a visa. This is under the condition that the stay will be less than 24 hours, and transit passengers may not leave the transit area during this time.

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More Tips about Getting a Vietnam Visa

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind about a visa for Vietnam:

■  Make sure your passport has at least 6 months validity from the date of arrival, and two blank pages available for the visa stamp.

■  Tourist e-Visas are available for 90 days, single entry visits.

■  Tourists who want to stay for up to 3 months, or exit and reenter Vietnam as part of a larger tour of Southeast Asia can apply for a 3 month, multiple entry visa through a Vietnam Embassy or Consulate.

■  3 or 6 month, multiple entry business visas can be applied for through a Vietnam Embassy or Consulate, or through a local tour operator. In addition to the requirements for tourists, a sponsor is also needed.

■  An approval letter needed for a visa on arrival is only available to tourists who book a tour through a local tour operator.

■  Overstaying a visa in Vietnam is a serious issue. Fines range between $22 USD per day and $885 USD per day, depending on the length of overstay. Overstaying a visa also risks being prohibited from returning to Vietnam in the future.

■  Visa extensions are available and usually done when there is less than 1 week on your ongoing visa. This can be done a maximum of three times with a fee ranging from $18-35USD.

Vietnam visa

See more: Ultimate Guide: How to Easily Obtain a Vietnam Visa for Your Vietnam Tour


Getting a visa to Vietnam for U.S. citizens is a simple and convenient process through the online E-visa system. Knowing all the required information in advance will help you to have a smooth application process, and make sure everything is ready for your trip.

For more information about out Vietnam tour check out our Vietnam Travel Guide.

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