Visa Requirements



Nobody enjoys immigration procedures, but for most travellers it is a fact of life. Fortunately Vietnam is not a particularly hard country to get a visas for - but like any process people love to hate there are often a lot of unanswered questions as nobody likes the stern looks you get when you forget something. Here are a selection of questions we get asked about visa applications and requirements for Vietnam. Please note though that visa regulations can change so do check with your local consulate before arriving.


Do I need a visa to visit Vietnam?

General information for following countries


The nationals of the following countries do not need visa to enter Vietnam:


Maximum duration of stay (the arrival and departure days are included)

From 01.07.2016 – 30.06.2017:
Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK

15 days

Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia and Belarus

15 days

Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Laos and Cambodia

30 days


21 days


14 days


The following conditions must be met:

- The passport is valid for at least six (06) months;
- Two consecutive visa-free entries must be at least thirty (30) days apart (e.g. If you enter Vietnam on 01 July 2017, you are entitled to stay until 15 July 2017 without a visa. You can only re-enter Vietnam without a visa as of 30 July 2017). This rule does not apply to those who enter Vietnam with a valid visa.

Those who do not fall in the above categories are still required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam.

Valid visa is required for foreign passport holders (and accompanying children who have their own passport) to enter Vietnam. Children accompanied in their parents’ passport do not need a separate visa.

Everyone else or more than 15 days if from above countries. 

Most travellers to Vietnam will need to arrange a valid visa before they enter the country, so the answer is usually yes. There are some exceptions, however - most citizens of south east Asian countries (specifically Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Laos) do not need a visa if they intend to stay less than 30 days.

How long can I stay on a tourist visa?

Tourist visas are generally issued for 1 month or 3 months, while business visas can be 6 months or a year. Both single and multiple entry visas are available; while the latter generally cost slightly more it is usually worth it for flexibility's sake.


Is it possible to extend my visa once in Vietnam?


Whether an extention is possible or not does depend on your visa, as some short term (1-2 weeks) visas cannot be extended, but in general it is normally a fairly simple process to extend your visa once inside Vietnam. As queues at immigration offices are often quite long and the process can be somewhat baffling to the uninitiated, we would generally recommend asking a travel agent or specialised visa agency in Vietnam to do the job for you, freeing up your time for more entertaining pursuits.


Can I get my visa on arrival in Vietnam?


You cannot enter Vietnam without a valid visa, whether in your passport or pre-arranged online All visas to Vietnam must be pre-arranged in one way or another, whether at a Vietnamese consulate or embassy or through an online visa arrangement service. Unlike some neighbouring countries it is not possible to get a visa at the border or at the airport, so please do not attempt it.

What is possible, however, is the pre-arrangement of a visa through any of a large number of visa service websites. It is now possible to place a booking with one of these agencies and receive a stamped letter by email that you can print and take with you by plane to Vietnam. On arrival at the airport you will pay the immigration a fee in US dollars (the fee depends on the length of your visa)and fill out a short form to complete the visa application process. Please note you cannot use this service if you plan to arrive by land - if you arrive by land you must have a valid visa sticker in your passport.

This can be extremely convenient if you do not live in the same town as your country's Vietnam embassy or consulate, or if, like me, you just don't like spending your time queueing. There are many agencies which can arrange this, but most have differing service charges so it is worth shopping around.



All visitors, except citizens of Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Laos and Vietnam need a visa to enter Cambodia. The official price for a tourist visa is US$30, and US$35 for a business visa to be demanded at land border crossings.

Visas can be obtained at any Cambodian embassy or consulate overseas. Visas are also available "on arrival" at both international airports, all six international border crossings with Thailand, some international border crossings with Vietnam (Kha Orm Sam Nor is one of them), and at the main border crossing with Laos.

  • Tourist visa: when applied for in advance, these are valid for 90 days (ie must be used within 3 months), and good for a 30 day entry permit stamp which can be extended once only for a further 30 days in Phnom Penh (or elsewhere via agencies) at a cost of US$15.
  • Business visa: the best choice for stays over two months and/or multiple entries, as they can be extended indefinitely (approx US$140 per 6 month extension) and have multiple entry status when extended. Most Phnom Penh travel agencies process the extensions.

To apply for a visa, you will need one or two (depending on where you apply) passport-size photo(s), a passport which is valid for at least 6 months and has at least one completely blank visa page remaining, passport photocopies when applying at some embassies/consulates (not needed if applying on arrival), and clean US$ notes with which to pay the fee (expect to pay a substantially higher price if paying in a local currency).

If you are a foreign national, be aware that you will have to pay an airport departure tax when you leave Cambodia through the airports, about $25 for international flights, it is about $4-6 for internal flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.