Check here to find Vietnam visa requirements specifically for US citizens preparing to travel to Vietnam. Vietnam visa application PDF can be downloaded below.
From the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon) to the majestic scenery of Halong Bay to the beauty of the Mekong Delta, you will never be short of exciting things to do in Vietnam.
Below you will find all of the applicable visa steps needed to help you plan out your adventure.
Get Your Vietnam Visa Application Here
You will be pleasantly surprised to see how simple the Vietnam visa application form is. Few countries around the world have an easier application to fill out.
It consists of one page where you answer basic personal information as well as your travel dates to and from Vietnam. The hardest part is remembering to include your signature.
The consulate fee starts at $70 and goes up depending on what type of visa you are applying for. The processing time is approximately 5 business days although you can hire one of the visa expedite services below if you need it faster.
2012 Vietnam Visa Requirements
The Vietnam consulate does not require much when you are going as a tourist.
In addition to your completed application, you will need to have at least one blank page in your passport for the stamp. If you are out of pages, contact one of the passport expedite service listed below to quickly get additional passport pages.
Also make sure your signature is on both the application and your passport.
One passport-style photograph is required and you can get one at Walgreens, FedEx Office or your local post office.
Non-US citizens need to include a copy of their green card or equivalent.
Business travelers will need to submit an invitation letter from the company that is being visited. Also include an original business letter from your company that shows your name, the reason for visiting and who you will be meeting with.
Vietnam Visa Expedite Services
There are numerous Vietnam visa expedite services available. Take some time to read reviews to make sure you are hiring a reputable company to handle your travel documents.
I recommend ItsEasy Passport and Visa Services Founded in 1976, ItsEasy Passport & Visa Services is a US Government registered passport and visa expediting company which has processed over 2 million passport and visa applications.
There is also FastPort Passport Visa Service. Since 2003 Fastport has provided online passport and visa expedite service. They are a registered courier service with the U.S. Department of State, foreign consulates and embassies which enables them to secure passports and visas for U.S. citizens nationwide as needed.
Best Time To Visit Vietnam
Regardless of when you travel, there is a good chance you will catch some part of a monsoon. It rains practically all year at any time in this tropical region so don't be surprised.
If you want to avoid crowds and congestion, the best time to go is in between June and September.
Or if you want to be part of the experience that is the Vietnamese new year called Tet, plan your trip for January and February.
Great Places To See In Vietnam
The Mariamman Hindu Temple is essential for tourists visiting their first time in Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon). Although it is a Hindu place of worship, most non-Hindu residents share a respect for the mystical temple.
There are various pagodas worthy of a lengthy visit but the cream of the crop is the Giac Lam Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. A place of Buddhist worship, it has vast grounds with beautiful sculptures and extraordinary architecture.
Any city that is elected to the Unesco World Heritage should be visited when given a chance. Hoi An has gone to great lengths to make sure the rich cultural history and architecture is preserved for appreciation.
Frequently Asked: Vietnam FAQ
Is it possible to get a Vietnam visa on arrival?
This is possible when you apply through an online service. You will be charged a small fee in addition to the consulate fee. In return you will receive confirmation paperwork to show when you arrive in Vietnam.
Can someone apply on my behalf?
Yes, whether someone goes in person for you to the Vietnam Embassy or you hire a visa expedite company. But keep in mind that all paperwork needs to be reviewed and approved by you with your signature.
Vietnam Hotel and Tourist Reviews
There is a wide range of prices for hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. If you are in the mood to be pampered by a high end Vietnamese hotel then stay at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon.
Need to save some money? No problem there as the Bich Duyen Hotel and the Beautiful Saigon Hotel are both highly rated and affordable.
In Hanoi, pretty much every place to stay is affordable. There are not any upscale hotels but there are plenty of comfortable places to stay.
Try the Hanoi Elegance Ruby and the Hanoi Elite Hotel which both boasts positive feedback from past travelers who have stayed there.
Vietnam Travel Adventure Tours
The Halong Bay Overnight Junk Boat Cruise - The experience is much more special than the name of the boat. You will get to have a relaxing cruise through beautiful Halong Bay with fantastic picturesque scenery. You can also dip into the tranquil waters and practice your kayaking while enjoying the majestic views.
The Mekong River Cruise Tour - You will embark on your adventure down the river from Ho Chi Minh City. On the way to the Mekong Delta you will have amazing photo opportunites and will be able to explore the floating markets along the way.
Vietnam Flight Comparisons
All Nippon Airways - Vietnamese Airlines - Delta - United - Continental - EVA Airways - Cathay Pacific
The airlines listed above fly regularly to and from the United States and Vietnam.
Rental Car Options in Vietnam
It is probably best to leave the driving to locals who understand how the traffic works there. Or if you want to have a challenge and experience the hectic driving conditions, arrange for one of the local rental car companies to get you a reliable car.
As of 2012, we unfortunately cannot reliably recommend one company over another.