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Vietnam Visa Questions


So, fit seems that Vietnam has a somewhat confusing visa system.

Im flying from Denver to Hanoi, and it seems that I can do the VOA with an approval letter and get it there. It seems popular and relatively easy but there are all kinds of warnings about people being turned back for some mistake or whatever... does anyone have any experience with this? And does the VOA adhere to your passport when you get to Hanoi?

It seems the other option is to apply online to the embassy directly, which is more expensive but "safer". I also believe the embassy only issues a "loose leaf" visa, which brings up another question I just can't find a straight answer on:

I will by flying from Hanoi to Luang Prabang. I have read that when entering Laos, you can only enter from Vietnam if you have the type of visa that adheres to your passport, not loose leaf. I read that this is bc you need to prove that you exited Vietnam (which sounds silly, I can only imagine that this means you went through their exit immigration, but I'm not sure why Laos cares one way or another). I read somewhere else this is only relevant if crossing the border by land, which I would be flying... so not sure if relevant or not.

So between the visas, would anyone mind giving me a little insight in to what you recommend?


Could someone please tell me how to get a visa that adheres to my passport? For peace of mind I'd rather just get it.

Posted by
1556 posts

I can't speak to many of your questions, but I can tell you that to get a visa affixed inside your passport for sure, you have to send the passport to the Vietnamese Embassy and get an affixed visa (it might be called a "sticker visa" - check their web page for proper terminology). I believe the concern about loose leaf is losing it, which is why I didn't go that route. If you mail your passport, be sure to send with a trackable option (USPS or FedEx) and make sure the return envelope you provide them is also trackable. The online VOA wasn't really reliable when I traveled, so I'll let others with more recent experience answer that question.

Here's the page with instructions and good advice (check dates when you get it back, etc)

Posted by
3181 posts

We got visas a few months ago. If there is a Vietnamese consulate (doesn’t need to be the embassy) in your city, you can do the same. We took our passports and payments . . I don’t remember if it was cash only, and filled out fairly brief forms. The process took about half an hour, and the visas were affixed to the passports.

Posted by
14445 posts

I responded to your previous question with detailed information on the visa for Vietnam. My experience was just a couple months ago. The only information I didn't give you then - because it wasn't brought up - is that the visa is pasted into your passport.

Posted by
49 posts

We used a company to get us the visa letter. Which worked great. It only cost $15 per person. Then the $25 fee at the window in the airport. We were only waiting for about 20 minutes as some people "in line" with us had been waiting hours because they just started the process. So I would definitely recommend getting the letter.