As known, most visitors entering Vietnam require Vietnamese Entry Visas. Vietnam Visa allows foreigners to enter and exit Vietnam at Hanoi, HCMC and Danang airports or at any of its twelve land borders, three each with Cambodia and China, and six with Laos.
For those whose nationalities is not listed in the Visa exemption list, they need to arrange Vietnam visa before their departure by applying at a local Vietnam Embassy/Consulate to get their visa stamped OR applying for a visa approval letter online to get the visa stamp at Vietnam International Airports (also known as visa on arrival) through travel agency service.
Option 1: Get Vietnam Entry Visa at Vietnam Embassy
You can go to the nearest Vietnam Embassy (in your country or whichever country you might be staying at the time) to apply for a Visa to Vietnam. For example, if you are in Australia, you should go to Vietnam Embassy or Consulate in Australia to get your Vietnam entry visa.
The procedure may take 2-5 working days to get Vietnam visa. You are required to send in your passport along with some other documents when applying for Vietnam visa at an embassy.
The fees for applying visa at Vietnam embassies are usually not public and you need to contact the embassy for details.
Here is the directory of Vietnam embassies and consulates all over the world (including addresses, emails and phone numbers): Vietnam embassy
Option 2: Get Vietnam Visa on Arrival through travel agency
For a few years now, foreigners who wish to visit Vietnam have another option aside from going to local embassies. It is to get Vietnam visa on arrival.
This is probably the easiest way to obtain your Vietnam visa as all services (from travel agencies in Vietnam) are offered online. It is a valid alternative when applying for a tourist/business visa. The Entry Visa will be stamped on your passport as you pass through our Immigration Checkpoint. Please do not forget that visa on arrival is only applicable for those traveling by air to Vietnam and your visa will be stamped at the Vietnam airport.
Most websites provide this service will require you to submit an application form filled in your detailed information. The information will be submitted to the Vietnam Immigration Department to get a visa approval letter allowing you to enter Vietnam.
The approval letter will be sent to you via email. With the letter in hand, you can board your flight and come to Vietnam.
At the arrival airport in Vietnam, you will get your visa stamped by submitting printed visa approval letter, passport, 2 passport-sized photos, entry and exit form, and stamping fee to the in-charge officer at the checking point. Remember that the stamping fees are compulsory and there are two levels: US $25 for one-month visas and US $50 for three-month visas. You can pay either in US dollar (USD) or Vietnamese Dong (VND), however, the former is recommended.
Aside from the stamping fee, which you pay directly to the immigrant officer at the airport, all travel agencies will charge service fee to process the visa approval letters. The prices may vary depending on which service you choose, but the common charges are around US $21 (leave or take a few dollars) for one one-month Vietnam visa with single entry.
There are many travel agencies in Vietnam offering visa on arrival service for foreigners, so it is recommended you choose one with good reputation to ensure yourself a good start for a wonderful trip to Vietnam.
You can check the visa requirements for each nationality here: Vietnam visa requirements