I fail to understand how does a E-visa differ from Approval Letter Based Visa on Arrival (ALBVoA) usually issued by a government authorized agency for issuing such approval letters.

In both cases an applicant applies from the web, and if approved for a visa, carries an approval letter both to departing airport and arrival airport.


How does E-visa differ from Approval Letter Based Visa on Arrival (ALBVoA)?


For Vietnam,

E-Visa means, its the actual visa. You can enter the country by showing in border. No additional fees for anything required. You can even save a page in your passport with this. The fees you pay online include everything.

Approval Letter Based Visa on Arrival (ALBVoA) means you have to pay fees (25 USD) and get visa stamped at border (airport). The fees you pay online is only for approval letter. You have to go to a separate counter. The visa stamp will take a page in passport and it will take some time for the process. For me, it took around 15 minutes during non peak hours.

Make sure that you have either one of those. Else, you will be denied boarding by the airline.


Approval letter based Visa on arrival is that which is applied after arrival at another country's airport. Dedicated counters are located there where you have to be present with required documents and fees and apply for the visa on arrival. The term VOA means that you can arrive at the destination airport and be granted a visa right thereafter a short process(provided you satisfy the norms).

While eVisa is an electronic visa that is generated online at any country's evisa website.
You have to upload the required documents and pay the fees online. A receipt will be generated and after 2 or 3 days, evisa is sent to your mail if approved. You have to print it and carry it on the journey.

An eVisa is an alternative to a paper-based visa issued by the embassy. Instead of applying for visa at the embassy, the Immigration Department has now launched an e-VISA program, which enables you to apply for a visa online.
For example: If you get eVisa for EU country, then you can choose any destination in the EU for your first arrival. However, in ALBVoA, you have to be in that specific country where you get a visa after arrival. After that, you can travel inside the EU.

  • 2
    You have basically ignored the "Approval letter based ..." part of the question. Both cases involve the traveller being approved for a visa before arriving in the country. – Doc Feb 14 '20 at 20:51
  • 1
    This is totally wrong in Vietnam's context. – Anish Sheela Feb 24 '20 at 8:18
  • Without approval OR e-visa, you will be denied by Airline. – Anish Sheela Feb 24 '20 at 8:32

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