I will be flying to Vietnam from Bangkok this summer and I'm trying to figure out if I will need to apply for my visa in advance. As I understand it (from various 'Vietnam visa' websites) as I am from the UK I can get a visa on arrival in Vietnam.

However, what concerns me is that I won't be arriving from the UK but from Bangkok so different rules may apply.

Can anyone clarify this?

  • 1
    I did go the VOA route (went for the cheapest one I could find) and it worked perfectly (going in and out). The company did put our names / passport nos. on a list with other peoples but it wasn't a big deal.
    – Andy Smith
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 23:21

3 Answers 3


To get a visa on arrival, you need to apply online for a pre-approval first.

There are many agencies (I used visa-vietnam.org several times), and they work fine, as long as you apply online several working days in advance. After a few days, they'll send you a visa approval document which you need to bring to board the plane.

Note that you can only use visa-on-arrival if arriving by air (not if crossing the ground border from Cambodia/Laos/China).

Vietnamese embassy officials in Bangkok are rude and corrupt. When I went there, they insisted on higher-than-posted visa fees. It also involves 2 trips to the embassy unless you opt for an expensive express service option.

  • You are a citizen of which country?
    – Karlson
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 14:12
  • It is absolutely relevant because treatment of citizens of different countries may be different as far as visa is concerned.
    – Karlson
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 16:28
  • @Karlson, Vietnam has a uniform visa policy for all countries, at least when it comes to visa-on-arrival. There is also just a dozen or so countries which do not require a visa.
    – dbkk
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 19:44
  • The VOA worked perfectly :-)
    – Andy Smith
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 11:49

From the site of The Embassy of Viet Nam:

We do not recommend visa-on-arrival and online visa. These types of visa are issued by un-recognised websites with no connections with the embassy. We cannot verify the validity of such visa and cannot provide assistance to travelers in case they are refused entry while using these types of visa. Please read the updated Travel Advice by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

So if you wish to take your chances on arrival go right ahead but I would get a visa from the nearest consulate.


Vietnam visa on arrival is working method. There are many discussion about it on Tripadvisor and Lonelyplanet and many travelers have confirmed it is working. The problem is that you should apply a vietnam visa through a licensed Vietnam travel company because of Vietnam immigration law Please be advised that visa on arrival is only for air travelers and it will take 10-30 minutes to get stamped visa at the arrival airport.

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