I'm a British national. The flight I'm looking at is from Malaysia to Tan Son Nhat International in Vietnam. There's a ten hour stop over before I can make my connecting flight to London.

I am getting a lot of conflicting information regarding my visa situation. worldtravelguide.net/vietnam/passport-visa states:

Transit: Visas are not required for passengers in transit, provided they have an onward/return ticket, are continuing their journey within 24 hours and do not leave the transit area of the airport.

This sounds awesome but they don't cite their sources and I can't find anything official that corroborates with it. I've spent the best part of the last hour googling for more information but have found nothing but conflicting information, some poeple saying a visa on arrival is essential, some saying it isn't, some saying British passport holders are exempt, others saying they're not... my head is in a tizz and I'd be hugely appreciative if anyone could offer some concrete information.

If it does require a visa on arrival I will probably scrap the idea and use a different airline as it makes the whole venture a lot more costly and complicated than it ought to be.

  • 1
    The most reliable source will always be to contact the embassy or whichever consulate of Vietnam in is most convenient to you in the UK.
    – choster
    Jun 17, 2014 at 15:01
  • Vietnamese "visas-on-arrival" are not true visas-on-arrival. You have to arrange them in advance and pick them up when you get there. You cannot just turn up. (If this has changed in the last year or so, then that would be awesome.) Sep 9, 2016 at 4:05
  • I called the embassy. US citizens need a visa if you need to collect you luggage . The lowest price is $80. This is not fun information for me. Now I am limited to 7 kg. And I paid for luggage too. Likely the same for UK. Jan 10, 2018 at 15:32

4 Answers 4


You do not need a transit visa, as long as you are connecting to another international flight within 24 hours AND staying airside (within the transit / international departure area).

If your flights are on the same carrier (ie Vietnam Airlines) then likely you will be given both boarding passes when you check in for the first flight. If not then you need to first stop by the Transfer Desk and they will issue your next boarding pass(es). You will need the boarding pass to clear the security check point before entering the departures area.

The departures area has some shops and food options, but it is not real spacious and handles a lot of passengers. There are lounges available and like most airports admission depends on carrier and fare class. There is at least one (Apricot) that sells day passes, which might be worth it for your 10 hour stay, with food, drink, wifi, showers.

  • What's your source for this? The Jetstar representative in Singapore doesn't seem to be aware of this information.
    – intuited
    Dec 4, 2017 at 15:15
  • An official source to confirm this is the Vietnamese embassy in Canada's site, which states "There is no visa requirement if you are just transiting through a Vietnamese international airport without entering the country." vietnamembassy.ca/consular-services/visa-application Mar 14, 2019 at 12:43

Please note the comments "If staying within the departure lounge" - There is nothing in HCM airport and it will drive your crazy for 10 hours, so I say arrange your Visa on Arrival for $45. Money well spent if you ask me. If you're travelling on a budget, then of course you will be confined to the airport, but on the plus side you can sit, watch people and wonder how many tourists will continue wearing those hats once they board.


For United state citizens, you DO need a visa even if you are just transferring through Vietnam using two different airlines. We purchased tickets together from a third party website (booking.com), to fly from Yangon to Manila. We flew Vietjet from Yangon to Hanoi and then a connecting flight from Hanoi to Manila with Cebu airlines and a 3 hour layover. When checking in at Yangon, we were informed that we needed a visa for Vietnam even though we were not leaving the airport because we would still have to go through customs to check in our bags with Cebu. Ended up paying more than $200 per person for last minute eVisa. Was never told about this at time of booking. Quiet a few other passengers had the same problem, apparently it happens often with places like Vietnam and Singapore which do require a transit visa on some circumstances. If you book all flights with Vietnam airlines I heard they may not require a visa.

  • 3
    The question asks for UK citizens, not US citizens.
    – Newton
    Dec 7, 2017 at 13:24

In your case, no visa is required since you just enter Vietnam for transit purpose as long as you will not go out of transit area at the airport.

  • I do not see what this answer adds to the existing answer by @Tom, could you enlighten me? Also, your answer would greatly profit from citing sources, as it is, this is just a statement from a random stranger on the internet, I am afraid. Please improve your answer and I will upvote. (ping me if necessary as '@mts' )
    – mts
    Sep 9, 2016 at 10:08
  • Hi, i'm supporting to get a visa arrival - Foreigners that transit by air are not required to obtain a visa and must stay within the transit passenger area of the international airport pending the connecting flight. - During the transit, any foreigner that wishes to enter Vietnam for the purpose of tourism according to a schedule designed by an international tourism company n Vietnam, such foreign shall be considered to be issued with a visa that matches the transit duration.
    – chiro
    May 24, 2018 at 9:49

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