Vietnam’s New E-Visa: Eligibility and Applications Explained

Posted by Reading Time: 5 minutes

By: Dezan Shira & Associates 
Editor: Daniel Schaefer

With many countries already using the E-visa system, the time for Vietnam to jump on the bandwagon has finally arrived. In November 2016, Vietnam’s National Assembly approved a plan to issue E-visas and starting February 1st, 2017, Vietnam successfully implemented a 2-year pilot program which will allow citizens from 40 countries to be able to apply for an e-Visa.  The new pilot program will be carried out alongside Vietnam’s current visa process, which currently requires applicants to apply for a visa through a third party, which then contacts the Vietnamese embassy. The new e-visa allow eligible candidates to apply for a 30-day single-entry visa online, as well as allowing them to enter through any of the eight international airports (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hai Phong and Phu Quoc Island) and via any of the 13 international land border crossings. This visa will exclusively be for 30-day single-entry visas.

DZS RELATED: Visa and Work Permit Services from Dezan Shira & Associates

Who is eligible for Vietnam’s E-Visa?

As of the date of this article being published, the Vietnamese government is allowing citizens from the following 40 countries to apply for an e-Visa:

Armenia, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Myanmar, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Timor Leste, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

How to apply for Vietnamese E-Visas?

Before applying, the candidate must have prepared a scanned copy of one’s valid passport details as well as a scanned passport photo. It is important to note that the scanned passport photo being sent must have the applicant looking directly at the camera and not smiling.

Once the appropriate materials have been gathered, the inquirer must go to the following link and proceed with the following steps:

  1. Click on “for foreigners”
  2. Upload the passport details and passport photo files. It is important to note that both files must be uploaded separately.
  3. Fill in all the required information.
  4. Pay the US$25 application fee and submit the application. This fee is non-refundable, even if the application is denied.
  5. Once successfully submitted, the applicant will receive a registration code, which can be used to check on the status of the application.
  6. Wait the standard 3-5 business days and return to the website to find out if the application has been approved.
  7. If approval has been granted, print out the e-Visa as proof for travel.
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Working out the Bugs

Due to this new initiative being a pilot program, there will no doubt be some kinks and bugs that will need to be worked out. Some particular difficulties that come with this form of visa is that the E-visa will only be available as a 30-day single-entry visa, and cannot be extended. If a visa extension is required, one must go through the previous method of obtaining a visa, which involves going through a third party, or the Vietnamese embassy itself (this visa is generally referred to as the Visa on Arrival).

Something else that must be remembered is that before applying for an E-visa, the border of entry must have already been determined. Once the visa is issued, the traveler cannot switch the point of arrival.

Applying for the E-visa does take longer than its Visa on Arrival counterpart. The application generally requires 3 business days, as oppose to the Visa on Arrival which can be done in two days or less. If any problems were to occur during the visa application process, it will be difficult to receive service support as there has yet to be a service support page established for it. Since its implementation, the website’s servers have also crashed due to access overload, which can make applying for it a bit cumbersome.

Takeaway

With Vietnam expecting to see a 15 percent increase in tourism over the previous year, the E-visa will allow citizens from those 40 countries to have a far smoother experience applying for Vietnamese visas. Those 40 countries were strategically picked as last year; Vietnam saw 2.2 million visitors from China, 1.2 million from South Korea, and 611,000 from Japan respectively. Despite the quirks that may arise from the early practice of this new program, it is proof that Vietnam is embracing its’ tourism industry and is taking proactive steps to adapt to 21st century tourism.


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