US citizens have a few tourist visa options for visiting Vietnam, including an e-visa you can apply for online.
Note that this guide does not take into account any additional, temporary requirements in place during the Covid pandemic. For the most up-to-date Covid requirements, visit the Vietnam embassy website.
- Visa needed for US citizens: Yes
- Visa types for US citizens: E-visa or multiple-entry visa
- Visa application: Online
- Visa issued: Online or by mail
- Cost: $25 for e-visa, $22-55 for multiple-entry visa
- Timing: 3+ days in advance
- Length of validity: 3 months for e-visa, 30 days to 1 year for multiple-entry visa
- Max length of stay: 30 days
The visa requirements and application process for Vietnam change regularly, so be sure to check the Embassy websites linked below to be sure you’ve got the most updated information.
Also note that, in addition to the fees listed below for obtaining visas, there is an additional “immigration stamping fee” that you’ll pay (cash only) when you arrive in Vietnam and get your passport and visa inspected. Those fees are listed below under “costs” for each type of visa.
Who Needs a Visa to Visit Vietnam?
Most travelers to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country. The list of visa-exempt countries is short (it includes neighboring countries in Southeast Asia and several countries in Western Europe), and even then the length of stay is often more limited than for people who need a visa.
American travelers need a visa to enter Vietnam no matter how long they plan to stay, but the type of visa you’ll need depends on how long you plan to stay and whether you plan to leave and re-enter Vietnam—if your itinerary is loose, for instance, and you might wander a bit through Southeast Asia.
What Types of Tourist Visas are Available for Americans?
- E-Visa: Single-entry visas are available through an online application process and are valid for up to three months.
- Multiple-Entry Visa: Multiple-entry visas, valid for multiple entries over a span of up to 12 months, must be applied for separately if you plan to travel in and out of Vietnam. You cannot change a single-entry visa to a multiple-entry visa once you’re in the country. Note, the United States is the only country with the ability to get a 12-month time frame on a multi-entry tourist visa. All other passport holders are restricted to 90 days.
If you’re traveling to Vietnam through an approved agency, you may be eligible for a “Visa On Arrival,” filling out the necessary paperwork and paying the stamping fees when you land in Vietnam. A VOA is only a viable option when arriving by air at one of Vietnam’s international airports, not at land crossings. However, the U.S. government recommends getting a visa before you get to Vietnam instead of a VOA.
How to Apply for a Vietnam Visa
Required Documents and Information
Whether you’re applying for an e-visa or multiple entry visa, you’ll need:
- valid passport
- digital image of the ID page to upload with the application (the size and format requirements are listed on the online application form)
- recent digital photograph of yourself as part of the online application process.
For the e-visa, you’ll need to enter a proposed entry date to Vietnam, as well as how long you plan to stay, as that will determine the validity date of the visa. You’ll also be asked for the “intended temporary residential address in Vietnam,” for which you can use a hotel you’ve booked. The main part of the e-visa site is here, and the application process for foreign visitors begins here.
- The cost for a 30-day single-entry e-visa is $25. As noted, the additional stamping fee upon arrival for a single-entry visa is $25 (cash only).
- A 30-day multiple-entry visa costs $22, a 90-day multiple-entry visa costs $55, and a one-year multiple-entry visa costs $55. As noted, the additional stamping fee upon arrival for a multiple-entry visa is $50 for a 30- or 90-day visa and $135 for a one-year visa (cash only).
- Once all the required documents are received, the standard processing time for an e-visa is three business days.
- The standard processing time for a multiple-entry visa is three business days.
You can request faster service if you need the visa within 24 hours.
Process of Applying for a Vietnam Visa
You must apply for a Vietnam e-visa before your trip (you can’t get it after you arrive in the country). In addition to the required documents listed above, you’ll need a valid credit card to pay the fee and email address.
Application steps for an e-visa:
- Make sure you have the appropriate documents (valid passport, digital images of passport and yourself, and credit card) and information as outlined above
- Fill out the application online
- Receive a registration code via email confirming your application
- Check back on the website using the registration code and birthdate to check on the status of your visa
- If approved, print e-visa from the website and keep it with your passport throughout your trip
Application steps for a multiple-entry visa:
You must apply for a Vietnam e-visa before your trip. In addition to the required documents listed above, you’ll need a Paypal account to pay the fee.
- Make sure you have the appropriate documents (valid passport, digital images of passport and yourself, and Paypal account) and information as outlined above
- Fill out the application online
- If approved, you’ll receive the visa by mail
- Confirm all information is correct and contact the Embassy immediately if it’s not
- Keep the visa with your passport throughout your trip