Vietnam is an amazing place to visit, whether you start in the South and work your way up the coast or start in Hanoi and work your down. But before you can start your amazing adventure you have to get through immigration and customs, which in Vietnam is not an easy process.
Before heading off on our own Vietnam adventure we talked to friend and family who had been before and we scoured the internet to find out information on the best way to organise our visas before we left.
We were told a bunch of different methods and ways to get it done, even being told to use a local to grease the wheels if you know what we mean.
After hearing all this, we decided to use Vietnam eVisa (www.vietnam-evisa.org/), one it was recommended by the embassy and two it seem on the up-and-up.
This was great, the forms were simple and easy to follow and was straight forward to submit. With all the paperwork completed, we were told that all we need to do is pay $25 USD each when we get there and we’ll be good to go. What they didn’t tell us, is that you need to stand in a long line that moves even slower for them to process your paperwork (they will take your passport) and then wait again for your name to be called to then pay.
Now to give you a heads up this is not a process of, stand in this lines that is set out with bollards and quite organised. Rather it is a free-flowing line that just kinds of forms itself that doesn’t really have any order to it. Once your paperwork is in, you then have to wait for it to be processed and to pay your $25 USD (each), but again you don’t get a number or anything like it. You simply are told to wait over there with a bunch of people who also don’t know what is going on. People are crowded around the one window that is calling out names because they don’t really announce your name loudly, you just have to pay attention. The whole process is extremely unorganised and can get frustrating.
Once your visa is processed, it’s not over. Depending on the time of day you may have to stand in an even longer and slower moving immigration line to be let into the country.
With the horror story out of the way, here are our tips to get it done:
- You will need two passport sized photos of your beautiful self.
you don’t want to stand in long lines when you get there to get your visa
processed, we recommend having it done before you get there. What that means
is, you have the visa in your passport before you leave – not just the
There are a lot fake and not recognised sites on the web so always double check on your local Vietnam Embassy’s website for their recommended sites.
You can do through this through a few different ways.
- Get your travel agent to organise and complete this for you.
- Contact your local Vietnam Embassy and follow their instructions.
These are the best ways to make sure your visa is right before you leave.
- Once you have your visa, call the embassy to confirm it has been processed and completed before you leave.
finally, make sure you have USD with you to pay for your visa as this must be
done in cash if you are processing your visa when you arrive.
We saw more than a few people scrambling because they didn’t have cash and no one would help them.
If you find yourself in this situation: ask one of the officials to let you go to the currency exchange which is just on the on the other side of immigration before baggage collection.
These are just are suggestions from our own experience, and are not the definitive way to get it done. We just want you to have a smooth trip through immigration and not have to wait around for hours when you get there. So, if you have your own method, we can only say check that is valid once you receive your visa to avoid any issues when you get there.
Good luck and happy travels!