Vietnam visa

Hundreds of thousands of UK holidaymakers visit Vietnam every year, making it one of the most beloved destinations in the world. Hanoi offers a laidback getaway to enjoy traditional Vietnamese life and culture. At the same time, Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) is great for a more urban experience with top-notch resorts, restaurants and shopping. Here is a guide to the Vietnam visa to book your holiday in this Asian gem. 


Requirement type

Mandatory for British citizens for visits lasting more than 15 days


Purpose of travel

Tourism, business or transits


30 days from issue




Processing time

Standard processing: approx. one week; 

Urgent processing: approx. 3 working days



Application method

Online or at the Vietnam Embassy in London

Payment method

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal

What is a Vietnam visa? 

The Vietnam visa or e-visa is an electronic travel authorisation for all visitors entering Vietnam. UK citizens are exempt from a visa if their visit is less than 15 days. To stay for longer than 15 days, you are required to apply for your Vietnam visa online. The visa is issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department and sent via email, which you print and keep along with your other travel documents. Please note that there is no Vietnam visa on arrival, even though some travel agencies claim it is still available. The e-visa replaces the visa on arrival altogether. 

Types of Vietnam visas

There are four main types of Vietnam visas, depending on the duration of your visit and the number of entries. The 1-month single entry Vietnam visa is the most popular visa for tourists and short business trips. For extended visits, the 3-month single entry is best if you plan to stay within Vietnam. Finally, the 1-month and 3-month multiple entry visas work best if you plan to explore Vietnam and other neighbouring countries during your holidays. 

Requirements for Vietnam visa

The Vietnam visa application requires: 

  • A valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining 
  • At least two blank pages left in your passport 

However, there are other additional requirements that all travellers must meet to travel to Vietnam:

  • Travellers must not be a deportee from Vietnam in the last 3 years
  • Travellers must not have any transmittal diseases or mental illness that may pose a threat to your environment 

When you apply for your Vietnam e-visa online, no other documents are required, such as a passport photo, travel itinerary, or proof of funds. Beware of visa application platforms that require further proofs of your identification. Simply enter your details as they appear on your passport, pay the processing fee and submit your application to receive your Vietnam visa in your email. 

If your stay in Vietnam is within 15 days, you will only get a stamp on your passport to allow your entry into the country when you arrive. You are not required to do anything beforehand before your travel because there are no visa exemption forms to fill out. 

Who needs a Vietnam visa? 

All travellers who intend to stay in Vietnam for more than 15 days need a Vietnam e-visa. Since July 1, 2020, travellers now must apply for a new visa if they leave Vietnam and travel back within 30 days of their issued visa. You are allowed only one entry per visa, even if the 30-day validity has not expired. Keep this in mind when you plan your holiday, especially if it involves visiting friends or family in neighbouring Asian countries. 

Please note that Vietnam borders are closed at the time of writing (June 2021) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, Vietnam has not yet reinstated tourist visas or visa-free travel agreements, which remain suspended. 

How long does a Vietnam visa last? 

A Vietnam visa is valid for 30 days, and you can only qualify for a visa extension if your stay in Vietnam is less than 6 months. You can get an extension on your single-entry visas a maximum of two times. If your stay is longer, you will be required to renew your visa through an authorised agency within Vietnam. 

How long does it take to get a Vietnam visa? 

When you apply for your Vietnam visa online, it takes one week on average to receive your visa with standard processing, or three working days for urgent applications. The online application for your Vietnam e-visa takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. Include your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, passport number, nationality, and expected arrival date. 

How much does the Vietnam visa cost? 

You can apply for the Vietnam visa entirely online, for a total cost of £49.95. This way, you avoid the cost of the stamping fee ($25 to $50) and the queue for the old Vietnam visa on arrival. The online Vietnam visa programme began in 2018 to replace the visa on arrival. You can pay for your online Vietnam visa using Mastercard, American Express, Visa or PayPal. 

Extra tips 

  • The UK is part of Vietnam’s visa waiver programme, along with Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Japan and South Korea. Visa-free travel is allowed for a maximum of 15 days, but flights from these countries are temporarily suspended due to Covid-19. 
  • No new travellers can get a Vietnam visa due to the pandemic-related restrictions, even though online Vietnam visa application websites are still running. 
  • Only Vietnamese nationals are currently allowed to enter Vietnam and exceptional cases for medical treatments or highly skilled workers. In addition, business travellers that need to visit Vietnam must get their visas through their business partners in Vietnam, not through the consulate or embassy. 
  • Any visitors who qualify to travel to Vietnam must undergo a 21-day quarantine period, extended from the usual 14-day quarantine exercised in many other countries. In addition, the travellers pay all costs related to PCR tests and quarantine. 
  • UK travellers do not require a transit visa for Vietnam if they don’t need to leave the airport or cruise ship. However, a transit visa is necessary if you will spend less than 24 hours in Vietnam before leaving for the third country. 
  • Nonstop flights from the UK to Vietnam are available to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang. Travellers from England can leave from London or Manchester, while Scottish tourists can fly out of Edinburgh or Glasgow directly to Vietnam. 
  • Travellers from Cardiff can only land in Hanoi, and there are no nonstop flight options available. 
  • If you’d like to make the most of your holiday in Vietnam, you can land in Hanoi, make your way to Ho Chi Minh by car, bus or train, or enjoy a Vespa adventure through cities and small towns. A bespoke travel company can organise an unforgettable trip from one end of Vietnam to another, suitable for the whole family. 
  • Keep abreast of travel news from the UK and Vietnam for updates on the reopening of travel between the two countries. 

Breathtaking Vietnam awaits you

From the ancient Imperial City to the world-famous cooking school in the jungle, the iconic Unification Palace, to stunning, endless bays, Vietnam is a must-see for travellers from the UK