Getting into Vietnam will require a visa, no matter which country you are from. Obtaining a Vietnamese visa is quite simple. All you have to do is fill out the visa application form found in any Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate. You can even download the form online. A passport with a validity of at least 6 months is needed along with a passport size photograph. There is a small visa processing fee that needs to be paid and once everything is done, you shall receive your visa within two to three business days.
While the visa application is a simple straight forwarded process, it is the type of visas that people have confusion about. Depending on your purpose of visit, you should apply for the appropriate visa. There are quite a few types of visas, some of which are explained below.
Tourist Visa – Vietnam is very well known for their tourism. And it is no surprise that the most issued visa by the Vietnamese government is the tourist visa. While most of the time tourist visa is used for the purpose of tourism, people can actually use the tourist visa to conduct some sort of business meetings or just to meet their family members in Vietnam. However, the validity of a tourist visa is not more than one month. In the visa application form, tourist visa is marked as C1. The requirements for such a visa are simple, a passport with 6-month validity and a passport sized photo.
Business Visa– The second most popular type of visa in Vietnam is the business visa. In recent times Vietnam has become a great place for foreign investors and companies to start their businesses here. Thus business visa is greatly required by such people. Business visas allow people to do business related activities such as marketing, sales, attend meetings and contract signing and so on. The validity of such a visa is usually for 3 months. While business visas are mainly for business related activities, in reality, anybody can apply for it. The requirements for a business visa are fairly similar to that of a tourist visa with a few additions. You will need a passport with 6 months validity and a passport sized photo of yours. Along with that, you need an approval letter from your sponsor. However, in some cases, a person may not have a sponsor. In that case, you have to contact the Vietnam Embassy. But the best way to obtain this sponsor is if you apply electronically via a private travel company. It makes things faster and smoother.
Work Visa– Having a business visa does not mean you can work in Vietnam. For that, you will need a work visa. In order to obtain a work visa, you will have to provide a lot of paperwork and legal documents. These involve proofs of your technical skills and work permit. You also have to be at least 18 years to be eligible for the work visa and you also have to be physically fit to work. If you have a criminal record, then chances are that you will be denied a work visa. The duration of your work visa is dependent on your work permit. If your work permit has the duration of at least 1 year then you can apply for Temporary Resident Card. If you are granted that then you have visa-free access to the country for the next 5 years.
Transit Visa– If Vietnam becomes your country of transition during other flights then you won’t require any sort of visas. However, during transitions, you are only allowed to remain within the confinements of the airport and the immigration Area. But Vietnam is too beautiful of a country to be not explored. So if your transit period is too long then you can apply for a transit visa. It can be issued right at the airport. However, for most individual’s case, transit visas are not given but instead, you have to apply for tourist visas. Transit visas are given out to groups of travelers who are being escorted by travel companies only. Transit visas have a validity period of 5 days.
Student Visa-Student visas are only granted to students who have already enrolled in some sort of program in any university or high school in Vietnam. It is issued after everything is confirmed. However, in most cases, the student visa is given once you arrive in the country. Most international students fly into the country with a tourist visa or other forms of visa, then enroll in educational programs and then apply for the student visa and switch over. It is actually a very confusing process and can lead to problems if not done right. So it is wise and advisable to use the help of a travel agency when dealing with student visas.