Vietnam "visa on arrival"

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Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby carmstrong » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:58 pm

Does anyone have satisfactory experience with arranging these over the internet? If so, can you provide a link to a reputable source? Sounds easier than sending our passports off to Ottawa, if all we have to do is contact one of these companies and have a "letter of approval" sent to us. Are these operations legit?
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby jimshu » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:17 pm

I'm a fan for getting visas before arrival.Removes any uncertainty of it being refused for whatever reason at arrival.
Visa on Arrival, yes you will be working through a third party.And you will pay extra for that letter of approval.And hopefully a member here can vouch for the genuiness of doing this over the net.

Anyway, it's a relatively small inconvenience of having to courier your passport direct to the appropriate embassy,and there is greater surety.
In my experience, it was quick and removed all unknowns, of who we were dealing with,or would we arrive up and find we've been scammed.
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby nomadicmatt » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:46 am

If you are going to mail your passport, you are better off mailing it to the actually embassy. It's much safer and you won't pay as many fees.
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby jimshu » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:45 pm

Just download the application forms from your nearest embassy and do it yourself.
The 'letter of approval ' thing is a hangover from earlier days when entry into Vietnam was more tightly controlled and bureaucratic.
Today, it is really only useful for long term travellers who are moving around Asia with no fixed timetable/itinerary.So they can have it prearranged and pick it up when they finally do get to the border.
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby jesslstevens » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:00 am

I am in Vietnam right now and I got my visa on arrival with no problems. A friend of my brother's runs his own visa business and he arranged everything for me.
All I had to do was email him a copy of my passport and within a week or so he emailed me my letter of approval. When I got into the airport I just went over to the landing visa area and gave them the letter and paid the fee and they gave me my visa right there.
You will pay two fees, one to the third party (Phat) and one at the airport, but all together it was a bit cheaper for me than it would have been at the embassy ahead of time.
Phat's email address is phatmanvisa@gmail.com , just send him an email if you have questions. Good luck!
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby weitzb » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:24 pm

I have mailed my passport directly to Vietnam Embassy--Wash. DC for two different trips and found it easy and expedient--both times my passport was returned with visa in less than a week! Definitely the way to go!
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby jimshu » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:36 pm

You will pay two fees, one to the third party

Be interesting to know all up costs to be able to compare with applying oneslf direct to the Embassy??
Not sure why we'd need to deal with or pay a third party?
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby jesslstevens » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:46 am

Well I got a multiple entry visa, so I paid $50 to customs and then it's $20 to my friend Phat. If I had have got a single entry visa it would have been $25 and then $20. I'm not sure what a multiple entry visa costs at the embassy, but when I bought a single entry visa last year from the embassy it was about $75. So I guess it could be about $30 cheaper going through a third party, but I'm sure that depends on how much that person decides to charge for their services. Also, since Phat is good friends with my brother he pretty much waived his fees and I only had to pay at the customs desk. So it was definitely a better choice for me!
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby jimshu » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:08 am

Q: What is a “Visa on Arrival”?
Q: How “Visa on Arrival” woks?
A: We obtain what is called an “Letter of Approval ” for you from the Viet Nam Immigration Department in Hanoi. After we obtain the approval for you, we will forward you a copy by fax or email. Copies of the same document will be forwarded on your behalf to Vietnam immigration checkpoints at International Airports only, so that when you arrive in Viet Nam, the Immigration officers will have those documents on hand and will be able to issue your entry visa expediently.

According to the above, only good for entry at airports.
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby Tracei » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:28 pm

carmstrong wrote:Does anyone have satisfactory experience with arranging these over the internet? If so, can you provide a link to a reputable source? Sounds easier than sending our passports off to Ottawa, if all we have to do is contact one of these companies and have a "letter of approval" sent to us. Are these operations legit?


I am doing the Essential Vietnam/Cambodia tour next month and always prefer having visas in place before travelling. I am too afraid of the possibilities of a glich and not get a visa on arrival. I sent off for my Vietnam visa last month and it took ten days from the time I mailed it(certified mail) to the embassy in DC to getting it back. I received my Cambodia visa back yesterday it took exactly 14 days. $65 for the Vietnam and $20 for the Cambodia. Both are single entry. Vietnam valid for 1 month Cambodia valid for 3 months. I feel more comfortable knowing everything is in place.
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby hayyoot » Fri May 22, 2009 11:48 am

I just called the Embaasy of Vietnam in Washington, and asked them about the visa on arrival, they said that they don't know about it, and they can't advice about it, sounds a little uncertain to me.
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby sarajayne84 » Fri May 29, 2009 8:38 am

I too would advise posting it your Embassy before you go - it is worth it for piece of mind more than anything!
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby mellowdee » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:33 pm

I sent my application and passport on 5/27 to the embassy in DC. And it came back yesterday.
To me, spending $100 ($65 visa fee and $35 for express mail both ways) is worth not worrying if I am going to get into the country.
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby petit2210 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:34 am

has anyone used http://vietnam-visa.ca/ online to get visa approval letter.also if i got one how would i know if it was genuine and what would happen if i got to saigon airport and it was not.would be thankfull for any advice.
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Re: Vietnam "visa on arrival"

Postby katliney » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:06 am

I got back from the Essential Vietnam and Cambodia trip about a month ago.
I did see people going to a 'Visa on Arrival' booth at Hanoi airport, but there was quite a big queue there. The Gap trip doisser does advise you to get your visa in advance, and it's a pretty simple process to send to the embassy (I'm in the UK), and my passport was back within 10 days. I'd recommend getting the visa in advance rather than chancing it with the letter of approval process.
You don't need to get the Cambodian visa in advance if using main land border crossings (including the one included in the Essential Vietnam and Cambodia trip), but you need to make sure you have aabout $28 USD (they don't accept other currency) and a couple of passport photos. Although some people in the group didn't have photos and no-one seemed to check or care.
Also, there was a rather hilarious 'health check' we had to pay for at the Cambodian border, which went a bit like this:
Border official sat at a desk with sign saying 'Official Border Health Check': You must complete the health check.
Me: OK
Border official: Do you have a dollar?
Me: Errr, yes. Here you go (hands over dollar).
Border official: You pass.
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