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NOT the Same Visa on Arrival Question... Sorta

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Hello!

I have a specific question about "Visa on Arrival" for U.S. expats living in a country where there is not a Vietnamese embassy. Here goes:

As I mentioned, I'm a U.S. citizen and I'm currently living in Portugal. There is no Vietnamese embassy in this country. I am not comfortable with mailing off my passport to an embassy back in the United States or another country, mainly because the mail service here is unreliable (to say the least). It's just too important for me to part with. I will not be back in the United States prior to my planned visit to Vietnam in August. Therefore, my obvious next step is obtaining a Visa on Arrival letter.

I'm aware of the process for this with the letter of approval, etc. Thing is, I'm having a really difficult time finding anyone anywhere who's done this AFTER the Vietnamese government issued a warning in January of 2016 about "illegitimate" travel companies providing Vietnamese visas on arrival letters. See it here: http://vietnamembassy.org.au/thu-tuc-cho-cong-dan-Viet-Nam-va-nguoi-goc-Viet/ArtMID/432/ArticleID/62/The-Vietnamese-Embassies-and-Consular-Offices-are-the-ONLY-Competent-Government-Agencies-who-are-authoried-to-issue-visas-abroad Furthermore, I have a close friend who was an American diplomat living in Hanoi from 2013-2015 who mentioned that the visa laws are changing very quickly in Vietnam right now (usually to be more open, but not always) and that he wasn't sure I could obtain a visa in this way anymore. I haven't found any information on any website that leads me to believe this is true, but his warning makes me concerned. I have an email in to the Vietnamese embassy in Washington, DC but in the meantime I'm looking for anyone who may have used this method AFTER January 2016. Anyone?

If you can provide some clarity or reassurance it would be much appreciated! Thank you!

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