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Vietnam visa fee

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Dec 10th, 2015, 02:04 PM
  #1
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Vietnam visa fee

I am going to Vietnam in Jan. landing at HCMC at 10:30PM on a Tuesday night . I was planning to do a VOA, but read that the VOA desk at the HCMC airport is very disorganized and the wait can be 1-2 hours. So I thought maybe I should get a visa from the Embassy in Washington DC and avoid the VOA hassle. However, I cannot find out the fee for a single entry visa. I have emailed and called the Embasssy multiple times. No response to the email and they do not answer their phone. Any advice on what to do. I refuse to go through an agency adding $100 more in their fee to the cost of the visa.
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Dec 10th, 2015, 02:28 PM
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What you refuse to do, pay an agency, is for the purpose of avoiding exactly what you're experiencing. I use Travisa, I don't recall their fee being anywhere near $100 and it eliminates all the fuss. Certainly worth whatever they charge.
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Dec 10th, 2015, 02:59 PM
  #3
 
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Shelley, I just googled your question, and as I suspected, there are now so many travel agencies in VN making their money off of the pre-arranged visa (which they refer to as a visa on arrival) that it's very difficult to find an answer. I paid US$65 for a single entry visa some years ago, but the most recent fee I found (2013) was $100... which seems ridiculous. VN recently reduced their stamping fee (what they charge to stamp a pre-arranged visa into your passport at the airport), so I would guess that they might also have reduced their visa fee from the consulate. You might look at the fee schedule of one of the good visa services like Travisa and see what they say the fee is. I remember when I got my visa it was very hard to get an answer from the embassy or consulate.

Good luck!
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Dec 10th, 2015, 03:22 PM
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I have tried just about every way of getting a visa, home country embassy, other countries embassies and the visa approval letter route.The latter I have done three times this year. The visa approval letter route is by far the easiest (although on our last visit we did go visa free as it was for less than 15 days ( certain countries only).

Vietnamese embassies around the world have carte blance to set their own fees so it is pot luck as to what you might pay. The visa approval letter with the reduced stamping fee is likely to be the least expensive.

As for the wait at Saigon airport. Ours was around 20 mins. At 10.30pm I would imagine that there would be few flights arriving and your wait would be something similar.

If it were me ( as it is likely to be in the not too distant future) I would go with the visa approval letter.
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Dec 10th, 2015, 09:39 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
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This is relevant to me because I'm staying in Thailand right now, but curious to spend a chunk of time in Vietnam.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 12:39 AM
  #6
 
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<<>>

Getting the Visa Approval Letter online is simple, and inexpensive We used www.vietnamvisapro.net. Instructions are in plain english and simple to follow...

http://www.vietnamvisapro.net/

No need to leave your computer screen, no need to send your passport anywhere, no need to visit the Embassy or Consulate and get ripped-off! There is absolutely no need to over-complicate things.

No queue at Saigon Airport when we went through in September. Germany, France, UK, Italy, and Spanish passport holders were recently given a visa exemption for visits of 15 days or less, which has considerably shortened any queue you're likely to join.

All you need on arrival is...

- Passport. Check the validity requirements.
- Visa Authority letter [e-mailed to you by vietnamvisapro]
- Completed Visa Application [e-mailed to you by vietnamvisapro]
- One passport size photo
- Visa stamp fee in US$

No Immigration queue once we'd got our visa stamp.

Money changer to the left and right immediately after Immigration. Very good exchange rate.

Luggage was there on the carousel waiting for us.

Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi into town @ about 170k dong on the meter. Beware of other taxis as their meter whizzes round.

Make sure you listen to people [like Crellston] who've been through the process very recently.

Couldn't have been easier.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 03:49 AM
  #7
 
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Try using their UN office in NYC. Google VN visa NYC or similar... I think the actual visa is $25 and then there is a stamping fee of maybe $45

I did VOA at Hanoi....quick and easy but I paid for a handler also
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Dec 11th, 2015, 05:22 AM
  #8
 
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Online will cost US$10 for the Visa Authority Letter, and the visa stamp on arrival US$25. Minimal effort, maximum efficiency!

It's all in the link I posted @ 0839 this morning!

Don't waste money!
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Dec 11th, 2015, 06:22 AM
  #9
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Thank you all for your replies.

LL and crelliston, do you think there is any reason for concern that if there is a long wait for the VOA, that our checked baggage will "disappear" from the baggage carousel. Does someone check as you leave HCMC airport to make sure that the bags belong to you? I don't mind the potential wait for the VOA, but I would mind if our checked bags went home with someone else. I know that the solution to this is to not check a bag, but that is hard to do for a 3.5 week trip, although I am trying to figure out if this is possible.

MmePerdu- Travisa charges $72pp as their fee, plus a mandatory $30 Fedex Overnight fee to return the passports, so for 2 people this is $174 before I even pay for the visa. If I knew how much to send the Embassy or Consular office, I could save the $174 and apply for a visa without using an agency. This is totally ridiculous that you can't get an answer as to how much the Vietnam visa is.

crellston and LL-based on your encouragement, I will probably go the VOA route. Is there any problem getting a Mai Lin taxi at midnight or after from the airport to the city?

Again, thanks to everyone for their replies. And if anyone else has gone the VOA route at HCMC airport recently, I'd like to know your experience.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 08:26 AM
  #10
 
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Can't help with your first question Shelleyk as we travel with carry on only. We were away for a year so it is entirely possible for 3.5 weeks . Having said that, I once did have someone walk off with my checked bag once ( at Heathrow!)

Taxis are plentiful but only use Mai Linh or Vinasun. Alternatively, for additional peace of mind get your hotel or guesthouse to arrange transport to meet you on arrival. It will be more expensive but still less than $20US.

We used http://www.instantvietnamvisa.com for our approval letter and found the service excellent.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 10:06 AM
  #11
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I would love for the hotel to organize airport pickup for me, but since I do not know how long the VOA will take to process, or if my flight might be delayed, I wouldn't know what time to tell them to pick me up.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 10:47 AM
  #12
 
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Anyone who provides airport pickup is aware that delays are possible and it's built into the price, and why private transport is usually somewhat more expensive. They'll ask for your flight arrival time, not for the time you think they should be there. I think a private arrangement with your hotel is a good idea, especially for a late arrival. Not necessary, but comforting.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 11:03 AM
  #13
 
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First of all make sure you are writing to the consular office for Vietnam with this email address: [email protected].

I got a response the next day. This is the email I received. I did a loose leaf visa and got it back in less than a week.

HELLO,

THANK YOU FOR WRITING TO THE EMBASSY OF VIETNAM.

FIRST OF ALL, THE CONSULAR SECTION OF THE EMBASSY OF VIETNAM STRONGLY RECOMMENDS YOU TO HAVE THE VISA BEFORE YOU DEPART FOR VIETNAM.

THE FOLLOWING FEE IS TOTAL FEE, COVERING FOR VISA STAMPING FEE, VISA APPROVAL ARRANGEMENT FEE AND PROCESSING FEE.

A. SINGLE ENTRY, 30 DAYS:

+ $100.00/ EACH PERSON

B. SINGLE ENTRY, 90 DAYS: $130.00/ EACH PERSON

C. MULTIPLE ENTRY, 30 DAYS: $150.00/ EACH PERSON

D. MULTIPLE ENTRY, 90 DAYS: $180.00/ EACH PERSON

NORMAL PROCESSING TIME: 3-5 WORKING DAYS.

EXPEDITED FEE: $30 EACH VISA, PROCESSING TIME: 24 HOURS FOR SINGLE ENTRY VISA, 2 WORKING DAYS FOR MULTIPLE ENTRIES 90 DAYS.

* SINGLE ENTRY: IF YOU ENTER VIETNAM ONE TIME.

MULTIPLE ENTRIES: YOU ENTER VIETNAM MORE THAN ONE TIME (YOU ENTER VIETNAM, GO TO ANOTHER NEIGHBOURING COUNTRY AND GO BACK TO VIETNAM) OR CRUISE MAKES SEVERAL STOPS IN VIETNAM.

* AT PRESENT, THE EMBASSY OF VIETNAM CAN ARRANGE AN APPROVAL FOR A VISA GOOD FOR 3 MONTHS, MULTIPLE ENTRIES AS MAXIMUM. APPLICANT SHOULD SEND WITH THE APPLICATION A COPY OF RETURN TICKET.

A VISA GOOD FOR MORE THAN 3 MONTHS CAN ONLY BE ISSUED TO ANY APPLICANT WHO HAS OBTAINED A WORK PERMIT AND A VISA APPROVAL ALREADY.

WHAT TO SUBMIT?

- PASSPORT (YOU CAN SEND A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT AND ASK FOR A LOOSE-LEAF VISA with 02 photos. For loose leaf visa, please be adviced that you will not keep it any more when going out from Vietnam; the immigration department will collect it back AND IF YOU LOOSE THE VISA, YOU NEED TO REAPPLY FOR A NEW VISA AND HAVE TO PAY AGAIN FOR FULL FEE)

- APPLICATION FORM (TO BE FILLED ONLINE AT http://vietnamembassy-usa.org/vi/lanhsu/thi-thuc-visa-0 ). IF YOU APPLY FOR 3 MONTH MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA, YOU ALSO NEED TO SEND COPY OF YOUR AIR RETURN TICKET.

- FEE (1 MONEY ORDERS OR CASHIER CHECK PER APPLICATION PACKAGE), PAYABLE TO "EMBASSY OF VIETNAM." APPLICANTS APPLYING TOGETHER MAY SUBMIT THE FEE IN ONE MONEY ORDER.

- A SELF-ADDRESSED POSTAGE-PAID RETURN ENVELOPE IF YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR VISA MAILED. FOR THE SAFETY OF YOUR PASSPORT(S), PLEASE USE ONLY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING MAILING SERVICES WHICH PROVIDE TRACKING NUMBERS: OR US EXPRESS MAIL OR CERTIFIED MAIL WITH FULL LABEL OR FEDEX/UPS. PLEASE DO NOT USE OTHER MAILING SERVICES. APPLICANTS APPLYING TOGETHER MAY PROVIDE ONE ENVELOPE FOR VISAS TO BE RETURNED TO THE SAME ADDRESS.

WHERE TO SUBMIT?

CONSULAR SECTION

EMBASSY OF VIETNAM

1233 20TH STREET, NW

SUITE 400

WASHINGTON, DC 20036
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Dec 11th, 2015, 02:57 PM
  #14
 
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Ignore the last posting.

When you exit the arrivals buillding you have to show the luggage tags, which are normally attached to your Boarding Pass.

It's easy to sort out your taxi yourself on arrival. Don't get stressed about it.
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Dec 12th, 2015, 02:36 AM
  #15
 
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As mmePerdu says, hotels are used to picking people up and will allow for the time to get through immigration. It won't be a problem. Taxis are easy but for extra peace of mind, arrange transport.

If, as LL says they do check luggage labels when exiting the collection area then that is a pretty good safeguard. You biggest problem with checked bags anywhere is what the baggage handlers get up to behind the scenes rather than fellow passengers at the carousels - just one of the reasons we don't check bags anymore.

I think most flights from Europe and the Middle East arrive in the mornings so traffic should be very light at your arrival time. Would be nice if you could get seats at the front of the plane so as to exit quickly and before the rest of the passengers. Also, if you see a tour group in front of you or anyone waving a flag or umbrella, run like ten wind to get in front of them! Nothing worse than arriving at the counter behind someone with a dozen passports in their hand!

I do think that Vietnam immigration has got its act together this year as the country has a major push on for more tourists. The horror stories you can read on TA of 2 hour waits may still happen occasionally, but they are the exception rather than the norm.
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Dec 12th, 2015, 03:47 AM
  #16
 
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Re VOA from the Vietnam Embassy website

Visitors can only apply for a visa upon arrival at Vietnam’s international airports/border gates under the following circumstances:

Attending funerals of family members;
Taking care of family members who are seriously ill;
Providing technical emergency support; medical care for seriously-ill patients; natural disaster and epidemic relief in Vietnam;
Being invited by Vietnamese government;
Other emergencies.

Under the above-mentioned circumstances, visitors must obtain an approval letter signed and sealed by the Embassy prior to their trips to Vietnam.
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Dec 12th, 2015, 04:41 AM
  #17
 
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Sdtravels - that is simply incorrect and very misleading.
crellston is online now  
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Dec 12th, 2015, 04:42 AM
  #18
 
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<<>>

Obtaining the Visa Approval Letter [VAL] online via a reputable agency has been explained more than adequately earlier in the thread. The VAL that you receive online will be signed and sealed. And the service is very quick and efficient.

It is still in effect a VOA, as you still have to complete a visa application form [e-mailed to you with the VAL] and pay for the visa stamp fee on arrival.
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Dec 12th, 2015, 04:48 AM
  #19
 
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Hey, don't shoot the messenger. That is direct from the official embassy website.
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Dec 12th, 2015, 05:58 AM
  #20
 
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Sdtravels.

If you want to apply via a Vietnam Embassy or Consulate then thats fine.

But it'll cost YOU a lot more in time, effort, and money than if you follow the very straightforward, quick, and money saving process of applying for a VAL online.
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