Today, thanks to open policy of the Vietnamese Government to welcome more and more travelers to Vietnam, foreigners may find it much easier to get a visa to the country since there is currently two ways to do this. The FIRST one is to get a visa at Vietnam Embassy (traditional way to obtain a Vietnam visa) and the SECOND one is to get a visa on arrival (visa picked up at the airport with visa approval letter which is applied online in advance).
Although visa on arrival has been available for over 10 years and become more and more popular among travelers to Vietnam, it still confuses a few foreigners due to opposite sayings from others about this way of application. However, you do not need to worry at all when choosing visa on arrival. It is 100% legitimate.
What proves the legitimacy of visa on arrival?
First of all, when speaking of Vietnam visa on arrival, visa approval letter should be included. The letter is an official permission allowing you – the visa applicant(s) to board and get visa stamped upon your arrival at Vietnam airport. But remember that although you submit your visa application to a travel agent and get the visa approval letter from the agent, the letter is issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department, not the travel agent. The agent only functions as connection between you and the Vietnam Immigration Department for visa approval letter processing.
Secondly, the legitimacy of visa on arrival has been once confirmed by article 6 of the Ordinance dated April 28, 2000 on Entry, Exit and Residence of foreigners in Vietnam, which states that foreigners applying for entry shall be granted visas at Vietnam’s international border gates in the following cases:
a) They enter for funerals of their relatives, for visits to their seriously ill relatives;
b) They depart from countries where Vietnamese diplomatic missions and/or consulates are not available;
c) They enter for visits under programs organized by international tour enterprises of Vietnam;
d) They enter to provide urgent technical support for programs, projects; to give first-aid to seriously ill persons, accident victims; to provide rescue for victims of natural disasters and epidemics in Vietnam;
e) For other urgent reasons.
In addition, recently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has once again confirmed the legitimacy of the visa on arrival upon their launch of an online visa application channel. As announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, it takes only 2 working days to process the visa application which is submitted online and email the visa approval letter to the visa applicant.
With such reasons, don’t think that visa on arrival is not legitimate. Once you get the visa approval letter, you will surely get visa stamped at the arrival airport in Vietnam.