In case you are traveling to Vietnam by air and wish to obtain a Vietnam visa on arrival at the airport, the most important document you must have beforehand is a visa approval letter (also known as pre-approval visa letter or visa on arrival approval letter).
So now, let’s go in details about this type of document.
What is the Vietnam visa approval letter?
“Vietnam Visa approval letter” is a document issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department (Vietnam Ministry of Public Security) via a local travel agency to the travelers. It functions as an official permission allowing its owner(s) to board the flight to Vietnam and get visa stamped onto the passport upon arrival at Vietnam airport.
What does a Vietnam visa approval letter look like?
An approval letter for Vietnam visa contains:
- Statement on allowing its holder(s) to enter Vietnam and get visa stamped at Vietnam airport;
- Details of those permitted to enter Vietnam with this letter, including full name, passport number, date of birth, nationality,
- Permitted duration to stay in Vietnam.
Here is a sample of the visa approval letter for Vietnam:
How to get a visa approval letter for Vietnam?
The procedure to get a tourist or business visa approval letter is the same at Vietnam-visa.com. It is completed online without any document, even a sponsor letter from a Vietnam company.
To get it, you only need to:
- complete the online application form with the following information:
- Full name
- Passport number
- Passport expiry date
- Visa type
- Travel dates
- make payment online with credit/debit cards or by bank transfer.
- After that, we will process your visa approval letter application with the Vietnam Immigration Department and deliver the letter to your email.
At the moment, due to COVID 19, the visa approval letter is only issued to foreign experts with sponsor by a company in Vietnam. The procedure to get it is much more complicated as follows:
- Step 1: Get approval from the People Committee of the Province or the Management Board of the Industrial Park where the foreign experts are expected to work.
- Step 2: Get approval from the Department of Health of the Province where the foreign experts are expected to quarantine.
- Step 3: Get visa approval letter (or also known as Vietnam entry permit) to enter Vietnam.
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How much does a Vietnam visa on arrival letter cost?
The cost of a pre-approval letter for a Vietnam visa also depends on the type of visa you wish to get, how fast you want to get it and also the number of applicants in your group.
You can see the full details of this cost for your group here.
How long does it take to get an approval letter for a Vietnam visa?
The letter processing time depends on the type of visa you wish to get and how fast you want to get it.
Processing of a Vietnam tourist visa on arrival letter
- normally takes 02 working days;
- can be faster in 1 working day or even 2 – 4 working hours depending on your emergency.
Processing of a Vietnam business visa on arrival letter:
- normally takes 07 working days;
- can be faster in 2 – 3 working days depending on your emergency.
Types of Vietnam visa approval letter?
The letter is divided into two types, namely:
- group visa approval letter (also known as a shared letter); and
- private visa approval letter (also known as a confidential letter).
A group letter is a letter that may contain details of other travelers whose application is submitted to the Vietnam Immigration at the same time for processing.
A private letter is a letter which contains details of yours or your group only. This type of letter is provided upon your request.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is completely legitimate. Please be informed that a visa approval letter for Vietnam is issued by the Vietnam immigration department via legally operated Vietnam travel agency, not by the travel agency you work with. So, with a valid approval letter, you completely can get the visa stamped upon arrival at Vietnam airport.
No. Unlike visa on arrival for Cambodia, etc. which can be picked up right at the border gate when you are there without doing anything before departure, a visa on arrival for Vietnam is issued only when you have a valid visa approval letter. Without it, you cannot board the flight to Vietnam, not to say get the visa stamped.
Yes. You can get your visa stamped at Vietnam embassy/consulate with visa approval letter.
However, please be noted that the letter to get visa stamped at Vietnam embassy/consulate is different from that to get visa upon arrival at Vietnam airport. In addition to the letter, you also get a Reference Letter from the Vietnam Immigration Department kindly requesting the Embassy/Consulate to stamp visa for you.
In case you want to get Vietnam visa in this way, please inform us and we will ask the Vietnam Immigration Department to process the letter for you.
Here is a sample visa approval letter to get visa stamped at Vietnam embassy/consulate:
And this is the reference letter of the Vietnam immigration Department to the foreign mission of Vietnam:
Please be informed that the visa approval letter will be valid from the arrival date until the exit date granted on it, not from the date you apply for or receive it via email.
As such, you can submit the application for a visa approval letter to Vietnam at any time convenient for you.
Note: This is the guide on how to get Vietnam visa approval letter before Covid 19. In case you need to get a Vietnam visa in Covid time, please refer to Vietnam entry permit in Covid.