News report | | 03/09/2018 | ±4 minutes reading time

Most travellers that want to go to Vietnam still need to apply for a visa before they can start their journey. Only certain countries within the European Union can count on an exemption.

Visa exemptions

Vietnam makes an exception to the visa rules for a few European countries. These include France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Inhabitants of these countries do not need to apply for a visa if they plan to stay in Vietnam for less than 15 days. They will receive an exemption.

For any trips lasting longer than 15 days, however, both British and Irish travellers still need to apply for a Vietnam visa. Vietnam has announced plans to loosen the rules, but insists that inhabitants of certain countries will still need a visa.

New exemptions

Exceptions to the visa were first implemented in July 2015. Travellers from five European countries could enter Vietnam without a visa. Before, the policy deciding on this changed annually. This year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved of a number of applications for a visa-free period.

Vietnam popular among West Europeans

Vietnam is popular among West Europeans, and Vietnam is happy to see us come. This is because we spend quite a bit in the country. According to the Vietnamese Bureau for Tourism, West European travellers spend on average 1,316 dollars per trip. In 2015 the country welcomed close to 720,000 West European tourists.

In 2016, only 19 percent more West European tourists travelled to Vietnam. In 2017, this doubled to over one and a half million passengers.

Strict visa requirements

The country is known as one the strictest countries in Asia when it comes to visa policies. Only 22 countries can count on an exemption from Vietnam. Within Asia, Indonesia is the most liberal with its visas. Travellers from 169 countries can travel there without a visa. In Singapore, 158 nationalities can do this, in Malaysia 155 and in Thailand 61.

Vietnam is trying to loosen the rules a bit. The first step is the renewed e-visa policy. The e-visa is now available to people from 46 countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Travelling with a Vietnam visa

Travelling to Vietnam? This is best done with a Vietnam e-visa. Previously, most travellers used the so-called "visa on arrival", but the Vietnamese government now discourages using this method. However, many visa agencies still advertise it. With a visa on arrival, an approval letter had to be purchased at the airport before departure. In Vietnam, a stamping fee was added to that. The government can no longer guarantee that travellers with this visa type will make it past the passport check without issue.

A Vietnam e-visa is the best way to arrange an entry permit. Starting February 2017, British citizens can apply for this visa. The benefit of this visa is that it is already approved and issued before departure. This means that travellers can pass the queue for the stamping fee when they arrive at the airport in Vietnam. All costs are included in the visa. The visa costs £49.95 per person.

Good to know: the visa has to already be in your possession before you start your journey. The passport with which you are travelling needs to be valid for at least 30 more days after your arrival in Vietnam. You cannot have any mental or transmittable illnesses which can pose a threat to your direct environment, and you also cannot have been deported from Vietnam in the past three years. The only way to arrive in and leave Vietnam is at one of a number of specific airports, seaports or border posts.

Applying for a Vietnam visa can be done digitally through this website. To do this, a passport scan and a passport photo have to be uploaded. All information is checked before departure. In exceptional cases, it can occur that the application is rejected and will have to be submitted at the embassy.
Apply for a Vietnam visa

Are you in urgent need of a visa? Then you can make use of an urgent application. This option is available in the application form. If you choose the “urgent delivery” option, you will pay an extra fee of £17.50. Most of the time, an urgent application is approved within three days, but there is no guarantee.

Take note: this news article about the visa for Vietnam is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the visa for Vietnam.