Applying for a Visa in Vietnam



Processing visas in Vietnam can be quite difficult especially for work visas. Most expats have their work visas processed by employers and sponsors to avoid the hassle and to make sure the documents are processed properly.

Getting a visa and other documents required for working in Vietnam depends on the foreigner’s citizenship, so that means the rules vary. It’s good to check with the Vietnamese embassy before making any plans.

Most visas require the following:

  1. Visa Application Form: This should be filled in legibly and clearly, using bold (capital) letters in blue or black ink. Your name and other relevant particulars should be filled in identically to the details in your passport.
  2. Passport: Your passport should have a minimum validity of six months from the date of application and at least two blank pages.
  3. Photographs: You will need two recent identical passport size photographs depicting a frontal pose against a light, plain background.
  4. Supporting Documents: If the visa that you are applying for is other than a Tourist Visa, you must submit the required documents specific for your visa category.
  5. Visa Fee: The fee depends on the category of visa and the country in which the application is being processed.

A sponsor in Vietnam will have to process the work permit and visa before arrival in the city. Those who intend to look for a job after arrival need to secure a tourist or visitor visa before the prospective employer can start with the paperwork.

To make things easier, it is best to bring all original certificates to Hanoi, such as a police certificate in the origin country. This is required and it will not be easy to get such documents once the foreigner is already in Vietnam. 

It is possible to get a visa upon arriving in Vietnam, but this requires the services of a travel agent who will process the documents pending the foreigner’s arrival. Note that those who do not have a visa or proof that a visa will be available upon arrival will not be allowed to board the airplane.


  • Tourist Visa

Only citizens of ASEAN countries, Korea, Japan, and Scandinavia can visit Vietnam without an entry visa (valid for visit within 30 days). Citizens of all other nations are required to get an entry visa before departure or a pre-approved entry visa (visa is issued on arrival at Vietnam’s international airports) supplied before arrival in Vietnam.

  • Spouse or Dependent Visa

The spouse of someone who has a work permit and residence visa will be allowed to work as well.

  • Student Visa

This visa is for people intending to study in an approved educational institution in Vietnam. To apply for the visa, you will need to submit your passport and supporting documents, such as a letter of acceptance, from your sponsor, which is usually the educational institution.