Visiting Vietnam has become increasingly popular among Chinese tourists, and getting a visa on arrival (VOA) is one of the most convenient ways for them to enter the country. In this comprehensive guide, we will go over everything you need to know about Vietnam VOA for Chinese visitors.
Who Can Apply for Vietnam VOA?
Not all international travelers can apply for Vietnam VOA. In this section, we will go over who is eligible for Vietnam VOA, as well as the requirements they need to meet.
- Chinese passport holders: Only Chinese citizens are eligible for Vietnam VOA.
- Travel purposes: The VOA is valid for tourism, family visits, business, or other non-immigrant purposes.
- Port of entry: VOA is only applicable for arrivals at selected airports in Vietnam.
To apply for Vietnam VOA, Chinese visitors must provide their personal information, travel plans, and pay applicable fees. They also need to prepare a few documents, such as a passport with at least six months validity, a recently taken passport-sized photo, and an approval letter from a Vietnamese embassy or a licensed travel agent.
What is Vietnam VOA?
Vietnam VOA is an alternative way for Chinese visitors to obtain their visa to enter Vietnam. It allows them to apply for a visa online, receive an approval letter via email, and then get the visa stamp upon arrival at one of the designated airports in Vietnam.
In this section, we will explain how Vietnam VOA works, its benefits and drawbacks, and how it differs from other types of visas.
How Does Vietnam VOA Work?
The process of obtaining Vietnam VOA for Chinese visitors includes the following steps:
- Apply online: Chinese visitors must fill out an online application form and pay the service fee.
- Receive approval letter: Within two working days, they will receive an approval letter via email from the Vietnam Immigration Department or a licensed travel agency.
- Print out: They need to print out this letter and prepare other required documents, such as their passport, photo, and entry-exit form (which can be downloaded from the internet)
- Arrival: Upon arrival at one of the designated airports in Vietnam, they present these documents to the immigration officer and pay the stamping fee to get the visa stamped on their passport.
Pros and Cons of Vietnam VOA
Vietnam VOA has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons that Chinese visitors should consider before applying for it:
- Convenience: The process is entirely online, and travelers don’t have to send their passport away.
- Time-saving: The turnaround time is relatively fast, usually two working days to obtain an approval letter.
- Cost-effective: The stamping fee is not much different from the regular visa fee, and there are no extra fees like shipping costs.
- Limited port of entry: VOA is only applicable for arrivals at selected airports in Vietnam.
- Risk of rejection: Even after receiving an approval letter, there’s still a chance that the immigration officer may reject the visa application.
- Potential scams: As with any online service, there is a risk of scams and fake websites that could lead to identity theft or fraud.
How Does Vietnam VOA Differ from Other Types of Visas?
There are other types of visas that Chinese visitors can use to enter Vietnam, such as e-visa, embassy visa, or visa exemption. Here are some differences between Vietnam VOA and other visa types:
- E-visa: Chinese visitors can apply for an e-visa online, but this type of visa is only valid for certain purposes and limited to select entry points.
- Embassy visa: This requires Chinese visitors to visit a Vietnamese embassy to submit their application, and the processing time is usually longer than for VOA.
- Visa exemption: This applies only to a few countries and allows visitors to stay in Vietnam for a limited time without a visa.
Alternatives to Vietnam VOA
Vietnam VOA may not be suitable for all Chinese visitors. In this section, we will go over some alternatives that they can consider when applying for a Vietnamese visa:
- E-visa: As mentioned earlier, Chinese visitors can apply for an e-visa online. This type of visa is valid for 30 days and allows for a single entry.
- Embassy visa: Chinese visitors can also apply for a visa at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate. The processing time is longer, and they need to make an appointment and visit in person.
- Visa exemption: If Chinese visitors are eligible for visa exemption, they can enter Vietnam without a visa for up to 15 days.
Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for Vietnam VOA
In this section, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to apply for Vietnam VOA as a Chinese visitor:
- Go to a licensed travel agency website1. Go to a licensed travel agency website that offers Vietnam VOA services.
- Fill out the online application form, providing personal information, travel plans, and other required details.
- Pay the service fee using one of the available payment methods.
- Wait for the approval letter to be sent via email within two working days.
- Print out the approval letter, entry-exit form, and prepare other required documents, including a passport-sized photo and a passport with at least six months validity.
- Upon arrival at one of the designated airports in Vietnam, present these documents to the immigration officer, pay the stamping fee, and get the visa stamped on the passport.
Comparing Vietnam VOA with Other Visa Types
In this section, we will compare Vietnam VOA with other types of visas that Chinese visitors can use to enter Vietnam:
- E-visa: Both Vietnam VOA and e-visa are obtained online, but the latter is only valid for certain purposes and limited to select entry points.
- Embassy visa: The embassy visa requires Chinese visitors to visit a Vietnamese embassy in person, whereas VOA doesn’t. However, the processing time is usually longer for embassy visa than for VOA.
- Visa exemption: Visa exemption is more limited than VOA, as it applies only to a few countries and allows visitors to stay in Vietnam for a shorter period without a visa.
Tips for Applying for Vietnam VOA
Here are some tips for Chinese visitors applying for Vietnam VOA:
- Use a reputable travel agency: There are many scams and fake websites offering VOA services. Make sure to use a reputable travel agency with a good track record.
- Apply early: While the turnaround time for obtaining an approval letter is relatively fast, it’s always better to apply early in case of any unexpected delays or issues.
- Prepare all required documents: Make sure to have all the required documents, such as a passport-sized photo and a passport with at least six months validity, to avoid any problems or delays at the airport.
The Best Way to Apply for Vietnam VOA
The best way to apply for Vietnam VOA is through a licensed travel agency that offers this service. They have experience and expertise in processing the visa application, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process.
Q1: Can Chinese visitors apply for Vietnam VOA upon arrival? A1: No, they need to obtain an approval letter beforehand.
Q2: Can Chinese visitors use Vietnam VOA for any purposes? A2: No, it’s only valid for tourism, family visits, business, or other non-immigrant purposes.
Q3: What happens if the immigration officer rejects my Vietnam VOA application? A3: You will not be allowed to enter Vietnam, and you may need to return to your home country.
Q4: Is Vietnam VOA more expensive than other types of visas? A4: No, the stamping fee for VOA is not much different from other types of visas.
Q5: Can I extend my stay in Vietnam with Vietnam VOA? A5: Yes, you can extend your stay by applying for a visa extension at a Vietnamese immigration office.
Vietnam VOA offers a convenient and fast way for Chinese visitors to obtain their visa to enter Vietnam. While it has its advantages and disadvantages, it’s still a popular option among many travelers due to its ease of use and relatively low cost. By following the steps and tips provided in this guide, Chinese visitors can apply for Vietnam VOA with confidence and enjoy their trip to Vietnam.