So, I know that getting the visa for Vietnam is something that can really stress some people out. Let’s face it, getting through Immigration of any country is not fun. Being denied access to a country is even less fun. So, it’s always a good idea to make sure you do it right the first time. Especially if you are travelling alone or looking after kids. So below is some information about me, how I came to Vietnam and why I decided to get a visa on arrival.
My name is Georgie and I’m an ESL teacher. I am 29 years young and I am from Derby, in the UK.
Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to travel the world, explore new places and learn about many different cultures. I wanted to get visa stamps in my passport from every country, including Vietnam!
I have a Drama degree and studied Theatre and Performing Arts at college. I love meeting new people, socialising and learning from others.
I now teach English as a second language (ESL) to students in Vietnam and I arrived on a visa on arrival (VOA) back in 2013. I got my TESOL (CELTA) in teaching English as a second language back in the UK. Since then I have taught on and off in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) for over 2.5 years. I have taught adults, teenagers and kids. I have taught in private classes, public schools, private schools, language centres and online. I have taught general English, IELTS (an international qualification to prove your level of English, required for immigration and to get into universities in Vietnam and abroad) and business English. I have also travelled extensively in Vietnam and have seen all of the main tourist attractions such as Halong Bay, Sapa, Mai Chau, Danang, Hoi An, Mui Nue, Nha Trang, the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc Island. So that is the reason why I became an English teacher and got a visa for Vietnam- so I could explore this beautiful country!
Not only did I get a Vietnam visa but I have also taught English in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Malaysia and Thailand.
Of course, in the past seven years I have come and gone and visited many other places. I always enter Vietnam on a visa on arrival and so I have a lot of experience with the process.
I think this is the easiest way to get your visa into Vietnam. It’s quick and easy and the agency does most of the work you!
You can get a business visa, a sponsored work visa (from your employer) or a tourist visa. Usually, this visa is for one month or three months. You can also sometimes get a six months visa, depending on the circumstances and when you apply. You then need to decide on multiple or single entry. If you get single entry, your visa will expire the moment you leave the country, even if it hasn’t been the full three months. For example, if you arrive on the 01st June and have a visa that will expire on 01st September but you leave Vietnam on 24th July, your visa will no longer be valid. This means that you won’t be able to come back to Vietnam on that visa.
However, if you get a multiple entry visa, you can leave and re-enter Vietnam as many times as you like before the expiry date of the visa. Obviously, on that day, whether your visa is single or multiple entry, you must leave I’m afraid.
Applying is easy and most places offer a money back guarantee and will price check if you tell them that you found it cheaper somewhere else.
The point of a visa on arrival is that you don’t need to travel to your local embassy to receive your visa or send your passport off in the post- an idea that terrifies me. Give away my passport to a stranger?! No thank you.
Instead you will be provided with an invitation letter from the Vietnamese Immigration department to come into Vietnam for the purposes or tourism (or if you’re like me, for work).
The visa invitation letter will state your full name, gender, date of birth, nationality and passport number. So make sure that you check this information carefully when you receive the letter. The letter will state that you have been granted permission to enter Vietnam from (the given date) until (the given date) which will be either one month later or three months later. It will be signed and dated by the immigration department.
The letter will be emailed to you by the travel agent (you don’t need the original when flying in) so you just print out all the pages and take it with you to the airport. Don’t worry if there are other names listed, they often print multiple invitations at the same time. You will also need to complete a form and have two passport sized photos- although if you happen to forget this detail, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.
You have to then just get past the infamous Vietnamese Immigration Officers (see 5 Steps To Getting Through The Airport In Vietnam) and you’re all set. Good luck and leave a comment if you have any questions!
So, you’re all set with your flight, visa on arrival invitation letter in hand (See My Vietnam Visa blog) and bags packed. However, you still have the pre-travel gitters, the nerves are kicking in.