Applying VISA is one of the most complicated parts of going abroad, especially Vietnam visa for US citizens. It also contains strict requirements and is different between countries. Therefore, bookmark this post as we are continuously updating changes about Vietnam VISA policy.
Do you need a Vietnam VISA to enter Vietnam?
Yes, you do. According to the Vietnam Immigration Department, citizens of all countries in the world, including United States passport holders have to apply VISA to enter Vietnam. Without an appropriate VISA or pre-approval visa on arrival Vietnam, your entry request will be denied. The requirement for United States passport holders to issue a Vietnam VISA is their passport must have at least 2 blank pages and have at least 6 months of validity counted from your date of arrival to Vietnam. You can issue a Vietnam-visa for travel, trade, work, medical treatment, relative visit, or marriage. There is a limit of visa to Vietnam validity, as you can only issue a Vietnam VISA with validity at least 30 days shorter than the validity of your passport or other international travel documents.
Vietnam VISA is issued within 3 working days counted from the day your valid and complete VISA application is received by the competent Vietnamese agencies abroad. An expired VISA can be subject to VISA extension at the competent Vietnamese VISA granting agencies. Holding expired VISA can result denying enter/exit Vietnam territory request and many legal troubles. Furthermore, you can’t issue a different type of VISA from your current one if you are already in Vietnam. To apply a different type of VISA, you have to exit the country and issue a new one (except if you are in Phu Quoc Island).
There is no VISA-related restriction for United States citizens to enter nor exit Vietnam, but there are currency restrictions. In detail, anyone who carries more than VND 150,000,000 or US$ 5,000 or equivalent must do a customs declaration. You can find the official information about dual nationality and child abduction by the US government here as well as United States customs regulations.
Vietnam VISA exemption for United States citizens
In general, United States citizens are granted no VISA exemption for visiting Vietnam. Even though, there is a Vietnam VISA exemption for all nationalities to visit Phu Quoc Island. Since 2005, Phu Quoc Island has been classified as a Special Economic Zone and foreigners, including United States citizens, are eligible for a 30-day VISA exemption.
Here are the criteria for United States passport holders to benefit Phu Quoc Island VISA exemption:
- Your passport must not expire within 6 months counted from your date of arrival in Phu Quoc Island.
- You have a ticket to leave Phu Quoc Island to an international destination within 30 days from the day you arrived, whether via a cruise ship or a flight (that means you don’t have to fly directly to Phu Quoc but transit through one of Vietnam International Airports provided that Phu Quoc is your final destination).
- You will leave Phu Quoc Island within 30 days and the onward destination is not within Vietnam territory.
- You must not be on INTERPOL’s wanted persons’ list nor haven’t been previously extradited from Vietnam
This exemption does not feature in anywhere else within Vietnam territory as you will have to issue a Vietnam VISA to visit other destinations in Vietnam except Phu Quoc Island.
If you have been in Phu Quoc Island and want to visit other destinations in Vietnam, these are what you have to do:
- Visit the Phu Quoc Immigration Office in Duong Dong and ask for assistance
- Speak with your tour agent if they can arrange this. They will normally send your
- Don’t try to apply for an E-VISA, as it is only available for people who are outside Vietnam.
Missing passport in Vietnam
In the situation of your US passport is lost or stolen in Vietnam, you will need both replacement Vietnam VISA and replacement passport for arriving or leaving Vietnam. Contact the US Embassy or the Consulate General for assistance. They can usually issue a limited validity replacement passport within a couple of business days for emergency purposes. Your replacement Vietnam VISA will cost three to five working days as the requirement from the Vietnamese government.