As of 1 July 2015, European Citizen passport holders travelling for tourism or business will be able to enter Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa. If you’re travelling for business reasons you should contact the relevant Vietnam government department before travel to check whether any licenses are required to carry out your duties.
You’ll still need a visa to enter Vietnam for periods of 15 days and longer and if you wish to re-enter Vietnam within 30 days of your departure. Make sure you get the correct visa for the purpose and destination of your trip.
The safest option is to get a visa from the Vietnamese Embassy before you travel. If you plan to leave Vietnam and re-enter from another country make sure you get a multiple visit visa.
There are legitimate companies that can arrange visas on arrival, but you must organise this before you arrive in Vietnam. We have been told that the personal information of multiple applicants can be included in letters confirming visa approval, which is normal procedure for the Vietnamese Immigration Department and any alteration to the letter would invalidate visa approval. If you are concerned about this you should apply for a visa through the nearest Vietnamese Embassy. There are also a number of bogus companies claiming to offer this service. The Embassy and Consulate General cannot confirm whether a company has a legitimate arrangement in place.
Overstaying your Vietnamese visa without authority is a serious matter and you may be delayed from travel until a fine is paid. Check the visa validity and conditions carefully.
For further information about visa requirements, check with your own Embassy.
There are a number of local crossing points on the borders with Cambodia and Laos which are for nationals of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Check locally before travelling to these points.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months at the date of entry to be eligible for the 14 day visa exemption.
For periods of stay longer than 14 days, entry into Vietnam may be refused if your passport has less than 1 month validity from the date your Vietnamese visa expires.
When checking into a hotel, you will have to surrender your passport so that the hotel can register your presence with the local police. Make sure your passport is returned and keep it in a safe place. Don’t use your passport as a deposit for renting a hotel room. If you are staying in private accommodation, you will still be expected to register. Ask your host to help you with this as soon as you arrive. You may be fined if you don’t register.