Want to know what’s new and exciting in the world of travel visas? Vietnam is now issuing eVisas! Whether you are a seasoned traveller or heading out on your first loop of Southeast Asia, this is important. Allow Sherpa to dive into why this is so monumental, what’s changed, and what this means for YOU – the noble traveller.
Vietnam Visas – the Good, the Bad, and the Really Bad.
If you’re planning a trip to South East Asia, nothing brings a shudder to travellers like the words “Vietnam” and “visa”. Okay, maybe “overnight” and “train”, but you get the picture. It doesn’t take a comprehensive Google search to understand just how much trouble entering Vietnam has been in the past.
The main issue was that there was no ONE ISSUE, but a diverse group of hiccups.
Those issues include embassies quoting different processing prices in the same country, choosing which third-party website/company through which to do the application, not getting scammed when you DID choose a website, and the experiences at the border when travellers have gone the “Visa on Arrival” route that includes paying higher fees than expected or facing long wait times.
What’s this new eVisa?
So, with the e-Visa, you essentially skip all those issues. The application is done online, it’s simplified, and it requires less documentation to send away. It’s a single entry visa, which means you have to get a new visa every time you enter Vietnam. The visa is available for 40 citizenships (sadly enough, not Canadians yet), and officially can be accessed through only one official website. In short, visitors can land at any of Vietnam’s eight international airports, including Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Da Nang in the central region. They can also arrive via land at 13 international border gates, and via sea at seven ports across the country.
Who can get the new eVisa for Vietnam?
(Excluding Chinese e-passport holders)
|Timor Leste||Uruguay||United States of America|
Where can I enter Vietnam using this eVisa?
Why get an eVisa over another?
While the e-Visa is an important step in easing access to Vietnam, it’s not for everyone since it is only offered for 40 citizenships, and is single-entry only. This means that if you enter and leave Vietnam, and then plan to re-enter all within a 30 day period, you are NOT covered by the new e-Visa. Alternatively, a multiple-entry visa is more for you. If you check out the Sherpa App, we breakdown the three basic visa types for travelling to Vietnam.
So, why is this important?
Overall, there are three reasons why the new Vietnam e-Visa pilot project this is important for all travellers!
- Vietnam, geographically, is key. Vietnam is a critical part of the typical SEA loop. Getting the visa right for Vietnam can literally make for smooth sailing in Vietnam. Metaphorically, it’s just nice to limit complications. Let’s be proactive. Right, fellow travellers?
- Flexibility. The e-Visa allows you another visa option to best suit your trip style. If you’re a digital nomad and require multiple entries, perhaps the “multiple-entry visa” is still your best option. If you’re backpacking through, however, and collecting countries like a boss, then the e-Visa (as a single entry) might make the most sense.
- Trustworthiness. Getting a visa before departure for Vietnam can save you from potential scams at the border when you land. By applying through the Vietnam Government immigration website (or through Sherpa, shameless plug), you can be assured that you have the right visa for your trip, at the right price, done correctly, once.
Okay, Sherpa – what’s the verdict?
At Sherpa, we’re travellers, too. Our own Chief Product Officer at Sherpa had his struggles with the Vietnam visa a few years back. We’re happy to provide the right information, and make the process of travel as easy as can be. We really do want you to focus on your journey, not the logistics needed before you even get started. That’s why we’ve made the process simplified through the app. All you need is a photocopy of your passport. Can you take a selfie? Cool – then you can get a passport photo by using the Sherpa app and the camera on your phone. Yes, really. We walk you through the photo requirements and make sure it won’t be rejected. In short, the e-Visa is a great development in Southeast Asia travel, and we’re happy to be able to offer it for four of the citizenships included. To check out up-to-date visa and vaccination information for your citizenship, you can download the app. As always, Travel Easy!