I need to learn about Vietnam Visa in February 2020, when I travelled From Kolkata to Hanoi. The basis of my experience I am sharing a quick guide for you who are planning to visit Vietnam from India soon.

Vietnam Visa Process:

Step 1: 

Go to this website https://vietnamvisa.org/ and click on “Apply Online”

Or directly go here: https://vietnamvisa.org/apply/form.aspx

Fill out the form as needed.

P.S. To save money I would suggest choosing a group or blanket invitation letter. It will cost less. It is common to get like 15-30 applicants on the same approval letter. If you do not want to disclose your personal information like your visiting date, passport numbers etc. with strangers then you can go for personal or private invitation letter which will cost you $ 30 each (INR 2165) for 1 month.

Step 2: 

Make the payment of $11 each (INR 795).

Step 3: 

You will receive payment confirmation emails.

Step 4:

Then after 2-3 days, you will receive the invitation letter.

Validate your details in the invitation letter. Then click on the confirmation link and confirm your details.

Step 5:

Take the coloured print of the invitation letter. And 2 passport photos.

Your invitation letter will be checked during the check-in at an Indian airport, and during immigration in India. So please keep it handy. 

Step 6: 

Arrive in Vietnam and get the Visa on arrival first. This will be a visa sticker put on your passport. 

– You have to fill up a form for this. 

– Submit form and passport at the counter

– Wait for 15 to 20 mins. They will then call your name when the visa is ready. 

– Pay $25 (INR 1806) at the counter. Keep in CASH for this. 

-The Vietnam tourist visa I received was a single-entry visa that allowed me to stay in the country for 30 days.

– Collect your passport and then go and stand in the immigration line to get into Vietnam. 

Welcome to Uncle Ho’s country…

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Other Tips:

1. Stay in District 1 if you are staying in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), as most of the good spots are walkable from there.

2. Use ATM to take out cash in Vietnamese Dong (VND) in Vietnam. 

3. DO NOT exchange money at Netaji Subhash chandra bose International Airport (Kolkata).

4. Check in the hotels as well, you may exchange your Dollars to Dong with a nominal exchange rate.

5. Download “GRAB” app for cars. It’s like Uber. 

6. HCMC to Dist. 1 in a taxi is about VND 100- 150 depending on the time. 

7. From Hanoi, No Bai airport to Old Quarter taxi is about $ 10 – 15 (INR 800 approx.). 

Dollars vs Dong:

You will need both US Dollars and Vietnamese Dong for travelling around Vietnam. US dollars are most commonly used for anything touristy e.g. booking a tour, booking domestic transport or paying for a hotel. Vietnamese Dong is most commonly used for more local enterprises e.g. restaurants, bars, shops and market stalls. You can withdraw Dong from an ATM on arrival but make sure you’re armed with USD to pay for that visa. If you have a choice between paying in Dong or Dollars, Dong usually works out cheaper.

Also Read Perfume Pagoda: The best day trip in Vietnam

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