Visa on arrival for Vietnam - with approval letter?

I was planning on getting the visa on arrival for Vietnam - having gotten the pre-approval letter prior to leaving as it is much cheaper than getting the visa through the embassy.  However, Exodus notes say that you have to get the visa through the embassy.  Anybody used the visa on arrival - with the pre-approval letter or know why it can't be used?


Hi there,

I joined a group on a trip to Vietnam last year and one of our members had one of these 'Visa on Arrival' letters. It is cheaper, and it was accepted at the airport, however they had to join the (very long) queue with a lot of the others to get their Visa approved, whereas the rest of us could pass straight through the shorter queues at immigration.

As a consequence, they held up our group by about 30-45 minutes - which might not make you any friends, especially after everyone's just flown 16 hours ;-)

It may have changed since then, and it may vary from airport to airport (this was Hanoi), but that's my experience of it.

Hope this helps,



Additionally, we were the only plane landing at the time. I imagine the problem could be much worse if you land at roughly the same time as other international flights.


Reading the embassy's page, visa on arrival can only be used/granted when arriving by air. Our daughter certainly used this visa when she visited Vietnam last year with no problem. Can't see why this shouldn't work this time too, just hope the queue isn't too long!

Thanks to all for their advice - I decided to get the visa from the embassy just to make sure there weren't any problems or causing a delay for the rest of the group.

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