When the Covid-19 pandemic started last year, the Vietnamese government has virtually sealed off the country from the outside world. And after several months of shutting down, and recording only a few cases of infection compared to the other Asian nations, the Vietnamese government has decided to start opening its borders once again. However, to ensure safety, only a few travellers have been allowed entry. These include business people and skilled workers who have essential reasons to work or do business in the country.
If you are a businessman or skilled worker and you want to enter Vietnam this Covid-19 season, the first thing you need to do is to apply for a visa. Just recently, Vietnam Immigration has started issuing visa on arrival again. But the processing of applying for a Vietnam visa these days is somewhat different. There are additional requirements that you need to fulfil before Vietnam Immigration can issue a visa. Here’s everything you need to know.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the visa on arrival was one of the most applied visas for travellers heading to Vietnam. The visa applies to both tourists and business people. It’s very convenient to apply. You just need to apply for the visa online, wait for an email for the approval letter, and present the letter upon entry to Vietnam in order to be issued a visa. The only downside is that this visa will not let you enter the country through land border crossings and seaports. You can only use it from the major airports in Vietnam.
The approval letter is the most important requirement to get a visa on arrival. But before you can get this, you must first send in your visa application online. Take note that the letter is not yet your visa. It is only proof that you have been approved to enter Vietnam, but you will only get the actual visa at the airport when you arrive.
Now that it’s the Covid-19 season, you will be required to submit additional requirements before you will be issued the approval letter. You also need to have a sponsor company that will be responsible for requesting permission for entry on your behalf.
Before Vietnam Immigration can issue an approval letter for your visa on arrival, you are required to submit the following requirements:
Aside from the requirements above, you are required to send in your passport. The passport should be valid for at least six months from your date of entry to Vietnam. You also need to submit passport-sized photos for the visa.
As mentioned, the steps to apply for a Vietnam visa on arrival these days is different from before. You need to have a sponsor company that will apply for the visa on your behalf.
First of all, the sponsor company must send a letter of request to the local People’s Committee allowing you to enter Vietnam during this Covid-19 season. The letter should indicate the reason why you need to visit Vietnam and other important details about your trip. If the People’s Committee will approve your visit, they will issue an entry permit.
Upon receiving the entry permit, the sponsor company can forward this to Vietnam Immigration along with the other requirements for your visa. If Vietnam Immigration will approve your visit, they will issue the approval letter. You must print the letter and bring a copy to Vietnam so you can claim your visa on arrival.
Aside from the visa, you are required to submit a result of the PCR Covid-19 test taken in the past 3 – 5 days from your entry to Vietnam. The test should be done by an authorized testing facility in your country and should show a negative result. Before you can be allowed to board your flight, the airline will require you to present this result. Without this, you will be denied from boarding your flight to Vietnam. You also need to show your hotel booking for the entire 14-day period of quarantine, along with a pre-booked vehicle.