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VOA vs. Embassy Visa

Difference of receiving the visa at the international gates (Visa on arrival) and receiving at the Embassy.

Foreigners applying for visas to enter Vietnam may register at international border gates or Viet Nam embassy in foreign countries.

No matter where the foreigners will receive the visa, they have to have an organization, or individuals who guarantee for them and send visa application form to Immigration Department.

After the agencies, organizations and individuals send their written requests, the immigration management agency shall consider and reply the inviting agencies or organizations and individuals as well as notification to Vietnam's international border gates or Vietnamese Embassies in foreign countries.

Getting the visa at the international border gate or the Vietnam Embassy abroad has the following differences:


Visa on arrival

Embassy visa


a) It originates from countries where Vietnam has no competent agencies;

b) Before traveling to Vietnam, we have to go through many countries;

c) To enter Vietnam for sightseeing and travel under programs organized by international tour enterprises in Vietnam;

d) Foreign crew members who are on board a ship mooring at Vietnamese seaports and wish to exit through another border-gate;

e) Going to funeral for relatives or visiting relatives who are seriously ill;

f) Entering Vietnam in the handling of emergencies, rescue or salvage, prevention of natural disasters, epidemics or other special causes at the request of competent Vietnamese agencies.

All cases

Place to receive visa

International border gate of Vietnam (air, rail, road) but often by air

Vietnam Embassy

Time to receive visa

On arrival at an international gate

Before going to Vietnam

Transportation method

Foreigners who register to receive at any border gate must select such means of transport, for example, the airport gate, the means are airplanes. Foreigners can not change from air port to land border gate

Foreigners may choose the form of transportation to Vietnam.

Processing time

This is done as soon as the foreigner has submitted enough dossiers for the application procedure

3-5 working days


Depending on their specific conditions, foreigners may apply for a visa at the Vietnam International Border Gate or a competent agency issuing Vietnamese visas in foreign countries.

However, we advise you to apply for a visa at Vietnam Visa on arrival because this form will bring more convenience to you in terms of time and procedures.