Fortunately I don't need a visa for most of the countries I want to visit in the coming months and if I need one I can get it easily on arrival (VOA). Vietnam was an exception since I had to either get a visa beforehand or get an approval letter from a tourism agency, so I could get the visa "on arrival" when landing in SGN.
I probably could have tried to get this visa in Singapore but since we had to get one both my GF and myself, I decided to go to embassy in Switzerland a couple of weeks ago and make the application in person. The procedure was straightforward. What I needed was:
- The original passports
- The completed form.
- A color picture
- The fee paid at the embassy (110 CHF! per passport)
I got the passport back with the visa stamped after 20 minutes. It should be noted that the procedure can be 20 CHF cheaper if you use a self-addressed registered return envelope (I don't know about you, but I always get itchy when I have to send my passport by mail). Anyway I have the visa, so another "done" for my checklist.
Now some of the facts that I learned while I was researching how to go about getting this visa where:
- The citizens of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are the only ones from the EU who don't need a visa to visit the country (they can visit Vietnam for up to 15 days).
- The Vietnamese "Visa on Arrival" is a bit of misnomer since a letter of approval has to be obtained before arrival. This is handled by an approved on-line agency but it's hard to know whether a company has a legitimate arrangement and can provide those official documents.
- The top level domain "gov.vn" does not necessarily guarantee you are dealing with government agency. Just make a search [site:gov.vn visa] to check it out yourself
So we are ready for SGN!
update: Just to highlight some of the points I was discussing before. You can even get comment spam from some of those "gov.vn" sites: