Foreign travel advice
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Until 30 June 2017 ‘British Citizen’ passport holders travelling for tourism or business can enter Vietnam for up to a maximum of 15 days without a visa. It’s not yet clear whether this arrangement will remain in place from 1 July 2017 onwards. This travel advice will be updated as soon as confirmation is received from the Vietnamese authorities. If you have a different type of British nationality – for example ‘British national (overseas)’- you’ll need to get a visa or an e-visa before entering Vietnam.
For visits of up to 30 days, you can get an e-visa online before you travel. Use of the e-visa is limited to certain entry/exit points which you must select at the time of application. If you don’t have fixed travel plans, consider applying for a regular single entry visa from the nearest Vietnamese Embassy, which allows more flexibility.
For visits of longer than 30 days you must get a visa from the nearest Vietnamese embassy before travelling to Vietnam.
If you’re planning to make multiple visits in a short period to Vietnam, consider applying for a multiple entry visa. If you want to make a second visit within 30 days of leaving Vietnam, you’ll need to get a visa or an e-visa to re-enter the country.
There are legitimate companies that can arrange visas on arrival, but you must organise this before you arrive in Vietnam. There are also a number of bogus companies claiming to offer this service. The Embassy and Consulate General can’t confirm whether a company has a legitimate arrangement in place.
From November 2015, British nationals who are spouses or children of Vietnamese nationals can apply for a visa exemption certificate. The certificate is valid for 5 years and allows multiple entries into Vietnam for 6 month periods. Applications can be made at the nearest Vietnamese Embassy or the Immigration Department in Vietnam.
Overstaying your Vietnamese visa without authority is a serious matter and you may be delayed from travel until a fine is paid. Check the visa validity and conditions carefully.
For further information about visa requirements, check with the Vietnamese Embassy in London.
There are a number of local crossing points on the borders with Cambodia and Laos which are for nationals of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam only and so don’t allow British nationals to cross. Check locally before travelling to these points.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months on the date you enter Vietnam for you to be eligible for the 15 day visa exemption.
For periods of stay longer than 15 days, entry into Vietnam may be refused if your passport has less than 1 month validity from the date your Vietnamese visa expires.
A number of British nationals have been refused entry due to their passport being damaged. Make sure your passport is in good condition before arriving in Vietnam. Being refused entry can result in significant cost and a long stay at the airport.
When checking into a hotel, you’ll have to hand over your passport so that the hotel can register your presence with the local police. Make sure your passport is returned and keep it in a safe place. Don’t use your passport as a deposit for renting a hotel room. If you are staying in private accommodation, you will still be expected to register. Ask your host to help you with this as soon as you arrive. You may be fined if you don’t register.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Vietnam. Please contact the nearest Vietnamese Embassy to obtain an appropriate visa before travel.
If your ETD has been issued in Vietnam, to replace a lost/stolen passport, you will need an exit visa from the Vietnam Immigration Department before you can travel out of Vietnam. This process normally takes 5 working days. Contact the Immigration Department directly for further information.