Foreign travel advice

Vietnam

Entry requirements

Visas

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. If you have a different type of British nationality – for example ‘British national (overseas)’- you’ll need to get a visa before entering Vietnam.

You must get a visa before you travel to Vietnam if you want to stay for longer than 15 days and/or if you wish to re-enter Vietnam within 30 days of your departure. If you plan to leave Vietnam and re-enter from another country make sure you get a multiple visit visa before travelling. Make sure you know before you travel the type of visa you need for the purpose and duration of your trip. If you’re travelling for business reasons you should contact the relevant Vietnam government department in advance to check whether any licenses are required to carry out your duties.

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.

Land borders

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.

Passport validity

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.

Registration

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 3-5 working days. Contact the Immigration Department directly for further information.