Vietnam Visa on Arrival vs Vietnam Visa at Embassy, Traditional or VOA?

To those who are with the intention of experiencing a Vietnam tour package and especially Vietnam budget tour package, making an application for getting Vietnam visa is indispensable to the trip’s preparation. In fact, it is not difficult to apply for the Vietnam visa since there are up to two ways: picking up the visa at Embassy or visa on arrival (VOA). Then, the question concerning everyone is “which one should be chosen, Vietnam Visa on Arrival vs Vietnam Visa at Embassy?”. Before making a decision, let’s make some detailed comparisons between those two methods!

Vietnam Visa on Arrival vs Vietnam Visa at Embassy, Traditional or VOA?

Relevant applicants

While Vietnam Visa on Arrival is only for travelers to Vietnam by plane, getting the visa at the Embassy is applied for those who use any means of transport.

Required documents

For VOA, it is convenient and prompt as you just fill out the offered online form of application, but one thing you must remember that this document just helps to get Visa approval letter. Meanwhile, visa at the embassy requires the full application form with the applicant’s photo, signature, and original passport (or a copy of the original passport).

How to apply

VOA: your visa application form will be summited online (it is through a secured network of some travel agents or related organizations). Then, the information about your application will be verified and processed. After that, the application is sent to Vietnam Immigration Department, and there are a few related procedures done with this office. If applying for Vietnam visa at the embassy, you are required to summit a hard copy of related documents directly or by post. A company offering this service, e.g. travel agents is ok to help you in this case.


VOA: the fee for the visa approval letter is often published on the site of the organizations offering this service, and the Visa stamping fee is settled at the airport when arriving in Vietnam. About getting in the traditional way, just contact the Vietnam Embassy to know about all fees in detail.

How to track the application

VOA: phone, email, or online chat with the agent offering the visa service.

At embassy: phone, or check in person at the embassy.

Where to gain the visa stamped

VOA: gain the visa stamped at the VOA counter upon arriving in Vietnam

At embassy: at the Vietnam Embassy after your visa application has been approved.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages

-No use of original passport

-Processing online completely

-Spending not much time on making an application

-All service fees published on the sites of related service companies

-Quick responses

-Excellent support (24/7)

-Waiting in line for the visa stamped in the VOA counter

-The likelihood of having the approval letter of a wrong name

– Just accepting for travel by plane



At Embassy

-Having the passport stamped before departing for Vietnam

-All means of transport are applicable

-Just settling the payment one time


-Providing your original passport or a copy of it.

-Doing various procedures

-Slow responses



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