Southeast Asia has long been a favorite amongst backpackers because of how easy it is to travel there, the affordability, safety and of course – the stunning landscapes that will take your breath away. Vietnam especially has risen as a tourist destination and these days, the country welcomes millions of visitors each year. There’s something here for everyone. You can go hiking, lay on the beach, go shopping in the cities, visit museums, chat with the locals, fly to the nearby islands, and much more. The diversity that you find here is definitely one of the best things about Vietnam.
Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, you’re required to apply for a Vietnam visa. In order to apply for a visa, you need your passport to be at least 6 months valid from the day you arrive. You also need to decide which visa you want to apply for. There are two options: Visa on Arrival or go via the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate. The first option is an online visa which you can apply for from wherever in the world. It’s highly recommended to apply for a Visa on Arrival since it’s so easy to apply to. However, if you plan on arriving by land, you need to go via the Vietnamese Embassy and apply for a visa with them. Take a look at the two options further explained below:
I heard about Vietnam e-visa. Can I apply for Vietnam e-visa if I am citizens of Mali? (No, citizens of Mali are not eligible for Vietnam e-visa)
From 01 Feb 2019, under Decision 17/2019/NĐ-CP of the Government of Vietnam, there are 80 countries which citizens of it are eligible to apply online for an e-visa of Vietnam online (e-visa is a single entry valid for staying 30 days). We check but not found Mali national in this list, therefore, citizens of Mali should choose two options below to get a visa for Vietnam
1. Visa on Arrival – Apply online for pre-approval then pick up your visa on arrival at the airports of Vietnam
This is the most preferred option for many travellers. If you live far away from the Vietnamese Embassy for example, or you do not want to send important documents such as your passport, this is a good option for you. It’s also easy, quick and affordable. To apply for a VOA, you need your computer and internet. If you get a Visa on Arrival, you are allowed to enter Vietnam through any of the 5 international airports: Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hai Phong. You can only travel by air if you get a VOA, meaning you can’t enter Vietnam by bus, car, and so forth.
The process is very simple. What you need to do is fill out the Online Application form with all relevant information. What you need to state in the application form is:
- Your full name, as stated in your passport
- Date of Birth – The format they use in Vietnam is DD/MM/YY
- Your nationality – as stated in your passport
- Your passport number
- Date of Arrival – you can state a date of arrival and then arrive later, but not earlier
After you have filled this information out, you have to wait for a confirmation email which usually arrives within 1-2 working hours. Normally you will receive an Approval Letter within 2 working days. When the letter comes, don’t forget to print it out so the immigration officers in Vietnam can stamp your passport. If you need an emergency visa, you can get one within 40 minutes to 4 hours. This will cost you more money, but you will be able to get it much faster.
You also have the option to buy “On Arrival Support” which is a very good option for those who wants to check in to Vietnam faster:
- Standard Support : +US$20/pp
Our staff will meet you in front of the “visa on arrival” desk with a welcome board, then take care of all procedures necessary to get the visa stamped on your passport. Please prepare 25 USD/person and give it to our staff to pay for the visa stamp fee.
- VIP Support : +US$35/pp
Our staff will meet you in front of the “visa on arrival” desk with a welcome board, receive your passport and give it back with the visa within 5-10 minutes, then escort you to check out via the VIP gate. Please prepare 25 USD/person and give it to our staff to pay for the visa stamp fee.
2. Apply for a visa through the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in the nearby country of Mali
The reason why applying for a visa with the Consulate or Embassy of Vietnam in the nearby country of Mali might not be recommended is because it’s not as convenient if you don’t live close to the embassy. It means you will have to spend time on transportation and money. You also need to remember to bring all the necessary documents, such as passport, and if you happen to forget anything, you need to start the process all over again. It’s time consuming and you usually need to pick up your passport in the embassy or consulate. Also, be kindly advised that the fees and procedures are subject to change depending on where you apply.