Are you longing for tropical climate, pristine beaches, vigorous mountains, breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cities? Then traveling to Vietnam is a must! It’s long been a renowned destination thanks to its diversity, charm and beauty – and let’s not forget, affordability! It’s the perfect getaway when winter starts creeping in to Europe, since the weather is mild all year round in the south of Vietnam. You can lay on the beach all day long, try kitesurfing, go hiking, kayaking, etc. The possibilities here are endless! You’ll be guaranteed a fun vacation.
As a citizen of Spain, you are required to apply for a visa if you intend to stay for longer than 15 days. If you’re only planning on staying for 15 days or less, you can enter Vietnam visa-free. However, if you want to stay for longer, you must get a valid visa. You have three options to choose from and they are:
1. Visa on Arrival (VOA) – Applying online for pre-approval then pick up your visa on arrival at the airport 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. Electronic visa or Vietnam E-Visa for Spanish citizens
On 01 Jan 2017, The Immigration of Vietnam has announced to launch an electronic visa system to make visitors easy to gain an entry into Vietnam. Under a government directive released in January, citizens from 46 countries will be eligible to apply for the e-visa, including citizens of Spain.
Please see “Who is eligible for e-Visa Vietnam” for more details.
The e-Visa is a single entry visa that’s valid for 30 days, from the proposed date of entry that you indicated on your application, and is issued in PDF format. Citizens of 80 countries are allowed to apply for this type of visa and Spain is one of them. The e-Visa is highly popular because everything is done online, it only takes about 3 business days to get the visa and you can enter via 28 different ports. However, if your visa is denied, you won’t get a refund. This type of visa is also non-extendable. If you want to stay in Vietnam for longer than 30 days, it might be better to get a Visa on Arrival.
3. Apply for a visa through the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in Madrid, Spain
The reason why applying for a visa with the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate might not be recommended is because it’s not as convenient if you don’t live close to the embassy of Vietnam in Madrid. 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.