An Emergency Visa for Vietnam is a convenient option for those who need to travel to Vietnam urgently. It is important to follow the application process carefully and provide accurate information to avoid any delays or complications. With proper planning and preparation, obtaining an Emergency Visa for Vietnam can be a smooth and hassle-free process.
An emergency visa for Vietnam is a special type of visa issued for travelers who need to enter Vietnam urgently due to an emergency situation. Unlike regular tourist visas which can take several days for processing, an emergency Vietnamese visa can be issued very quickly, often within 24 hours or less.
Emergency visas are intended for genuine emergency situations only. Reasons for an emergency visa to Vietnam may include:
- Family emergencies – e.g. the death or serious illness of a close relative in Vietnam
- Business emergencies – e.g. an urgent business meeting or deal that cannot be delayed
- Medical emergencies – e.g. urgently required medical treatment in Vietnam
- Humanitarian emergencies – e.g. natural disasters or accidents where you need to provide urgent assistance
Evidence will usually be required to prove the emergency situation when applying for an emergency Vietnamese visa.
Who Needs an Emergency Visa for Vietnam?
An emergency visa for Vietnam is only for travelers who have a genuine need to enter the country at very short notice due to an emergency.
You should not apply for an emergency visa just because you have failed to arrange a regular tourist visa in time or you have changed your travel plans at the last minute. Doing so may result in your application being rejected.
The following types of travelers may be eligible for an emergency visa if they can provide evidence of a genuine emergency:
- Family members of someone who is seriously ill or has died suddenly in Vietnam
- Business travelers with an urgent, unforeseeable business commitment in Vietnam
- Travelers who urgently require specific medical treatment only available in Vietnam
- Aid workers responding to a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis in Vietnam
- Journalists covering breaking news events in Vietnam at very short notice
If you do not have a genuine emergency, you should apply for a regular tourist visa or e-visa instead, which takes 1-3 working days to process. An emergency visa application without proper proof of an emergency may be rejected.
How to Apply for an Emergency Visa for Vietnam
There are two ways to apply for an emergency Vietnamese visa:
1. Apply for a visa on arrival (VOA)
This method involves applying for pre-approval of a visa on arrival, and then collecting the actual visa when you arrive at a Vietnamese airport. Follow these steps:
- Contact the Vietnamese embassy/consulate nearest to you and explain your emergency situation. Ask for written guidance on applying for a VOA with an emergency.
- Complete the VOA pre-approval application form online along with scanned copies of your passport, ID photos and evidence documents. Pay the application fee.
- Submit your VOA application urgently and await approval from the Immigration Department of Vietnam. This can take as little as a few hours if the emergency is genuine and documented well.
- Once approved, you will receive an approval letter. Print this out and take it with you to Vietnam along with your passport.
- On arrival, proceed to the VOA desk at the airport, present your VOA approval letter, completed arrival/declaration forms and passport. Pay the visa stamping fee and your visa will be issued.
2. Apply for an eVisa
Vietnam also offers faster processing of eVisas for emergency situations. The process is similar:
- Contact the Vietnamese embassy for guidance on applying for an emergency eVisa. Complete the online eVisa application form urgently along with supporting documents.
- Wait for approval of your emergency eVisa – this can take anywhere from a few hours to 1-2 days if your case is genuine and you have provided full evidence.
- Once approved, you will receive your eVisa by email. Print it out to bring with you to Vietnam along with your passport.
- On arrival in Vietnam, proceed to the immigration desks and present your eVisa print-out and passport to be stamped into the country.
What Documents are Required?
Because an emergency Vietnamese visa is intended for urgent travel only, you will need to provide documentation to prove your emergency situation. Requirements can vary case-by-case, but generally, you will need:
- Passport – must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the entry date to Vietnam. Scanned copy required for VOA applications.
- Application form – fully completed emergency VOA or eVisa form submitted urgently. Forms are available online.
- ID photo – a digital passport-style photo. Printed photos also needed for VOA applications.
- Embassy/consulate letter – many applicants must contact the Vietnamese consulate in their home country to explain the emergency and get written advice before applying for either a VOA or eVisa.
- Evidence of emergency – documentation such as a death certificate, medical certificate, letter from employer or other evidence to prove your emergency situation.
- Confirmed travel booking – evidence of flight/travel bookings to prove you intend urgent travel to Vietnam.
- Visa fee payment – payment receipt for the urgent visa application fee. Fees depend on your nationality.
Types of Emergency Vietnam Visa
There are three main types of emergency Vietnam visas:
- Urgent visa: This visa is for travelers who need to enter Vietnam within 2-3 working days. The processing time for an urgent visa is typically 24-48 hours. [Image of Urgent visa Vietnam]
- Emergency visa: This visa is for travelers who need to enter Vietnam within 24 hours. The processing time for an emergency visa is typically 4-8 hours. [Image of Emergency visa Vietnam]
- Immediate visa: This visa is for travelers who need to enter Vietnam immediately. The processing time for an immediate visa is typically 30 minutes to 1 hour. [Image of Immediate visa Vietnam]
All three types of emergency visas are single-entry visas and are valid for a maximum stay of 30 days. They can be obtained online or at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate.
To be eligible for an emergency Vietnam visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be a citizen of a country that is eligible for an emergency Vietnam visa.
- You must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.
- You must have a passport-sized photo.
- You must have a compelling reason for needing to enter Vietnam urgently.
Some compelling reasons for needing to enter Vietnam urgently include:
- A family emergency, such as the death of a close relative or a serious illness.
- A business emergency, such as an urgent meeting or a critical business deal.
- A medical emergency, such as requiring urgent medical treatment or visiting a sick relative.
If you are applying for an emergency Vietnam visa, you will need to provide documentation to support your reason for needing to enter Vietnam urgently. This documentation may include:
- A copy of your death certificate or other proof of a family emergency.
- A letter from your employer or a business associate confirming a business emergency.
- A medical certificate from a doctor confirming a medical emergency.
Once you have gathered all of the required documentation, you can apply for an emergency Vietnam visa online or at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate. The processing time for an emergency visa is typically faster than the processing time for a regular visa.
Here is a table summarizing the different types of emergency Vietnam visas:
|Valid passport, passport-sized photo, compelling reason for needing to enter Vietnam urgently
|Valid passport, passport-sized photo, compelling reason for needing to enter Vietnam urgently, documentation supporting compelling reason
|30 minutes to 1 hour
|Valid passport, passport-sized photo, compelling reason for needing to enter Vietnam urgently, documentation supporting compelling reason, approval from the Vietnamese Department of Immigration
How Long Does it Take to Get an Emergency Visa?
The processing time for an emergency Vietnam visa typically ranges from 1 to 2 working days. This means that you can expect to receive your visa approval letter within 24 to 48 hours of submitting your application. In some cases, it may be possible to receive your visa approval letter even faster, within 4 to 8 hours.
Here is a breakdown of the processing times for emergency Vietnam visas:
- 1-2 working days: This is the standard processing time for most emergency Vietnam visas.
- 4-8 hours: This is an expedited processing time that is available for an additional fee.
- Urgent processing: Urgent processing is available for emergencies that require immediate attention. However, the processing time and fees for urgent processing will vary depending on the specific circumstances.
To apply for an emergency Vietnam visa, you will need to submit the following documents:
- A completed emergency visa application form
- A copy of your passport
- A recent passport-sized photo
- Proof of travel, such as a flight itinerary or hotel confirmation
- Documentation of your emergency, such as a death certificate or medical report
Once you have submitted your application, you will be contacted by a visa consultant to confirm your details and payment. Once your payment has been processed, your application will be submitted to the Vietnam Immigration Department.
If your application is approved, you will receive a visa approval letter by email. You will then need to print this letter and present it at the Vietnam airport upon arrival. Once your visa has been stamped in your passport, you will be able to enter Vietnam.
Here are some additional tips for getting an emergency Vietnam visa:
- Apply as soon as possible: The sooner you apply, the more likely you are to receive your visa on time.
- Be prepared to pay an expedited fee: Expedited processing is available for an additional fee, but it can save you time if you need your visa quickly.
- Have all of your documents ready: Make sure you have all of the required documents before you start your application.
- Contact a visa consultant: A visa consultant can help you with your application and answer any questions you have.
How Much Does an Emergency Visa Cost?
Emergency visa fees are generally higher than standard tourist visas due to the accelerated processing and administration. Costs can also depend on your nationality.
Some typical emergency visa fees for Vietnam are:
- Visa On Arrival – VOA stamping fee is ~$50 USD per person after getting approval letter. There may be small added fees for agencies assisting with the application.
- eVisa – eVisa fees start from around ~$80-100 USD depending on nationality, paid upon application.
- Embassy Visa – Fees vary by location. Expect to pay $100-150+ USD for an expedited in-person embassy application in many countries.
Payment methods – Fees can be paid by credit/debit card, bank transfer or cash at the embassy. Most agencies and online VOA/eVisa applications accept card payment.
While emergency visas cost more than regular tourist visas, in genuine emergency situations the benefit of very fast approval often outweighs the extra cost.
What are the Validity and Duration Rules?
Emergency visas for Vietnam have special validity and duration rules:
- Validity: The visa must be used to enter Vietnam within 30 days of the date of approval. This is to ensure your urgent travel takes place soon after getting approved.
- Duration: Length of stay allowed is up to 30 days from the date of entry. For longer stays beyond 30 days, you must apply for visa extensions once in Vietnam, subject to approval of extension documentation.
- Extensions: Emergency visa holders can apply for extensions of stay due to the emergency. Extra fees apply for extensions. Proper documentation must be provided to explain ongoing emergency circumstances requiring a longer stay in Vietnam beyond 30 days.
- Single entry: Most emergency visas for Vietnam allow a single entry only.
- No refunds: Emergency visas are non-refundable if ultimately unused, since they are approved and processed immediately for urgent travel.
Rules may differ slightly between VOA and eVisa emergency visas – always carefully check your particular visa type’s validity duration and extension options.
Can I Convert My Tourist Visa to an Emergency Visa?
No, your regular tourist visa cannot be converted into an emergency Vietnamese visa. The emergency visa requires a completely new and separate application showing proof of your urgent situation.
However, if you already have a valid tourist visa for Vietnam, you can still apply for an emergency visa if a genuine emergency arises – both can be in your passport at the same time.
When you arrive in Vietnam, the immigration officer will stamp the visa (tourist or emergency) that is most appropriate for your entry date and purpose.
So having a valid tourist visa does not necessarily prevent you from successfully applying and being approved for an emergency visa if a real emergency occurs.
What Happens if My Emergency Visa Is Rejected?
To avoid rejection of your emergency visa application, always be sure to:
- Explain your emergency situation fully and provide genuine documentation as proof.
- Apply urgently as soon as you know you need emergency travel. Do not leave it to the last minute.
- Follow all instructions from the Vietnamese embassy/consulate in your country and provide complete information in your application.
- Use a reputable agency if applying via a visa agency rather than directly.
If however your emergency visa application is denied, here are your options:
- Appeal the decision – you may be able to provide additional details and request an appeal of the rejection decision. Further verification requirements may be sent to you. Respond to these urgently.
- Apply again – carefully review the reasons your emergency visa was rejected. Then re-apply, ensuring you provide full documentation, and details and meet any areas the visa was rejected for.
- Apply for a tourist visa – if there is simply not enough time to appeal a rejection before traveling, apply for a regular tourist visa or eVisa as an alternative. These take longer to process but will at least allow you to enter Vietnam.
A rejected emergency visa application can cause major delays and complications for your urgent travel plans. Avoid rejection by being sure to follow proper application procedures and provide solid evidence the first time you apply.
Common Emergency Situations for Vietnam Visas
Some of the most common reasons travelers need an emergency visa for Vietnam include:
- Sudden illness while already traveling in Southeast Asia requiring urgent admission to hospital in Vietnam
- Injury during activities like motorbiking in Vietnam requiring quick medical treatment
- The diagnosis of a serious illness where the required treatment is not available in your home country but is in Vietnam
- Being the family member or partner of someone who has fallen seriously ill or had an accident in Vietnam and needs support.
For medical emergencies, documentary evidence like medical reports, booking confirmations for hospital admission in Vietnam etc are required.
Death of a Family Member
- The death of a close family member in Vietnam requires urgent travel to attend the funeral and make arrangements. Evidence like a death certificate is usually required in such cases.
- Travel by other family members to provide support and assistance to their bereaved relatives in Vietnam at short notice.
- An unexpected, urgent business meeting in Vietnam that cannot be delayed or held remotely. Supporting information from your employer will often be needed for approval.
- Business travel required at short notice to sign important contracts, and secure major deals or investments where significant losses would occur if entry to Vietnam was delayed.
- Attending urgent high-level negotiations, conferences or events in Vietnam where postponement could severely impact an organization.
- Conducting emergency maintenance, repairs or inspections of critical infrastructure in Vietnam by corporate technicians or engineers.
Accidents and Disasters
- NGO, aid, and humanitarian workers seeking urgent access to Vietnam after a natural disaster, to provide support and relief efforts.
- Journalists need to quickly enter and report from Vietnam in the wake of an accident like a transport crash or building collapse.
- Family members require immediate entry to Vietnam after a disaster has affected relatives in the country.
Proving a genuine need for emergency entry in such situations can be complex, often requiring letters from employers, bookings and more.
In all cases, adequate evidence of a genuine emergency is key to securing approval for an emergency visa. While rules are occasionally bent for compassionate reasons, Vietnamese immigration officials will still verify and carefully assess all applications.
Top 5 Questions about Emergency Visas for Vietnam
- How quickly can an emergency Vietnamese visa be issued?
In genuine emergency cases with supporting documents, approval can be given in just a few hours in some cases. However average processing times are 12-24 hours for Visa On Arrival and 1-3 days for eVisas.
- Can I get an emergency visa upon arrival at the airport?
No – approval must be secured in advance, either via a pre-approved VOA letter or issued eVisa. You cannot just turn up without approval and get an emergency visa on the spot.
- What reasons qualify for an emergency visa?
Only urgent, unforeseeable situations like serious family emergencies, medical crises, disasters or pressing business commitments that cannot be postponed. A lack of planning does not count as an emergency.
- Do I need to provide proof of my emergency situation?
Yes – you’ll need documents like medical certificates, death certificates, and employer letters to prove why you need urgent emergency travel. Vietnamese immigration will verify your supporting documents.
- Can I extend my emergency visa if my emergency continues?
Yes, emergency visa holders can apply for extensions of stay if the emergency circumstances persist past 30 days. Proper documentation must be provided to justify ongoing extensions required due to the emergency.
For anyone needing to urgently travel to Vietnam at short notice, an emergency entry visa can provide quick access to the country during personal or business emergencies. While not a shortcut for lack of planning, emergency visas are a vital option for genuine crisis situations.