What is the cost of a Vietnam visa? It varies. The Vietnam Embassy’s website (www.vietnamembassy.us) doesn’t list prices. It simply directs people to an email address and a phone number with multiple extensions. Phone calls to each extension went unanswered.
An email to firstname.lastname@example.org did garner a response within a day. The Washington, D.C., embassy cited a $220 fee. The Houston consulate, however, quoted us $200, and San Francisco, $185. (We reached out to Houston via 713-850-1233 and heard back from San Francisco after emailing email@example.com. We didn’t try the New York consulate, which appears to be reachable via firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Beware of scams. The Vietnamese government allows some businesses and travel agencies to arrange for preapproval for a “visa on arrival” at the airport, but the State Department warns that some U.S. citizens have reported being charged unexpectedly high fees upon landing in Vietnam. It recommends that travelers get a visa directly from an embassy or consulate of Vietnam prior to arrival.
Shifting visa fees can make travel to Vietnam confusing, Chicago Tribune, Dec 21, 2016
Vietnam – U.S. Visa Reciprocity Agreement – Background Information
On April 9, 2016, Vietnam’s National Assembly voted to ratify a Vietnam-U.S. Visa Reciprocity Agreement,” Vietnamese temporary visitor visas for U.S. citizens would be issued on a basis of reciprocity with U.S. temporary visitor visas for Vietnam citizens, i.e. one-year validity, multiple-entry visas. Note that U.S. temporary visitor visas are unlimited validity in reality, since they can be renewed automatically by mail, click here for details in English, and here for details in Vietnamese.
Vietnamese consular sections at four diplomatic/consular posts in the United States issue the one-year, multiple entry visas. The official application fee is $…, but that is not mentioned on any of the official web sites, and there is a plethora of “unofficial” web-sites offering Vietnam visas at widely varying prices. The Vietnam Consulate General in Sydney, Australia has an explicit warning against these “unofficial” sources. See screen shot below.
Vietnam Embassy in Washington DC
Vietnam Mission to the United Nations, Consular Services
Vietnam Consulate General, Houston TX
Vietnam Consulate General, San Francisco CA
Vietnam Consulate General, Sydney, Australia
Explicit warnings about non-official sources of Vietnam visas.