With all the confusion about the tourist visa for Vietnam everywhere, the truth is it’s much easier to get than a lot of other visas. When I was in Cambodia, I decided to make use of the opportunity and get a Vietnam visa in Cambodia. One visit turned two, two to three and before you know, I had been living in Vietnam for 2 years.
Vietnam is a beautiful country with lots to offer, especially for expats. And really cheap to live as well. So if you want to be there for longer, and you want to cross the land border, getting a tourist visa earlier is the only way to do it.
Now, when it comes to getting a tourist visa for Vietnam, there are two options. You can either get it by yourself in a consulate or you can use a travel agent to get one. I have done both a lot of times, so I will explain the process for each.
What’s your visa status?
1. If you are planning to fly to Vietnam and stay for longer than 30 days, and you don’t have time to apply for a visa beforehand, you might opt for a tourist visa on arrival for Vietnam.
2. If you are not visa exempt and you plan to stay for 30 days, an e-Visa for Vietnam is the cheapest and fastest option if you are eligible.
3. Do you need a visa for Vietnam? If you are from a visa-restricted country such as India, Turkey, Sri Lanka or a country in Africa, you might need to submit more documents and pay more. This depends on your nationality.
Option 1 : Apply Tourist Visa for Vietnam at a Consulate in Cambodia
Now the first time I needed this visa, I was in Sihanoukville in Cambodia. And my hotel was like 10 minutes from the consulate, so I decided to give it a try myself. Although the guys at the hotel told me they could do it for me for 5$ more, I was just a little wary of handing my passport to them. So I decided if it wouldn’t work out at the consulate, I will take their offer.
And trust me, it was a walk in the park. I got my visa on the same day.
Details of Vietnam Consulate in Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The consulate is just outside of downtown on Ekareach road. Every tuk-tuk driver knows where the consulate is, and a return trip should cost about $4-5. It’s better to agree on a return trip fare so that the driver can wait for you, because there are no tuk-tuks near the embassy.
310, Ekareach Boulevard, Khan Mittapheap
Telephone: +855-34- 934039
Monday – Friday Saturday
8 AM – 12 PM 8AM – 12 PM
2 PM – 4PM
Documents Required for Vietnam Tourist Visa
If you plan to apply it at a consulate, you will need the following documents:
- Passport photo – 4 X 6 cm
- Original Passport with 6 months validity
- The Vietnam visa fees in cash
When you walk into the consulate, you will see a small door with a sign for visa applications. There you can get the application form. The form is very standard. You will have to fill in the information about the date of entry in Vietnam, accommodation details and some personal information. Keep in mind that the visa will be valid from the date you have mentioned, and you can’t enter Vietnam before that.
Now simply hand over the form and your passport to the consular officer. The day I was there, there were like 5 or 6 more people, probably all travel agents waiting in the line. I joined the line. The officer asked me a few questions , mostly related to my plans and travel date and if I was sure that I wanted a 3-month single entry visa. Then I handed over the visa fees.
After this, I waited around for a while, maybe 15 minutes or so. And then, I heard my name being shouted and picked up the passport with the visa. I double checked the dates to make sure of no funny business later on and left.
The Visa Project quick tip:
Sometimes the Vietnamese consulate in Sihanoukville is busy and you might not get it the same day. So it’s safer to get there early morning and plan at least 1 more day, especially if it’s a 3-month Vietnam tourist visa. If you don’t get the visa the same day, make sure to save your receipt after the payment. The receipt should have your passport number and the amount you paid. You can go the next day and pick up.
Vietnam has 2 more consulates/embassies in Cambodia: Phnom Penh, Battambang. You can get a tourist visa for Vietnam there as well.
- Embassy of Vietnam in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
436 Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 023 726 274
- Consulate General of Vietnam in Battambang, Cambodia
Road No. 03, Battambang
T: 053 688 8867
Vietnam visa fees in consulates in Cambodia at the time of writing this article
- 1-month SETV: $40
- 1-month METV: $50
- 3-month SETV: $60
- 3-month METV: $75-80$
Vietnam visa processing time
Normally, the processing time is 1-2 working days for 1-month tourist visa for Vietnam. But for a 3-month visa, it might take longer. Oh, and by the way, the consulates are closed for all Cambodian and Vietnamese holidays. So you need to think about that as well.
Option 2: Get Vietnam Tourist Visa through a Travel Agent in Cambodia
Using a travel agent to get a tourist visa for Vietnam is very popular with the expats. I chose this one another time when I was in Seam Reap, as this time I was very short on time and a couple of friends were going apply through an agent. So we all decided to do it together.
The funny thing is everyone is a travel agent in Cambodia, starting from grandmas to motorcycle store owners and hotel receptionist. So sometimes, it can be confusing and overwhelming. The good part is they only charge a little bit more than the embassies, and their rates are almost the same.
If you are using an agent, there is no need to fill in a visa application form in this case. No need for passport pics either, although you can provide one for faster processing.
Here are some travel agents that are popular with expats. The prices can go up or down a little bit depending on many factors such as nationality. It cost me about $60 to get a 3 months SETV from Sopheak Na Travel and took me 3 days.
- In Phnom Penh
129Eo Street 130, Psar Cha, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
T: 023 998 775; 023 998 774
As per them, the 1-month visas take 3 days while the 3-month ones take 5-7 days. If you want to expedite the process and get the visa faster, you can provide your passport pics and pay up. Here are the prices.
-1 month SETV : 44$ for normal processing, 57$ for 1 day.
-1 month METV: 54$ for normal processing, 67$ for 1 day.
-3 months SETV: 60$ for normal processing, 80$ for 1 day.
-3 months METV: 80$ for normal processing, 93$ for 1 day.
Lucky Lucky Motorcycle shop
No 413 Eo, Preah Monivong (St. 93), 12258 Phnom Penh, Preah Monivong Blvd
Telephone: +855 23 220 988
Email: luckymotorcyclerental @ yahoo.com
They charge 42$ – 85$ depending on the visa type, the 1-month SETV being the cheapest one. And if you want to expedite the visa, they can give it to you in 1-2 hours as well for an additional 15$.
- In Siem Reap
Sopheak Na Travel
Preash Sangreach Tep Vong Str, Krong Siem Reap Cambodia.
T: (+855) +855 17 456 899 / +855 61 42 42 68 / +855 63 96 88 87
They charge 40$ – 95$ depending on the visa type, the 1-month single entry tourist visa being the cheapest one. And if you want to expedite the visa, they can give it to you in 1-2 hours as well.
- In Sihanoukville
Sangkat 4, Krong Preah Sihanouk, Cambodja
+855 12 915 301
Mottah Cambodia Travel
#193, Ekareach Street, Preah Sihanouk 18000, Camboya
T: +855 12 996 604
The prices for the visas in Sihanoukville are normally on the cheaper side, and the agents do it for 3-5$ profit.
Immigration in Vietnam: Entry/Exit Requirements
Land borders are always chaotic, so expect little to no organization. As long as you have your required documents, there should be no issues. There are always agents and touts trying to collect money for “fast tracking” your visas. You will see people scrambling around, people handing over their passports. There is simply no need for this. You have your visa already. Only speak to the government workers(normally in green suits) and do not give your passport to anyone else.
And if you are gonna fly, things would be much more organized at the airports.
Vietnam Visa for Indian Citizens in Cambodia
I have known Indians and citizens from some other countries like China or Sri Lanka getting a Vietnam tourist visa in Cambodia. However, they all applied through travel agents and had to pay a bit more than what I have mentioned above. And of course, you might need to submit a few more documents. If you can’t get a Vietnam visa in Cambodia, try getting a Vietnam visa on arrival instead.
Have you tried getting a tourist visa for Vietnam in Cambodia or anywhere else?
If you have tried obtaining a Vietnam visa in Cambodia, let us know in the comments. If you have any tips about any other reliable travel agents, please suggest. If you like the article, please share.