Guide: How to Apply for a Vietnamese Tourist Visa from Ireland

Watching cyclos in Hanoi's busy streets

Watching cyclos in Hanoi's busy streets- Vietnamese Tourist Visa

If you’re in Ireland and looking to sort out your Vietnamese Tourist Visa, then this is the guide for you because unfortunately, it’s not the most straightforward of processes!

In this guide, we’ll go through all the steps it took us to successfully get our tourist visas. I was so annoyed with the process that I sought advice from fellow Twitter people (Thank you so much, Susan Boyle and Lianne Reddy).

N.B. You need access to a computer, Internet, and a scanner. Here’s how you apply for a Vietnamese Tourist Visa from Ireland:

1. First off you need to email the Embassy

Unfortunately, Ireland doesn’t have a Vietnamese embassy and instead, they require you to go through the UK. Don’t expect a warm email back. You’ll get a generic one (I’m tempted to change my name to “sir/madam” at this stage). The email will direct you to a link to their website, and will be accompanied by their bank details.

By the way, don’t be horrified by the state of the website. It’s diabolical I know and yes it’s stuck in the 90s, but don’t worry, you’ll get through it.


2. Gather all your information

My advice to you is to gather all of your information before you even touch the website because it’s timed while you’re filling out the application. So have your passports, entry dates, where you’re staying and all that at hand. We also transferred the money through the bank to the embassy, the same day we filled out forms because it’s easier to do everything in one clean swoop. Annoyingly, because we had to pay to a British bank in sterling, we were also charged a fee to transfer, so bear that in mind (€30 out of pocket for us with Permanent TSB!)

This is the cost breakdown minus bank charges:

  • 30 days, single entry: £57 per passport (3 working days)
  • Next day service of £74 per passport
  • Postage charge was £8 for one visa
  • Postage for between 2-3 visas was £6 each
  • Postage for between 4-7 visas was £5 each

3. Read the Embassy web page very carefully.

It’s all over the place and isn’t particularly user-friendly. So get ready to work quickly.

On the form, there will be an option to attach an image. We didn’t because it kept rejecting our images. So we went for the more manual approach and got ours professionally done. To be honest, though, as long as your ears are visible and you’re in front of a white background, the photos shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They even accept selfies; though if you’re worried, then definitely go get passport photos done – they cost about €8.

Keep filling out the online form and then make sure you download it and save it. This is very important because you’ll have to reattach it to the email to the embassy when you’re ready.


4. Here’s what you need to send to them

  • A scan of the visa application form with an attached image of yourself (this involved me filling out the form, downloading it, signing it, attaching my photo and re-scanning it onto the computer – a pain, I know).
  • A scan of your passport.
  • A copy of your address so that they can send you the visas (this is a “form” found through this link, again a bit of a pain as you have to download it, edit it with your address and image of yourself and then re-upload it).
  • Proof that you paid for the visas (we scanned the swift transfer documents to them).

Don’t expect an acknowledgement email either – despite requesting one, I didn’t get any, and just waited until the visas arrived.


Advantages:

It’s an official document, quick to arrive by post and it saves time when you arrive in Vietnam as you don’t have to queue for visa-on-arrival.

Disadvantages:

Very impersonal to the point of irritating, website is very hard to navigate, and the overall cost of visas is expensive.

Note: We did not apply for visa-on-arrival this time around. Though much cheaper, there’s a much higher risk that your visas will be rejected if you don’t pick the right company to use. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Irish tourists intending to stay less than 30 days in Vietnam can now apply for a single entry e-visa through the Vietnam Immigration Department at https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/.

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Una-Minh

Hello! Úna-Minh is a journalist, social media consultant and virtual assistant who loves (you guessed it) TRAVEL. She also feels a bit strange writing in the third person so she'll stop that now. You can find out more about me and my Mammy in the about section of this blog!

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6 Comments

  1. I recently had occasion to travel to Vietnam as part of our tour of SE Asia. I used vietnamvisachoice.com to get the ‘visa on arrival’ and I have to say they were excellent. Very simple online application through them. Paid a few bob extra & they managed the whole process on site on arrival in just a few minutes. Would happily recommend them.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Gar! Have just been a bit wary about VOA because we haven’t been back to Vietnam in 6 years. How did you choose that website? Did you research it a lot beforehand?

      1. I thought there was a lot of contradictory information online, even from official sources and also as to whether you could use an agent. Ultimately, having applied for other visas for Myanmar, Cambodia and Sri Lanka online and cross checking other reports I felt confident enough to opt for the VOA through the agent for Vietnam. Everything went seamless for us in the end – except of course that our bags missed the connecting flight, arrived in later that evening but only delivered to the hotel the following morning.

        1. I hear you! It seems that the embassy obviously doesn’t like pointing people to VOAs as well because it’s less business and official to them (speaking of missing luggage, that reminds me of the time we were three days without ours in Italy. Nightmare)

  2. […] If you would like a physical visa that’s sent to you, then you must order it through the United Kingdom as there’s no Vietnamese Embassy in Ireland. You can start the process by visiting http://www.vietnamembassy.ie I also have written a comprehensive guide for the Vietnamese visa process that you can find here. […]

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