South Africans – Who need Vietnam visa and Who don’t

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Do you know Vietnam visa requirements for South Africans now? If not, let’s refer to this post in which this issue will be clarified.

1. Cases of no visa need

There is one place in Vietnam that requires no visa to visit for South Africans and others as well. It is Phu Quoc Island of Vietnam.

Conditions to get visa exemption there:

  1. Their passports must be valid for at least 06 months since their entry date; and
  2. They must travel directly to Phu Quoc Island from a foreign country or territory outside Vietnam.

2. Cases of visa required

Except for those falling in paragraph 1, South African passport holders need a valid visa to visit Vietnam for any purpose of visit.

How to apply for Vietnam visa for South Africans?

As a holder of South Africa passport, you now have two ways to obtain a visa for Vietnam: either obtain it at Vietnamese embassy (in either South Africa or a third country), or apply online for a visa on arrival.

Below is guide to get the Vietnam Visa for South Africans?

Vietnam Visa on Arrival

Visa on arrival is said very convenient as it allows you to apply online for visa approval letter and then to pick up full visa at Vietnam international airport. Its whole process is as follows:

  1. Complete the online form for visa approval letter;
  2. Pay for service fee;
  3. Receive approval letter via email together with Vietnamese visa application form (formerly entry and exit form and print them out.
  4. Show the visa approval letter at departure airport to get on board, and get visa stamped upon arrival at Vietnam airport by showing original passport, visa approval letter, completed Vietnamese visa application form, 2 passport-sized photos and stamping fee.

The process to get visa approval letter normally takes 2 working days.

Note: Visa on arrival works for air travel only. And it is available in 4 international airports in Vietnam, including Noi Bai airport (Hanoi city), Tan Son Nhat airport (Ho Chi Minh City city), Cam Ranh airport (Nha Trang city) and Da Nang airport (Da Nang city).

Visa at the embassy of Vietnam

If you wish to obtain the visa in this way, you can contact the Vietnam Embassy in South Africa or at any embassy or consulate of Vietnam close to your place. You need to prepare the following documents to submit to the embassy:

  1. Original Passport (with at least 06 month validity from date of entering Vietnam)
  2. One completed application form for a Vietnam visa (Contact the embassy or consulate for this form)
  3. One passport sized photo of 4×6 cm (attached to the application)
  4. Visa fees (Cash, Money order or Bank cheque) payable to “The Embassy of Vietnam”
  5. Prepaid return envelope, if you plan to receive your visa by mail

* Sometimes, Flight return ticket and Hotel booking reservation or tour itinerary are required. Please check these information with the embassy or consulate of Vietnam where you want to apply the Visa.

Full information about Vietnam visa for South Africans can be found at