Vietnam Visa On Arrival – Scam or Legitimate?
First of all, visitors are able to pick up their visas at Vietnam International Airports IF they are holding a document called ‘Approval Letter’ which pre – arranged by a Vietnamese tour operator. This is 100% legal. And everyday, hundreds to thousands of visitors are picking up their visas at Vietnam airports without a problem.
So, how comes someone or even Vietnamese Embassy’s consular refers it to scam or not legitimated? I think because of the way people call or define the ‘Visa On Arrival’ as ‘Visa On Arrival’ is NOT existed in Vietnamese Immigration Law. As I understand, Cambodia or Laos has Visa On Arrival because I just go there, show my passport, pay my fees then visa will be stamped to my passport. But in Vietnam, you can’t do that. You must make a pre – step to get a paper called ‘Approval Letter’, once you have it done, then you can pick up your visa at the airport as normal.
The conflict on defining could leads to some difficult situation for travelers. Someone just go to the airport for boarding without a visa as they understand Vietnam has ‘Visa On Arrival’ to offer. I launched a website of Instant Vietnam Visa couple of weeks ago. Guess what? the first week, we received more than 10 requests on rush visa!!!. Travelers just realized they need a valid visa OR Approval Letter to allow boarding to Vietnam. Luckily, our team served them on time to grant Approval Letter within 01 hour, just on time for boarding, one case needed to change his flight to next day as his time was too tight up.
Back to the question Visa On Arrival is a scam or legitimated in Vietnam? The answer are both Yes and No. Yes, because Vietnam does not offer Visa On Arrival (as my above definition) and No, because you can pick up your visa on your arrival if you arrange Approval Letter in advance. With current situation, I may call it as ‘Pre-arrangement Visa Permitting’. I am not too sure about it. Someone may help on how to rename this type of visa’s definition to avoid misunderstandings and problem for travelers to Vietnam. Thank you!