Customs & Visas


Vietnamese authorities continue to improve the visa procedures to make it more straightforward for travellers. It is recommended that you obtain a visa prior to your arrival in Vietnam unless you belong to a country that is exempt (15 days). We provide links to more information on obtaining visa and some of the main embassies below.

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  • Visa Exemptions (Vietnam)
  • Visa on arrival (Vietnam)
  • Customs Regulations (Vietnam)
  • Phu Quoc Island Specific Decisions
  • International flight arrivals (transit to Phu Quoc)
  • Arriving by sea
  • Foreign cargo ships
  • Detailed Regulations Specific to Phu Quoc Island

Visa exemptions

All visitors must obtain Vietnam visa prior to entry into Vietnam, with the exception of the following countries which are exempt from requiring a visa when they enter, exit or stay:

Citizens of Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos holding valid ordinary passports are exempt from visa requirements and are allowed to stay for not more than 30 days.
Citizens of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Japan and South Korea holding different kinds of passports are exempt from visa requirements and are allowed to stay for not more than 15 days

Visa on arrival

It is possible to avoid embassy queues and obtain a visa on arrival at either of the international airports at Hanoi (Noibai), Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat) or Danang. You need to have an Approval Letter from Vietnam Department of Immigration to be able to get a visa on arrival. Some travel agents can organise this for a fee. The validity of the visa on arrival is 30 days, which can be extended after entering Vietnam.

Customs Regulations (Vietnam)

On arrival in Vietnam, all visitors must fill in a Declaration Form. If arriving at an international airport, all luggage is x-rayed and Customs officials may check luggage on request. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency, objects made of gold, silver, precious metals, gemstones, or plated pieces with silver or gold, however visitors must declare these in detail on the customs forms.

Entry: Tourists are allowed to bring in the following items duty-free:

Cigarettes: 400 pieces
Cigars: 50-100
Tobacco: 500 gram
Liquor: 1.5L

Personal effects of a reasonable quantity. Small gift items valued at not more than US$500
Note: There is no limit to the amounts of cash, precious metals and gems people can bring in, but amounts of over US$7,000 must be declared.

It is prohibited for any visitor to bring into Vietnam the followings:

Weapons, explosives and inflammable objects
Opium and other narcotics
Cultural materials unsuitable to Vietnamese society.

Exit: Goods of commercial nature and articles of high value require export permits issued by the Customs Office. Antiques, some precious stones and animals listed in Vietnam’s red-book may not be exported from the country.

Phu Quoc Specific Decisions

In September 2005 the government passed regulations specifically in relation Phu Quoc Island entry, exit and residence of foreigners or Vietnamese holding foreign passports. These regulations are provided below in more detail.

Under this Decision, foreigners and Vietnamese holding foreign passports who are, entering, exiting from, and residing in Phu Quoc Island for a stay period not exceeding 15 days are exempt from visas. The following section provides a summary of those regulations.

International flight arrivals

Foreigners who enter via another international border-gate of Vietnam and stay in its transit lounge before travelling to Phu Quoc Island shall also be exempt from visas. With the opening of the new airport international terminal in Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat) foreigners will soon be able to transit from international flights directly to Phu Quoc, exempt from visa requirements for up to 15 days. Passports must be valid for at least 45 days. After arriving in Phu Quoc Island, if visitors want to travel other localities or stay in the island for more than 15 days, visitors are required to visit the immigration department who is responsible for issuing visas.

visa and passport
visa and passport

Arriving by sea

Foreign-tourist ships can arrive or leave Duong Dong harbour in accordance with agreements signed with Vietnamese tourist companies. Foreign tourist ships which visit Duong Dong area & other areas (except restricted areas) must comply with Vietnamese immigration laws and Phu Quoc regulations, i.e. 15 day stay allowed exempt from Visa. Citizens of south-east Asian countries listed above, do not need certification when entering Duong Dong Town for up to 15 days. If visitors want to travel outside Phu Quoc Island and/or more than 15days, they will be required to obtain visa clearance provided by immigration in Duong Dong town.

Foreign cargo ships

Foreign cargo ships are allowed to arrive or leave Duong Dong town to deliver or receive cargo as per contractual agreements. The crewmen on these ships can use their passports or sailor’s registers to enter Duong Dong area. If they deliver or pick up goods in other Vietnamese harbour’s, they have to obey Vietnam’s current laws.