Visa Information for International Participants
This page provides information about visa requirements for travel to Vietnam to the best of our knowledge at the of writing. Regulations may change without notice, so we advise you confirm with the Vietnamese authorities (consular service) if you do or do not need a visa to enter Vietnam.
Visa Free Travel
Nationals of certain countries may visit Vietnam without visa. These countries include:
Europe: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Asia: Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand
Be aware that there is a time limit for your stay in Vietnam (for most countries less than 15 days). If you only attend the conference you are fine. If you plan to stay for other activities in Vietnam you may get close to this limit. Also, once you leave Vietnam you can return without visa only after a certain period of time (typically 1 month). This means, for example, you cannot travel visa-free from Vietnam to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia and come back to Vietnam - you will need to apply for a double-entry visa before travelling to Vietnam.
For nationals of many countries a simple online procedure called "eVisa" is available. Probably most participants to Real Time will be able to obtain an eVisa - with one important exception concerning citizens of China; see the detailed information below! There are some restrictions on eVisa, most importantly you can only use certain ports of entry. All international airports in Vietnam are ok but if you plan to travel overland please check in advance.
The list of applicable countries and other rules for eVisa can be found here
Apply through the official webpage of the Vietnam government:
You'll need to upload a scan of your passport, a portrait photo, provide some basic personal information, and pay USD 25 online. After a few working days you will receive by email a PDF document which you need to print and bring with you to Vietnam. Show this document at immigration and they'll stamp the visa in your passport.
Visa On Arrival
If you can't use the eVisa process you probably will be able to use the "Visa On Arrival" (confusingly, sometimes called "eVisa On Arrival"). It is a little bit more complicated than the eVisa but still fairly easy and you can also apply for it online.
To our knowledge there is no official Vietnam government webpage to apply for Visa On Arrival. You have to use a commercial agency for your application. Be careful: there are some fake agencies out there that will issue useless documents - they are only interested in cashing in your processing fee! The following agency has provided reliable service in the past:
The normal fee is USD 20; you will get the visa document by email within a week. If you are in a hurry you can get it faster but it will be more expensive.
Visa on Arrival only works for entering Vietnam at one of the international airports. You need to print the visa document and bring it with you, along with 2 passport photos. Before immigration you have to go to the Visa on Arrival counter where you will be asked to fill in a paper form with some more personal information. Be patient, this process may take a little while... you can download this form here if you want to save some time by preparing it in advance.You will need to pay a fee (USD 25 for single entry, USD 50 for double entry - bring the money in cash to save time). In the end they will give you a pink paper document with your photo on it: this is your Vietnam visa. Now you can proceed to immigration!
Note for Visitors from China
The visa situation is a little bit confusing for Chinese citizens:
- Holders of passports for public affairs do not require a visa
- Theoretically, Chinese citizens may use the simple eVisa process - but NOT if they hold an E-passport (the passport number starts with the letter "E")! Since most private passport nowadays are E-passports this means most of you cannot use eVisa.
- If you are an E-passport holder you have to use the Visa on Arrival procedure as described above
- If you are living in China we recommend a fairly easy alternative to obtain the Vietnam visa by paper mail. Please see the detailed instructions