Vietnam travel: vaccinations and Visas

Prior to my travel to Vietnam I was researching requirements for Passport validity, vaccinations and getting a Vietnam Visas from New Zealand and found the information online incredibly confusing. Here are some things I learnt in the process.

Passport requirements

For Vietnam your passport simply needs to be valid for 30 days when you enter the country. However if you’re combining your trip with visits to other countries such as Thailand, Cambodia or Laos your passport will need to be valid for at least six months so it pays to check.

I renewed my soon-to-expire passport just to be safe.

Vietnam Visa Online

Getting a Vietnam Visa

For many passport holders you’ll need a Visa to travel to Vietnam, including those with New Zealand, Australia and Canadian passports.

If you live near an Embassy or Consulate you can get a Visa there ( I went to the Vietnamese Embassy in Wellington’s Plimmer Tower to get my Vietnam Visa in New Zealand). You need a physical passport sized photo taken within the past six months and to fill out a (very basic and unofficial looking) form.

It cost me NZ $120 in cash for a single entry Vietnam Visa in New Zealand so pays to think about whether you need a multi-entry or just single before you apply. There is a discount if you are travelling with family and applying for multiple visas and you need to allow around five working days which they will have your passport for.

Based on the experience Adventurous Kate had you should check it thoroughly!

If you live further away and are arriving via air, you can apply to pick up your Visa upon arrival at an International Airport in Vietnam. You need to pay in cash with US dollars, have appropriate passport-sized photos with you, and be prepared for a queue but I understand it is MUCH cheaper to do it this way.

A couple of years ago an e-visa (electronic visa) was introduced as a third method of acquiring a Visa to travel to Vietnam for citizens of 40 countries wanting a single entry Tourist Visa and staying less than one month. There’s a really good comparison table on to understand which of the two online options is best for you.

Vietnam Visa

You are exempt from requiring a Visa if you’re staying up to 15 days and are from one of these 24 countries which include the UK. I also hold a UK Passport but I didn’t discover that until I was researching for this post.


This was my first time visiting less developed countries so I made an appointment with a travel doctor to find out what I needed. I came away immunised against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Typhoid, as well as with a Gastro Kit and Insect repellent.

Have you experienced conflicting advice on requirements to travel somewhere? Pin the image below to find this advice later!

Please do your own research rather than relying solely on advice in this post.

travel to vietnam tips blog


  1. Fiona
    February 6, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    If you don’t mind Sarah, I’d like to add a small piece of information about passport requirement. Actually, as long as your passport is valid longer than selected visa, you are eligible to obtain visa for Vietnam. However, you MUST have minimum 6 months validity remaining on passport if traveling by plane because the airlines have strict requirement about passport validity.

      February 17, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Thank you Fiona! 🙂

  2. Miranda
    June 25, 2017 / 3:47 pm

    Good to know, I plan on heading there next year!

    Not looking forward to the vaccinations haha

    • June 25, 2017 / 4:37 pm

      Ah awesome! The most painful thing about the vaccinations was actually the cost of them haha

  3. Leonie
    October 7, 2015 / 10:57 pm

    Looks like a great experience. I’m looking to go there next year and cannot wait!!

    Leonie ♥