Transit and visa requirements for a stopover in Vietnam

Do you want to know if you need a visa for a simple transit to Vietnam? Find out here.

Apply for your Vietnam e-visa!
Transit visa Vietnam

Are you planning a trip that includes transit through Vietnam and want to know if you need a visa to travel through the country? We'll find out the answer to this question with the different visa requirements for transit through Vietnam, as well as visa exemptions for certain travellers. If you do not qualify for visa exemption for transit through Vietnam, we will also explain how to obtain your visa for Vietnam directly online.


What are the requirements for transit visas to Vietnam?

We will now answer the question "do I need a visa for a simple transit or stopover in Vietnam?"

In reality, and as we will now see in detail, the need to obtain a visa for a simple transit to Vietnam will depend on different criteria and the fulfilment of certain conditions. First of all, in order to transit Vietnam, it is necessary to meet the following conditions:

  • To have a valid passport with a validity of at least 6 months after the passage in Vietnam.
  • To have a plane ticket in your name and to another country.
  • Have a valid visa for the destination country, except for visa exemptions.

In general, certain types of travellers are not required to obtain a visa for simple transit through Vietnam. These include the following travellers:

  • Travellers from countries eligible for visa exemption, including France, who can stay up to 45 days in Vietnam without a visa.
  • Travellers whose stopover in Vietnam lasts less than 24 hours and who stay in the transit zones for the entire duration of their stopover.

However, there are some very special cases where it will be necessary to obtain a valid visa to transit Vietnam. This would be the case if :

  • Your passport nationality does not qualify for visa exemption.
  • Your stopover in Vietnam is longer than 24 hours.
  • You are going to leave the transit area in order to collect your luggage for the next flight or to make a short tourist visit to the city you are transiting through.

In the latter case, it is sometimes difficult to know if you will have to leave the transit zone or not. For this reason, we advise you to check with your airlines whether or not you will have to leave the transit zone, especially to collect your luggage at the transit airport.


How to get a transit visa for Vietnam quickly and online?

If you are one of the people who cannot transit Vietnam without a visa, you need to apply for this official document in order to travel to that country and to the final destination of your trip. There are three different ways to obtain a transit visa for Vietnam:

  • Applying for a visa at the Vietnamese embassy in your country of residence: You can of course obtain a visa issued by the Vietnamese embassy in your country of residence before you leave for the country. You will also need to contact the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country and follow the necessary procedures applied by them. Of course, this procedure is time consuming and tedious and the cost will be relatively high.
  • Online visa application for a transit in Vietnam: It is also possible to apply for a visa directly online, through specialised service providers such as the partner we present on this page. The process is much simpler as you only need to fill in an online form, upload your passport photo and page and pay the visa fee by credit card. The time taken to obtain such a visa is generally 3 working days after validation of your application. However, it is necessary to check beforehand that you are a citizen of one of the 81 countries eligible for this electronic visa, of which the UK is of course one.
  • Applying for a transit visa on arrival in Vietnam: A third possibility is also available, but it is more complex and tricky. This involves applying for your transit visa directly on arrival in Vietnam. This option is available to all travellers transiting Vietnam by air. You should also go to the counter at the airport of arrival in Vietnam to apply for this visa. The procedure also requires the completion of an online form and the payment of certain fees.


What is the 45-day visa waiver for British travellers transiting Vietnam?

Whether you are travelling to Vietnam for tourism or just for a transit or stopover, as a British traveller you are entitled to a 45-day visa exemption.

Therefore, if you are only stopping over or transiting Vietnam for less than 45 days, you do not need to apply for a visa beforehand.

It will also be possible for you, during your stopover or transit and if possible according to your flight schedule, to leave the Vietnamese airport to visit the surrounding area.

This 45-day visa waiver period will be valid for both your outbound and inbound transit through Vietnam. This visa waiver has been put in place until 2025.

Apply for your Vietnam e-visa!

As a web writer and globetrotter with a passion for travel and tourism, I have acquired in-depth knowledge of the procedures that are essential for travellers. I help travellers to complete all the formalities required for a successful trip, particularly when it comes to obtaining a visa online. With several years' experience in this field, I'd like to offer you some valuable advice to help you discover the world with complete peace of mind.


Frequently asked questions

Does a British traveller need to apply for a visa to transit Vietnam?

Apart from exceptional cases where transit through Vietnam will last more than 45 days, a traveller from the UK does not need to obtain a visa in advance. Indeed, travellers from this country and other eligible countries benefit from a visa exemption valid for a stay of up to 45 consecutive days. No specific steps are required to transit through the country other than presenting a valid passport valid for more than 6 months beyond the date of entry into Vietnam.

Do I need to apply for different visas for an outbound transit and a return transit to Vietnam?

If you are not eligible for the visa exemptions mentioned above and you are transiting Vietnam on the outbound and return legs of your trip, it will not be necessary to apply for two visas for these stops. In fact, the validity of your visa will normally cover the whole of your trip and therefore both transits in Vietnam. When applying online or at the embassy, check these time limits.

How long does it take to get a transit visa for Vietnam?

The time it takes to obtain a transit visa for Vietnam depends on the method used to obtain the visa. For example, a traditional visa application at the embassy may take several days to a few weeks, whereas an online visa application will take you an average of 3 working days.