Vietnam Visa For South African Citizens – Critical Details!

  • August 03,2023

Traveling to Vietnam as a South African citizen necessitates the acquisition of the necessary visa. Understanding the requirements for registering for a Vietnam visa for South African citizens can help make visitors' journeys easier and less stressful. This article covers everything you need to know about Vietnam visas before traveling there.


Do South African citizens need a visa for Vietnam? According to the most recent update in 2023, South African citizens are not exempt from visa requirements when visiting Vietnam. 

As a result, South African passport holders are required to enroll in the Vietnam visa in advance as a compulsory requirement, regardless of their visa objectives. However, South African nationals can visit Vietnam without a visa in these circumstances. For example, South African citizens are eligible to travel to Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam for a period not exceeding 30 days.

Vietnam’s visa waiver program for South African citizens

Under certain conditions, South African citizens may be eligible for visa exemptions when visiting Vietnam. South African citizens can enter Vietnam without a visa in the following circumstances:

Vietnam visa for South African - visa exemptions

Vietnam visa exemptions for South African residents are utilized in specific situations

  • Holders of diplomatic and official passports: South African nationals with diplomatic or official passports are not required to obtain a visa for stays of up to 90 days.

  • Holders of an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC): South African nationals with an ABTC with the economy code "VNM" can enter Vietnam for up to 90 days.

  • Short-term visits: South African citizens visiting Phu Quoc Island for less than 30 days may be excluded from visa requirements provided they match specified criteria.

South African citizens with a 30-day free visa to Phu Quoc

According to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visa exemption policy, all foreigners are entitled to stay in Vietnam for no more than 30 days. As a result, South African dwellers can visit Phu Quoc Island to enjoy their vacations with all their families and friends in meaningful travel moments. 

Visitors from this country can prepare for their trips without worrying about finalizing the visa procedures in advance. However, South African citizens should be aware of the following facts regarding Phu Quoc visa exemption:

  • The visa exemption policy on Phu Quoc Island applies only to individuals who stay on the island. In addition to Phu Quoc Island, travelers who wish to travel to other parts of Vietnam must register for a visa according to the regulations for a Vietnam visa for South African passport holders.

  • The visa exemption policy for Phu Quoc applies exclusively to cases where visitors book direct flights to the island. Expats must obtain a visa if they enter Phu Quoc through a transit flight at any of Vietnam's domestic airports. To pass the security check, visitors from South Africa must consider a transit visa or a visa on arrival at a Vietnamese domestic airport.

  • Only tourists from South Africa are eligible to get a Phu Quoc visa exemption.


Individuals should be aware of the special requirements when getting a Vietnam visa for South African citizens prior to visiting Vietnam. Following the general visa criteria to make sure the visa procedures run smoothly, specifically:

  • An original passport valid for at least six months from the first day of entry into Vietnam.

  • Finalized the visa application forms.

  • Two passport-size photographs that satisfy the specific visa criteria.

  • Enough finances to cover the expenses of the visit.

  • Onward travel tickets.

  • Proof of lodging arrangements.

  • Supporting documents vary based on the type of visa (for example, an invitation letter for a business visa, an acceptance letter from an educational institution for a student visa, and so on).

To avoid delays or rejection, thoroughly check the accuracy of Vietnam visa requirements for your chosen visa type and supply all vital papers.


Check this table below to get an appropriate visa for South African citizens, as follows:

Tourist visas

Business visas

Transit visas

Work visas

Student visas

Other visa types

Visitors going sight-seeing in Vietnam need to get these visa types in advance. 

The Vietnamese government allows foreigners to stay for up to 30 days.  

Individuals traveling to Vietnam for business purposes should get a business visa. It allows for a stay of up to 90 days and complies with a particular extension policy.

If visitors can choose Vietnam as a stopover prior to traveling to another destination, the visa validity will be 5 days maximum if they hold a valid transit visa.

Individuals looking for career opportunities in a Vietnamese firm should register for a work visa. It allows for a longer stay, but it necessitates sponsorship from a Vietnamese company that adheres to the Vietnam visa requirements for South African citizens.

Students can utilize the student visa to pursue their educational dreams and learn in Vietnam. 

Vietnam also grants visas to journalists, diplomats, volunteers, and anyone with extraordinary circumstances. Specific regulations for a Vietnam visa for South African citizens and processing methods for these visa categories may differ.


As a South African citizen, you can follow these general steps to obtain a Vietnam visa:

Step 1: Verify the visa category

Select the appropriate visa type based on the purpose of your travel and the duration of your stay.

Step 2: Arrange all crucial documents

Gather all required documents, such as a completed visa application form, passport photos, a valid passport, and supporting documents dependent on the visa category chosen.

Step 3: Submit your application form to get visas

There are several methods for visitors from South Africa to get their visa application, as follows:

  • In-person application at the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate in South Africa.

  • Applying online using the Vietnam e-Visa program's official website.

  • Using a reliable travel agency or visa provider authorized by the Vietnam Immigration Department.

Step 4: Pay visa fees

Pay the applicable visa fees, which may vary depending on the visa type, processing duration, and application method.

Step 5: Track and collect the visa

Monitor the status of your visa application and pick up your visa after it has been approved. Collection procedures differ depending on the application approach.


South African visa fees are set based on numerous criteria, including visa type, processing time, entrance method, and number of entries permitted. In general, the fees are as follows:

  • Visa stamping fee (paid at the airport to get a visa stamped)

  • Fee for visa approval letter (applicable to visa on arrival)

  • Service fee (paid for processing by travel companies or visa providers).

It is highly advised to check the most recent pricing modifications on the website of the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate or to call for help with a reputable visa service provider.


South African residents can receive a visa on arrival (VOA) upon arrival at certain international airports in Vietnam. To register for VOA, follow these steps to get a Vietnam visa for citizens of this country:

Vietnam visa for South African - visas on arrival

The Vietnam visa on arrival provides an alternative solution for faster visa procedures

  • Before visiting Vietnam, apply online through a reputable travel agency or visa provider.

  • Within the time frame given, you will receive the visa approval letter through email.

  • Prepare two passport-sized pictures and the visa clearance letter in advance.

  • Present your passport, visa approval letter, and pictures to the VOA desk upon arrival in Vietnam.

  • Collect your visa after paying the visa stamping cost to finalize all the requirements for obtaining a Vietnam visa for South African 2023.


Tourists from South Africa can also obtain an E-Visa for Vietnam. Read this E-Visa procedure to widen your knowledge about how to apply for E-Visa in Vietnam:

  • Visit the Vietnam E-Visa program's official website.

  • Fill out the online application form with the necessary details and prepare all the extra documents.

  • Pay the E-Visa application fee online using the payment methods mentioned.

  • Submit the application and wait for your E-Visa approval via email to be processed.

  • When traveling to Vietnam, print the E-Visa approval out to show it to the Vietnamese customs officer for examination and enter Vietnam.

  • When visitors arrive in Vietnam, passports and E-visa approval must be available to pass the security check at the immigration checkpoint.


The Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa is the official authority for South African citizens who need assistance with their Vietnam visa application or other consular services. It is wise to call the Embassy directly or visit their official website for the latest information on consular services and operating hours.


Individuals find it convenient to apply for an urgent visa for their trip to Vietnam due to its expedition. The Vietnam Immigration Department creates favorable conditions for visitors to have a quick trip in this country. However, an extra fee is imposed on those who have a demand for getting this type of visa according to the Vietnam visa for South Africans' rules.

The higher the expense, the faster the visa is processed. Registering for a visa as soon as possible is a recommendation to avoid putting themselves in urgent visa cases. This situation will not only make visitors nervous but also cost them extra money for the expedited visa service. Approval of emergency situations will be prioritized in one working day, half a day, or even one working hour, depending on your request.


Take into account several recommendations to ensure a smooth entry into Vietnam with your visa:

  • Apply ahead of time. Begin the visa application procedure well in advance of your travel dates to allow for processing and any unexpected delays.

  • Validity conditions should be checked: Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity from the date of admission into Vietnam.

  • Adhere to the visa requirements: Familiarize yourself with the precise visa criteria, such as the permissible length of stay, possible extensions, and any activity restrictions.

  • Carry the following documents: During your journey, keep a copy of your visa approval letter, E-Visa, or other applicable supporting documents with you to submit if necessary.

  • Have local currency on hand: Prepare some Vietnamese Dong (VND) before you arrive to pay for incidentals, transportation, or other minor expenses.

  • Follow local customs: To have a great experience, observe and respect Vietnamese cultures, traditions, and laws during your visit.

  • Seek advice if necessary: If you have any questions or concerns about your Vietnam visa or entrance requirements, get reliable information and help from the Vietnam Embassy or a respected visa service provider.

Understanding the prerequisites, selecting the right visa type, following the application process, and adhering to entry conditions are all part of obtaining a Vietnam visa for South African citizens. By becoming acquainted with the information offered in this article, you may ensure a smooth and pleasurable trip to Vietnam. For further visa details, don’t hesitate to contact us at +1 315 715 8498 or email [email protected].

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