You will require a visa and a valid passport that has at least 6 months to run when you enter Vietnam. The visa process is quite straight forward and usually takes about 4 to 5 working days. You should apply for a visa before you leave for Vietnam. If you are travelling to other countries before arriving in Vietnam you can apply for a visa there. Many travel agents in Bangkok and Singapore will be able to assist with the application process.
A tourist visa is valid for a single thirty day stay. You must specify your arrival date when applying for a visa and it is from this date that the 30 days will be calculated. So read the visa carefully to make sure that you do not arrive before it begins or stay after it expires.
If you are visiting Vietnam on business you should apply for a business visa. This will be valid for 3 to 6 months and will usually allow for multi entries into the country. You will require a company in Vietnam to provide the necessary paperwork and details to the immigration authorities before the application can be processed.
If you wish to leave Vietnam for a short period and then return before your tourist visa expires you must apply for a re-entry permit before you leave Vietnam.
Visa extensions may be granted at the discretion of the immigration authorities. If you need an extension most travel agents will be able to offer assistance and advice.
Visa regulations are subject to change so check with a Vietnamese embassy before you apply.
When you arrive in Vietnam you must complete a customs declaration form. You should complete the form and hand it to the customs officer as you leave the airport arrivals hall or pass through a customs post.
Customs formalities are straightforward and the duty free allowances are printed on the customs declaration form. If you are bringing in prescription drugs ask your doctor for a note detailing the drugs you are taking. Music CD's and DVD's may be subject to inspection.
Fire-arms, pornography and narcotics are strictly prohibited, and the penalties for drug trafficking are severe.