Do I need to get a visa before leaving for Vietnam?

Most travelers need a visa to enter Vietnam. (You can find a list of exceptions here.) Vietnam does not yet provide visas on arrival, therefore travelers that need a visa must obtain one before leaving for Vietnam.

How can I get a visa and what information do I need?

You can only get a visa for Vietnam through a Vietnamese embassy, and you can do so either in person or by mail. The Vietnamese embassy in the US is located at:

1233 20th St NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202.861.0737
Fax: 202.861.0917

In order to get your visa you'll need to send in your passport, a completed application form, a 2 x 2 inch photo, the proper fees, and a pre-paid return envelope from either the USPS or FedEx. You can find a printable application form here.

How long will my visa be valid for, and can I extend the duration of my stay?

Visas are normally valid for 30 days, and can be extended at any Vietnamese embassy.