Contacting the nearest Vietnam Embassy is the traditional way to apply for a visa to Vietnam. Typically, the visa application procedure at the embassies would require applicants to send in their original passport and filled application form (either in person or by mail). The normal waiting time for processing visa application is around 1 week (shorter time could be arranged for additional fee).
Why do I need to send in my original passport?
Because unlike applying for visa on arrival where you get a visa pre-approval letter in advance, then get the actual visa stamp at your arrival airport in Vietnam, when you apply for Vietnam visa through the embassy, the visa stamp will already be stamped onto your passport when the embassy send them back to you. That is the reason you need to send off your passport to the embassy, but not when applying for visa on arrival.
What is the detailed procedure to apply for visa at Vietnam embassy?
The application procedure, as well as the processing time varies from one embassy to another. Therefore, you should directly contact the nearest embassy to where you are staying to have the correct procedure.
Do I need to apply for visa at the Vietnam embassy in my resident country?
No, you could apply at any Vietnam embassy that is nearest to your place. For example, you are from Mexico and currently traveling in Thailand. You could go to the Vietnam embassy in Thailand to apply for your visa to Vietnam.
However, as it might take up to several working days at least for the embassy to process your visa, and during that time you have to part with your passport, some might find it somewhat inconvenient. In this case, you could apply for visa on arrival as the process only takes two working days at most and you could apply from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet.
(*) For information of Vietnam embassies in other countries, including addresses, phone numbers and email, please click on the relevant country on the left-side box.
Countries marked with the check icon ( ) are those that currently have Vietnam Embassy.