Navigating HCMC airport

Looking for some advice on clearing customs and immigration at the airport:

I applied for a "Visa on Arrival", but have no idea what to expect when I get there. I'm beginning to have visions of standing there alone, with absolutely no idea how to navigate my way through immigration. Am I correct in assuming the officials speak English? Are there typical problems I'll encounter? Should I expect to pay coffee money to get through the process? How long should I expect the process to take?


Easier than you think.
Just follow the crowd off the plane until you can see the Passport control entry points & people lined up.

Off to one side you’ll look for a sign that says “Landing Visa “ or something similar.   You’ll see a waiting area with lots of chairs & a counter behind glass , that’s the VOA landing visa office.    Just go up to the window & pass your forms & PP to the staff & take a seat.

Depending on how many people are there,,,is how long you wait.

They’ll either call your name to collect your PPort & visa & pay your stamp fee.  Some airports like Cam Ranh have a screen with your name  & photo on it to call you.  Maybe Saigon has that done recently.

No coffee money , unless some “fast lane” service operators approach you.  You can actually book that service thru most VOA agents.  Not required really,   I’ve usually got thru in 15 minutes, but if there’s a crowd , maybe an hour.   It’s getting quicker though.

If you prefer the shittiest experience of the lot,,,,arrive by land.

I did that yesterday at Moc Bai to renew a visa.    That place is an embarrassment to humanity.  Never been any different.   Having said that,,that’s why these places are cheap. 

Classless & shitty.....but the beers cold & cheap.😆

The VOA area is on the left when you're looking at the passport control lines at Tan Son Nhat.  Make sure your form is filled and you have a passport photo and the cash to pay for the visa.  Last time it took me about 20-25 minutes, but I've also gotten it done in 10.  One time I used the speedy service from the VOA agency and it took 15 minutes, which was less time than the people who were there ahead of me-- maybe they have some kind of understanding with the staff.  The guy had a sign with my name on it at the entrance to passport control.

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