Ever wonder how the immigration takes place? Here is what happens as you leave your country for Vietnam.
First, keep in mind that once you leave your country, you need a passport of at least 6 month validity. This rule applies for all international travel, including between the US and Canada but excluding EU member countries. If you are coming to Vietnam you need both a valid passport and a valid Vietnam visa.
You will be asked for your passport and visa at the time of check-in, no matter where you fly from. Vietnam visa can either be a ready visa stamp into your passport or a signed visa approval letter (visa on arrival).
Second, upon presenting your passport and visa/visa approval letter, you will be provided a boarding pass to fly to Vietnam. When you arrive in one of the three airports (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or Danang), the first thing you will see - often before or right besides the Customs area - is the Immigration Office with the bright sign saying "visa-on-arrival" or "landing visa".
If you already possess a visa stamp, head straight to the Customs area, hand in your passport for checking and proceed to the baggage area. If you use the visa on arrival service, you need to present the following documents: your passport, Vietnam entry exit form, visa approval letter and 2 passport sized photos. After receiving the visa stamp, you can proceed to customs.
Third, once granted entry by immigration officers and customs officer, you can collect your luggage, leave the airport and take the taxi or bus to the city to downtown. In general, luggage collection is very fast and easy in Vietnam airports - you will get them in no time.
When you leave Vietnam, you just need to show your passport at the immigration stations before heading to security checkpoint. If you stay longer than allowed in the visa, you may face some fines, so make sure you note down the date.