Update March 5, 2023: Make sure to have a printed copy of your return ticket with you for the visa on arrival in Bangladesh. They started implementing it strictly now. You’ll be in trouble if you do not have a printed copy of your return ticket, along with your invitation letter, hotel booking confirmation, and itinerary. They want you to provide them with a print copy of everything – a soft copy of anything on the phone will not work.
With its vibrant culture, rich history, and a plethora of natural wonders, Bangladesh is fast emerging as a favored destination for travelers worldwide. But to relish Bangladesh’s unique experience, one must navigate through the travel protocols set by the country, a significant part being the visa process. This article focuses on one such critical aspect – the “Bangladesh visa on arrival.” Understanding this can significantly facilitate your travel to this beautiful country, making it smoother and hassle-free.
Table of Contents
- What is a Visa on Arrival?
- The Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
- Visa on Arrival vs. Advance Visa for Bangladesh
- Who can get a Bangladesh visa on arrival?
- What are the requirements for getting a Bangladesh visa on arrival?
- Fees and Payment Methods for Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
- What are the steps for getting a Bangladesh visa on arrival?
- Important Considerations and Tips for Getting a Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
- Bangladesh visa on arrival emergency contacts
- Important Considerations and Tips for Getting a Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
- Bangladesh visa on arrival experiences
- Frequently Asked Questions about Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
What is a Visa on Arrival?
A ‘Visa on Arrival’ (VoA) is a type of travel document that can be obtained when you reach your destination country rather than in advance. In essence, it eliminates the need for securing a visa before commencing your journey, providing considerable flexibility to travelers. However, not all countries offer this facility, and those that do, offer it to citizens of specific countries under certain conditions. It’s also worth mentioning that a visa on arrival is just one type among several kinds of visas – each with its own set of rules and procedures.
The Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
For eligible travelers, Bangladesh offers a visa on arrival facility. This visa is typically valid for a stay of 30 days for tourism, business meetings, or seminars. To obtain a visa on arrival in Bangladesh, travelers must meet specific criteria set by the Bangladeshi government. However, bear in mind that the issuance isn’t guaranteed and is subject to the discretion of the immigration officer at the port of entry. The facility has its pros, such as convenience and time-saving, and cons, like possible uncertainty, which we will discuss in more detail further in the article.
Visa on Arrival vs. Advance Visa for Bangladesh
Understanding the difference between a visa on arrival and an advance visa for Bangladesh can help you decide which one suits your travel needs better.
A visa on arrival in Bangladesh is convenient and saves time as you do not need to visit the Bangladeshi embassy or consulate in your home country before traveling. However, it leaves some uncertainty because it is not guaranteed – the immigration officer decides upon your arrival. Also, queues can be long, especially during peak travel times, leading to a potentially long wait at the airport.
On the other hand, a pre-arrival visa ensures that you have secured the necessary permissions before starting your journey. It eliminates the uncertainty associated with a visa on arrival. However, it takes more time and effort to obtain, as you need to apply in advance and wait for the processing, which may take several days or weeks. Also, getting an advance visa is more expensive in most countries.
Consider your circumstances, tolerance for uncertainty, and urgency of travel when deciding between the two.
Who can get a Bangladesh visa on arrival?
- Citizens coming from The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russian Federation, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Brunei, and European countries to Bangladesh for a government job, trade, investment, and tourism may get a visa on arrival.
- In countries where Bangladesh has no embassy, only the incoming citizens of those countries can be given an On-Arrival Visa justifying the necessity of travel.
- If a person arrives in Bangladesh from a country other than his own country, where there is no embassy of Bangladesh, he can be given an On-Arrival Visa by verifying the justifiability of the travel.
- On-Arrival Visas can be provided for officials and staff of foreign embassies and the United Nations office in Bangladesh, verifying relevant papers.
- On-Arrival Visas can be given to foreign citizens of Bangladeshi born and their spouse/children based on Bangladeshi citizenship certificates/certificates of Bangladeshi origin.
- On-Arrival Visas can be issued based on an invitation letter from the inviting company and the Bangladesh Investment Promotion Board / BEPZA’s certificate for foreign investors/traders. However, the inviting company will have to inform in advance about the arrival of foreign nationals to the directorate of immigration and passport and Immigration authorities.
What are the requirements for getting a Bangladesh visa on arrival?
- Visa fees must be paid in foreign currency (USD/GBP/EURO).
- Except for government work, a foreigner must carry at least 500 (five hundred) US dollars / equivalent foreign currency in cash/credit card for other purposes.
- Incoming persons have to possess a return ticket.
- Incoming person should have the necessary documents for the on-arrival visa.
Fees and Payment Methods for Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
The fee for a visa on arrival for Bangladesh is $51 US for a single-entry visa, including taxes.
The fees must be paid in cash in foreign currency (USD, Euro, Pound Sterling). Cards are not accepted. Make sure to bring the exact amount of money in foreign currency.
What are the steps for getting a Bangladesh visa on arrival?
- Step-1: Fill up the visa form.
- Step-2: Pay the visa fee at the Sonali Bank counter in your preferred foreign currency with the exact amount of change, and get the receipt.
- Step-3: Submit the application to the on-arrival visa desk with all the necessary papers and the money receipt.
- Step-4: Upon satisfying with all the documents, an on-arrival visa will be stamped on your passport with the expiry date.
Bangladesh visa on arrival contact numbers
You can contact the following numbers of the immigration police at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka for any further information about visa on arrival in Bangladesh:
- Officer In Charge (OC): +88-01320005902
- Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP): +88-01320005376
Important Considerations and Tips for Getting a Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
Despite its convenience, several factors need consideration when opting for a Bangladesh visa on arrival.
- Ensure that you are eligible: Not all nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival, so confirm your eligibility beforehand to avoid issues upon arrival.
- Be prepared for a wait: Depending on the number of arrivals and staff on duty, you may need to wait in line to get your visa.
- Keep documents ready: Have all the required documents, including your passport, completed application form, return ticket, and other supporting documents, prepared to facilitate the process.
- Carry the correct currency: Ensure that you have enough cash in the correct currency to pay for your visa fee.
- Just as you enter the immigration hall, the VOA desk is on the right, before all the long queues in front of you at the desks. You pay the man in the bank booth, get a receipt, then fill out the form that the officer will give you.
- Make sure you have an address where you’ll be staying. They are very strict about that. Even if you don’t stay there, choose a well know hotel where foreigners normally stay. A phone number is needed too. No need for a photograph.
- The bank is about the first thing you see on the right just as you enter the building in a little cubbyhole. It saves a step just to get the payslip there on the way.
- There should be no problem at all obtaining a visa on arrival. It will cost you 51 USD in cash, and it is valid for up to 30 days. You request how long you would like it for.
- Once you have the visa, use the queue at the far left to pass through immigration. It’s the desk for the airline crew and diplomats. No need to queue again under the VOA sign.
Bangladesh visa on arrival experiences
These are the experiences of people from different countries who got Bangladesh visas on arrival:
We got a VOA as it was cheaper and easier than getting it before we traveled. At Dhaka airport, it was a simple process. We got off the plane, went straight to a little desk where a man sat, presented our British passports, and filled out a form requesting the address of the hotel we were staying at. (We did not have to provide documents confirming this booking or our length of stay at this hotel). He asked how long we were staying in Bangladesh (3 weeks), then stamped a visa authorization form and told us to take it to the window beside him (3 steps away) where a man took the paper and asked for $50 each. (I don’t think you can pay in GBP). He stamped a separate piece of paper with a visa stamp and sent us to passport control, where we showed the paper and went through it. Our passports were never stamped. The whole process took about 15 minutes.
There was no queue for the visa as we were the only two people on the plane that needed one. I could imagine if a whole load of people turned up on one flight needing visas, it would be chaos as there is only one desk.
– Steve Bailey, England
Frequently Asked Questions about Bangladesh Visa on Arrival
What is the duration of the Bangladesh Visa on Arrival?
The maximum duration of an on-arrival visa in Bangladesh is 30 days.
What is the entry type of Bangladesh Visa on Arrival?
Bangladesh’s on-arrival visa is a single-entry visa.
What is the fee for a Bangladesh visa on arrival?
A Bangladesh visa on arrival fee is $51 US, including taxes.
What are the accepted currencies for Bangladesh visa on arrival fee?
The accepted currencies for a Bangladesh on-arrival visa are USD, GBP, and EURO.
Can I pay a Bangladesh Visa on Arrival fee with a credit/debit card?
No. Only cash is accepted. Make sure to have the exact amount of change for the fee. There are no facilities to pay the fee for Bangladesh on-arrival visa with a credit or debit card.
Is there an ATM near the on-arrival visa counter in Bangladesh to withdraw the visa fee in foreign currency?
There are none. Also, you can not get foreign currency in any ATM anywhere in Bangladesh. They provide only local currency, which is Bangladeshi Taka (BDT).
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Obtaining a “Bangladesh visa on arrival” can be a convenient way to visit this beautiful country. However, it’s crucial to understand the process, prepare your documents, and set your expectations correctly. The insights provided in this article should help you in this regard, ensuring a smoother, more enjoyable journey to the heart of South Asia, Bangladesh.
Have you got a Bangladesh visa on arrival recently? How was your experience? Which nationality do you have, and how much did the visa cost you? Share with us in the comments, which will help others to know more about Bangladesh’s visa on arrival.
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It really depends on which time your flight is landing. My last two experiences I arrived around midnight after flights from China already landed, when hordes of Chinese passport holders flocking the VOA counters, this results in very long queue of at least one hour to finally get the Visa stamped. As the VOA process is also very long and several passengers facing communication issues is such case just be prepared to wait and be patient.
I have traveled to Dhaka two dozen times in five years and always get a visa on arrival with a Canadian passport. it is easy and inexpensive. Bring USD for the fee. And have your hotel address and phone number handy. Simple. Easy and polite staff.
If you are coming to business go the extra step and have a letter of invite from your Bangladesh company. This also smooths the way.
The kindest people I have ever met are in Bangladesh. Hands down!
Received a Visa on Arrival within minutes at the Dhaka International airport. It was very simple. No photo required only need to fill out application, arrival card and make sure you have an address where staying AND a phone number for contact, and $51 dollars
BUT MAKE SURE YOU get back your receipt copy for paying $51 when you give it to the immigration officer (not the bank clerk).