Since almost the beginning of the crisis in early 2020, Vietnam has restricted all commercial flights into Vietnam. Tourists have also been banned. Essentially, only business travelers sponsored by a local entity and who have been pre-approved by the government may enter Vietnam. The process to obtain entry approval involves various government processes that can take up to two months to work through. Further, due to the lack of commercial flights, approved travelers must try to book one of the specially arranged flights into Vietnam by working directly with the airline, which may not be easy. Approved travelers cannot simply book online a ticket and come to come to Vietnam.
Yes, there is a strict, 14-night quarantine at a government-approved hotel. Once completed, the traveler must perform an additional 14 days of self-quarantine at a regular hotel or residence. Note that, like flights, you cannot simply book the hotel online. There are various health department procedures to arrange a stay at a government-approved quarantine hotel, so this must be done with either a local agent or someone on the ground from your company who understands the process and procedures.
Yes, Vietnam does not recognize any difference between a vaccinated traveler and a non-vaccinated traveler.
As of Q2 2021, neither foreigners nor average Vietnamese have access to a COVID-19 vaccine. However, we are hopeful that the vaccine will become more widely available in late 2021/early 2022.
Essentially, you must obtain two separate documents from two different government agencies: A work permit (from the Labor Department) and some type of visa (from the Immigration Department). Just having a work permit does not allow you to travel and live in Vietnam. Likewise, just having a visa does not necessarily mean that you are legally permitted to work in Vietnam. Feel free to contact us to find out what visa and work permit requirements fit your specific case. Our team are experts at navigating the various complexities of foreign immigration and labor.
Work permits are valid for a maximum of two years. Upon expiration and depending on your specific circumstance, your work permit may be renewed for an additional two years, or a new work permit application must be made instead.
Obtaining a work permit can be a long, complicated process that will typically take from start to finish, about 2 – 3 months. One of the more time-consuming parts of this process is obtaining certain overseas documents that have been legalized at a Vietnamese embassy. Resident Vietnam has a global network of partners that works with our Vietnamese team to help you manage the whole process from beginning to end.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Under Vietnam labor law, a spouse or dependent who wishes to work here must obtain their own separate work permit sponsored by the Vietnamese entity they are working for.
Regardless of whether you are a same-sex couple or not, if you hold a valid marriage certificate from a foreign country, this document is recognized by the Vietnamese government and valid for immigration purposes.
Vietnam does not recognize domestic partnerships. Only a marriage certificate is acceptable to classify a partner as an official dependent.
Unlike some other nearby countries, permanent residency is not available for foreigners except in highly unique circumstances. Therefore, all foreigners, even those married to Vietnamese, must obtain a visa and renew it accordingly to stay legally in Vietnam.
A foreigner needs only a valid visa to rent an apartment or have their children attend school.
In the major cities (Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh), there are many international schools to choose from (local schooling is not an option). The international schools offer world-class education and modern facilities. In general, there are not too many challenges with admissions or waiting lists; however, it does depend on grade level, admission time of year, etc. Therefore, we recommend starting the research/application process as soon as you have committed to coming to Vietnam to ensure your child has a seat at your chosen school.
The major cities (Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City) have a wide variety of options that range from new, high-end luxury to lower-budget, basic properties. Villas are also available but note that concerns are more significant in this property type with regard to maintenance, security, and flooding (when compared with apartments). Our relocation team can help guide you through the sometimes frustrating real estate market and work on your behalf with landlords and agents to ensure you have the most suitable property possible.
A word of caution when searching online real estate websites in Vietnam, the market itself is highly unregulated, so much of what you can find online is either not available, not the actual price, or not an accurate representation of the property’s condition. We recommend that if you find a property on a website, send us the link to verify. Resident Vietnam only works with a select group of reliable agents to help avoid many of the pitfalls of searching on your own.
The tenant is not responsible for paying any fees/commissions to the agent (the landlord pays any commissions). Initial payments that will need to be made once the lease is signed are typically the first month’s rental and two months’ security deposit (how many months depends on the landlord and property itself).
Both furnished and unfurnished properties are widely available in the market. Note that even unfurnished properties will always include the major appliances such as refrigerator, stovetop (sometimes oven), clothes washing machine (and sometimes dryer).
It not common, especially for those relocating to Vietnam for just a few years, to drive or purchase their own car. Buying a car here is very expensive and complicated for foreigners. Further, driving yourself in Vietnam’s famously chaotic traffic is not recommended for a variety of reasons. Most expats will either lease a car and driver from a reliable vendor or take taxis or Grab (Uber-like service here). Taxis are, in general safe, easy to get, and relatively inexpensive. Grab is the same.
You should not have any issues finding quality medical and dental care during your stay. International standards of care are available at the international clinics, which have modern facilities, in-house pharmacies, and a wide range of services with foreign doctors. Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City also have large, modern, full service hospitals that can cater to a variety of medical needs.
Making your way through the day without knowing the local language is perhaps easier here than in some other countries (such as China for example). Many people in the major cities here understand at least a little English. However, we recommend that you take some time to learn the basics of Vietnamese. It will go a long way into making connections with staff and people on the street. There are good Vietnamese language schools and tutors here who can assist.