Immigration. Travel. Living.

Vietnam: advice for expats

Flag of Vietnam

From the historical point of view, Vietnam was created and developed upon the declaration of independence in 1945 (from France). This followed by a victory of the vietnamese people against the French in 1954. After the war the whole nation was divided into two states, including the communist north and anti communist south. These two parts had great conflicts which ended in 1975, when the northern state won the vietnamese war.

The country has 53 minor ethnic groups, about 86% of which speak vietnamese. The country has various main religions, however, the majority of its people are considered to be neutral or irreligious.

Moving to Vietnam

Vietnam has several main visas one will need to obtain allowing him or her to stay in the country for the required amount of time. These visas usually depend on the purpose and the duration of one’s stay. For example, one can obtain a tourist visa for a short term visit up to 30 days in a form of a single-entry or multiple-entry permit, a business visa requiring an official entry clearance from the employer and an approval from the Vietnamese Immigration Department for a stay of up to 90 days, a diplomatic visa applied for without having to pay any visa fees.

Visa application requirements

The necessary documentation requires one to have a valid passport, a completed application form which also can be found online, a photograph of a passport size, must not have a criminal record and must be able to pay an application fee. One must also have an authorization document issued by the Immigration Department. One must also contact the nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate for getting an updated information on all the fees and basic requirements.

In addition, before entering Vietnam, applicants must apply for a visa on their arrival and receive a letter issued by the Immigration Department Consular Department or Department of Foreign Affairs of the Ho Chi Minh city.

Vietnamese transportation

Today, Vietnam has 7 airlines operating domestic flights. Train travel is also available and is a good option in case of low budget, one can easily take a trip from Hanoi (the capital of Vietnam) to Ho Chi Minh lasting about 35 hours for 80 american dollars. Bus travel is cheaper than railway transportation also due to easy internet booking opportunities available.

Cabs are available in Vietnam too. The most popular taxi companies are Vinasun Taxi, Taxi Hanoi  and Mai Linh Taxi, however, one should also be aware of the traffic jams lasting in some cases for more than 2 hours.

One more mean of transportation in Vietnam is Xe Om or a motorcycle transportation service. It usually do not get stuck in traffic, however, one must agree on the price before the ride.


One can easily get a job in Vietnam as a teacher as english is a business language in Vietnam and individuals are prone to work in schools as tutors or in different language centres. However, there are more jobs to find, starting with business assistant, accountant and up to manager or retail consultant while having minimal professional skills as vietnamese people prefer experience in a certain chosen field of one’s occupation.

Today, Vietnam has an economic growth with a GDP is growing at a staggering 6% per year. Therefore, there are lots of workplaces of all varieties for those who wish to find a place where he or she could easily fulfil one’s ambitions while also completing one’s everyday professional duties.


The official language in Vietnam is vietnamese and a second language is considered to be english. However, there are lots of inhabitants speaking well in chinese, french and khmer.

Money and food

Today, there are three separate currencies in Vietnam. In addition, gold is also used in the country with the aim to purchase land and housing. Moreover, american dollars are usually used for purchasing luxury items, vietnam dong – for daily items.

Vietnamese culture has developed such habit as street food as there are lots of people eating a bowl of pho, who like to sit on a plastic stools and enjoying a delicious meal which is rather cheap as it costs around 20 american dollars per meal.

Also, when it comes to prices on food or clothes and other items for sale, one should be aware of that bargaining is a part of vietnamese culture. It’s a common practice as vietnamese people do it amongst themselves by taking their time during the price negotiation process. No one will feel uncomfortable or shamed. Therefore, this can be considered as a common trading skill or practice with no limitations.

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