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Moving To Vietnam: Prepare Your Arrival In Saigon

Finally taking the plunge and relocating to Vietnam is nothing short of a considerable step forward! Once you have committed yourself to it, what next? How does one go about moving to the other end of the world? Visas, work, healthcare, housing, everyday life: one overarching rule is to keep a cool head as much as feasible and approach these methodically.

Moving away to Vietnam: what to prioritize?

Before throwing yourself into preparations, first, start by taking the time to put everything on paper. Make a well-ordered list, that you will keep updating as you go, of the different things to look into and prioritize.

Visas and residency

Vietnam visa application

While they are all equally mandatory to enter the country, not all visas entitle you to the same duration of stay nor rights and obligations. The trickiest part about this ordeal is by far to figure out what they are and how to get them.

Amendment N°51/2019/QH14 to the law on entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam might help shine more light on the matter:

  • Tourist visa (DL)

3-month (maximum) visa issued to tourists.

  • Business visas (DN)

12-month (maximum) visas issued to individuals working, promoting services, or establishing a commercial presence in the country.

  • Diplomat visas (NG)

12-month (maximum) visas issued to individuals who come to work with diplomatic missions.

Possible issuance of a 5-year (maximum) temporary residence card (TRC).

  • Work visa (LD)

2-year (maximum) mandatory visas issued to foreign workers undertaking longer contracts.

Possible issuance of a 2-year (maximum) work permit and TRC.

  • Investor visas (DT)

12-month to 3-year (maximum) visas issued to foreign investors.

Possible issuance of a 3 to 10-year (maximum) TRC.

  • Student visa (DH)

12-month (maximum) visa issued to individuals who come to study or serve internships.

Possible issuance of a 5-year TRC.

  • Spouse visa (TT)

12-month (maximum) visa issued to the spouses and under-18 children of foreign investors, workers, and students.

Possible issuance of a 3-year TRC.



If it is your first time abroad, more specifically in these parts of South-East Asia, making an appointment with the appropriate nearby vaccination clinic is the best way to get all the recommended shots (COVID 19 included).


Is your pet partaking in the adventure as well? Then, before even considering setting everything in motion, it is best to be well acquainted with the possible vaccines and documents necessary to shipping your beloved 4-legged friend overseas.

Belongings and furniture: How to chart your relocation to Vietnam?

Depending on how much you wish to take along with you, the logistics of the whole operation can make shipping your belongings a living hell. It is, therefore, best not to undertake it on your own but rather get in contact with an international moving company. Let them handle all the hassle, while you sort through your stuff.

Working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam’s escalating prosperity and promising economic growth have made way for an ever-increasing foreign workforce. Constant vacancies in specific fields and higher-paid positions have contributed to boosting the country’s popularity. Although English is more widely spoken, it is nevertheless all the more helpful to learn Vietnamese.

Income taxes

Income tax

Technically, any individual staying for 6 consecutive months or more, that rents or owns real estate, is regarded as a resident in the eyes of Vietnamese law and, therefore, subject to a varying tax rate ranging from 5 to 35% of his total income.


Most local banks’ representatives speak decent English nowadays. However, for the mere sake of facilitating international wire transfers, it might be wise to consider opening an account at either one of these two international branches: ANZ or HSBC. Make sure to bring your passport, labor, and lease contracts along.

Everyday life in Saigon

Vietnam’s colonial times and Ming Chinese diaspora are consubstantial to the country’s identity, even more so in Saigon, where both influences have converged. The city has always, and remains to this day, a hectic cultural melting pot. Although southern Vietnam is noticeably more open to the western world, the Vietnamese are a wonderfully welcoming people.

Hospitals and healthcare

Hospitals and healthcare

Preferred by the Vietnamese themselves for being usually better equipped, private hospitals are best suited for foreign patients and your go-to place if things were to go south. Before you embark on your journey, and to better avoid unwanted and unforeseen trouble, it would be wise to make several phone calls to have adequate private international health insurance coverage.

Renting in Saigon: Where to stay?

At times time-consuming, in all reality, looking for comfortable and suitable housing is not that troublesome, as there are plenty of options available to you. For instance, that is, if you do not mind paying a little more, a spacious well-located fully-furnished 2 or 3-bedroom apartment, or a luxury and quiet compound villa with a backyard and a private swimming pool are not uncommon sights. Now that foreigners are granted the right to purchase property, it makes relocating all the more interesting, too!

Shared and serviced apartments

Shared and serviced apartments

For those who do not necessarily have the financial means to neither rent nor buy any of the above, shared apartments or houses are a great means to socialize while simultaneously keeping expenditures low. Others, on the other hand, may prefer some alone time and would be naturally more interested in a furnished one-bedroom serviced apartment.

Whatever the requirements, price range, or location, we, at Realty Quest, would be delighted to assist you in your search for the home you envision! We sincerely hope, through our article, to have cleared up, if not many, at least some of the doubts you might have had about the different steps leading to your expatriation.

Note: all property information for lease or rent or sale is as accurate as possible.
Pricing and features for any villa or apartment are subject to change.
Realtyquest Vietnam specializes in apartment, house, and villa rentals and sales in Thao Dien, District 2, and all major districts in Saigon. As well as facilitating landlord and tenant communication, helping with housekeeping, security, and pool cleaning services, we also provide assistance with tenancy management and bill payments.

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