Vietnam News

Expats unhappy with Vietnam visa policy, survey affirms

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Vietnam’s consternating visa policies helped placed the nation in the bottom 10 of an index ranking countries in terms of how favorable expatriates find their living conditions.

The Expat Essentials Index, informed by the annual Expat Insider survey by website InterNations (which describes itself as the world’s largest online community of expats), found expatriates vexed about the Vietnam’s visa policy.

For the 2022 edition of the index, InterNations asked 11,970 expats of 177 nationalities living in 181 countries and territories to provide information on various aspects of expat life.

To be featured in the Expat Essentials Index, each destination needed a sample size of at least 50 survey participants. In total, 52 countries and territories met this requirement.

Vietnam landed in the bottom 10, ranking 46th in the overall index, which included the four subcategories of Digital Life, Admin Topics, Housing, and Language.

For the Admin Topics Subcategory, the nation was placed 51st out of 52 destinations.

Within this subcategory, 48% of surveyed expats reported that they had difficulties obtaining a visa to move to Vietnam, double the global average of 24%.

Almost two in three, or 66%, said it was challenging to deal with the local bureaucracy, compared to 39% globally. And 41% found it difficult to open a local bank account, compared to 21% globally.

“The bureaucracy makes simple tasks quite difficult,” said a British expat living in Vietnam, according to the survey.

Vietnam ranked last for the availability of government services online in the Digital Life Subcategory, where it placed 49th. About one in four expats (23%) described it as difficult to pay without cash in Vietnam, compared to 8% globally.

The country also fell in the bottom 10 of the Language Subcategory, ranking 47th.

Within this subcategory, Vietnam ranked last for the ease of learning the local language.

However, 65% of respondents reported that it is easy to live in Vietnam without speaking the local language, compared to 51% globally.

For more positives, the country excelled in the Housing Subcategory, where it ranked fifth. Nearly seven in 10 expats (69%) considered housing in Vietnam affordable (compared to 39% globally), and 76% reported that it is easy to find a house here (versus 54% globally).

The survey found Bahrain the world’s best destination for expats and Germany the worst. Singapore came third in the list as expats highly rated its digitalized life and Indonesia sixth thanks to affordable housing, with both having the language advantage.

By Minh Nga – – March 22, 2023

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