Vietnam is now used to an influx of foreigners. In 2007 the country saw 3.6 million overseas visitors enter the country, a 3.7% increase on the previous year and although no precise figures exist, it is thought that anything from 80,000 to 120,000 foreigners now live in Vietnam.
While the world continues to fret and predict doomsday, we in Vietnam are not in an ‘R’ – a recession. We are growing and will continue to do so.
The six-month, multiple-entry working visa for Vietnam has never been anything to get concerned about. Go through an agent and no documents are required except your passport, and no questions are asked. The cost is around US$95 and within a week of making the form-less application, your passport is returned, all stamped and official.
No clear information is readily available on what you are entitled to if you want to visit or work in Vietnam. So, to follow is a rundown of what foreign nationals can apply for.
In my experience there are three types of expat in Vietnam. Those who – let’s call them relativists – think the whole country is wonderful and the people lovable and honest, and that even the bad things can’t be criticised as it’s their culture and we have no right to find fault with it.
Visitors to Vietnam’s cities often have the same two complaints: the appalling traffic and the lack of nightlife choices. Vietnam wants tourists for their spending power, but doesn’t exactly go out of its way to make life comfortable for them while they’re here.