Living In Vietnam: A Guide To Moving To Vietnam As An Expat

What is life in Vietnam like? Home to 100 million people, including 100,000 expats, Vietnam is attracting foreign families like never before thanks to having one of the fastest-growing economies worldwide. As the country emerges onto the world stage, many Vietnamese industries are desperate for highly-skilled foreign workers and investors to help guide their small-and-medium sized businesses. PwC even predicts Vietnam will be a top 20 global economy by 2050.

There has never been a better time to become an expat, and that applies to Vietnam especially – but what should you know before you go? Our full guide on becoming an expat and living in Vietnam will help you. We cover the practical details expats should consider before making the move, including upfronts costs, the visa requirements to live and work in Vietnam, the Vietnam tax system, where to live and if you need international health insurance.

What to expect from living in Vietnam as an expat: life in Vietnam

Vietnam’s ascendancy is staggering and owes a lot to its Doi Moi reform policy, implemented in the 1980s, which has propelled it from a traditional to a modern economy. Many expats are drawn to Vietnam’s fast-growing tourism sector, but telecommunications, exports and finance are among the many industries on the up-and-up.

Moving anywhere new is bound to offer some unique challenges, and Vietnam is no exception. From finding the best jobs to getting the most out of your lifestyle in your new home in South-East Asia – here’s everything you need to know about living expat life in Vietnam.

Is Vietnam safe for expats?

Yes, living in Vietnam for expats is relatively safe. The country rarely experiences horrible natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The security, especially in large cities, is acceptable.

However, the first thing you need to know about Vietnam is that it is a one-party communist country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Vietnam has a socialist republic form of government, so if you are coming from an urbanised, Western country, you are sure to experience a bit of culture shock.

For one thing, certain freedoms that you may have taken for granted will be severely limited in Vietnam. It ranks 175th out of 180 countries for press freedom. Vietnam also ranks low in terms of religious freedom, with religious acts suppressed by the government if they violate the so-called “national interest” and “public order.”