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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawVietnam Has No Retirement Visa Similar to Thai Retirement Visas

Vietnam Has No Retirement Visa Similar to Thai Retirement Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are actually not talking about Thailand in this video specifically, we are talking about Vietnam but the reason I am bringing it up is because I have seen a lot of comments throughout the internet and I have heard a fair number of people in person or sort of tangentially I have overheard people talking about the fact that due to changes within the Retirement Visa apparatus in Thailand, as well as certain things like the increasingly stringent TM30 reporting of residences by foreigners here in the Kingdom, that many are trying to find alternatives and a lot of folks are looking at Vietnam. I thought it was noteworthy to bring up, Vietnam doesn't have a Retirement Visa scheme. They simply don't have one. 

I recently came upon an article in Investopedia.  The title of it is Retiring in Vietnam: The Pros and Cons.  Quoting directly, and this was under cons, "No Retirement Visa scheme. A foreigner can get a one month or three month single or multiple entry visa to visit and can then reapply and re-enter as the visa expires. It is helpful that you can apply for a Visa extension within the country by visiting a local travel agent. If you have family ties to Vietnam you may be eligible for a Permanent Residence Card, PRC, which is valid for three years after which you must renew your application. If you or your parents were born in Vietnam or if you are married to a Vietnamese citizen, you may be eligible for a 5-year Visa exemption which allows you to leave and re-enter the country over the course of five years without the need to reapply for a visa each time. Vietnamese Nationals living abroad and their families are also eligible.”

What is the point in all of that? Well there is no Retirement Visa in Vietnam and there is no system similar to Thailand's Retirement Visa scheme wherein one can get a Retirement Visa from abroad, the so-called OA Visa, come into Thailand and then live for a year and then presumably after that one can extend one's status here in the Kingdom; we have made many videos on this channel discussing extension of Retirement Visas. As folks have stated and have actually asked me questions out there about alternatives to Thailand, I would like to point out that within Southeast Asia there really aren't a lot of viable alternatives that provide the legal structure that provides a level of certainty with respect to renewing one's status every year and at the same time also has sort of the amenities for lack of a better term that Thailand has. The temperate climate, the ease of getting around with respect to foreigners and the infrastructure for that matter.  So again I am not trying to exactly be an apologist for the Thai system but I think it is worth noting that those who are out there looking for alternatives, again to reiterate that is no Retirement Visa system in Vietnam and moreover, while I have heard people say "oh, but they do have visas, and it is easy to reapply for visas, and you can continuously keep getting one to three month visas", that may be the case now, but there was a time in Thailand when that was also the case, where one could effectively live in the Kingdom on 30-day stamps or on recurring Tourist Visas. That time has come and gone in Thailand and while I think Vietnam may restructure their Immigration System to provide more accommodation for foreigners at some point in the future, I do not think it is particularly prudent to rely on the sufferance of the Vietnamese Immigration apparatus to continually keep issuing just sort of infinite Tourist Visas if you will because that same reliance got a lot of people in trouble over here in Thailand because they came to rely on that largesse if you will, that frequency of issuance of Tourist Visas and when that came to an end it put a lot of people on their back foot  and it actually put many people in a bad position.

So again this video is mostly here to provide some insight and perspective for people to be able to plan their lifestyle choices accordingly.  But the thing to keep in mind is if one has the resources to retire in Thailand and obtain the Retirement Visa I think that is a far more advantageous type of travel document or I should say for lack of better term “domicile status”, than is a recurring tourist visa, in any jurisdiction.