Vietnam now popular with expat entrepreneurs

Vietnam now popular with expat entrepreneurs

Vietnam now popular with expat entrepreneurs

Vietnam is coming under increased scrutiny by expatriates looking to settle in the country and earn a living.

Living in Vietnam is an exciting, totally different experience for those willing to adjust to its culture and environment, especially if the plan is to start a new business. Living on a budget is easy, but becoming an entrepreneur takes an understanding of cultural norms as well as laws and visa rules. The country is also seeing a number of long-term expat retirees and digital nomads arriving after a few years’ stay in Cambodia and Thailand. Visas are readily available, including a three-month single entry version as well as six and twelve-month visas, all of which are available at Vietnamese consulates and embassies. Attempted entry without a visa is usually denied.

Expats can live well on between $700 and $1400 a month, and the currency is the Vietnamese dong, with the US dollar also acceptable at an exchange rate of around 1.22 dong/dollar. High speed internet is available in larger cities and some smaller towns, as are internet cafes, but is chancy in rural areas. Security-wise, Vietnam is considered to be safer overall than Thailand or Cambodia, although expats need to watch out for petty theft as well as visa and taxi scams including overcharging. Those hoping to get around by motorbike should note accidents are very frequent due to poor driving standards.

Th expat scene itself is famous and is mostly made up of digital nomads, young entrepreneurs, backpackers and bloggers along with travellers. Problems include the likelihood of flooding in the rainy season, and expats wanting to purchase land on which to build are out of luck. In neighbouring Cambodia and Thailand, foreigners cannot own land but can own property under specific rules, but in Vietnam, the only way is to lease land from the government and build a house.

Vietnam is both child and pet friendly, with children enjoying their new lives and pets being brought in via a straightforward process with a minimum of paperwork. Favourite jobs for expats include teaching English and other skills, working in the digital or tourist sectors or even starting a new business, thus creating jobs for local people as well as a good salary for yourself.

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