Expats planning to relocate to Vietnam now locked out

Expats planning to relocate to Vietnam now locked out

Expats planning to relocate to Vietnam now locked out

Vietnam’s surprise closing off of the country to foreigners is only temporary, but may well upset expat relocation plans.

Concerns over its rising total of coronavirus patients caused yesterday’s surprise closure and follow on from a previous ruling on March 18 quarantining all foreign and Vietnamese arrivals for 14 days. It seems the bulk of the new COVID-19 cases originated with European tourists as well as with Vietnamese returning from overseas, especially from the UK’s WHO- declared epicenter for infections.

Confusingly, any foreigners arriving in Vietnam for official or diplomatic meetings, business managers, highly-skilled experts and suchlike are being advised to apply to relevant agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Public Security and several other official bodies as regards issuance of entry visas. Even so, these would-be entrants will need to undergo medical checks as well as a 14-day quarantine.

The hopefully temporary closure will also apply to Vietnamese expatriates and their families wishing to return to the home country, even although they have documents proving visa exemption. All the new requirements are aimed at preventing more infections now that the virus has entered a new phase. Government is also advising more online transactions as well as urging its citizens to wear face masks and refrain from either holding or attending gatherings of over 50 people including religious events, weddings and even funerals.

The temporary shutdown includes all entertainment venues, and quarantine is now mandatory for all arrivals. In addition, the Vietnamese government is urging all Vietnamese expats working overseas and students studying abroad to stay in their host countries until the situation improves. For Western expats hoping to relocate to Vietnam from elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the doors are tightly shut for now and there’s no real idea when they’ll open again.

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