Working and Living in Vietnam

Immigration and Residence Permit

Unfortunately, there are currently no permanent residence permits or visas for multi-year stays for pensioners and private individuals.

For business travelers, business travelers and students in Vietnam is a business visa to apply for. This is valid for one year. During this time, you can have a residence permit issued for up to 3 years. If you do not have a business partner in Vietnam yet, you can apply for a tourist visa. Investors can even get a visa for 5 years.

Before the business visa is issued, the Vietnamese company you want to work for must apply to the local authorities for an entry permit. If the approval is granted, the Vietnamese embassy will receive information about it. You will then receive a reference number for the entry confirmation (approval number) from the Vietnamese employer. This number is submitted together with all other documents for the application for a business visa at the embassy in Berlin.

The current visa fees and details of the documents can be requested from the consular department by calling +49 30 53630 102 or +49 30 53630 108.

Important for everyone!
Keep the baggage tags on the flight ticket and on the flight baggage until you leave the airport. These are checked when leaving the airport. The entry form must be kept until you leave Vietnam.

Labor market

According to countryvv, you can work in Vietnam for up to 3 months without a work permit. A work visa can be issued for 2 years. You can find out about exceptions at the Vietnamese embassy. To start work in Vietnam, you should have at least a basic knowledge of the Vietnamese language. Test here for free how well you speak and understand Vietnamese (takes about 3 minutes).

The following documents are required to apply for a work permit:

  • completed application form
  • Business visa
  • Approval number
  • criminal record certificate
  • employment contract
  • resume
  • Proof of professional experience and training
  • Passport photos
  • Health certificate

You need these documents in duplicate, legalized and notarized. Usually the employer submits the documents to the competent authority twenty days before the start of work.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Vietnam is significantly lower than in Europe. Especially if you adapt to the local lifestyle and stay outside the tourist centers. Everywhere you can find markets where you can buy the most beautiful fruit and vegetables cheaply. Eating out can also be quite cheap. Depending on the type of food and the environment, prices range between 1.50 euros per meal and 30 euros.

You need around € 1,714.71 in Hanoi to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,700.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Hanoi are 47.76% lower than in Berlin (excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices in Hanoi are 53.66% lower than in Berlin (including rent)
  • Rental prices in Hanoi are 66.75% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Hanoi are 70.16% lower than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Hanoi are 35.21% lower than in Berlin
  • The local purchasing power in Hanoi is 67.57% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Hanoi (from 10/2019 – 09/2020)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 1.66 1.10-3.67
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 14.69 9.18-29.38
Local beer, 0.5 l 0.73 0.37-0.92
Imported beer, 0.33 l 1.38 0.92-2.94
cappuccino 1.45 0.73-2.39
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 0.46 0.37-0.73
Water (0.33 l) 0.28 0.18-0.37
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 1.22 0.92-1.47
White bread (500g) 0.59 0.37-1.47
Rice (white), (1kg) 0.72 0.51-0.92
Eggs (12) 1.35 0.92-1.576
Local cheese (1kg) 9.02 4.41-29.38
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 3.20 1.84-5.51
Beef (1kg) 9.31 7.34-12.12
Apples (1kg) 2.70 1.65-3.67
Bananas (1kg) 0.79 0.55-1.47
Oranges (1kg) 1.57 0.55-2.57
Tomatoes (1kg) 0.85 0.55-0.92
Potatoes (1kg) 0.97 0.37-1.47
Onions (1kg) 0.91 0.55-1.29
Lettuce (1 head) 0.45 0.18-0.73
Water (1.5 l) 0.50 0.29-0.92
Bottle of wine (middle class) 9.18 2.94-18.36
Local beer (0.5 l) 0.62 0.44-1.10
Imported beer (0.33 l) 1.14 0.73-2.20

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Hanoi (from 10/2019 – 09/2020)

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 0.26 0.26-0.26
Monthly pass 7.34 3.67 – 7.34
Taxi base amount 0.40 0.37-0.55
Taxi 1 km 0.44 0.37-0.55
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 59.98 36.72-110.16
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.06 0.02-0.09
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 8.46 5.51-14.69
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 29.87 11.02-55.08
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 24.31 11.02-36.72
Nike sports shoes, middle class 70.91 36.72-91.80
Leather business shoes 58.59 36.72-110.16
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 18.79 7.34-44.04
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 6.94 4.41 – 7.34
a movie ticket 3.12 2.57-4.41
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 168.07 91.80-293.77
International primary school per year and child 9,266.52 4,406.51-15,262.13

In many places you can get rental apartments for EUR 100 – EUR 300 a month, depending on the location, size and furnishings. However, it is more expensive in Hanoi.

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Hanoi (from 10/2019 – 09/2020)

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 297.84 183.60-508.74
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 204.52 110.16-367.21
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 635.88 367.21-932.69
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 413.98 257.05-734.42
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 1,799.33 1,285.23-3,672.09
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase 890.05 734.42-1468.84
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 374.90

Emigration and Life in Vietnam

In Vietnam it is warmer and sunnier and you can live much cheaper. Long-term stays are only possible with a business visa. However, you should learn some Vietnamese, even if many Vietnamese speak some German, French or English. Some advantages of the country: Lots of forest, low cost of living (LHK-I 58).

Working and Living in Vietnam