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Overseas Health Insurance News: Visa fee for Vietnam increased

Expatriates living in Vietnam will find that the cost of obtaining a visa for the country has been increased by the national government.

In a bid to encourage companies to employ Vietnamese workers instead of those from abroad, the cost of a one-year visa has gone up to US$80 (£49.50).

For those expats wishing to stay in the country on a longer term basis, the fee has gone up to $100 for one to two years and $120 for two to three years.

The Ministry of Tourism admitted that it was to deter foreign recruitment, but the chances are that companies will continue to pay the fees in order to attract the expertise they need from abroad.

For those expats with friends and family wanting to visit them, the costs will also increase with a tourist visa going from $25 to $45.

This also means that any expats living nearby in South East Asia in countries such as Cambodia or Laos will find it more costly to go to Vietnam for a holiday.

The visa fees must be paid in Vietnamese dong or US dollars, with other forms of payment such as debit or credit card not accepted.

British tourists are also to be subjected to an extra charge equivalent to £12.29 for a visa approval letter from the Vietnam immigration Department.

This is now a requirement for those from the UK wishing to travel to Vietnam, making the entire process more expensive and time consuming.

While Vietnam is doing what it can to dissuade expats from settling in the country, other governments in the region are encouraging foreign workers to take up residence with them.

These include Malaysia where a number of schemes have been brought in to facilitate the process of moving abroad for its expat community.

Vietnam claims to want to see 7.2 million tourists visit the country this year, but upping the price of visas may hinder such an aim coming to fruition.

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