Vietnam is a relatively safe and stable country, especially for foreigners. Crime against foreigners is very low and is usually limited to petty theft or scams. Violent crime against foreigners is also quite low. Foreigners should be aware though that living in a city in Vietnam has many of the same issues any urban area might have (like residential theft or dangerous parts of town) and sensible precautions need to be taken.

VND (Vietnam Dong) is the official currency of Vietnam. USD is accepted for some transactions and is accepted (along with other major currencies) at banks. At the writing of this FAQ in 2015, the exchange from 1 USD to VND is 21,800 VND. The largest bill in Vietnam is 500,000 VND. One million VND is equal to about 50 USD, so for very little money, you can easily call yourself a millionaire once you arrive in Vietnam!

Most foreigners who are coming to Vietnam to work will initially enter under a three month, multi-entry DN visa. There is a relatively straightforward, easy process to obtain this visa that allows the foreigner to enter Vietnam while their work permit and residence card are in progress. The three month multi-entry DN visa should be obtained at the Vietnamese embassy in overseas with a pre-authorization letter and can also be converted in -country once work permit has been granted to a LD visa. It is however recommended that the official assignment only start after your work permit is granted.

Foreigners must have a visa or temporary residence card as well as a work permit in order to legally reside and work in Vietnam.

We recommend allowing at least three months for the Work Permit process due to the coordination of multiple offices both in Vietnam and your home country. Click here to see our overview of requirements for obtaining a work permit.

Credit cards are becoming more and more common every year in Vietnam. We recommended that foreigners still rely mostly on cash for everyday transactions as credit card fees at establishments can be high and credit card fraud is always a concern. Visa / Mastercard are widely accepted but other companies like American Express are not as popular yet. If you intend to use your foreign credit card in Vietnam, be sure to notify your home bank prior to arrival.

In general, the foreigners in Vietnam can be well cared for due to the presence of international clinics like International SOS and Family Medical Practice. General healthcare, pediatrics, dental and much more can be found in the major cities and all are staffed by highly qualified international doctors with modern, reliable equipment. Large foreign hospitals are such as VinMec International Hospitals are now available but not as common yet. Highly respected hospitals are nearby in Thailand and Singapore in case of a major emergency.

No. Vietnamese is written with the Latin alphabet. In the middle ages there were characters, but they’ve not been in public use for a long time.

It’s the same language, most of the words are the same and speakers can usually understand each other. People argue over whether there are dialects in Vietnam. There are definitely very different regional accents, with different pronunciation and some differing vocabulary. The two main pronunciations are the northern one and the southern one. They have totally different sounds for letters such as gi-/d- which in the northern accent is like /z/ and in the southern one like /y/.

If you are a citizen of a Southeast Asian or Nordic countries, Japan, South Korea, you do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for tourism purpose. If your nationality is different from what was mentioned above, you can obtain your visa from the embassy or opt for visa on arrival.

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