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Complete guide to obtaining a visa to retire in Vietnam, the required documents, and the best places for retirees

Move to Southeast Asia to spend your golden years in the colorful and breathtaking Vietnam. The country will immediately fascinate you with its scenery, ancient history, diverse culture, and natural beauty of the country, making it a retirement paradise for financially independent persons.

But, as tempting as it sounds to move to Vietnam for retirement, the country does not yet have an available retirement visa. Thus, anyone who wants to make Vietnam their new permanent home must look for other available ways that can lead to retirement. 

How Can I Retire in Vietnam?  

Different from its neighboring countries, like Cambodia, Vietnam does not belong to the group of countries that issue retirement visas. Foreign nationals who want to live in Vietnam long-term have several other visa options that allow them to stay in Vietnam for a longer period.

Due to recent updates on Vietnam’s Immigration Law, the only path to retirement in Vietnam for retired foreigners is either getting a Vietnam business visa or a Vietnam investor visa.     

The Investor Visa As A Vietnam Retirement Visa

Vietnam has experienced an increase in demand for a Vietnam Investor Visa (DT Visa). This type of visa is granted to financially independent foreigners who have the required amount of financial means to invest in Vietnam. 

The Vietnam Investor Visa (DT Visa) is categorized as follows.

Visa TypeDescription
DT1For foreign investors who want to invest in Vietnam with a capital contribution of a value of at least VND100 billion or invest in a business with incentives.
DT2For foreign investors who want to invest in Vietnam with a capital contribution from VND50 billion to less than VND100 billion or will invest in businesses encouraged for investment. 
DT3For foreign investors who want to invest in Vietnam with a capital contribution from VND3 billion to less than VND 50 billion.
DT4For foreigners who want to invest in Vietnam with a capital contribution of less than VND 3 billion.

The duration of an investor visa depends on the type of visa you apply for. Typically, DT1 and DR2 are issued for five years, DT3 for up to 3 years, and DT4 for a period of 12 months (one year).

The Business Visa As A Vietnam Retirement Visa

The Vietnam Business Visa, also known as the DN Visa, is issued for a short term to foreigners who enter Vietnam for business purposes but do not have a work permit.

The business visa is issued for 1 month, 3 months, six, or a maximum of 12 months (one year) and allows you to work for a period of 90 days per year. To exceed the working period, you need a work permit

Once you make sure that you meet the visa requirements, you can apply for a business visa at an Embassy/Consulate or on arrival.  

What Are The Eligibility Requirements for Retirement in Vietnam?

You can retire in Vietnam once you meet the following criteria: 

  • You are officially retired in your home country.
  • You have valid health insurance.
  • You are financially independent and can support yourself and your family during your allowed stay in Vietnam.
  • You do not have any criminal charges or are not sentenced for serious crimes.

How Much Money You Need to Retire in Vietnam?

Vietnam is one of the cheapest countries to visit and live in, where most of the items cost half of what you would pay in other countries. A typical average-looking day in Vietnam can cost you around $50, whereas, for a more luxurious experience, you can spend $60 to $100 per day. For your monthly expenses, you would need an amount of $450 for daily expenses and $175 to $1710 for rent, depending on where your place of residence is located. 

If you live with your family, then your estimated monthly expenses are expected to be higher, around $1610 without rent.

Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Vietnam:

ACCOMMODATION (rent)Monthly Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$375
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$240
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$885
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Center $475
ACCOMMODATIONPRICE per m2
Price for purchasing an apartment in City Centre$2815
Price for purchasing an apartment Outside of Centre$1400
FOODCOSTS
Milk$1.46
Rice $0.95
Eggs$1.47
Tomato$0.80
Potato$1.20
Apples (kg)$2.90
UTILITIESMONTHLY COSTS (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$70

Healthcare for Retirees in Vietnam

Vietnam is striving towards a universal healthcare system for all its citizens. The country provides medical services through a mix of both the public and private sectors.

The public healthcare system of Vietnam is organized under an administrative hierarchy, and over 80% of citizens in Vietnam have access to public healthcare. Public facilities make up the majority of the system, and they focus on four levels of services: central, provincial, district, and commune. 

In both public and private hospitals, some citizens of Vietnam have to pay for medical services themselves.

Private healthcare in Vietnam comes with more benefits than public healthcare, such as:

  • A network of private hospitals
  • No long waits for an appointment or medical services
  • Modern facilities
  • Cover for ongoing expenses.

To be a beneficiary of the benefits mentioned above, you can opt for private health insurance with international coverage.

Why Should I Retire in Vietnam?

If you are still having doubts about whether to move to Vietnam or not, here are some reasons why Vietnam is a great place to retire.

  • Low Living Costs. The cost of living is one of the reasons why retirees choose Vietnam as their retirement home. Prices in Vietnam are lower than in the neighboring countries, and you can get by with $700 per month to cover your living expenses.
  • Real Estate. Home prices in Vietnam are very affordable compared to property prices in China or Bangkok. Vietnam is becoming Asia’s latest property hotspot. The price for purchasing an apartment in the city center goes around $1712 per m2 to $6420 m2, whereas outside the city center, you can find apartments for as low as $645 per m2.
  • Safety and Security. Vietnam ranks 57th in safety and has a very low crime rate. Violent crime in Vietnam is very rare, and the country makes sure to offer its citizens a safe environment where they can live peacefully. This is another reason why many retirees who do not want to worry about whether they’ll be safe or not make Vietnam their second home. 
  • Healthcare. Vietnam offers high-quality healthcare and affordable dental care for all legal residents. Unfortunately, the country does not have free healthcare, and there are some treatments that citizens must pay out of their pocket, but the prices are still low and affordable for everyone. 
  • People. Vietnamese people value humility, restraint, and modesty. They are extremely welcoming and would do anything to show their respect to you. There is no doubt you will have a great time with your Vietnamese neighbors.

What Are The Best Places for Retirees in Vietnam?

Vietnam is one of the best Asian countries for expats to retire. The modern comfort, affordability, and relaxing vibe the country offers make it a favorite destination for thousands of retired foreigners every year. Here are the best cities to retire in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh 

Vietnam’s largest city with a prominent history and plenty of museums showing the country’s history. Ho Chi Minh is a popular tourist destination that attracts tourists from all over the world with its fascinating history and culture, skyscrapers, ornate temples, and Chinese pagodas. 

The best thing about living in Ho Chi Minh is that you can find accommodation that matches any kind of budget.

Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, known for its centuries-old architecture and rich culture. It is a great place to explore and go sightseeing on foot. The city is famous for its delicious cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and the production of exotic handicrafts. 

In Hanoi, you will find a multicultural community from different cultures and parts of the world, so you will meet new people and learn about their culture. 

Hoi An

If you are passionate about clothes and shopping, Hoi An is a great place for that. Hoi An is known for its textile industry, and people visit the city to get tailor-made clothes. Besides the high-quality clothes, Hoi An has many natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, and a mix of Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese cultures.

Hoi An is a great place to live with your significant other and enjoy the golden days together.

Da Nang

Da Nang is a coastal city located in South Central Vietnam known for its sandy beaches. Many retirees choose Da Nang because of its clean environment, low pollution, great standards of living, and infrastructure. 

Da Nang has a tropical monsoon climate with an average annual temperature of 26 °C (79 °F) and higher temperatures during the summer months, which is perfect for spending the days on one of the beautiful beaches of Da Nang.

Nha Trang

Another coastal resort that is perfect for spending your retirement is Nha Trang. The city has some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam, with crystal clear waters, diving sites, and offshore islands. 

While Nha Trang is mostly famous for its breathtaking beaches, the city also has a strong historical and cultural heritage.

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