Longstay visas - can I keep bouncing on a 6-month business visa?

I'm a newbie, but coming to retire in Vietnam soon and  have been scanning these forums for months. I can't find any references to my question - sorry if I've missed it.

Whats the official attitude to using end-to-end 6-month business visas as a way of staying in Vietnam? (UK passport.)

As far as I can see there's no need to have (or to apply for) a work permit or to have an employer's letter to get this visa - am I correct? (And I won't need to work anyway as I'll be on a pension.)

Although it's more expensive than getting ongoing 3-month tourist visas, the costs are offset (for me anyway as I'll be staying in Nha Trang) by the added costs of going first to  HCM City and then on to Cambodia four times a year.

Do people do this? Is it viable?

Or is it something that it immigration people would frown on after a couple of 6-month business visas?

thanks in advance.

Please do not take this as condemnatory but if you think about it for a while, as you apparently have, it seems rather inequitable that Expats from North America, Europe and AU/NZ feel entitled to permanent residency in Vietnam and seem to resent the visa schemes they need to employ, while their own countries, to varying degrees, erect steep obstacles to the same for Vietnamese citizens.

THIGV :

Please do not take this as condemnatory but if you think about it for a while, as you apparently have, it seems rather inequitable that Expats from North America, Europe and AU/NZ feel entitled to permanent residency in Vietnam and seem to resent the visa schemes they need to employ, while their own countries, to varying degrees, erect steep obstacles to the same for Vietnamese citizens.

..and might I add the obvious..?    ..this is PRECISELY WHY the Viet Nam Govt.  plays the same game to our (former) countries...   Yes, things are changing, but we aren't hanging by our thumbs waiting.   I invite you to open your mind and appreciate how good it is here

    Many (most?) of us here enjoy the advantages and ignore the (very minor) negatives

    Attitude is everything      :idontagree:

Yes, there are quite a few people who do similar to what you are doing, a lot even use tourist visas.  If you are retired and living off a pension from your home county and spending it in Vietnam nobody in the Government minds.
However, rules constantly change and once you are here you'll be able to talk with other expats. I would recommend you get the 6-month visa, then visit a local tourist agent wherever you end up. There are many was to get 2 year, even 5 year resident cards, you just have to be willing to pay for it.  For many, that ends up being the easier way.

THIGV :

Please do not take this as condemnatory but if you think about it for a while, as you apparently have, it seems rather inequitable that Expats from North America, Europe and AU/NZ feel entitled to permanent residency in Vietnam and seem to resent the visa schemes they need to employ, while their own countries, to varying degrees, erect steep obstacles to the same for Vietnamese citizens.

I can not speak for other countries but know a little about the US system.
As far as US green card requirements, they can be good for up to 10 years, so once you get past the temporary visa requirements it is not very burdensome. The US has never required immigrants or tourists to do border runs to renew visas, Now even a tourist visa for most countries I am familiar with is a 5 year multiple entry visa. Once in the US the visa holder can stay 5 years without leaving.

The US does screen for visas as they should. Anyone coming to the US is entitled to many benefits. (a safety net if you will) I dont see Vietnam is providing any such services. Retirees in Vietnam are a huge benefit to the local economy. They bring in thousands of dollars a month from other countries, and dont compete with locals for jobs and spend many times more than locals in their local communities.

In most cases immigrants to the US do compete with locals for jobs. Can put a drain on the government if they are destitute, they could receive thousands in government benefits each month.
I would think most developing countries would bend over backward to make it easy for retirees to enter there country. Because each average retiree probably spends (10, 20, 30 X) a local and all that goes to the local business people.

Bazza139 :

Many (most?) of us here enjoy the advantages and ignore the (very minor) negatives

    Attitude is everything      :idontagree:

Of course the current system of people jumping through hoops for short terms solutions is beneficial to some.  We know that there is whole industry based on navigating the immigration maze.   I just threw my comment out there as food for thought.  I am sure you will agree that in Vietnam, the name of the game is "go with the flow."

and the answer to my question is . . . ?

HHGTTG.   HitchHikersGuideToTheGalaxy's 'Deep Thought's Answer is 42.  (Page 150)

"So once you know what the Question actually is, you'll know what the answer means"

..but you really need to understand the Question first...    :huh:

.

Seriously - is there nobody on this forum who can answer my question?

robsamui :

Seriously - is there nobody on this forum who can answer my question?

I think Sanerenter answered your question.

The reason why nobody can answer your question 100% is that the laws change like you change your underwear. It's frustrating as you can't keep track of the changes as they are so frequent.

Earlier this year they suspended the Business Visa program, but I had heard they recently began processing applications again.

There shouldn't be a problem with you renewing the visa, but I've also anecdotally learned that if you do it for several years then Immigration gets suspicious.

Robsamui,  get used to these kind of answers if you want to live in Vietnam, because nothing is ever simple or straightforward.  Just bring a bank account and a lot of patience and everything will eventually work out.

This forum is full of threads about things like visa runs to Cambodia to constantly renew tourist visas.  It also has massive threads about obtaining visas exemptions through marriage as well as residency cards through employment.  Visa juggling in Vietnam must be about 10% of the forum.  Just start searching.  It's like hitting the side of a barn door.

I have been living here for 6 years on a business visa. At first I did border runs after 3 consecutive three-month visas. Now I have a one-year biz visa and only do the run once a year. It's not all that expensive. Fly out of Nha Trangto Cambodia or Bangkok for a day or weekend.

Another option you could consider is starting a small business or partnering with someone else. As a director of a company, you are eligible for a Temporary Residence Card (TRC) which could be from 2-5 years depending on the mood of immigration at the time. Visas are getting easier as time progresses, not harder.

yes, but try "bouncing" around on a 1-yr business visa

doctorhands :

I have been living here for 6 years on a business visa. At first I did border runs after 3 consecutive three-month visas. Now I have a one-year biz visa and only do the run once a year. It's not all that expensive. Fly out of Nha Trangto Cambodia or Bangkok for a day or weekend.

Another option you could consider is starting a small business or partnering with someone else. As a director of a company, you are eligible for a Temporary Residence Card (TRC) which could be from 2-5 years depending on the mood of immigration at the time. Visas are getting easier as time progresses, not harder.

Making a company sounds easy, but you forgot to mention about the  VAT lodgement every month, then every quarter, then a yearly report plus the company taxation. Making a business just for a TRC is both costly and time consuming.

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