Banking Regulations for Foreigners Opening New Accounts

Timo banking  is not a government authority, however, they have done a good job of quoting and explaining new regulations regarding foreigners (from any country) opening new bank accounts in Vietnam:

https://timo.vn/en/blog/regulations-for-foreigners/

Pertinent points:

In addition to a valid passport, you need a 12 month Visa on arriving in Vietnam in order to immediately open a bank account.

That doesn't mean the bank is required to open an account for you.

It means the bank can't open an account without a 12 month Visa

However, there are other documents which will allow you to qualify.

This is a quote from the Timo website:

One of the following valid documents with at least 12 months validity*:

+ Vietnam visa,  OR

+ Temporary resident card, OR

+ Permanent resident card

*The above documents do not need  to have 12 months remaining validity from the date of applying to join Timo.


Information about Temporary Resident Cards can be found in this sticky thread:

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=541937

Once you apply for and get a TRC or PRC, you can then open an account.

WHAT ABOUT TEACHERS and others hired for jobs while possessing a visa of less than 12 month's duration?

Maybe Rick (Budman) or someone else can dig deeper and see if there are exceptions.

Previously a legitimate employer could help you set up your first account and pay you through your bank account.

Please feel free to post any corrections based on fact.

There is already a lot of rumor and heresay about this subject posted throughout the forum.

thanks for the update.  very helpful

OceanBeach92107 :

WHAT ABOUT TEACHERS and others hired for jobs while possessing a visa of less than 12 month's duration?

My wife is a citizen, her employer pays her via an ACB account. It is a one-way bank account. Employer deposits funds. Wife given ATM card to withdraw. It is not a general purpose account for anything else.

Kinda weird. Maybe because since most citizens don't have bank accounts, it is simpler than paying some in ATM accounts, and others in direct deposit personal accounts.

Don't know how other employers or schools pay.

I just started with EMG.  I will be getting an account somewhere and have the wages deposited.  My plan is to then pull them out...not use the account for anything else.  I start to function on a cash basis and if I need more money pull it out of my US accounts via debit card.   Not willing to get over involved in VNese banking.  Being a single man, it
Just seems like a can of worms not worth opening

Hi there,

Would it be possible for a foreigner to open an USD account and make a deposit at TIMO  based on a 3 months turist visa?

epsacori :

Hi there,

Would it be possible for a foreigner to open an USD account and make a deposit at TIMO  based on a 3 months turist visa?

I wouldn't trust people sharing their experiences about what HAS been possible.

I would ask Timo directly about what the new regulations currently allow.

May I ask, why a U.S. Dollar account?

Because a dollar account would be easier to open at the bank and you may easy transfer dollars to another country without loosing on money exchange...

I am still living in Thailand and inquiries from Thailand to a bank in Vietnam usually will not replied to by the bank unless you have an account with the bank.

It seems Vietnam doesn't want foreigners.

One year visas... gone! No bank account without a one year visa or a residence permit. Catch 22.

cruisemonkey :

It seems Vietnam doesn't want foreigners.

One year visas... gone! No bank account without a one year visa or a residence permit. Catch 22.

One year visas aren't gone for US citizens.

SteinNebraska :
cruisemonkey :

It seems Vietnam doesn't want foreigners.

One year visas... gone! No bank account without a one year visa or a residence permit. Catch 22.

One year visas aren't gone for US citizens.

Only US citizens, so basically it has gone.

epsacori :

Because a dollar account would be easier to open at the bank and you may easy transfer dollars to another country without loosing on money exchange...

First, that's an assumption on your part, that IN VIETNAM it is "easier" to open a USD account.

Second, the new regulations are part of the government's attempts to fight money laundering.

You know: a foreign national lives in a drug cartel country, then travels with dollars he has acquired to Thailand, where he crosses the border into Vietnam on a short term passport, opens a bank account and funds it with those dollars, and then wires the money from Vietnam to... ?

Nothing in the quoted information differentiates between types of currency:

https://timo.vn/en/blog/community-blog/ … n-vietnam/

It is not my assumption but my experience. I have opend an USD account at a Vietnam bank. During my search on site 2017 I have been told at least by 3 different vietnam banks that it is not allowed for me to open a dong account but relatively easy to open an USD account for a foreigner with a turist visa. So, I did it at IVB. Unfortunatly the exchange rate this bank offers is not very generous. I thought I may find alternativen with my inquiry at this forum.

Vietnam is a good friend to the USA despite the history. Europeans and other nations lack the political Promoters....our political elites are not interested to support the european exodus...

There are 2 reasons to keep a considerable abount of cash in a vietnam bank: in case you get seriously ill. If you have to use the services of a hospital they will ask you for cash or your credit card. Better to make a inicial cash deposit than hand over your credit card. The second reason to keep cash in the country is in the event of sudden political changes with all the uncertanties this might generate for foreigners.

epsacori :

It is not my assumption but my experience. I have opend an USD account at a Vietnam bank. During my search on site 2017 I have been told at least by 3 different vietnam banks that it is not allowed for me to open a dong account but relatively easy to open an USD account for a foreigner with a turist visa. So, I did it at IVB. Unfortunatly the exchange rate this bank offers is not very generous. I thought I may find alternativen with my inquiry at this forum.

What you have been able to do in the past is an assumption in the present.

The whole point of this sticky thread is to inform people about the CURRENT regulations, which do not differentiate between currencies, and apply to all foreigners.

But as I said before, you are welcome to contact individual banks and see what they say.

As far a I have heard from other experts and during trips last year, my bank experience from 2017 is still valid. You may talk to a couple of banks to verify my "assumptions". Thank you

epsacori :

As far a I have heard from other experts and during trips last year, my bank experience from 2017 is still valid. You may talk to a couple of banks to verify my "assumptions". Thank you

Did you even follow the initial link posted in this thread and READ the regulations as quoted by TIMO bank?

This is NEW information, less than 1 month old.

If you are so stubbornly certain that old information still applies, why are you even bothering to ask the question in this thread?

I have no need to inquire at any bank.

The new restrictions read quite clearly to me.

fine, stick to your new regulations.

Those interested in a USD bank account should at least try out 3 or more banks. It will cost you less than 60 Minutes as banks in comercial centers are nearby located. It is not true that bank regulations are identical for DONG or USD accounts when it comes to foreigners with a turist visa.

epsacori :

fine, stick to your new regulations.

Those interested in a USD bank account should at least try out 3 or more banks. It will cost you less than 60 Minutes as banks in comercial centers are nearby located. It is not true that bank regulations are identical for DONG or USD accounts when it comes to foreigners with a turist visa.

This from the person who entered this thread to ask the question...

Now you are an authority?

My CURRENT online banking information link is my authority.

So far, your authority is a memory of what you could accomplish here prior to the new nationwide restrictions.

Yes, it IS true.

"...bank regulations are identical for DONG or USD accounts when it comes to foreigners with a turist (sic) visa."

Please stop trying to spread disinformation.

Of course, we would be happy to see proof of your claim in the form of an official regulation or a banking website link.

I would quickly apologize to you.

However, I have recently assisted three different foreigners looking to move to Vietnam from Thailand.

They all had similar attitudes to yours, telling me they knew how banking "must be" in Vietnam.

All came to realize the reality of the banking rules here.

So I'm trying very hard to keep you from giving another person (the casual reader of this sticky thread) bad information.

def1412 :

I just started with EMG

My sympathies!

fact.....never had a job here.
fact.....dont have TRC
fact......only ever had 3 months tourist visa & lived here 12 years.
fact......opened USD & VND accounts on 3 months tourist Visa with Standard Chartered International Bank Saigon no problems. Now have account with Viet Bank & still on a 3 months tourist Visa. Also recently bought apartment in my own name (50 year lease) & yes still on a 3 months tourist visa.

Hi there,

your experience with your purchase of property caught my attention.
Have you been accompanied by a local lawyer?
Would you eventually describe which documentation is mandatory to present for this action?

Thanks in advance for your kind reply...

Lots of incorrect information here..Firstly 12 month visa not required and the process is simple and quick.
In addition notify your own financial institutions on the banking information in Any VN bank you open an account with..rest is automatic..

vikingjeger :

Lots of incorrect information here..Firstly 12 month visa not required and the process is simple and quick.
In addition notify your own financial institutions on the banking information in Any VN bank you open an account with..rest is automatic..

The laws were reversed about two weeks after the original changes, now its a lot easier.

colinoscapee :
vikingjeger :

Lots of incorrect information here..Firstly 12 month visa not required and the process is simple and quick.
In addition notify your own financial institutions on the banking information in Any VN bank you open an account with..rest is automatic..

The laws were reversed about two weeks after the original changes, now its a lot easier.

Great news for my cousin looking to move here.

Do you possibly have a news link about the reversal of regs?

Thanks!

good morning, let me tell you my storey about buying the property & some of the pit falls I experianced at first.

I have a long term Vietnamese GF so I thought it would be fairly easy with her help, but this was not the case as there were many problems & scam types we met early in the process that even she could not cope with!
Here in Vietnam there are many people who describe themselves as bonafido property agents but are not & you have to be very careful with these people & what they say. They are not linked to any genuine companies & are what is called working ...."on the Bkack" & you have no legal recourse with them if things go wrong & they do go wrong believe me! & its a mine field out there & not speaking or understanding Vietnamese you really dont have a clue whats going on.
So I will cut to the chase. Eventually I employed a lawyer to take me through the complicated process & it wss the bedt 2,500usd I ever spent. He attended meetings & carried out meetings with sellers & agents, attended meetings with me at noteries, checked Red book status etc etc etc & then from start to finish took about 1 month to complete the eventual purchase, all legally stamped & above board.
There is a lot more I can tell you about when I started out on this property purchase journey, I could write a book on it, but suffice to say, as a rule of thumb. ......take everything the average Vietnamese tells you about anything to do with money, devide the answer by 4 & you might just have the truth!

OceanBeach92107 :
colinoscapee :
vikingjeger :

Lots of incorrect information here..Firstly 12 month visa not required and the process is simple and quick.
In addition notify your own financial institutions on the banking information in Any VN bank you open an account with..rest is automatic..

The laws were reversed about two weeks after the original changes, now its a lot easier.

Great news for my cousin looking to move here.

Do you possibly have a news link about the reversal of regs?

Thanks!

I should have said that "some" rules have been reversed, not all. Being able to have term deposits has changed...again.

https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/522683/f … ZKO48kp.97

vikingjeger :

Lots of incorrect information here..Firstly 12 month visa not required and the process is simple and quick.
In addition notify your own financial institutions on the banking information in Any VN bank you open an account with..rest is automatic..

Follow the link in the OP to clarify your point for the casual reader, especially those planning to relocate to Vietnam.

Any NEW arrival WILL need documentation of their right to remain for at least 12 months UNDER THE NEW REGULATION.

Whatever your previous experience, this is now a CURRENT requirement.

Of course, other than a 12-month visa, a temporary resident certificate will suffice, but until the new arrival secures such documentation, they simply won't be able to open an account.

So for new arrivals, a 12-month visa will be necessary.

Anyone reading this who has a combination of documented time already in country (let's say 9 months) PLUS documentation of permission to remain for a total of 12 months (let's say a 3 month visa) will be allowed to open an account, according to the Timo Bank blog with links to the official regulations.

moscowmetro :

fact.....never had a job here.
fact.....dont have TRC
fact......only ever had 3 months tourist visa & lived here 12 years.
fact......opened USD & VND accounts on 3 months tourist Visa with Standard Chartered International Bank Saigon no problems. Now have account with Viet Bank & still on a 3 months tourist Visa...

No one disputes the facts about what you and many others have been able to do IN THE PAST.

These are new regulations.

The OP link to the Timo Bank blog (which includes links to the new government regulations) is current fact which makes your previous factual anecdotal experience irrelevant.

Hey, off topic, but is Timo a good bank?  I am thinking about opening an account there.  I thought it might be easier to get around Vietnam with a local bank account (e.g. paying bills, etc.).  I also have the 12 months visa.  However, I heard a guy on youtube claim he was getting 9% from a Vietnamese bank, but Timo is only offering 6.7%.  Anyone know which bank is offering 9%?

sflxn :

Hey, off topic, but is Timo a good bank?  I am thinking about opening an account there.  I thought it might be easier to get around Vietnam with a local bank account (e.g. paying bills, etc.).  I also have the 12 months visa.  However, I heard a guy on youtube claim he was getting 9% from a Vietnamese bank, but Timo is only offering 6.7%.  Anyone know which bank is offering 9%?

Usually you can get between 8-9 if you leave it in a term deposit for 13 months.

colinoscapee :
sflxn :

Hey, off topic, but is Timo a good bank?  I am thinking about opening an account there.  I thought it might be easier to get around Vietnam with a local bank account (e.g. paying bills, etc.).  I also have the 12 months visa.  However, I heard a guy on youtube claim he was getting 9% from a Vietnamese bank, but Timo is only offering 6.7%.  Anyone know which bank is offering 9%?

Usually you can get between 8-9 if you leave it in a term deposit for 13 months.

What's a term deposit?  Is that like a CD?

sflxn :
colinoscapee :
sflxn :

Hey, off topic, but is Timo a good bank?  I am thinking about opening an account there.  I thought it might be easier to get around Vietnam with a local bank account (e.g. paying bills, etc.).  I also have the 12 months visa.  However, I heard a guy on youtube claim he was getting 9% from a Vietnamese bank, but Timo is only offering 6.7%.  Anyone know which bank is offering 9%?

Usually you can get between 8-9 if you leave it in a term deposit for 13 months.

What's a term deposit?  Is that like a CD?

Exactly the thing you were talking about, putting your money in the bank to earn interest.

sflxn :
colinoscapee :
sflxn :

Hey, off topic, but is Timo a good bank?  I am thinking about opening an account there.  I thought it might be easier to get around Vietnam with a local bank account (e.g. paying bills, etc.).  I also have the 12 months visa.  However, I heard a guy on youtube claim he was getting 9% from a Vietnamese bank, but Timo is only offering 6.7%.  Anyone know which bank is offering 9%?

Usually you can get between 8-9 if you leave it in a term deposit for 13 months.

What's a term deposit?  Is that like a CD?

Several names depending on the bank. Term Deposit, Time Deposit, Savings Book, ...
You deposit money for a selectable period (the longer the more interest).
When the term is up you can collect the interest or it will be credited to your account.
If you withdraw the money before the expiration date, there is no interest at all.

Timo (VP Bank) is the best solution.
The interest is high. Maybe there are banks with a little more interest, but with Timo you can handle all very easy by the phone app or the computer.
For example when you want use 200 million dong for term deposit, you can partition the amount in 4 part a 50 million. If you need money, you only loose the interest for 50 million.
And the Timo phone app and the webpage are really complete in English (many Vietnamese webpage are not completely translated in English).

sflxn :

Hey, off topic,

Ya think?

You have totally hijacked a sticky thread, and you knew you were doing it.

I am not the forum police.

However, I want to strongly encourage you and any casual reader to create your own new thread when you know you are about to post  :offtopic: , especially in a sticky thread.

Thank you for giving serious consideration to Forum etiquette.

OceanBeach92107 :
sflxn :

Hey, off topic,

Ya think?

You have totally hijacked a sticky thread, and you knew you were doing it.

I am not the forum police.

However, I want to strongly encourage you and any casual reader to create your own new thread when you know you are about to post  :offtopic: , especially in a sticky thread.

Thank you for giving serious consideration to Forum etiquette.

Don't you have any bigger worries, buddy?

OceanBeach92107 :

... create your own new thread when you know you are about to post  :offtopic: , especially in a sticky thread.

Thank you for giving serious consideration to Forum etiquette.

AkaMaverick :

Don't you have any bigger worries, buddy?

OB is absolutely correct.  Sticky threads are the guidelines, the instruction manuals, the Q&A of a subject.  It's preserved for the life of the subject so anyone who searches for information can find it easily.   It's not the place for off-topic comments.  It's the one place on a forum, ANY FORUM, ANY SITE, where off-topic comments are not allowed.

AkaMaverick :
OceanBeach92107 :
sflxn :

Hey, off topic,

Ya think?

You have totally hijacked a sticky thread, and you knew you were doing it.

I am not the forum police.

However, I want to strongly encourage you and any casual reader to create your own new thread when you know you are about to post  :offtopic: , especially in a sticky thread.

Thank you for giving serious consideration to Forum etiquette.

Don't you have any bigger worries, buddy?

I'm the OP.

I prefer to speak up when a sticky thread I've created has been hijacked.

what if you are out of the country a while and have a lapsed visa. Are banks now taking on a new gig as  enforcer of visas? I have a 3 month visa starting next week on a 3 year old bank account but if the bank demand a 12 month visa to open an account, I have to wonder what bs they'd pull if I show up with my 3 month visa for the final quarter  of 2019.   They are quite scary places  to leave large sums of money given how quickly they change in repsonse to regs from above

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