Foreigners allowed to change visa status while in Việt Nam

I don't know if this has been posted here, but I saw this on Facebook and I think it would affect MANY here.

HÀ NỘI — The National Assembly (NA) on Monday voted for amendments to the immigration law, for the first time allowing visitors to change their visa status and prolong their stays in Việt Nam without having to fly out of the country.

The amendment was approved by an overwhelming 83.6 per cent for the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners.

The law will come into effect on July 1 next year, allowing visitors to apply to change their visas under a number of circumstances.

Read more at http://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/548 … UyE1xC6.99

https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/54 … 1wSoADb.97

Great to see their are slowly relaxing their rules. Contributing members  of society are being welcomed. As Thailand cleanses the unwanted, Vietnam certainly doesn't want the exodus of unwanted settling in their country.
I wouldn't want the pattaya crowd moving in next door to me either!

It's only for certain people, not the average expat.

colinoscapee :

It's only for certain people, not the average expat.

From the article "Foreign workers who receive job offers in Việt Nam or enter the country on e-visas will be able to change their visa status as long as they have a work permit or confirmation they are exempt from a work permit."  I may be reading this wrong but this seems to me that one could now enter on a tourist visa, get an ESL job, get a work permit, and ask for a new visa without leaving the country.  This scenario used to be common before the prior changes which required one to leave and reenter in order to activate a DN visa.  I expect that ESL teachers are the "average" expat (or perhaps more mathematically the modal expat.)

If you are retired and don't want to work you can become an investor (it wasn't that difficult) you can get a two year work permit exemption (again, it was not that difficult) and take advantage of this even if you are retired, not working and don't have or need a work permit.

THIGV :
colinoscapee :

It's only for certain people, not the average expat.

From the article "Foreign workers who receive job offers in Việt Nam or enter the country on e-visas will be able to change their visa status as long as they have a work permit or confirmation they are exempt from a work permit."  I may be reading this wrong but this seems to me that one could now enter on a tourist visa, get an ESL job, get a work permit, and ask for a new visa without leaving the country.  This scenario used to be common before the prior changes which required one to leave and reenter in order to activate a DN visa.  I expect that ESL teachers are the "average" expat (or perhaps more mathematically the modal expat.)

Most teachers dont have work permits, therefore your thinking is null and void. Many expats here are retirees, I think they would outnumber teachers obtaining a WP.

SteinNebraska :

If you are retired and don't want to work you can become an investor (it wasn't that difficult) you can get a two year work permit exemption (again, it was not that difficult) and take advantage of this even if you are retired, not working and don't have or need a work permit.

What is the cost comparison?

colinoscapee :

What is the cost comparison?

Well, the investor side can be wide open as far as investment but if it is done correctly it should be a profit center, not a cost.

The work permit exemption will be a couple hundred with a local lawyer.

Again, if truly retired and one has the funds to invest, it shouldn't "cost" anything and in fact provide an income stream.

For instance, one thing I have thought about doing in the next two years is buying or building a pharmacy, setting up my niece to run it as soon as she finishes university.  She has her pharmacy degree from college now and is getting her university degree.  She can't own one or be sole proprietor, one or the other, I don't recall which, unless she has a university degree. 

I would basically bankroll it, be listed as the primary shareholder and then start "selling her" shares as she builds the business and can pay back the initial loan.  Eventually she would become the primary shareholder and I would become the minority owner and keep it for an income stream or let her buy it out totally over time.  That relationship could be structured in any way the two of you agree.  It's just one example of an investor relationship with no direct knowledge of the business itself.

Sorry, double post.  Went to edit and clicked "quote"

SteinNebraska :

Sorry, double post.  Went to edit and clicked "quote"

What have you done as far as tax reporting, this would be another issie for many retirees. If they receive a pension in their home country, it could get complicated.

colinoscapee :

Most teachers dont have work permits, therefore your thinking is null and void. Many expats here are retirees, I think they would outnumber teachers obtaining a WP.

I suppose you are correct.  I even wonder if anyone (government?) has real statistics.  On second thought my guesses would be from larger to smaller group:

1) ESL teachers without WP
2) Retirees (likely over represented on this forum.)
3) ESL teachers with WP

As such, the admittedly smaller third group should benefit from the changes.  Tourist visa entry, get a job, get a WP, switch to a DN visa altogether may be more than can be done on a 90 day visa, so at least one visa run may still be necessary.  The exception would be US citizens who can remain for 180 days on their 1 yr tourist visa..

colinoscapee :
SteinNebraska :

Sorry, double post.  Went to edit and clicked "quote"

What have you done as far as tax reporting, this would be another issie for many retirees. If they receive a pension in their home country, it could get complicated.

Yes it would.  And in the US they tax worldwide income. As does Vietnam.  Saw a recent article where someone was living here and blogging and actually making big money doing it.  Got slapped with a huge tax bill from Vietnam because he wasn't paying taxes anywhere.  But if you just live here more than 6 months in a year Vietnam considers you a tax resident.  This could catch a lot of people.

This is my first tax year and we are working through that right now and into tax season next year.  Each country gives credit for tax paid in the other country so there isn't double tax but because the Vietnam tax rate is 25% and my US tax rate is 32% I'll have to pay an extra 7% to the US government on anything earned in Vietnam.  I won't have to pay anything in Vietnam on money earned in the US because the tax rate in the US is already higher than Vietnam's tax rate.

NOW, if you are a US citizen AND you don't go to the US more than 35 days in the calendar year you are exempt from paying taxes in the US for the first $102,400 or thereabouts this year of income.  That doesn't help a lot if you earn income in Vietnam as Vietnam will still tax you.  But if you are drawing funds from a  401K or other investments those taxes wouldn't be due the US government.  Next sticky point though, if you live here, Vietnam will want 25% of that money if and when they find out about it.

If I have correctly understood what Google Translate translated, I read on VnExpress that Phu Quoc is the only special economic zone that meets the 4 requirements for visa exemption for foreigner.

Very good thread, especially with SteinNebraska's contribution.  I wonder if we can save it for future inquiries under a different title, something along the line of "Visa options and tax obligations for expats".

I don't have time to check with the admin though.  We'll be away tomorrow until the last day of 2019, and I'll not be on the forum much at all during that period.

SteinNebraska :

NOW, if you are a US citizen AND you don't go to the US more than 35 days in the calendar year you are exempt from paying taxes in the US for the first $102,400 or thereabouts this year of income.  That doesn't help a lot if you earn income in Vietnam as Vietnam will still tax you.  But if you are drawing funds from a  401K or other investments those taxes wouldn't be due the US government.  Next sticky point though, if you live here, Vietnam will want 25% of that money if and when they find out about it.

Not so fast, cowboy*. You left out the adjective 'earned'. Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
There is earned, unearned, and variable income.
You can't exclude unearned income: Dividends, interest, capital gains, social security, pensions etc.
Also variable income maybe or maybe not be: business profits, royalties, rents

Even withdrawals from Traditional IRAs are taxed as regular income. It was earned income when you deposited it tax-free, so you can't get out of paying that income tax eventually.

IRS - What is Foreign Earned Income?

* John Wayne probably.https://pixen.netlify.com/pix/john_wayne.jpg

As I have stated before, going down the road of setting up a company just to gain a longterm visa is not viable to most expats.

colinoscapee :

As I have stated before, going down the road of setting up a company just to gain a longterm visa is not viable to most expats.

But those that have business interests, legitimate business interests, now have the option.

Canman62 :
colinoscapee :

As I have stated before, going down the road of setting up a company just to gain a longterm visa is not viable to most expats.

But those that have business interests, legitimate business interests, now have the option.

Of course, but my posts are in reference to the beginning of this thread, not just the last few posts. Most expats dont own a business here, the new rules wont be of any benefit to the average expat.

i guess this means the visa operators are going to take a hit.

I have read the government news, and it doesn't make much different than the current law for the Visa process. That's benefits only for Investor or official employees in Vietnam.

Johnfrich :

i guess this means the visa operators are going to take a hit.

i don't think so, when I extended last winter, government immigration told me I had to use a visa agent- company. They have already forwarded the business to these companies.

I lived in Thailand for many years and relocated to Vietnam this year.
I paid tax to Thailand, and none to my country. Fully legal.
What is the documentation requirements for money  transfer to VIETNAM to pay tax?
In Thailand it was rather complicated with a credit transfer from the bank for every transfer.
How in Vietnam?

RealPommy :

I lived in Thailand for many years and relocated to Vietnam this year.
I paid tax to Thailand, and none to my country. Fully legal.
What is the documentation requirements for money  transfer to VIETNAM to pay tax?
In Thailand it was rather complicated with a credit transfer from the bank for every transfer.
How in Vietnam?

I've only done one wire transfer so far from an American bank in US dollars.

I think there may have been a very small service charge, and also the small hit when exchanging the dollars into dong and depositing them into my Vietnamese Bank.

Pretty sure I didn't pay a "tax", but I'm about to do another wire transfer and I'll get back to you with a breakdown of any charges.

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