Many teachers and foreign workers come to Vietnam on a tourist visa, which makes working here incredibly easy. This ease of access has made Vietnam a popular destination for visitors to make a living for a short period of time. This means the time between you entering the country and teaching in the classroom is kept to a minimal. It’s made it one of the best options for travellers who don’t want the hassle of going through all the paperwork required in other countries. In an effort to make it easier to track and tax workers here, the government has decided to implement a few changes to the Vietnamese tourist visa.
As of the 1st of July, the 3-month tourist visa will require individuals to visit an immigration office after each month (twice during the three month period). This will be a precautionary measure to double-check that visitors are not involved in any work during this time. This makes teaching in Vietnam a less viable option for many people staying here.
What can be done about the changes to the Vietnamese Tourist Visa?
If you want to work in Vietnam without having to deal with the trouble of going to the immigration office, you can apply for a 3-month business visa. This is ideal for people who want to engage in a business activity without actually earning any taxable income. The benefit of this type of visa is that they will allow people to stay in the country without having to go to the immigration office (and are technically still illegal if you do earn money here). These have the downside of being more expensive than the regular tourist visa. These can be purchased through a Vietnamese embassy, or from an online visa sponsor. https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/home
Acquiring a work permit is the best way to be working here for extended periods of time. It’s highly recommended because it will likely be cheaper for long term visits, and also means you’ll be able to have a more comprehensive contract which will protect you from any problems you might experience in the workplace.
Should you be worried?
Vietnam is trying to reduce the number of people working here illegally, but it will likely only deter a few travellers who are wanting to earn some cash before they begin travelling again. Unless the government is able to enforce the changes by checking the information provided by each individual on a case-by-case basis, there will likely be a small impact. However, changes to the tourist visa are only the start of new measures which will likely become more aggressive and thorough in the future. If you’re already working here long term, it is unlikely that this will drastically affect your current employment.