Vietnam has been my adopted home for the past six years. When I first arrived in early 2006, I planned on staying a short 30 days. I quickly fell in love with the country and its people and extended my 30-day visa for a six month one. After returning to my native home, I quickly became bored and longed to return to the country I had discovered. I returned to Vietnam after only two months and have been here ever since.
For the first few years obtaining a visa was relatively easy as a six month visa could be quickly obtained. But when the regulators decided to “clamp-down” on six month visas and only allow three month ones, it would not have been a huge problem except that now it is required that one must leave the country after a single three month extension. Effectively this meant that I now have to leave the country twice a year, or more, so that I can then obtain a visa and return.
I am retired. I bring my retirement money into Vietnam each month, contributing a great deal to the local economy. I live here peacefully and have never had a problem. I understand the registration laws and have my own little yellow book to show
I have registered with our local law enforcement. But asking me to leave every six months? Does that make any sense? It is expensive to travel to another country for the sole purpose of obtaining a visa. Those monies would be better spent right here in my adopted home, in Vietnam.
I can understand the need to control immigration and to keep track of foreigners. But if one is already registered with the local police, and if there has been no problem reported, wouldn’t it make sense to allow multiple extensions to one’s visa? I know a great many expats who are in the same category I am in; retired and spending our money here in Vietnam. Shouldn’t there be some accommodation for those who contribute and take nothing away?