Opening a bank account in Vietnam
If you have decided to settle in Vietnam, you may want to open a bank account in order to facilitate transactions with ease.. As an incoming expat you are free to open a bank account within the country’s borders.
The formalities are quite simple: choose the bank where you want to open your account and inquire about the specific requirements for an expat. These may vary according to the bank, but will typically include a valid passport and visa, a minimum deposit amount, proof of address, and a copy of your work contract if applicable. Make an appointment online or simply visit one of the branches of the bank you choose.
Note that most banks in Vietnam will have English-speaking personnel to assist you. In addition, foreigners must be permitted to stay in the country for at least one year to be eligible to open a bank account. However, deviations of this rule do occur in practice.
Many expats in Vietnam prefer to open two bank accounts: one in foreign currency, in dollars or euros, and the other in Vietnamese dongs (VND). Having a foreign currency account will facilitate your money transfers to a foreign bank. Some banks will only allow you to open transfer accounts, to which you will not be able to make cash deposits.
To open a bank account in foreign currency, you need a minimum amount as stipulated by the specific bank you choose. Initial deposit amounts vary between banks, but ACB, for instance, accepts as little as 100,000 VND. . It is recommended to keep a minimum amount in your account greater than 50,000 VND, otherwise, you may be subject to a penalty.
Good to know:
- Some banks may take a commission for withdrawals in foreign currencies. No commission is charged for withdrawals in VND.
- You likely will have to pay a tax credit if you close your bank account in less than a year.
Some of the most trusted banks in the country include VietinBank and Vietcombank. International banks such as HSBC and Citibank have a big presence in the major cities.
Money transfers in Vietnam
Specific conditions apply when transferring money to a foreign bank. You will need to produce official documents justifying the transaction, for example, the sale of property, transferral of a portion of your salary, or funding children’s education abroad.