Opening a bank account in Vietnam for Expats

May 03 , 2021 by: Annie Tran

So, you’ve decided to settle down in Vietnam? Well, in order to complete transactions with ease, you will need to open a bank account in the country. Luckily, as an incoming expat, you are free to open a bank account, and it is relatively easy.

Opening an Bank Account

It is a relatively simple process to open a bank account as an expat in Vietnam. Firstly, you will need to choose the bank who you wish to be your account provider. The best practice is to inquire with several banks and specifically mention that you are an expat, and what their expat specific services (and requirements) are. It is likely that the requirements will vary greatly depending on the bank. However, the requirements are generally that you will need a passport, a visa, proof of address, and a minimum deposit. Some banks will also request a contract from your employer.

It is possible to make an appointment to set up an account in a Vietnamese bank online, or you can just walk into a branch and request an appointment. Vietnam is quite simple for English speaking expats as almost all banks will have English-speaking personnel to help you through the process.

Conditions on Opening an Account

The standard practice for expats in Vietnam is to actually open two bank accounts. One account with their native/foreign currency (whether that be USD/EUR/GBP etc) and then another account which houses their local currency, the Vietnamese Dong (VND). The reason for this is that having a foreign currency account will allow you to easily transfer your money to/from your foreign bank account back home (or to other foreign bank accounts).

In order to open a bank account in a foreign currency you will need a minimum deposit. Each bank will have their own specific requirements as to how significant this minimum deposit is. A local currency account on the other hand will require a deposit of roughly VND 3 million. This is roughly 100 USD.

One factor to consider is that allowing your balance in your local account to drop below VND 100,000 can cause you to be subject to a penalty, so it is worth keeping this in mind.

Important things to know

Some banks may require a commission if you are withdrawing any foreign currencies. However, no commission is charged on the withdrawal of local currencies (VND).

Consider how long you plan to stay in Vietnam for. Some banks will charge you a tax credit if you choose to close your bank account within a year.

When looking into local banking providers, some of the most trusted banks in the country include VietinBank and VietcomBank. However, there are the usual international providers available such as HSBC and Citibank. Although, their presence is mostly found in the major cities only.

When transferring money to a foreign bank, you will need to produce documentation to justify the transaction. For example, if you’re transferring your salary away to a foreign bank account, or funding your children’s education abroad, you will likely need to provide some form of documentation for the bank to allow the transfer.


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