Vietnam Retirement Visa for UK Citizens

Vietnam Retirement Visa for UK Citizens

A retirement visa for UK citizens in Vietnam

There is no Vietnam retirement visa as such offered to UK citizens or any other foreign senior visitors by the Vietnamese government. Nevertheless, Vietnam tends to attract skilled workers and investors, so the country offers a few other options for those considering a legal residence in Vietnam. It is possible mainly through investment.

After the latest changes in Vietnamese immigration policy, the only way how foreigners, including UK citizens, can retire in Vietnam, is actually to register a business or submit an FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), also referred to as active retirement. In short, the idea of active retirement means running a small business and living in Vietnam. The business is actually run by local Vietnamese managers.

So, if Vietnam is in your retirement plans and applying for a short-term tourist visa is not the option that could satisfy your needs, you will have to consider getting a business or investment visa to stay in Vietnam for longer.

Available options for a UK citizen to retire and stay in Vietnam

Below, there are a few options that UK citizens may consider when planning their retirement in Vietnam.

Setting up a business and getting an investor visa (DT Visa)

An investor visa (DT Visa) will be a perfect choice for UK nationals who consider becoming investors, i.e., starting a company in Vietnam. It is a complex and time-consuming undertaking to set up a business in Vietnam, so it is highly recommended to use an experienced visa advisor to ensure that the entire immigration procedure goes smoothly.

A DT visa is most often issued for 3 months, but there is a possibility to extend it for 3-5 years. Moreover, a DT visa can be used to request a temporary residence card (TRC).

UK nationals applying for an investor visa should also be prepared to meet a few requirements, for example, setting up a small restaurant or a different business. Also, despite the fact that the Vietnam government does not specify the minimum investment requirements, every future investor is advised to prove that they have at least $10,000. It will maximize their chances of receiving positive visa approval.

Finding a local partner and getting a business visa (DN Visa)

In case of not being able to apply for a DT visa, a DN visa (business visa) will be an alternative option to reside legally in Vietnam. A business visa, similar to an investor visa, remains valid only for 3 months. It is possible to renew it by applying for a work permit. In the next step, a work permit holder may obtain a temporary residence card.

If you are a UK national and have Vietnamese retirement plans, you may obtain a business visa through a company that has been already existing in Vietnam. The best advice is then to have a trustworthy business partner in Vietnam who will issue you the invitation letter clearing your entry to Vietnam.

Obtaining a visa exemption via marriage with the Vietnamese

Should you happen to be married to a retired Vietnamese citizen, you can enjoy a visa exemption for 5 years.

In order to apply for an exemption visa, one needs to gather a few documents, such as a certificate of marriage, a valid passport and identity card of both wife and husband, and a household registration book. Sometimes, some additional documents may be required, depending on the individual application.

Active retirement

The concept of active retirement entails the requirement to have a business in Vietnam. One must possess an investor account and process transactions on a monthly basis.

There are certain requirements that one must meet, such as paying taxes, filing annual business tax finalizations, and obtaining a Business Registration Certificate.

Like in the case of the abovementioned retirement options in Vietnam, applicants for active retirement are also highly advised to hire a reliable local manager who will run their business.

Among the most common types of businesses that retirees decide to start in Vietnam are restaurants, bars, English schools, business consulting, etc.

Alternatively, UK citizens may choose another active retirement option, which is purchasing a shelf company. It is actually the fastest method of setting up a business in Vietnam and becoming an investor there. There is less bureaucracy involved in shelf company purchases as all formalities have already been done. Buying a shelf company also gives one the right to obtain an investor visa.


If you’ve been dreaming of spending the last years of your life in this one-of-a-kind country, there’s no time like the present to start making your plans. Consider the available option of retirement in Vietnam and choose the best suitable for you!

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