20 Laws Every Expat Should Know

I recently wrote this article for City Pass Guide, a travel website here in Vietnam. It’s surprising the things that apply to this country legally, but which are not particularly obvious or enforced! Have a read below and if you like what you see check out the full article at CityPassGuide.com


20 Vietnamese Laws Every Expat Should Know

Vietnamese law is as layered as it is complex, and for many expats living in Vietnam the regulations, prohibitions and requirements remain a mystery. Do you pay tax? Probably not, let’s face it, and if you do I bet you aren’t paying for everything you should…so make sure you check out number 8.

We all know things like don’t be too political, don’t drive without a permit and no bringing your Vietnamese girlfriend or boyfriend back to stay the night at your home. But, apart from the fact that they are largely and enthusiastically ignored, these laws barely scratch the surface of Vietnam’s legal web.

What about the legal pension age? Is there even a pension? Can a foreigner claim a pension? Can you bring pornography into Vietnam? Can policemen fine you for a traffic offense? Well, yes…but is the law actually behind them?

We’ve all probably heard a lot of fancy rumors too – being so obscure, the Law in Vietnam is easily elaborated, expanded on and very much subject to speculation. I once heard that women with small breasts are not legally allowed to drive a car. Is this true? Not sure, but regardless – how small is “small”? Similarly, is it legal to import pornography to Vietnam on the hard drive of your computer? We will discuss all things porn related later in this article, so make sure you read on! But for now… whether rumor or legality, what a weird and inconvenient thing to have to check. Imagine being that customs officer.

Many sites on the web will provide you with a range of ‘maybes’ or under-verified laws that the writer thinks apply to Vietnam, which you’ve probably all heard before anyway. So we decided to find a neat list of 20 stupid, funny, weird or important regulations that this country definitely has (but largely does not enforce) and that every expat should know. Enjoy…

Want to read on? Gahhh I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to check out the full article here. And then come straight back here and tell me what you think!



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