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International Moving to Vietnam

Published on Jul 30, 2021 by Kfir Cohen

Is your family moving to Vietnam? This quick guide to moving to Vietnam by SDC International Shipping will help you understand a little bit about the process.

Are you moving to Vietnam? SDC International Shipping is an international relocation company specializing in moves to Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam. Many people want to retire there because of the pleasant climate, beautiful country, friendly residents, and affordable cost of living.


What’s on this page?

01 | International Household Moving to Vietnam
02 | International Car Shipping to Vietnam
03 | Vietnamese Customs and Regulations
04 | Moving to Vietnam Checklist
05 | International Shipping Options to Vietnam


While moving to Vietnam is a plausible possibility, only those with Vietnamese citizenship are promised permanent residence. You will be able to apply for Vietnamese citizenship, but only once you already have a permanent residence card.

SDC International Shipping will help you relocate to Vietnam. Returning Vietnamese citizens who have been abroad for work or study are our largest group of clients to the country, but we are also serving a growing number of business clients.


International Household Moving to Vietnam

We need to make clear that Vietnam is very different from the United States in every aspect. The country is fascinating and attractive for many reasons, but if you want to have all of your American comforts with you, you will need to send them.

We hope that you have been to Vietnam several times and have already arranged for living accommodations. If you haven’t done this yet, we suggest that you do so now and try to contract a place to live or review potential houses. Even if you are moving into an apartment, check the size.

International household moving to Vietnam is slightly complicated, but SDC International Shipping will get you there. Did you know that even if you send a full container load, your things will be delivered to you using moving vans in Vietnam? This is because mandatory inspections of each container require their transfer. Unfortunately, this means that there will always be hands-on your shipment that don’t belong to SDC International Shipping or our partners. To prevent potential damage, we take extra steps to protect your furniture, like the individual wrapping of each piece or even separate parts of your furniture.

Other popular destination countries in Asia:

Please make a note of Vietnam’s climate. Have you visited the country at different times of the year? The small country has many climates, but most countries have a short, mild, wet winter and a long, warm summer. Make sure that you are sending sufficient appropriate clothes.

Do you like bicycles? Vietnam has a well known cycling culture, and good bikes are not hard to find. Bikes are used for both transportation and recreation. The laws of supply and demand work even in nominally communist countries, so bicycles are plentiful and affordable. You do not need to send one from the USA in your cargo.

One thing you might want to throw into your container, though, is fishing gear. If you are a fisherman, Vietnam offers freshwater fishing, hundreds of rivers, and saltwater fishing off Vietnam’s seemingly endless coastline and thousands of islands. Make sure you clean your equipment but definitely send.

It is essential to have an accurate packing list, which must match your container’s contents. Our movers create this list for you while loading the moving van or container. Would you please check it?


International Car Shipping to Vietnam

You’ve probably visited Vietnam several times before deciding to relocate there, so you probably know what driving is like there. Driving in Vietnam is tough and not recommended. Sending an automobile to Vietnam is permitted if you really want to do it.

However, there is no special tax holiday when you send your car there. Sending your car will cost a lot of money. If you are moving for only a few months, you will probably be better using taxis or hiring a car and driver. Scooters and motorcycles are more popular in Vietnam. If you are moving for a longer period, the models available there will be more suitable.

Read more: International Car Shipping from the USA


Vietnamese Customs and Regulations

If you are not a citizen of the country, look into setting up a trading company that will allow you a little more flexibility. You must have some sort of legal standing to send a container to Vietnam.

Those eligible for an exemption from paying import taxes are returning citizens, long-term visa holders. The exemption is for used goods.  New items, those less than six months old, are subject to the Vietnamese value added tax (VAR), and currently is 10%. Certain items also have a special consumption tax (SCT) levied on them. The Vietnamese customs website in English has more information.

Vietnam has restrictions on the import of many things. This includes “politically sensitive” materials that are critical of the government. Communications equipment and any kind of pornography should not be sent. There has a very strict anti-drug policy, including the death penalty for possession. Do not send any drugs whatsoever in your cargo. If you are taking drugs with you, make sure that you have a printed prescription for everything you are taking with you.


Moving to Vietnam Checklist

SDC International Shipping is excited about moving your family to Vietnam. Things you need to do:

  • Hire SDC International Shipping early. Moves to Vietnam take some time and by planning early we can better serve you.
  • Learn Vietnamese. Do not expect anyone to understand much English.
  • Immigration visa. If you will be working, you need a work permit from contracted work. If you will be setting up a business, you have probably already contacted arranged this.
  • Set up health insurance. English is not spoken by all doctors. If you go to a private hospital you should find doctors who will understand. Consider translating summaries of existing medical conditions.
  • Documents for the family moving with you will be necessary. These include birth certificates, passport, marriage or divorce certificates, licenses, medical records.
  • Vietnam does not have a specific immunization requirement. Consult the CDC recommendations for Vietnam. Of note is Malaria which most Americans aren’t routinely immunized against.
  • Make absolutely sure that you will be able to get into your American bank account while you will be in Vietnam. There is a good chance that you will need to set up some sort of reliable technology. Note that Vietnam censors some internet content, and not every app that works in the USA will work there.
  • Bring a copy of your credit report.

Read more: The Ultimate International Relocation Checklist


International Shipping Options to Vietnam

To Vietnam, we most commonly send LCL shipments. These are available for door-to-door service starting from 100 cubic feet of cargo. If you send up to 500 cubic feet of cargo, this will be the most cost effective way for you to send your cargo.

Shipments larger than 500 cubic feet and up to 1100 cubic feet get sent in a private 20’ container. Please note that inspections are almost mandatory in Vietnam, and do not expect to see your container arrive still sealed.

There are other international shipping options. One of them is air cargo. The advantage of this is the time. Door-to-door delivery to Vietnam can take up to 11 weeks. Part of that time is because of customs inspections, and we can’t do anything about that. FCL shipments are slightly quicker than LCL shipments. If you need your things in Vietnam more quickly, you can send them using air cargo. It is also permissible to send both air and sea as separate shipments.

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