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I have been living in Vietnam for more than four years now. It's a great country, full of wonderful people who find the time to smile despite some very tough living conditions.
For myself, I would like to stay in Vietnam in my retirement. But the government is now making that very difficult with its visa policy. As of now I can only receive a three-month tourist visa. And then I must travel outside of Vietnam to obtain another three-month visa upon return. This is not only expensive but it takes away from the monies I would otherwise spend in Vietnam.
I do not work here so I take no one's job. I have a retirement income that affords me the ability to live in Vietnam and to contribute to the local economy.
I think it is time for the Vietnamese government to consider a Retirement Visa like some of her neighbors. Conditions should insure that enough funds are available to insure no burden on the state.
Perhaps after living here for one year and having no criminal problems a person bringing the equivalent of US$1,500 to the economy of Vietnam would qualify for such a Retirement Visa. In a time when the government is looking for new ways to bring money into Vietnam, this seems like a very simple yet effective way to do so.
Ho Chi Minh City