I am a foreigner currently working in Vietnam, and have just obtained a temporary residence permit. As far as I know, foreigners being resident individuals are allowed to open foreign-currency accounts at a bank in Vietnam. So, am I regarded as a resident and how can foreigners use their foreign-currency accounts?
Under Vietnamese law, you will be regarded a resident individual if satisfying one of the following conditions:
First, you must be present in Vietnam for 183 days or more in a calendar year or 12 consecutive months counting from the first date of your presence in Vietnam, of which the arrival date is counted as one day and the departure date is also counted as one day. These two dates will be determined based on the immigration management agency’s certifications on your passport (or laissez-passer) upon your arrival at, and departure from, Vietnam. In case you enter and leave Vietnam on the same day, this day is counted as one day of residence.
|Transactions at VPBank Can Tho branch __Photo: Tran Viet/VNA|
The second condition is that you should have a place of habitual residence as prescribed by the law on residence: This means your place of permanent residence stated in your permanent residence card or place of temporary residence at the time you registered your temporary residence card with a competent agency of the Ministry of Public Security.
Lastly, you must have rented a house for residence in Vietnam in accordance with the housing law under a rent contract of at least 183 days in a tax year, specifically:
You will be regarded as a resident individual if you have not yet found any or have no place of habitual residence, but have rented a house under a contract of at least 183 days in a tax year, even in case you have rented houses in different places.
Houses rented for residence are hotels, guest houses, hostels and working offices, which may be rented by either you or your employee.
In case you have a place of habitual residence in Vietnam but are actually present in Vietnam for less than 183 days in a tax year, and cannot prove your resident country, you would be regarded as a Vietnamese resident.
When satisfying one of the above conditions, you may open a foreign-currency account at a licensed bank to conduct the following collection and expenditure transactions:
You may collect foreign currencies from domestic lawful revenue sources, including wages, bonuses or allowances, and from other lawful revenue sources in accordance with the law on foreign exchange management, while also allowed to buy foreign currencies from lawful Vietnam-dong sources.
Your foreign-currency account may also be used to collect foreign currencies transferred from abroad; foreign currencies transferred to pay for export of goods and services from accounts of non-resident organizations opened at licensed banks in the country; and foreign-currency cash from abroad. Foreign-currency cash deposited into accounts must be certified by the border-gate customs office in accordance with the law on foreign exchange management.
You may also sell foreign currencies to licensed credit institutions; transfer or pay money for current transactions and capital transactions in accordance with law; convert foreign currencies into other currencies under regulations of the State Bank of Vietnam, or into foreign-currency payment instruments; donate foreign currencies as prescribed by law; withdraw foreign-currency cash; transfer foreign currencies abroad; and transfer or pay money for transactions allowed to be paid domestically in foreign currencies under the State Bank of Vietnam’s regulations on use of foreign exchange in the Vietnamese territory.
The use of foreign currencies on accounts for inheritance division must comply with relevant laws.
In addition, you may also transfer foreign currencies among your own foreign-currency accounts opened at different licensed banks or within the same system of a licensed bank.- (VLLF)