When you first arrive

When you first arrive

Arriving in Vietnam will be both exciting and a daunting experience. This list is intended to help you plan your time when you arrive in Vietnam and identifies the main things you need to consider:

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When you arrive - at the airport

—If shipping furniture, clothes or any personal belongings at a later date, ensure you pick up an Arrival/Departure card (or Customs Declaration card) at the customs desk at the airport on arrival, so you can receive the shipment. Prior to your flight, contact your relocation company for instructions.

Fill out this card and have it ready with your passport, any documentation regarding your visa and your baggage tickets (usually these are bar-coded sticky labels attached to your airline tickets).

The immigration official may ask you questions before stamping your passport. Your passport and the departure portion of your Arrival/Departure card will be returned to you. You must retain this portion of the Arrival/Departure card in order to receive your shipment of goods into the country and you may need it to exit the country in the future. Without it, you may not be able to receive your shipment.

Please note that the queues are usually long at the immigration counter. Generally, immigration officials do not process families as one group: you will all have to wait in line and present your documents individually and this includes children (you can bring up children under the age of about 10 years).

When you arrive - airport pickup

We will help arrange your airport pickup, when you arrive in Vietnam.

Accommodation on arrival

If you are moving from overseas to take up a position, RMIT Vietnam will provide temporary (hotel) accommodation for the first two weeks of your stay. You will be staying in a comfortable hotel close to the location you will be working at, and within walking distance of restaurants and shops.

If you would like to extend your stay at the hotel, you can discuss this directly with the hotel during your stay.

SIM Card

You can buy a mobile phone SIM card cheaply and easily at the international airport. Recommended providers are VietTel or Mobifone or Vinaphone. A SIM card usually costs around USD 5 - 10. You can top-up your SIM card at convenience stores such as Circle K. The Gioi Di Dong is a popular store that sells mobile phones and phone SIM cards.

Bank account

You will need to set up a local bank accounts (VND and USD) as soon as possible. At your induction, HR staff will assist you with setting up an account. There are a number of international banks operating in Vietnam.


At your induction, you'll be offered a list of our staff-suggested real estate agents who can help with finding the appropriate accommodation to match your needs. You'll soon get a feel for the kind of area you want to live. Rental accommodation is plentiful in Vietnam, but before you commit to a long-term rental agreement, you may want to organise a short-term ‘serviced apartment’ of which there are many.

RMIT Vietnam offers salary packaging for rental agreements for foreigners only. This may lead to a reduction in your personal income tax payable if you meet certain conditions. These will be further discussed with you by HR staff during your induction.

There is a lot more information on the Living and Working in Vietnam section of our website.

Useful groups


Note that with ‘public’ Facebook groups, you need to take some posts and information with a ‘grain of salt’ - ie. not all the information/advice is useful!

Google Groups

These groups are useful for things like buying and selling homewares, sports gear, furniture etc.

Note you will need to access these from a personal email account, not a work account.

Networking and business groups

  • American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AMCHAM)
  • Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AUSCHAM)
  • British Business Group of Vietnam(BBGV)
  • Canada-Vietnam Business Association (CVBA)
  • European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EUROCHAM)
  • French Council of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam
  • Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HCM City (KOCHAM)
  • SpamCham (parody group for charity - holds networking events and fundraisers)
  • InterNations
  • Network Girls