Brit expats in Vietnam trapped with no consular assistance

Published:  24 Mar at 6 PM
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Expat English teachers in Vietnam are facing homelessness due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As have many other world countries, Vietnam has closed down all its schools, leaving expat English teachers without salaries and potentially without homes. The Asian Tiger state had been focusing on English as a second language for all its pupils, but the schools are now shuttered with no plans to reopen until the pandemic subsides.

Vietnam was one of the first Southeast Asian countries to take the threat of Covid-19 seriously and close down all schools, leaving expat teachers without salaries and unable to continue paying rent. Some have been surviving without an income for four months, with those attempting to contact the British Embassy getting little if any response.

As of today, all flights to and from the country are cancelled, the borders are being closed and all embassies are no longer issuing visas, leaving trapped expats at the mercy of visa agents charging $400 to $500 for a service previously costing just $10. Expats are getting together in groups, with reports coming in that help is being given to stranded expat professionals by other governments whilst the UK stands by and does nothing.

One British teacher has been attempting to get help from both the UK Foreign Office and the British Embassy without results, and is desperate for advice and guidance as he’s about to be homeless. He’s ready to return to the UK and is terrified that he might catch the virus before he can leave. He told local media he and many other Brits in the same situation couldn’t afford to pay for treatment or even testing should they become infected.
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