Viet Nam Ranks 60th Out of 163 in 2018 Global Peace Index

vision of humanity

Viet Nam is a peaceful country.  For those of us who live here, I’m stating the obvious.  According to the latest Global Peace Index reportViet Nam ranks 60th out of 163 countries surveyed.  That ranking is in descending order from the “most peaceful” (Iceland) to the “most dangerous” (Syria).  The “state of peace” categories include: very high, high, medium, low, and very low.  This means that Viet Nam falls into the “high” category, as do Germany (#17), the UK (#57) and France (#61).  Australia, Canada, and Japan are classified as “very high” and rank 13th, 6th, and 9th respectively.  

The Global Peace Index, produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), measures global peace using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarization.  

In the realm of personal safety, there are certain precautions one needs to take in Viet Nam, e.g., don’t walk around Hanoi and HCMC waving an expensive smartphone and always hold your bag away from the street, but violent crimes against people are rare. 

To learn more about the methodology and/or results of this survey, download this PDF report, all 100 pages of it.    

Peace, MAA

Record Number of B Visas Issued to Vietnamese in 2017

travel state gov

Since information is power, or at least helps in many decision-making processes, I am always looking for trends based on statistics and other data.  In the last (2017) fiscal year (FY) ending on 30 September 2017, a record 100,423 B-1,2 (tourist and business) visas were issued to Vietnamese citizens. 

The number of student visas issued during the same time was 17,275. While the US State Department does not release this information, one can assume – based on anecdotal sources – that the refusal rate is much higher for student visas, more so at the US Consulate in HCMC, which is considered a high fraud post, than at the US Embassy in Hanoi.  Check out this March 2018 blog post for more information about US student visas and Vietnamese students.

What is Adjusted Refusal Rate?  

Before we take a look at some visas stats from FY06 to FY17, here’s a definition of this term.  The visa waiver program nonimmigrant visitor refusal rate is based on the worldwide number of applicants for visitor (B) visas who are nationals of that country.  (B visas are issued for short-term business or pleasure travel to the US.)  The US State Department omits all applications from the calculation except the last one.  For example, if an applicant was refused in May and issued a visa in July of the same year, only the issuance will count.  If an applicant is refused twice, it will only be counted as one refusal.  

In rare cases, an applicant may end the year in a third category, “overcome.”  This happens when a consular officer has the information s/he needs to overcome a refusal
but has not processed the case to completion.  

Thus, the adjusted refusal rate equals: [Refusals minus Overcomes] divided by [Issuances plus Refusals minus Overcomes].

Example:  Determination of B Visa Adjusted Refusal Rate for Country X:
Country X, worldwide, had 305,024 B visa applicants end the fiscal year in the “issuance” status; 20,548 end in “refused” status; and 88 end in “overcome” status.  
Refusals minus Overcomes = 20,548 – 88 = 20,460
Issuances plus Refusals minus Overcomes = 305,024 + 20,548 – 88 = 325,484
20,460 divided by 325,484 = 6.3 percent (Adjusted Refusal Rate)

The complete description, from which the above formula was excerpted, can be downloaded here.  (This file includes links to refusal rate data from FY06 to FY17.)

The Ups and Downs of B Visa Issuance Rates

Last year, the adjusted refusal rate was 24.06%, which means that the issuance rate was 75.94%.  If 100,423 B visas were issued, a total of about 132,000 Vietnamese citizens applied for a B visa from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017.  The number of B visa issued jumped from 5,231 in 2006 to over 100,000 in 2017, a nineteen-fold increase in 11 years.  Follow this link to review this and related data.  

The factors that have contributed to substantial increases in B visa issuances include growing ability to afford overseas travel for pleasure and more business ties between Viet Nam and the US, which has produced an ever-expanding pool of applicants.  Another likely reason is that there are simply more qualified applicants.  The highest denial rate was in 2006 and the lowest in 2014. 

FY17: 24.06% (100,423)
FY16: 29.49% (86,180)
FY15: 23.43% (80,936)
FY14: 14.30% (67,140)
FY13: 20.30% (49,247)
FY12: 22.20% (41,159)
FY11: 33.50% (34,280)
FY10: 36.10% (30,811)
FY09: 42.30% (27,304)
FY08: 38.80% (30,426)
FY07: 36.30% (21,398)
FY06: 40.90%  (5,231)

Peace, MAA


“America & Japan reporting big gains in Vietnamese enrolment”

icef monitorA good update on Vietnamese enrollments in Japan and the US from the ICEF Monitor.  I’ve written posts and articles about most of this information with the exception of the recent Japanese update.  The bottom line is that Japan is now the world’s leading host of Vietnamese students, followed by the US, Australia, China, and Singapore.  I conservatively estimate that over 100,000 young Vietnamese are studying in these five (5) countries.

Keep in mind that many of the 38,882 Vietnamese students in Japan are also working off-campus, in addition to studying, which is permitted under Japanese law.  About three-quarters of international students in Japan have part-time jobs.  Students can work up to 28 hours a week and the salary can range from $204-$306 per week.  Below are the conditions:

  1. the part-time work does not affect your studies.
  2. the earned income is meant to supplement your academic cost and necessary expenses and not for saving or for remittance overseas.
  3. the part-time work engaged in is not in adult entertainment businesses.
  4. Within 28 hours a week (up to 8 hours a day during long school holidays).
  5. The part-time work is done while you retain student status in an educational institution.

As of March 2016, according to SEVIS, there were 29,101 Vietnamese students in the US at all levels, but mostly in higher education, a modest increase from 28,883 last November.  Vietnam will likely surpass Canada in the coming year.

Here’s the introduction.

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • The number of Vietnamese students abroad began to expand rapidly around 2006 and shows no sign of cooling off
  • Over the last two years, Japan and the US have seen gains of nearly 50% in their Vietnamese enrolments
  • This continued growth is being fuelled by a hot Vietnamese economy, along with a correspondingly rapid expansion of the country’s middle class, as well as persistent concerns about the quality of higher education within Vietnam

Vietnam currently boasts one of Asia’s strongest economies, with an estimated 6.7% GDP growth in 2015 and an impressive average annual growth rate of 5.5% since 1990. The World Bank, with the Vietnamese government, recently released a report that says Vietnam could become an upper-middle-income country by 2035 – but even now, in 2016, many Vietnamese families are finding themselves with enough spending power to send their children abroad to study.

The number of Vietnamese students abroad is soaring, with Japan and the US in particular claiming a large share of total outbound numbers. This surge, which picked up again most recently in 2013, traces back to around 2006 when the number of Vietnamese students really began to take off.

Follow this link to read the remainder of the article.


International Boarding School Fair in Hanoi

Taping of “Study Abroad Window” TV Show About Boarding Schools

Interest in and the concomitant ability to pay for a boarding school education has been on the rise in recent years in Vietnam.  For parents who can afford it (total annual cost can be as high as $50,000) boarding schools represent a great opportunity for their children to obtain a quality education that will prepare them for admission to some of the top colleges and universities in the US and for life.

This November, for the first time ever, Linden Boarding Schools – in association with Capstone Vietnam, a Hanoi-based human resource development company – is organizing an international boarding school fair in Hanoi. (Disclosure:  I’m managing director of Capstone Vietnam.) 

Fair date: 17 November
Fair time: 4:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: The Melia Hotel, 3rd Floor Ballroom

The fair gives a select group of parents and their children an opportunity to meet, in person, admissions representatives who are thoroughly familiar with the details of their schools’ curriculum, facilities, arts and athletic programs, as well as the history and overall feel of the campus and its students.

Boarding school representatives from the following states and provinces will be at the fair:  California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia, as well as British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

The Hanoi fair is part of a 13-19 November Asia Tour that includes Kazakhstan (Astana), Korea (Seoul), and the Philippines (Manila), in addition to Vietnam.  The trip to Hanoi will include a networking event with prescreened agents. 

A word about the above photo.  This show was taped in June and will be broadcast in early November.  From left to right:  Ha Quyen, the host of HTV’s  popular Study Abroad Window (Cửa Sổ Du Học) program, Dinh Hien Khanh (Jessie), a sophomore at St. Andrew’s School (Delaware, USA),  John Williamson, Owner and Executive Director of Linden Boarding Schools, and Nguyen Do Ha Giang (Jill), an alumna of Verde Valley School (Arizona, USA) and a freshman at Hendrix College in Arkansas.