Humans are more mobile than ever, providing amazing opportunity, but there’s still no place like home. Returning to the homeland after building a life outside can get dicey, especially if a dog is involved. Bringing a dog along is a costly process, no matter the country. An expat in the know prepares for moving the animal, knowing what to expect before and after the move.


Only two dogs are allowed to come into India. They must have an original copy of the Veterinary Certificate and Vaccinations records when they fly into the country. They must also possess their No Objection Certificate, or NOC, 15 days before entry. The dogs must be microchipped, and they must be documented as a personal pet. This means that the owner has documentation of ownership for more than 2 years, or plans to reside in India for more than a year. The dog must have a 30-day quarantine certificate from the previous country. Proof of vaccination is a must, along with certifications of health from a vet. All pets will be placed under a 14 day government quarantine, or a 30 day home quarantine, depending on the health of the pet.


Vietnam prefers a microchip, but it is not required. An original rabies certificate from a veterinarian is required, as is a health certificate from the departure country and full vaccination records. Carry U.S. dollars for import fees, and include a photocopy of the first page of the human passport. There is no quarantine period in Vietnam.

Moving Overseas as an Expat


Bringing pets to Laos as an expat requires a rabies vaccination up to one year prior to travel, a microchip, and an import permit from the Lao government. The permit is processed in under a week, with the correct documentation, as follows: human passport, letter from Laos sponsor or employer, description and photo of pet, photo of microchip with number evident, health certificate completed by veterinarian, rabies certificate, pet flight details. Laos only issues a 30-day quarantine if the pet comes from a high-rabies country.


Travelling to Cambodia with a pet is easy. The dog needs a health certificate, proof of vaccines, and rabies certificate before travelling in a flight-approved dog crate. There is no known quarantine time for dogs in Cambodia.


Bringing the dog to Thailand is nearly as easy as Cambodia. The dog needs the same health certificate, proof of vaccines, and rabies certificate. However, the dog also needs an import permit and pet crate. Pets may be subject to up to 30 days quarantine, depending on the individual pet’s health.


Indonesia requires a microchip. A rabies vaccination and certificate is necessary, as is a rabies titer test. The titer test ensures that the rabies vaccination is working properly. Dogs also need a distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and parvovirus vaccine, up to one year before departure. A health certificate is necessary, and the pet will be subject to quarantine between 7 and 14 days.


Dogs moving to Singapore need an import permit, microchip, rabies certificate, titer test, valid vaccination certificate, deworming and anti-tick treatment, international health certificate, and Singapore-issued health certificate. These dogs are subject to a quarantine up to 10 days. Singapore requests that travelers apply for a quarantine reservation before travel.


The Philippines holds less requirements than other areas, with only a health certificate, SPS clearance form, inspection upon entry and payment of fees necessary. They have no quarantines in place.

Hong Kong

Moving into East Asia, Hong Kong allows most nationalities to bring their pets into the territory. All you need to do is apply for a special pet permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department. This will minimise any fuss.


China allows foreigners to bring pets such as dogs into the country. The country is stricter than Hong Kong and requires proof your dog is healthy – rabies vaccinations, a health certificate, and export documentation, plus your dog will be quarantined.

Expat BloggersSally Jackson is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.

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