August 13, 2020
Visa tips

Applying for a Work Permit in Vietnam

The law of Vietnam states that all foreigners who will be taking up jobs in the country and will be working for at least three months must have a work permit. Working in Vietnam without the necessary permit is considered illegal and the labor contract will be deemed invalid.

So here’s everything you need to know when it comes to applying for a work permit in Vietnam.

Who Should Apply for a Work Permit in Vietnam?

Foreigners who are planning to take up jobs in Vietnam should know the rules and regulations so as not to get into trouble with the law. The first step is to apply for the work permit. But one of the confusion when it comes to getting a work permit is on whether the employee or employer should be the one to apply for it.

A foreign employee in Vietnam is responsible for applying for his or her work permit. The employee should have the permit ready when processing immigration procedures. He or she might be asked to submit the permit by the competent state agencies.

According to the Vietnamese Law, any foreigner who is caught working in Vietnam without a valid work permit will be deported back to his or her home country. Aside from deportation, the foreigner will also be asked to pay hefty fines. On the other hand, any employer who will be caught hiring foreign citizens without the necessary work permit will be dealt with in accordance with the Vietnamese law.

How To Apply for a Work Permit in Vietnam

Foreign workers and their employers can apply for the work permit by submitting their electronic documents online. They can also apply directly to Vietnam’s Ministry of Labor or at the office of the President of People’s Committee of the provinces where they are from.

After the employee receives his or her work permit, a copy of this contract should be sent to the Ministry within 5 business days after signing the contract. There are some important documents that must be submitted, depending on the type of employment that the employee will take up. These documents must be translated to the local Vietnamese language and must be notarized. So before you take up any type of job in Vietnam, make sure you have the proper documentation, such as the work permit.

Eligibilities of Vietnam Work Permit

In order for a foreign worker to be issued a work permit, he or she must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • The employee must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree or a certification issued by an authorized organization.
  • Heads, managers, directors, and a chairperson who have at least five years of experience.
  • Technical workers that have at least 1 year of training and 3 years of work experience.

Situations Where a Work Permit is exempted

There are various instances where a foreigner does not need to apply for a work permit. Here are situations where a foreigner working in Vietnam will not have to apply for a work permit:

  • Members or owners who are contributing capital to limited liability companies (LLC) in Vietnam.
  • Board of Directors of any joint-stock companies in Vietnam.
  • Directors and chief of the representative offices of international organizations and non-government organizations based in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners who will offer their services in Vietnam for three months or less.
  • Workers who were reassigned within the enterprises who are part of the 11 service industries that are committed to providing services between WTO and Vietnam, including industries in communication, businesses, construction, education, distribution, finance, environment, tourism, health, transportation, and entertainment.
  • Workers who entered Vietnam to provide technical advisory services or carry out tasks that will assist in the research, development, appraisal, assessment, and management.
  • Those who work as teachers for foreign organizations that are being sent to Vietnam by these organizations to work in international schools that are managed by foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners who came to Vietnam to work as volunteers.
  • Those who are holding a Master’s Degree or higher and offer consultancy services, teach and conduct scientific research at the higher education institutions in Vietnam, including vocational colleges, provided they will stay for only 30 days.
  • Foreign workers who entered Vietnam to impose international agreements in which local state agencies, central state, as well as the central socio-political organizations are the signatories.

Things To Keep In Mind

Generally, it will take about a month to apply for a work permit in Vietnam. But the process has been simplified in recent years. For as long as your employers will assist you along the way, you should be able to acquire your work permit without any issues. Hiring the services of a trustworthy agency in Vietnam can also make the process easier and more seamless.


The New Labor Code and the Amended Law on the Immigration of Foreigners In Vietnam have been passed recently. This New Amended Law On Immigration is due to take effect on July 1st, 2020 while the New Labor Code will start on January 1st, 2021.