The Difficulties When Finding English Teaching Jobs In Vietnam

Vietnam is a country that attracts many foreigners due to the great economic growth is has been experiencing in recent years. It is a dream country for expatriates to find suitable English teaching jobs for living.

As the demands of studying English in Vietnam becomes higher, thousands of foreigners come here every year to be English teachers. In this article, we will tell you more about the difficulties in finding English teaching jobs in Vietnam and how to solve these problems, based on the experiences of many teachers who have been working in Vietnam’s education field.

1. Visa and Work Permit:

All of the visitors traveling to Vietnam for the first time will be required to have the correct type of visa organised before they arrive. If you plan to get a job in Vietnam for more than 3 months, you will also need to have a work permit. To obtain a work permit, your employer will apply at least fifteen days prior to the work start date to the provincial Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. The process of issuing a work permit usually takes up to 10 business days.

Key things to note in relation to the visa and work permit:

  • You must have both a visa and a work permit to be able to work legally. If you important to note that your previous record is checked each time so if you have broken any entry laws such as illegally overstaying your visa etc., it is very unlikely you will ever get anything more than a tourist visa in the future
  • Your employer in Vietnam must apply for your visa to get you into the country and then apply for the work permit.
  • The process of obtaining a vis and work permit is very complicated and time consuming so do make sure that all the paperwork is correct so that you can get it right the first time.
  • Due to the cost of the visa and work permit, it is recommended that a contract of at least one year is obtained to offset these expenses.
  • Because they are so difficult and expensive ($$$$) to get, foreigners should note that any contract less than 2 years is probably not worth considering to come all the way here in Vietnam.

You will need a work-permit to get an English teaching job in Vietnam

You will need a work-permit to get an English teaching job in Vietnam

2. Labour Contract

  • Local labour laws consider all labour equal. Other than job specifications, social insurances and immigration requirements, foreigners are otherwise equally considered in the eyes of the Labour Code of Vietnam. The Labor law is very important in Vietnam and is often referred to – make sure that you take the time to read the English version.
  • Getting things in writing is very important in Vietnam from simple things like asking parents to sign that they have dropped off their child to signing that they have read an information booklet. This is also true with contracts so rather than simply reading it through quickly you should take the time to study each aspect in detail. If there is anything that you are not happy with then get it changed in writing rather an only orally – this is not legally binding and will mean nothing.
  • Please note that although you may consider your contract a confidential document, the contents will probably be disclosed to others. This is simply a cultural norm and has no malice.

3. Take the time to research the background of your employer.

Yes – this is not an error – check your employer. Make sure the company is real, make sure the shareholders are real, make sure the address is real, make sure the company registration is real. Make sure the person talking to you is real.

  • “Come on, it cannot be that bad.” Yes, it can be. It has happened badly before. You don’t get to read them openly online is due to the courtesy of expats to be politically correct, going with the flow with the local culture. So how to know?
  • The best way to check out the background information of your employer is to join “closed” Facebook groups which focus on English teaching jobs for expats in Vietnam. Open groups that can be found are often infiltrated by the employees who want to whitewash their own tracks or provide negative comments regarding their competition.
  • With a real closed group run by 100% expats you will find lists of employers/companies that are blacklisted for non-payment of salaries, as well as information regarding those who do not keep to their contract conditions and those who use the contract/ /permits/visas against you as an expat. If you find your employer on that list for any reason at all, you should seriously reconsider the offer or start serious negotiations so that you have more immediate upfront terms so that if do go wrong then you will have money saved and housing will have been paid in advance etc.
  • It is important to note that for many companies your employer (or the CEO/Gen Dir/MD/boss) is NOT the legal rep listed on the firm’s registration official papers. This can cause legal difficulties if things don’t go well and you wish to take legal information so do check out the company prior to signing a contract as much as possible.
  • Just remember, in Vietnam, the company legal rep is the recognized legal person to conduct transactions such as the signing of ALL contracts pertaining to the business. So as long as the signatory on the contract is not the legal rep on the VN business registration certificate, it should ring a loud alarm bell for you to relook into all the above points.

You should check the background of your Employer very carefully before applying.

You should check the background of your Employer very carefully before applying.


Even though you are not a permanent resident of Vietnam you are still required to pay your taxes in full. This is staggered and related to your income – so the higher the income the higher the tax rate.

For many reputable companies the HR will take care of ensuring that your taxes are paid on a monthly basis and will work on the end of year tax forms on your behalf.

However please make sure that you are aware of the following:

It is fair to say everyone works for their wage and salaries. You must pay your taxes. It is common to have an employer do a withholding on your income tax due and settle it on your behalf. But I have seen the lack of experience in handling such matters by “HR managers” who are obviously none the wiser and could not be bothered. So please do know that there are things to note:

+ If your payment on the contract is stated as “Net of Taxes and Social Insurances” then you can have that pay fully without further deductions. Your employer will deal with those tax payments and insurance contributions.

+ In the above event, YOU MUST ASK FOR THE ANNUAL FINALISATION RETURNS REPORT FOR YOUR INCOME TAXES. This is very important. Especially if you are at the end of your contract and returning home or even crossing to another employer. You should note that you may be asked to produce this document should your name be flagged up for tax problems at the customs and immigration both in Vietnam and your home country.

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+ DOUBLE TAXATION filing, you will also need the above report to file in your home country to avoid a second round of tax on your income. It is still better to hold a paper official document that says you have been a compliant taxpayer than having none.

+ YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A TAX REFUND. Laws and regulations in Vietnam change very often and it can happen in your favour depending on how transparent your employer is. If your employer withholds your tax payments at the highest tax brackets and contributes at the top tier of insurance contributions, then there is a chance of refund at finalization. Why ? this is due to a max cap of such contributions stated by law. And if there is such a refund, it will be done after the annual finalization tax report is completed.

+ Having children affects your rate of tax quite dramatically so make sure that you make sure that your employer knows that you have dependents and that you would like this to be on the tax forms.

+ You can don’t ask about this report and if allowed, this refund will be conveniently “overlooked” by employers or HR… if it does not get paid to you because you left the company then it has to go somewhere…that will be left to you to find out. Or not. It is your money after all.

+ Severance Benefit. YES, expats do get them. As long as the contract ends amicably without extension. You should be paid a severance allowance of 50% of your stated monthly salary for every 12 continuous months of work completed prior to departure. This is a mandated payment by law. Not all companies declare this to their employees yet still declare it to the tax authorities so do make sure that you let your company know that you are aware of this law.

5. Where to apply for the right English Teaching jobs in Vietnam?

You do not have to go to Vietnam and apply directly before you start looking for your English teaching jobs. Instead you can carry out a lot of research and try to secure work prior to leaving. The first thing to do when searching for work in Vietnam is to check out the prestigious job sites such as Vietnam Teaching Jobs. This is a well-established company who have provided thousands of teachers with a decent job. Moreover, is in partnership with many well-known and quality schools and English centers such as VUS, Apollo, ILA, Amslink, YOLA, EIV Education, etc.

You may also find English teaching offers on social networking sites such as Facebook where you can join in groups dedicated to Vietnam. LinkedIn is also a professional social network that is also very useful for finding English teaching jobs.

Using The Vtj Website To Secure An English Teaching Post

Vietnam is an ideal place to teach English, not only because it is relatively easy to gain a post, the work is adaptable and the students are enthusiastic but also because Vietnam is an amazing place to explore – from the literature, food markets and motorbikes to the incredible diverse landscapes across the country.

If we have wetted your appetite to start a new adventure – to get away from the dull and dreary 9 to 5 then take a look at to gain an insight into the wide variety of wonderful jobs that are just there waiting for you.

Alternatively, simply email us at: and we will help start you on the path to a new adventure in Vietnam.

Are you facing difficulties in finding and securing teaching positions in Vietnam? Are visa procedures causing you trouble? Feeling overwhelmed and directionless upon your arrival in Vietnam for teaching assignments? Don’t worry, VTJ’s English Teaching Placement in Vietnam (EPIV) Program 2024 provides comprehensive support to solve ALL the matters.

👉👉👉 Click HERE to request free consultation


Vietnam Teaching Jobs (VTJ), which was founded in 2012 is a well-established platform for teachers to find their dream teaching job in Vietnam. Covering the entirety of the country, we have successfully paired thousands of happy teachers and schools. Be part of the thousands of happy teachers working in Vietnam, register and apply for your dream job today!

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Vietnam Teaching Jobs (VTJ), which was founded in 2012 is a well-established platform for teachers to find their dream teaching job in Vietnam. Covering the entirety of the country, we have successfully paired thousands of happy teachers and schools. Be part of the thousands of happy teachers working in Vietnam, register and apply for your dream job today!