How to Apply for a Work Permit in Vietnam 2023: Requirements + Fees

Vietnam has emerged as a popular destination for expatriates seeking employment opportunities. With its vibrant economy and diverse job market, many individuals are considering Vietnam as their next career move. However, before embarking on this exciting journey, it is crucial to understand the process of obtaining a work permit in Vietnam. Applying for a work permit can be a complex and time-consuming procedure, but with the right information and guidance, it can be a smooth and hassle-free experience. In this article, VTJ aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to apply for a work permit in Vietnam in 2023.

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What Is A Work Permit In Vietnam?

What Is A Work Permit In Vietnam? A work permit in Vietnam is an official document issued by the DOLISA

What Is A Work Permit In Vietnam? A work permit in Vietnam is an official document issued by the DOLISA

A work permit in Vietnam is an official document issued by the Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (DOLISA) that allows foreign nationals to legally work in the country. It serves as proof that the holder is qualified and authorized to work in a specific job position for a designated employer in Vietnam.

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Who Is Eligible For A Work Permit In Vietnam?

Foreign nationals who meet certain criteria are eligible to apply for a work permit in Vietnam. The eligibility requirements include:

  • Be at least 18 years old and possess full legal capacity.
  • Hold technical, professional, or occupational qualifications and experience, along with maintaining suitable health as outlined by the Minister of Health.
  • Not be currently serving a sentence, have a pending criminal record, or be subject to criminal prosecution under either foreign or Vietnamese law.
  • Possess a valid work permit issued by an authorized government agency in Vietnam, with exceptions as specified in Article 154 of the Code.

Foreign workers employed in Vietnam are required to adhere to the aforementioned conditions and the Vietnamese Labor Code. They are entitled to legal protection under Vietnamese law, unless otherwise stipulated by international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a party.

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Who Is Subject To Work Permit In Viet Nam

Who Is Subject To Work Permit In Viet Nam? Eligibility for a work permit in Vietnam is limited to foreigners who are employed by a legally registered company

Who Is Subject To Work Permit In Viet Nam? Eligibility for a work permit in Vietnam is limited to foreigners who are employed by a legally registered company

Eligibility for a work permit in Vietnam is limited to foreign passport holders who are employed by a legally registered company or enterprise in the country. According to Article 2 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP issued by the Vietnam Government, foreigners can work in various job positions such as labor contracts, intra-company transfers, commerce, insurance, sports, education, contracted services, service providers, foreign non-governmental organizations, managers, executives, experts, technical workers, and more.

However, there are currently four job positions that are prioritized for work permits due to the need for more qualified local labor. These positions include managers, executive directors, experts, and technical workers. To be eligible for a work permit in these positions, certain conditions must be met:

  • Managers/Executive Directors: Applicants must have at least three years of experience in the relevant position, as evidenced by an experience certificate.
  • Experts: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification. They should also have either a minimum of three years of experience working in the trained field, or a minimum of five years of experience and a practicing license relevant to the job position they are expected to work in Vietnam.
  • Technical Workers: Applicants must have received training in a technical or related field for at least one year and have a minimum of three years of work experience in the trained field. Alternatively, they can have at least five years of relevant work experience in the job position they are expected to work in Vietnam.

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Requirements To Apply For A Work Permit In Vietnam

Requirements To Apply For A Work Permit In Vietnam

Requirements To Apply For A Work Permit In Vietnam

To apply for a work permit in Vietnam, you will typically need to provide the following documents and fulfill specific requirements:

  • Job Offer: A valid job offer from a Vietnamese employer or organization.
  • Health Check: A health check certificate issued by a Vietnamese or recognized foreign medical facility.
  • Criminal Record: A clean criminal record certificate from your home country or from Vietnam if you have been residing there for an extended period.
  • Qualifications: Copies of your educational and professional qualifications, relevant to the job position.
  • Passport and Visa: A valid passport and a Vietnamese visa that allows you to work in the country.
  • Work Permit Application: A completed work permit application form, typically provided by the Vietnamese Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs.
  • Employer’s Documents: Your employer’s documents, including their business registration certificate, tax code, and other required business licenses.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Proof of your accommodation in Vietnam, which may include a rental agreement or a hotel booking.

How To Apply For A Work Permit In Vietnam

Dossiers

To apply for a work permit, the required dossiers must include an approval of the need to employ foreign workers, along with other documents related to foreign employees. The entire process should be carried out by the employers, ensuring that all documents issued abroad or by foreign diplomatic representatives in Vietnam are consular legalized and translated into Vietnamese after being notarized.

The following documents are necessary for obtaining approval for employing foreigners:

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  • Registration form for using foreign workers by employers (Form No. 01/PLI, Decree 152/2020/ND-CP).
  • A notarized copy of the business registration.
  • Other Documents for Work Permit Application

In addition to the above, the following documents are required for the work permit application:

  • An application form for a work permit by employers (Form No. 11/PLI, Decree 152/2020/ND-CP).
  • A health examination certificate issued in Vietnam or a legalized health examination certificate issued abroad, valid for 12 months from the application date.
  • The original foreigner’s criminal record issued in Vietnam or a legalized record issued abroad, verifying that the foreign workers are not currently subject to penalties, have not had their records expunged, or are not being examined for penal liability. This record should be valid for at least 6 months prior to the application date.
  • Documents and papers prove that foreigners hold positions such as managers, executive directors, experts, technical workers, or other specified occupations and jobs.
  • Two color photos (4x6cm size) taken within the last 6 months, with a white background, straight posture, and without colored glasses, hats, or headscarves.
  • A certified copy of a valid passport.
  • Legalized documents proving that foreigners are eligible to apply for a work permit.

Procedures

Step 1: Apply For Approval Of Foreigner’s Employment

Employers should initiate the process by applying for approval from the Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs to employ a foreign worker. Once the job is approved, the employer will receive a written approval notice, which is a crucial prerequisite for the work permit application.

Step 2: Submit Documents For Work Permit

With the approval notice, you will submit the complete set of required documents to the Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs office in the province where you will be working.

Step 3: Get The Result

You will receive a notification of the result, and if your application is approved, you will be issued a work permit that is typically valid for a specific duration, often up to two years. Work permits are typically renewable, so you should start the renewal process well before the expiration date if you plan to continue working in Vietnam.

Processing Times Of Work Permit In Vietnam

The processing time for the work permit application can vary but usually takes several weeks. During this time, the authorities will review your documents and verify your eligibility.

Costs Of Work Permit In Vietnam

Costs Of Work Permit In Vietnam: The cost associated with obtaining a work permit in Vietnam can vary depending on several factors

Costs Of Work Permit In Vietnam: The cost associated with obtaining a work permit in Vietnam can vary depending on several factors

The cost associated with obtaining a work permit in Vietnam can vary depending on several factors, including your nationality, the specific province where you apply, and whether it’s your first-time application or a renewal. In Hanoi, the fee for applying for a work permit is VND 400,000, and in Ho Chi Minh City is VND 600,000 for the same category. The current highest fee is VND 1,000,000. 

Notes: This is state fees, the processing fee varies if you use agency services. 

Validity Of Work Permit In Vietnam

The validity of a work permit in Vietnam typically varies based on the specific circumstances and the job contract. Here are some common guidelines:

  • Initial Work Permit: Initial work permits are often issued for a period of up to two years.
  • Renewals: Work permits can typically be renewed for additional periods of up to two years each time, depending on the employer’s needs and your continued eligibility.
  • Temporary or Seasonal Work: In some cases, work permits may be issued for shorter durations, such as for temporary or seasonal employment.
  • Specific Projects: If you are working on a specific project with a defined end date, your work permit may be valid for the duration of that project.

Termination Of Work Permit In Vietnam

A work permit in Vietnam may be terminated or become invalid under certain circumstances:

  • End of Employment: If your employment contract with the Vietnamese employer ends, your work permit may be terminated. You should return the permit to the local authorities.
  • Change of Job: If you change your job position or employer in Vietnam, your current work permit may no longer be valid, and you’ll need to apply for a new one.
  • Expiry: Work permits have a limited validity, and they become invalid when they expire. You must apply for a renewal if you plan to continue working in Vietnam.

Work Permit Exemptions 

Foreigners may qualify for an exemption from the requirement of a work permit in Vietnam if they fall into the following scenarios

Foreigners may qualify for an exemption from the requirement of a work permit in Vietnam if they fall into the following scenarios

In accordance with the provisions outlined in Clauses 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of Article 154 of Labor Code 45/2019/QH14, as well as Article 7 of Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP, individuals from foreign countries may qualify for an exemption from the requirement of a work permit in Vietnam if they fall into one of the following scenarios:

  • Foreigners who are owners or capital contributors of a limited liability company with a minimum capital contribution of VND 3 billion.
  • Foreigners who serve as chairpersons or members of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company with a minimum capital contribution of VND 3 billion.
  • Foreigners holding positions as Heads of representative offices, projects, or individuals primarily responsible for the operations of international organizations or foreign non-governmental organizations in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam for a stay of less than 3 months to provide services.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam for a stay of less than 3 months to address complex technical or technological issues that have, or are likely to have, adverse effects on production and business operations and cannot be resolved by current Vietnamese and foreign experts in Vietnam.
  • Foreign lawyers who possess a professional practice license in accordance with the Law on Lawyers in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners who have married Vietnamese citizens and wish to reside in Vietnam.
  • Foreign workers who are internally reassigned within companies engaged in the 11 service industries specified in Vietnam’s WTO commitments on services. These industries include business, communication, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, culture, entertainment, and transportation.
  • Foreign workers entering Vietnam to provide professional and technical advisory services or to perform tasks related to research, construction, appraisal, assessment, management, and implementation of programs and projects funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) under International Treaties on ODA between Vietnam and other countries.
  • Foreign workers holding licenses for the practice of communications or journalism in Vietnam issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Foreign workers appointed by foreign agencies or organizations to teach or conduct research in international schools managed by foreign diplomatic missions or United Nations offices or organizations established through agreements involving Vietnam.
  • Foreign volunteers entering Vietnam to perform unpaid work in accordance with international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory. Such individuals must be certified by a foreign diplomatic mission or international organization in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam to assume roles as experts, managers, chief executive officers, or technicians for a period not exceeding 30 days and limited to three visits to Vietnam per year.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam to execute international agreements signed by central or provincial agencies and organizations in accordance with Vietnamese law.
  • Students currently enrolled in schools or training establishments overseas with agreements for practical training at agencies, organizations, or enterprises in Vietnam, or students engaged in practical training on Vietnamese vessels.
  • Relatives of members of a foreign diplomatic mission in Vietnam who are granted permission to work pursuant to international treaties to which Vietnam is a party.
  • Foreigners holding Official Passports who enter Vietnam to work in state agencies, political organizations, or sociopolitical organizations.
  • Foreigners tasked with establishing a commercial presence in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners certified by the Ministry of Education and Training as entering Vietnam for the purposes of teaching and research.
  • Individuals covered by cases specified in international treaties to which Vietnam is a party.

Obtaining a work permit in Vietnam is a crucial step for expatriates seeking employment opportunities in this vibrant country. Understanding the requirements and fees involved is essential to ensure a smooth and legal transition into the Vietnamese workforce. Best of luck in your endeavors in Vietnam, and may your work permit pave the way for a fulfilling and rewarding experience in this beautiful country.

FAQs

Can a Vietnam work permit be extended after two years?

Yes, a Vietnam work permit can be extended after two years, typically for additional periods of up to two years each time, depending on your employer’s needs and your continued eligibility.

Is a college/university degree necessary for a Vietnam work permit?

In many cases, a college/university degree is necessary for a Vietnam work permit, especially if it is a requirement for the job position you are applying for. However, there may be exceptions for certain technical or expert roles.

What benefits can a work permit holder’s family enjoy?

The benefits that a work permit holder’s family can enjoy in Vietnam may vary, but typically, they can apply for dependent visas to join the work permit holder in the country. The specific benefits and eligibility criteria can vary based on Vietnamese immigration regulations.

Can I get a work permit without the sponsorship letter?

In Vietnam, you typically need a sponsorship letter from a local employer to obtain a work permit. It’s a mandatory requirement in most cases, and obtaining a work permit without a sponsorship letter is generally not possible.

Author

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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Author Details
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!