Visa in Vietnam: everything you need to know about it

Visa and work permit are two most important things for a foreigner to enter, live and work legally in Vietnam. This article will let you know all types of visa in Vietnam to see which one is the most suitable for your own personal purposes.

1. Types of visa:

All of visitors traveling to Vietnam for the first time will be required to have the correct types of visas before they arrive. However, there are many types of visas depending on the purpose of visitors so you have to determine exactly which one you need.

The most popular types of Vietnam visa are:

  • Tourist visa (DL)
  • Business visa (DN1, DN2)
  • Student/internship visa (DH)
  • Investor Visa (DT1, DT2, DT3, DT4)
  • Working visa (LD1 – LD2)
  • Diplomatic visa (NG)

This comprehensive list below will show you the types of available visa in Vietnam:

12 months12 months12 months

12monthsFor people visiting Vietnam in order to conduct business or visit businesses that are based in Vietnam. These business types can include: economic organizations, cultural organizations and other professional bodies that are based in Vietnam in a non-professional capacity12 months

6 months

Visa Type Description Validity
NG1- NG2 NG1/NG2 is to members of official delegations invited to Vietnam a governmental body and guests of equivalent ranks.
NG3 For members of foreign missions and their accompanying relatives.
NG4 For members of foreign missions or the visitors that are traveling to the company to visit them in the short term.
DH For people who are planning to study, be an intern or have probation in Vietnam 12 months
LV1 For people work for the Party Central Committee, National Assembly, the President, Government and guests of

equivalent ranks of the ministers, vice-ministers, presidents and vice presidents of committees provinces and cities directly under the Central Government.

12 months
LV2 Granted to the person(s) working for social organizations, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
PV 1 For permanent journalists, reporters and broadcasters who are visiting Vietnam for professional reasons 12 months PV2 For short term journalists and reporters working within Vietnam 12 months VR For individuals who are entering the country in order to visit relatives residing there.
DT Investor Visas 5 years
NN1 – NN2 – NN3


TT For individuals who are entering Vietnam in order to visit with their spouses, children who are Vietnamese or foreigners residing in Vietnam and holding Vietnam visa types with the symbols: LV1, LV2, ĐT, NN1, NN2, DH, PV1, LĐ 2 months


2. Work permit:

If you plan to work as an English teacher in Vietnam in more than 3 months, you will need to have a work permit. This should ideally be applied 15-30 days by the employer with the provincial Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) before the foreign teacher commences their employment. Work permit processing times take up to 10 business days in usual.

Requirements for getting a work permit:

Employees must follow these conditions to apply for a work permit in Vietnam:

  • Over 18 years old.
  • Having a good health condition to satisfy job requirements.
  • Not currently subject to criminal prosecution or any criminal sentence in Vietnam or overseas or have a criminal record.
  • Having ESL teaching certificates (TESOL/TEFL/CELTA), Bachelor’s Degree or Diploma from University/College which is suitable for job requirements or higher.
  • 3 years of teaching experience (if any)
  • Teachers do not have a degree still be able to apply for work permits if they have more than 5 years of teaching experience.
  • Having a valid passport.


Do you need a work permit to work in Vietnam? In fact, some foreigners are exempted from getting Vietnam Work Permit and can work in Vietnam with business visas only.

They are:

  • Working in Vietnam for less than 3 months.
  • Volunteers.
  • A member of a limited liability company with two or more members.
  • Coming to Vietnam to market products and services.
  • A member of the board of a joint-stock company.
  • Students and trainees undertaking internship.
  • Being teachers of foreign organizations that are sent to Vietnam by such organizations to teach and research in international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam or permitted by the Ministry of Education and Training to teach and research in Vietnam’s education and training institutions;
  • Having official passports to work for state agencies, social organizations and socio-political organizations;
  • Other cases decided by the Prime Minister at the proposal of the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs
  • Being issued with a license for the practice of journalism in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with the law;

How do I apply for a work permit in Vietnam?

According to the Circular No. 23/2017/TT-BLDTBXH guiding the online grant of work permits to foreign workers in Vietnam, the foreigner’s employer or his agent shall, at least 13 working days before the date the foreigner is expected to start working, fill in the request form and required documents to the Department of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs to apply for the work permit.

Documents for ESL Teaching Jobs’s work permit in Vietnam:

  • Request for work permit form.
  • Employer’s profile
  • 1 x Degree (legalized & notarized + translated).
  • 1 x ESL Teaching Certificate (TEFL/TESOL/CELTA, etc)
  • Working experience confirmation document from former employers (At least 3-year, if any)
  • Employment contract
  • 1 x Health Check Certificate (Can make in Vietnam)
  • 2 x Photograph (4x6cm) taken on white background without glasses.
  • 1 x Criminal Check / Police Check (legalized & notarized + translated).

Documents for changing work permit:

Work permit in Vietnam

  • Case 1: Teachers still have the same title as at the old company. Teachers will need:

+ Current Work Permit.

+ Former employer’s confirmation, teachers provide form, they just need to sign + stamp.

+ Copy of the new employer’s business registration certificate (must be notarized).

+ Teachers’ passport.

+ 2 photos  (4x6cm), taken with 6 months without wearing glasses

+ Health Check.

  • Case 2: Teachers have different job titles at the new company. The applications consist of:

+ Former employer’s confirmation, teachers provide form, they just need to sign + stamp.

+ A copy of  new employer’s business registration certificate & other documents ( must be notarized).

+ Teachers’ passport.

+ 2 photos of (4x6cm), taken with 6 months without wearing glasses.

+ Degree (legalized & notarized + translated).

+ ESL Teaching Certificate (TEFL/TESOL/CELTA, etc.) (legalized & notarized + translated)

+ Working experience confirmation document from former employers (At least 3-year, if any)

+ Health check certificate.

  • Work permit fees:

+ For new applicants: VND 460, 000/permit (20 USD ).

+ For re-issued work permits: VND 345,000/permit (USD 15)

+ For renewal work permits: VND 230,000/permit (USD 10).

This is the fee for work permit issuance, not processing fee. So if you go via agencies, you will need too pay extra fees for their support.

What governmental departments do you have to visit for a work permit in Vietnam?

  • To apply for a criminal record in Ho Chi Minh City: Department of Justice in Ho Chi Minh City | 141-143 Pasteur, D3 | +84 28 3829 0230
  • In Hanoi: Department of Justice in Hanoi | 221 Tran Phu, Van Quan, Ha Dong | +84 243 3546 151
  • Another one in Ho Chi Minh City: Department of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs | 159 Pasteur, D3 | +84 28 3829 1302
  • Apply for a work permit in Hanoi: Department of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs | 75 Nguyen Chi Thanh, Lang Ha, Dong Da | +84 243 8358 868

What if I do not have my certificate/degree?

  • A common question that foreign workers have had about work permits for Vietnam is: “How to apply for Vietnam work permit without a degree?”
  • To reply, please note if you want to apply for a work permit but have no certificate or diploma of recognition, you must have a written certification of at least five years’ experience in your profession, production execution and management issued by a competent foreign agency.

Vietnam work permit processing time and cost

The work permit request processing time is totally 20 working days in usual (after receiving full required documents), including:

  • 12 working days for online approval;
  • 08 working days for granting the work permit.

But all are highly recommended to carry out the procedure at least 20 days before the expected work start date of the foreigners.

The cost for Vietnam work permit varies by the province/city where you submit your application forms.

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