Foreigners who want to work in Vietnam legally have to obtain a Vietnam Work Visa in addition to a Work Permit.

When applying for a Work Permit, you must prepare several documents which your employer in Vietnam has to submit on your behalf.

Who is Eligible for a Vietnam Work Visa?

You are eligible for a Vietnam Work Visa if you comply with the following conditions:

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You will be working in Vietnam in a managerial or executive position or as an expert who has the necessary technical skills and knowledge for the job
  • You are in good health
  • You do not have any previous or current criminal charges
  • You have the necessary academic and work qualifications to fill the position
  • You have at least 3 years of working experience as an executive-level or higher
  • You have a work contract with a company in Vietnam
  • The company hiring you can prove they advertised the position to Vietnamese nationals, but were unable to fill it locally (ie. they put up the job advertisement notice in a newspaper or online site)

How Can I get a Vietnam Work Visa?

To get a Vietnam Work Visa, you have to apply at the nearest Vietnam Embassy or Consulate, but you may also be able to receive the visa on arrival.

However, before you apply for the visa and go to Vietnam, you’ll have to get a Work Permit or at least be in the process of obtaining a Work Permit.

Applying for the Vietnam Work Permit

It is the Vietnam Work Permit that allows you to legally work in Vietnam for longer than three months. However, not everyone who will be employed in Vietnam has to get one.

Who needs a Vietnam Work Permit?

You need a Vietnam Work Permit unless:

  • You will work in Vietnam for a period shorter than three months within one year. In this case, you can work under a Vietnam Business Visa.
  • You are a member of a limited company that hires more than one member
  • You are the owner of a limited company in Vietnam with one member
  • You are a board member in a joint-stock company
  • You are a lawyer and have received a professional permit in Vietnam by the Ministry of Justice
  • You are an internal transferee
  • You are a volunteer certified by a foreign diplomatic mission or an international organization in Vietnam
  • You will work in service sales for a foreign company in Vietnam
  • Other activities as designated by the Vietnam Ministry of Labor, Invalid and Society.

Where to submit the application for a Vietnam Work Permit?

Your employer has to submit the application for your Work Permit at the offices of the Vietnam Ministry of Labor, Invalid and Society. They must do so at least thirteen working days before you start working for them.

Before submitting the Vietnam Work Permit application, however, your employer has to get approval to hire foreign workers from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs or the People’s Committee where they live or operate. They have to apply for approval at least 20 days before submitting the Work Permit application.

What is the duration of a Vietnam Work Permit

A Vietnam Work Permit is issued for a duration of up to 12 months and is renewable. You can apply to renew it before it expires.

What documents are required for a Vietnam Work Permit?

When your employer submits the application for a Work Permit in Vietnam, you have to prepare several documents to send to them:

  • Health Certificate. You have to obtain a health certificate in your home country, which confirms you are in good health to work.
  • Criminal Background Certificate. You need a Police Certificate clearing you of any criminal background, issued within the last six months by the authorities in your country.
  • Proof of your professional background. You have to submit documents from former employers, proving you worked there.
  • Copies of your qualifications and degrees.
  • Passport-size picture(s) of you, with the following specifications:
    • Size: 4 cm x 6 cm
    • Taken recently
    • White background
    • You must be centered in the picture, staring ahead with a neutral facial expression
    • If you wear headgear for religious purposes or you have a wig, you may keep it in the picture but must also be wearing on arrival
    • You must not be wearing any glasses

Additionally, your employer has to submit the following documents as well:

  • The Vietnam Work Permit application form
  • Your Work Contract
  • Approval from the Committee which allows them to employ foreign workers
  • Their Business Registration Certificate

Note:

The documents you obtain from your country have to be notarized and legalized by the relevant bodies in your country.

The documents have to be translated into Vietnamese by the Justice Division of a District People’s Committee branch or notary service in Vietnam before being submitted.

Applying for the Vietnam Work Visa

You have to apply for a Vietnam Work Visa at an Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam in your country. Your employer has to sponsor your Vietnam Work Visa application, before or after they submit the application for the Work Permit.

You can also apply for a Vietnam Visa On Arrival.

Applying for a Vietnam Work Visa at an Embassy/Consulate

If you’re going to apply for a Vietnam Work Visa at an Embassy or Consulate, your employer has to send you a Letter of Sponsorship or Letter of Entry Clearance, which they have to obtain from the Immigration Services in Vietnam. To get the Letter of Sponsorship, they need the following information from you:

  • Your full name
  • Your nationality (or nationalities, if you have double citizenship)
  • The exact dates of entry and departure
  • The type of visa you need (single or multiple-entry)
  • The Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for the Work Visa

After your employer sends the Letter of Sponsorship to you, you have to submit it along with the Vietnam Work Visa application at the nearest Embassy or Consulate.

Applying for a Vietnam Work Visa On Arrival

You can apply for a Vietnam Work Visa On Arrival if you will enter Vietnam through one of the following ports of entry:

  • Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi
  • Danang Airport in Da Nang
  • Cat Bi Airport in Hai Phong
  • Cam Ranh Airport in Nha Trang

However, before getting the Vietnam Work Visa on arrival, you have to apply for a Letter of Approval from the Vietnamese Immigration Department. You can do so online, through one of the companies authorized by the Immigration Department of Vietnam.

See a more explanation of the application process for a Vietnam Visa On Arrival.

Documents required for a Vietnam Work Visa

When applying for a Vietnam Work Visa, you have to submit the following documents:

  • Your passport, which has at least another six months’ validity.
    • If you are applying for the Letter of Approval online, you have to send a scan of your passport’s personal information and picture page.
  • Passport-size picture(s) with the following specifications:
    • Size: 4 cm x 6 cm
    • Taken recently
    • White background
    • You must be centered in the picture, staring ahead with a neutral facial expression
    • If you wear headgear for religious purposes or you have a wig, you may keep it in the picture but must also be wearing on arrival
    • You must not be wearing any glasses
  • If you are applying at an Embassy/Consulate:
    • The Vietnam Visa Application Form. Depending on which country you are applying from, you can either download it or get the Vietnam Visa Application Form at the Embassy/Consulate.
    • Letter of Sponsorship/Entry Clearance
    • Any other additional documents that the Vietnam Embassy/Consulate may require, such as a Letter of Invitation.
  • If you are applying for Vietnam Visa On Arrival:
    • Pre-obtained Letter of Approval
    • Entry and Exit Form. You will receive this on the airplane and you have to complete it before handing it in at the Immigration Officers at the port of entry
    • Cash to pay the Vietnam visa stamping fee

How Long is a Vietnam Work Visa Valid?

A Vietnam Work Visa can be issued for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or one year and for single-, or multiple entries.

However, once you have a Work Permit, you can apply for a Temporary Residence Card, which replaces the visa.

The Temporary Residence Card

If you have a Work Permit which is valid for more than one year, you are eligible to receive a Vietnam Temporary Residence Card (TRC).

Temporary Residence Cards are issued by the Immigration Services of Vietnam, working under the Ministry of Public Security. They can be issued for a period of one to five years, and serve as a multiple-entry permit, allowing you to leave and re-enter Vietnam without a visa for the duration that it is valid.

Last Updated on