Complete Guide to Navigating Vietnam Work Permits for Foreigners

Table of Contents

With the rapid growth of Vietnam’s economy, more and more people enter the country to seek new opportunities, leading to an increasing demand for Vietnam work permits. Because of cultural differences, foreigners may encounter many struggles when dealing with administrative procedures in Vietnam. This article serves as a useful guide providing information on the requirements, duration, and cost associated with work permit applications in Vietnam.

What is Vietnam Work Permit?

Vietnam Work Permit is an official certificate issued by Vietnamese government that grants foreign employees the legal right to work in Vietnam and ensures they have legitimate rights and protections. This certificate is issued by competent authorities of the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs.

When do you have to obtain a work permit in Vietnam? You may need to get a work permit if you are foreigners who enter Vietnam for the following purposes:

  1. ● Executing labor contracts or agreements
  2. ● Providing services under contracts
  3. ● Working as managers, chiefs of operation, experts, technicians
  4. ● Participating in bid contracts and projects
  5. ● Etc.

It’s worth noting that foreigners cannot directly apply for a Vietnam work permit unless they have the assistance of their employing company. You should check for the latest requirements of a Vietnam work permit to make sure that your documents are eligible under Vietnamese law.

Vietnam Work Permit Requirements in 2023

Vietnam Work Permit Sample - Thao & Co.
Example of a Vietnam work permit

For a work permit application to be accepted, foreign employees must fully satisfy the following conditions:

  1. 1. Having full capacity for civil acts.
  2. 2. Having suitable health conditions for the job.
  3. 3. Having a clean criminal record and not currently facing any criminal prosecution.
  4. 4. Meeting the requirements for job positions as manager, chief executive officer, expert, or technician as follow:

For experts:

  1. ● Having a bachelor’s degree or higher or equivalent degree and having at least 3 years of work experience in the trained field related to the job.
  2. ● Having at least 5 years of work experience and practice certificates relevant to the job position, with a stamp of consular authentication.

For technicians:

  1. ● Having at least 1 year of training in a technical field or another major and having at least 3 years of experience in the trained field, with a stamp of consular authentication.
  2. ● Or having at least 5 years of work experience related to the job.

For managers:

  1. ● Having a Decision for Appointment.
  2. ● Having at least 5 years of work experience related to the job.

A Vietnam work permit is initially valid for up to 2 years, and you can renew your work permit once for an additional 2-year period. If there is any changes in position or company, you may need to apply for a new work permit.

Once you have a clear understanding of the specific requirements for obtaining a Vietnam work permit, you can proceed to the next section, which will delve into the process of applying for work permit issuance.

Vietnam Work Permit Application Requirements - Thao & Co.

How to apply for a Work Permit in Vietnam

The best time to start applying for Work Permit issuance is 30 days prior to the intended start date of employment. You also need to gather all the required documents before submitting your application.

Documents required for Vietnam work permit

  1. ● Work permit application form from the employer
  2. ● Health certificate within 12 months
  3. ● Criminal record check within 06 months
  4. Employment contracts or agreements
  5. Degrees / Diplomas / Certificates / Experience Certification
  6. ● 02 photos taken within 06 months (4x6cm, white background)
  7. ● 01 copy of valid passport and Visa (notarized)
  8. ● Approval letter of demand for foreign workers
  9. ● Documents proving that the foreign employee’s competence is suitable for the expected position.

If your documents are issued by a foreign country or not written in Vietnamese, you may have to get consular authentication and notarized translations before submitting them to government bodies.

As a professional translation agency, Thao & Co. offers high-quality translations performed by native linguists with notarization and consular legalization as supporting services. You will receive a transparent timeline and cost estimate beforehand, which is one of the advantages offered by our proprietary platform.

Explore more information about our certified & notarized translation services.

Vietnam work permit application procedure

As previously mentioned, you cannot apply for a Vietnam work permit independently. There are several steps in the work permit application process that require the involvement of your company.

Make sure you check out the step-by-step guide below to understand how the process of issuing a work permit in Vietnam works.

1. Apply for hiring foreign worker acceptance

This step shall be performed by your employers. The employers are required to submit a request form to the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs, indicating their intention to hire a foreign employee. There are two methods of submission:

  1. Directly at the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs or Provincial/Municipal Department of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs
  2. Online at
Vietnam Work Permit Online Application Website - Thao & Co.
Website of Vietnam Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs

Within 12 working days from the date of submission, the competent authorities will communicate the results of your work permit application to your company via email. Upon receiving the approval email, the employer must promptly submit the original documents directly to the competent authority in the respective area. Within 8 hours, the original approval result will be returned to the employer.

2. Submit documentation for a work permit

You must submit your application, including the documents listed above, at least 15 days prior to the intended start date of employment. Once your documentation is complete and deemed valid, you will be required to pay the issuance fee. Subsequently, you will be provided with an appointment for the return date, typically scheduled for 5 working days thereafter.

3. Receive your work permit

Make sure to show up at the designated authority on the scheduled appointment date. If your application is approved, you will receive your work permit certificate, enabling you to legally participate in the labor market in Vietnam.

The work permit is also a crucial certificate required in other subsequent proceedings, such as obtaining Temporary Resident Cards (TRC) and Work Visas in Vietnam.

Vietnam Work Permit processing time and cost

The total processing time for obtaining a Vietnam work permit typically ranges from 20 – 30 working days, including the duration for applying for a foreigner employment allowance (~15 days) and applying for a work permit itself (~5 days). It’s imperative to make sure that the starting date of your job falls after the completion of this processing duration.

The cost of obtaining a new work permit varies depending on the province or city where your workplace is located. The registering fee for work permit issuance is 400,000 VND in Hanoi and 600,000 VND in Ho Chi Minh City. These rates are subject to change and are dependent on the regulations of the specific province.

Where to get translation services for work permit documents?

The process of getting a work permit in Vietnam involves several proceedings and can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. Even local residents face many difficulties when navigating these procedures, let alone foreigners who may be unfamiliar with the paperwork and requirements involved.

Translation plays an important role in getting the approval of a work permit application from the competent authorities. A low-quality translation may cause significant complications in the long run. It’s crucial to find a reputable translation agency that can deliver professional translations in accordance with governmental protocols.

Translation and Consular Authentication Services - Thao & Co.

As an exceptional translation agency, Thao & Co. offers high-quality translation services performed by native linguists and leverages cutting-edge technologies to enhance your experience. Beyond that, if you need any consultation regarding the procedures, our team of specialists who possess extensive expertise in this line of work will be readily available to help you out.

  1. ● Free specialist consultation
  2. ● Translated by professional linguist(s)
  3. ● Transparent process and fees
  4. ● Notarization and legalization on demand (additional fee)
  5. ● Digital and physical copies available upon request
  6. ● Thao & Co. proprietary platform which helps you easily monitor your project progress

For further details, do not hesitate to contact us via our website or click on the Get A Quote button!

Source: Thao & Company
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