Work Permit Requirements in Vietnam 2024: Updates and Insights

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What are the work permit requirements in Vietnam? As the wave of globalization increases, Vietnam has been receiving an influx of foreigners enticed by promises of employment opportunities. To enjoy a lawful employment period, expatriates are obligated to acquire a work permit.

In this article from Thao & Co., let us explore the requirements for expatriates coming to Vietnam for work and the procedures and documents entailed when applying for this type of permit.

Work permit requirements in Vietnam

To seek employment in Vietnam, expatriates are required to meet the following criteria:

  1. ● Aged 18 or above
  2. ● Demonstrate the qualifications in their education, workmanship, expertise, and experience relevant to the job position
  3. ● Satisfy health requirements as regulated
  4. ● Hold a clean criminal record and not under prosecution in Vietnam or abroad.
  5. ● Hold a valid work permit, temporary residence card, visa, and other mandatory documents.

Among these, the Vietnam work permit for foreigners plays a crucial role in subsequent administrative procedures. The complex procedure involved when applying for a work permit in Vietnam can be challenging for businesses and expatriates alike.

It is imperative that you have a thorough understanding of the requirements for expatriate employees in Vietnam and the procedure involved in obtaining a work permit. This will not only help you avoid potential issues but also save valuable time and effort.

Latest requirements on work permit issuance

What are requirements of Vietnam Work Permit? - Thao & Co.

A work permit is only valid for a maximum of 2 years. After this period, you can apply for an extension of an additional two years, but only once. You will need to obtain a new work permit in case of any changes in your job position or place of employment.

Foreign employees holding Vietnam work permits are entitled to many rights protected by the Vietnam state:

  1. ● Receive full remuneration as contractually agreed upon with the employer.
  2. ● Protected from discrimination
  3. ● Receive certification of work experience
  4. ● Enjoy various other rights and benefits as stipulated by Vietnamese law
  5. ● Receive legal protection in the event of disputes with the employer.

In addition to that, foreign employees are required to fulfill the following obligations: 

  1. ● Strictly adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the contract, collective labor agreement, and other legal agreements.
  2. ● Follow the workplace policies and regulations as agreed upon with the employer.
  3. ● Ensure compliance with legal provisions regarding: workplace safety, occupational health, vocational education, employment, healthcare insurance, social insurance, and unemployment insurance.

It is advisable to apply for a Vietnam work permit approximately 30 days before the intended start date of your employment. In addition, the application process will require the following documents: 

  1. ● A copy and certified translation of a valid passport
  2. ● Work permit application form (from the employer)
  3. ● Letter approving the employment of expatriates
  4. ● Health certificate acquired within 12 months
  5. ● The latest criminal record check obtained within 6 months
  6. ● Employment contracts/agreements
  7. ● Degrees/diplomas/experience certification
  8. ● 02 4x6cm photos, white background, taken within 06 months
  9. ● 01 copy of a valid passport and visa (notarized translation is required).

After preparing all the necessary documents, you need to follow these steps to complete the application process for a Vietnam work permit: 

  1. ● Step 1: Employing business submits an explanatory report to request a Vietnam work permit for the foreign employee to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.
  2. ● Step 2: Submit a work permit application on behalf of the foreign employee and pay the fee.
  3. ● Step 3: Wait for the result and receive the Vietnam work permit if approved.

FAQs on requirements for expatriates in Vietnam

Sample of Vietnam Work Permit for Foreigners

Below are some frequently asked questions with detailed answers provided by Thao & Co.:

Under what circumstances are Vietnam work permits exempted?

Here are the cases in which foreign employees are not required to obtain a Vietnam work permit: 

  1. ● Applicant is the owner/shareholder of a limited liability company with a minimum capital contribution of three billion VND.
  2. ● Chairperson of the board of directors/board member of a joint-stock company with a minimum capital contribution of three billion VND.
  3. ● Project managers, representatives, or individuals responsible for the operations of non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam.
  4. ● Staying in Vietnam for no more than 3 months to promote services
  5. ● Staying in Vietnam for no more than 3 months to address complex and urgent technological and technical issues that cannot be resolved by other means. 
  6. ● Foreign lawyers with a valid practicing license in Vietnam
  7. ● Foreigners married to Vietnamese citizens and residing in Vietnam.
  8. ● Other cases specified in international agreements of which Vietnam is a member.
  9. ● Intra-corporate transferees within enterprises that belong to the 11 service sectors with work permit exemption as committed by Vietnam to the World Trade Organization.
  10. ● Traveling to Vietnam to provide technical consultancy services or carry out other tasks according to international ODA agreements signed with Vietnam.
  11.  ● Foreign media personnel granted licenses by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to operate in Vietnam.
  12. ● Individuals sent by competent foreign organizations to conduct research or teach at international schools under the United Nations’ management.
  13. ● Voluntary employees that meet legal regulations.
  14. ● Foreigners working in Vietnam for less than 30 days for a maximum of 3 times per year as executive directors, experts, managers, or technical specialists.
  15. ● Foreign personnel coming to Vietnam to implement international agreements.
  16. ● Foreign students coming to Vietnam for internships or to participate in apprenticeships on Vietnamese ships.
  17. ● Relatives of members of foreign representative offices in Vietnam as regulated.
  18. ● Expatriates employed by government agencies or political organizations holding diplomatic passports.
  19. ● Foreign employees responsible for establishing commercial presence
  20. ● Foreign employees entering Vietnam to teach or research with approval from the Ministry of Education and Training.

Can foreigners without qualifications work in Vietnam?

According to the latest regulations, foreign employees are only permitted to work in positions such as managers, executive directors, experts, and technical specialists..

Foreign employees can only legally work in Vietnam if they meet specific criteria and hold the following documents: 

  1. ● A bachelor’s degree or degree of similar level and above
  2. ● Documentation confirming their status as experts, issued by a foreign company.
  3. ● Proof of a minimum of 5 years of experience and a practice certificate in the relevant field (for expert and technical positions).
  4. ● Employment contracts
  5. ● Appointment letters
  6. ● Other relevant documents

Processing time for Vietnam work permit applications

The overall processing time for a Vietnam work permit application typically ranges from 20 to 30 working days. Within this timeframe, the business’s application for a letter of approval takes approximately 15 days, while the application for the foreign employee’s work permit takes about five days. 

Do Vietnam work permit application documents need translation?

When applying for a Vietnam work permit, if the documents are not in the Vietnamese language, you must have them notarized or authenticated by your consulate or embassy before submitting them to the competent authority. Foreign documents that require notarized translation into Vietnamese include: 

  1. ● Personal documents: passports, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, etc.
  2. ● Criminal record checks
  3. ● Degrees, related certificates
  4. ● Appointment letters
  5. ● Employment contracts
  6. ● Health certificates

The translation of work permit application documents requires a high degree of accuracy and thoroughness in both content and formatting to avoid affecting the permit issuance process. Therefore, to obtain fast and high-quality translations, feel free to consider contacting us, Thao & Co. translation company.

Thao & Co. Translation and Legalization Services

With many years of experience in processing Vietnam work permit applications, we deliver accurate translations carried out by expert linguists. Utilizing a streamlined and scientific workflow, Thao & Co. is committed to delivering translations on schedule with the highest quality. 

Furthermore, you can receive a Certificate of Translation Accuracy issued by Thao & Co. entirely free of charge. If you have additional requirements for notarization services, only a small additional fee is required. Additionally, we assist clients in tracking project progress and maintaining regular communication with translators through our proprietary platform

For further consultation regarding notarized translation services for Vietnam work permit applications, please leave your information on the Get a Quote page for detailed assistance!

Source: Thao & Company
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