Work Permit Vietnam – Updating new regulations for expats

Work Permit Vietnam - Updating new regulations for expats

Vietnam Government updated the requirements for foreigners from April 1, 2016 to apply for the necessary permit to work in the country. To requires the new regulations for foreigners about Work Permit Vietnam, what do you need to know about the new regulations for foreigners to work in Vietnam?

Exemption in Work Permit Vietnam

Who is exempted from Work Permit Vietnam?

The new rules allow foreigner possessing a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of experience in a related field to be able to work in Vietnam without a work permit. However, there also has a condition that these expats have to be in Vietnam for no more than 30 days at a time and not more than a total of 90 days in a year.

In case other employees are transferred to Vietnam by their company, and their company operates in one of these 11 service sectors: business, information technology, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, entertainment and transportation, they can work in Vietnam without permits.

Work Permit Vietnam - Updating new regulations for expats

Foreigners who are working for local schools will be obliged to get permission from the Ministry of Education and Training to be exempt from work permits. This situation can be explained as: people working without permits regardless of time periods also applies to teachers working for international schools under the control of foreign embassies or international organizations.

Additionally, authorized volunteers from international organizations, foreign students working as an intern in Vietnamese companies or experts supporting and implementing Official Development Assistance projects are not required to apply Work Permit Vietnam.

How to get an exemption for Work Permit Vietnam?

To get an exemption for their employees at least seven days prior to their beginning work, an employer must present the necessary documents to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Welfare.

What are required documents they have to prepare? The documents must include:

Work Permit Vietnam - Updating new regulations for expats
  • A request to confirm a foreign worker is eligible for work permit exemption
  • Detailed information about the employee, including name, age, gender, nationality, passport number, term on employment and job description.
  • Copies of papers to prove the employee is eligible for a work permit exemption must be translated into Vietnamese. In cases where copies of the above papers are submitted, such copies must be notarized or there must be the originals thereof for comparison.

Within three days, the ministry will give you the answer: confirm a work permit exemption or state the reasons why the employee is ineligible.

We have to remind you that, a work permit exemption is valid for two years.

Who needs a Work Permit Vietnam?

Any foreigner working in Vietnam (except in exemption cases) will need a work permit provided by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Welfare.

How to get a Work Permit Vietnam?

What do you have to prepare to apply for Work Permit Vietnam?

The necessary documents must be submitted to the ministry at least 15 days prior to beginning of employment. Documents must include:

  • A request written by the employer for a work permits for the employee.
  • A medical certificate, issued by authorized agencies either abroad or in Vietnam and valid for 12 months.
  • Criminal record from the country of origin. If the employee has resided in Vietnam, he only needs to obtain this from the Vietnamese authorities.
  • Proof of employment with foreign companies that send staff to work in Vietnam
  • Two color photos (size 4cm x 6cm, white background, looking forward, bareheaded, no colored glasses), taken within the last six months.
  • Notarized copy of passport
  • Documents to support qualifications as managers, executives, professionals or technical workers.

In other cases, these documents can be replaced by:

What is the new regulations for expats about Work Permit Vietnam?

+ A certificate for traditional craft

+ An experience qualification for a soccer player.

+ An aircraft license issued by authorized agencies in Vietnam for foreign pilots.

+ An aircraft maintenance license issued by authorized agencies in Vietnam for foreign aircraft maintenance technicians.

Documents provided by foreign companies and organizations must go through a process of consular notarization before being sent to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, & Social Welfare.

Within seven days, the ministry will issue the work permit or state the reasons why the employee is ineligible. However, the same as work permit exemption, the work permit is valid for 2 years.

After getting a work permit, the foreign employee and employer sign an employment contract and provide a copy of contract to the ministry.

How can foreigners apply for Work Permit Vietnam?

Work Permit Vietnam - Updating new regulations for expats

There are 2 ways for foreigners to apply for Work Permit Vietnam: either apply from within Vietnam or from abroad with the help of their employer or a contracted visa agency. Those applying from within Vietnam will need to do so within 90 days of arrival, as the government only issues a three-month period during which expats can live and search for job opportunities in the country without a permit.

Those who meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a work visa must gather a number of documents, have them translated into Vietnamese, and have them notarised in their home country (where applicable). There has been much debate regarding whether the notarisation must be done in Vietnam or in an expat’s home country, but the best rule of thumb seems to be better safe than sorry. So, if it is possible to get them notarised in an expat’s home country, applicants are advised to do so. Furthermore, expats are advised to have at least two notarised copies of each required document.

There is a fee for submitting a work permit application and, depending on the contract, work permits can be valid for up to three years. To know the fee, you can contact email or hotline +84 968 18 77 18.

Work Permit Vietnam - Updating new regulations for expats

Once submitted, applications are supposed to only take ten working days to process. However, many foreigners have reported that this is a fairly optimistic estimation and that instead, foreigners should expect to wait at least a month for their work permit to be granted.

Getting Work Permit Visa via visa agent will be more convenient than other ways! Let’s discover Visa online Vietnam!

In case foreign employees work in Vietnam without work permit, what will happen?

Except where foreigners are exempted by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, & Social Welfare, if foreigners working in Vietnam without work permits, they will be expelled from the country.


  1. Xin chào
    I have a question for you.
    I want to get a work permit. But I have a problem . So can you answer to me about that problem ?
    1. I have worked in Vietnam for about 6 month
    -> I have this documents (giấy phép lao động và giấy và chấm dứt hợp đồng lao động_ bản gốp)
    2. The Korean company that can prove my career was broke ( bankrupt )
    3. This time I gonna work in Vietnam . for working in Viertnam I have to prove my career in korea but its broke
    -> can i replace certificate of experience with (giấy phép lao động và giấy và chấm dứt hợp đồng lao động_ bản gốp) ??
    Another documents ( hospital certificate / a criminal record ) -> Already its prepared

    Please answear to me fastly

    thank you

  2. Hi!
    I also have a question! What happens to my Visa when I cancel my contract? I have a DN Visa right now and I’m so unhappy at the company… But I’m not sure if I’ll loose the Visa automatically? Do I have to go to the immigration department to get a toursit visa? Do I have to leave the country and enter with a new visa?
    And if so, how much time would they give me befor they chancel my DN Visa?
    Thanks for your help!
    Best, Saki

  3. Hello

    I have question, my company applied working permit for me but it was declined because they said that my working experience in my country is not in line with my degree. I’m Industrial engineer by profession and I work as Sales merchandiser in one of the Korean company in the Philippines. Industrial engineering not means we are need to work in the field like other engineers. We are more on Manufacturing companies who focuses on sales, production up to shipment. Now I don’y know how to get work permit. My work experienced was 8 years and all of my documents was authenticated. Hope that you can help me what to do. Now I’m employed as sales manager and my work was in line with my previous job and my degree.

  4. I am a uk citizen with teporary residence permit, married to a vietnamese national with 2 children ( born and registered VN) how do I apply for work permit exeption certificate to work as an Eglish teacher (certificated), or does my potential employer submit and apply on my behalf?

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