How to apply for work permit in Vietnam?

The Department of Labor, Invalid and Society is the only organ who has authority to issue Vietnam work permit for foreigners. A work permit’s validity lasts 36 months (3 years). After it comes to an expiry date, foreign workers need to reapply for a renewal one.


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In order to get a work permit, an expat in Vietnam must meet the following requirements:

  • Have work contract with a Vietnamese company/organization
  • University degree, higher degree, professional skills certificate or 5-year experiences working in the same major. The 5-year working experiences might not be applied for some cases such as: Teacher, doctor, engineer etc.

  • Have no criminal record in their living country, Vietnam or other countries

How to apply for work permit in Vietnam:

Foreigners are required to complete all paper work to apply for work permit and send it to the Labor and Social Welfare Service of the province/city where they are working. Here are list of things they need to prepare:

  • Work permit application form (following a provided template)

  • Work permission application letter (following a provided template)

  • Criminal record issued by the authority of the resident country or the municipal office of Justice in Vietnam (if living in Vietnam for more than 6 months)

  • A copy of your certificate or degree

  • Health check from a qualified hospital for at least 6 months validity.

  • Curriculum vitae with passport photo

  • 3 recently-taken photos ( 3x4cm)

After receiving all of these papers, the Labor and Social Welfare Service of the province/city will inform if they approve your work permit application or any changes needed within 15 days.

Fees: For new applicants: 400,000 VND/permit (around 20 USD)


Foreigners in Vietnam do not need to apply for work permit in one of following cases:

  • Working in Vietnam for less than 3 months
  • In a company’s board of the corporation that is created under the regulation of the Vietnamese government
  • Head of the representative office or branch of international company in Vietnam
  • Entering and working in Vietnam to resolve the emergent errors or situation that the Vietnamese labors or current foreign workers in Vietnam cannot solve
  • Lawyers that are given permission by the Vietnamese Department of Justice.

Hint for you: To avoid paperwork hassle, the easiest way a foreigner can obtain work permit is through a travel agent in Vietnam. The service charge can be a bit higher than normal

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