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How to Obtain a Vietnam Work Permit & Requirements

Simon Colwill - March 3, 2022 - 0 comments

For those looking to work in Vietnam for longer than three months, foreigners will need to be granted a work permit certificate that proves their right to work. The process of obtaining a Vietnam work permit can be complicated, however, with all the required documentation and an understanding of the process, it can be completed in as little as one week. 

MSC Notaries are able to advise and offer legalisation of all the necessary documents to carry out the process successfully. We’ve also put together a guide to sorting your application and all the documents you need below.

What is a Vietnam work permit?

A Vietnam work permit is an official certificate issued by the Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs (DOLISA) that signifies the holder can legally work in Vietnam.

You will need to obtain a work permit if you are going to be working in Vietnam for longer than three months, however, there are certain instances where you may be eligible for a work permit exemption certificate. For example, if you are a lawyer with professional permits to work in Vietnam or are married to someone residing in Vietnam. 

How do I get a work permit for Vietnam?

If you are planning to work in Vietnam and have been offered a position, you will need to obtain your work permit in advance of commencing work. This process must be carried out by your new employer located in Vietnam who must complete an application form and provide all the necessary documentation directly via Vietnam’s DOLISA service. 

Your prospective employer should apply for your work permit in plenty of time before your start date, ideally, 20 days before to ensure your application is processed and your certificate granted in time. Your employer will need pre-approval to employ foreigners for each role they are applying for a permit for, whereby they must have first aimed to recruit an employee for a minimum of 30 days that is based in Vietnam before recruiting for the role internationally. 

When obtaining a Vietnam work permit, your employer will need to prepare the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Valid and legalised passport
  • Health certificates and medical records
  • Three passport photos
  • Judicial profile records to prove the applicant has no criminal record
  • Legalised copies of relevant academic or professional certificates
  • Letter of preapproval for foreign labour from the company’s Local Labour Department

Vietnam work permit requirements

To be able to apply for a permit and legally work in Vietnam for periods longer than three months, you must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have a strong health record that meets your job’s requirements
  • Have no criminal record or national security offences in your country of residence and no current or ongoing prosecutions or criminal sentences

Additionally, it’s important to note that Vietnam has specific requirements and regulations in place about the types of roles that foreigners can apply for and carry out in order to obtain a Vietnam work permit. 

You must also have a certain level of qualifications depending on the type of role you are applying for a permit for:

  • Foreign experts must have a bachelor’s degree or higher or equivalent, and proof of three years experience in the field of your new job position in Vietnam. If you do not have a degree or some form of higher education, you must have proof of five years of experience in the field. 
  • Technical workers must have been trained in the relevant field or similar fields for at least one year and have worked in the field for three years or have proof of five years experience in a job similar to the position they are undertaking in Vietnam.
  • Directors or CEOs will need to have an appointment to apply for and be approved for a work permit and have proof of at least three years in the relevant position before applying to work in Vietnam.

Legalising your documents for a Vietnam work permit

Despite the process of submitting your application being the responsibility of your new employer, it is the employee’s responsibility to source and provide all the necessary documents for the application to be approved. For your documents to be authorised for use in Vietnam, they will also need to be translated into English and legalised by your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

MSC Notaries are able to help with the process of obtaining a work permit for Vietnam by legalising and notarising all personal documents required to ensure they’re ready for cross-border use in your application. 

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