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Work permit in Vietnam.

If you are a professional seeking to work in Vietnam, or a Vietnamese business looking to hire foreign employees, our immigration team can help you obtain a work permit successfully.

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What is a work permit?

A work permit is a work document that is required for all foreign employees before entering an employment contract or conducting any work in Vietnam, unless subject to an exemption.

Work permit
in numbers.

5-8 weeks

Application process

2 years

Validity period (max)
Application process

Four stages of work permit application.

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The work permit application process is often time-consuming and headache-inducing. However, with our help in planning and preparation of the required documents, the process becomes more efficient and successful. The four stages are:

  1. Pre-approval from authorities – Obtaining the written pre-approval from the Labour Authority prior to employing foreign workers in Vietnam
  2. Document preparation – Preparing and collating necessary documents (including translations) for lodgement
  3. Lodgement – Discussion followed by submission of the work permit application and required documents with the Provincial Labour Authority
  4. Collection of work permit – Approved work permit is collected from the Labour Authority
Application documents

What you will need to apply.

The required documents for the work permit application process are detailed below. These documents can vary slightly for each specific application or individual circumstance, such as for some teachers, however the standard documents detailed will apply for most cases.

From the employer:

  • Job description
  • Business license*
  • Seal register*
  • Draft of employment agreement or labour contract

From the employee:

  • Criminal history check from the employee’s home country police**
  • Criminal history check from Vietnam (if the applicant currently resides in Vietnam)
  • Work permit health check from an authorised Vietnamese hospital
  • University degree** or experience certificate(s)/letter confirming five years’ relevant work experience**
  • Confirmation letter confirming relevant management experience**
  • Summary CV/record of work history
  • Passport and visa/resident card*

*This document requires notarising in Vietnam, most commonly at the People’s Committee.

**This document needs to be authenticated by the consul and legalised and requires:

  • The document is stamped by the employee’s embassy/consulate in Vietnam, translated then legalised at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vietnam, or
  • The document is stamped in the employee’s home country by the appropriate government agency, and then legalised at the Vietnamese Embassy in that country.

Application process and timeline

How to apply
for a Vietnam
work permit.

It is the employer that applies to receive approval to employ the individual in that specific role. The employer can ask outside parties to assist with the process on their behalf, but they can’t pass the responsibility off to the employee to solely sort out their personal Work Permit.

When recruiting, employers should ensure that their potential employees meet and understand the requirements indicated before they make an employment offer. In addition, allowing sufficient time to gather documents and apply for the Work Permit prior to commencement of the individual with the Vietnamese employer will make the take-on process simpler and less stressful for all. Acclime will advise you throughout the process

Taking care of the whole application process from start to finish.

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Pre-application advice

Advice on all of the immigration requirements for recruiting or relocating foreign staff.

Application tracking

Filing and tracking applications on behalf of clients through to completion.

Document issuance

Making sure all documents are issued, updated and completed.


Handling renewal of work permits in a timely and efficient manner.

Common questions.

Is the work permit renewable after two years?
Work permits in Vietnam can be renewed only once. After the renewal is expired, the foreign employee is required to submit a new work permit application with the labour authorities.
Is a college degree necessary for a Vietnam work permit?
Foreign individuals in charge of managing the company: legal representative, the chairpersons of the board of members, a member of the board of members, or the company’s president are not required to have a university degree. Technical workers who have undergone training in a specified technical field or other majors for at least one year (college / technical school) do not require a University Degree.
What benefits can a work permit holder’s family enjoy?
A work permit holder can apply for a temporary residence card (TRC) in Vietnam for a period of up to 2 years, and the family members can benefit from this and apply for a dependent TRC as well, together with other social benefits related to banking and residency.
Ready to get started?

Our experienced team can process your work permit application quickly and reliably.

Not sure where to begin?

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation
on starting & managing your company
in Vietnam.

Rizwan Khan Managing Partner