Home » Vietnam » Vietnam – Work Permits and Working Legally

Vietnam – Work Permits and Working Legally

Working Legally in Vietnam

For expats considering employment in Vietnam, understanding the requirements for obtaining a work permit is crucial. Working legally in a foreign country not only ensures compliance with local laws but also provides security and stability during your stay. In this article, we will delve into the necessity of obtaining a work permit in Vietnam, who is responsible for the application process, potential exemptions, the various types of work permits available, eligibility criteria, the application procedure, required documents, associated costs, and sources of reliable information for expats.

Necessity of a Work Permit in Vietnam

Expats are generally required to obtain a work permit to work legally in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government has specific regulations governing the employment of foreign nationals, and holding a valid work permit is a legal requirement for most foreign workers in the country.

Working without the appropriate work authorization in Vietnam is illegal and can result in fines, deportation, and other legal consequences. Therefore, it is crucial for expats to ensure they have the necessary work permit before commencing any form of employment in Vietnam.

Who Applys for a Work Permit in Vietnam

In Vietnam, the responsibility for applying for a work permit typically falls on the employer, known as the “employer of foreign workers.” Employers are required to initiate the work permit application process on behalf of the expat they intend to hire. The process involves several steps:

  1. Employer’s Approval: The employer must obtain approval from the local Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (DoLISA) for hiring a foreign worker.
  2. Work Permit Application: After receiving approval, the employer applies for the work permit on behalf of the expat through the local DoLISA office.
  3. Work Permit Issuance: Once the application is processed and approved, the expat is granted a work permit, which allows them to work legally in Vietnam for a specified period.

While the employer is primarily responsible for the work permit application process, expats play a crucial role by providing the necessary documents and information to their employer to facilitate the application.

Exemptions from Work Permit Requirements

While work permits are generally required for foreign nationals working in Vietnam, there may be exemptions or specific categories of expats who do not require a work permit. Exemptions can vary based on specific circumstances and regulations. Some common exemptions may include:


Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Get our free moving abroad email course AND our top stories in your inbox every month


Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.


  • Diplomatic and Consular Personnel: Diplomats, consular officers, and representatives of international organizations in Vietnam may be exempt from work permit requirements based on their diplomatic status.
  • Intra-company Transfers: Foreign employees transferred to Vietnam within the same company or group may be exempt from work permit requirements, subject to certain conditions.

It is essential to consult with the local DoLISA office or relevant authorities in Vietnam to determine the specific exemptions that may apply to your situation.

Types of Work Permits for Expats in Vietnam

Vietnam offers different types of work permits to cater to the diverse needs of expats. The specific type of work permit required will depend on factors such as the nature of the job, the employer, and the individual’s qualifications. Some common types of work permits in Vietnam include:

  • Work Permit: This is the standard work permit for expats and foreign workers employed in Vietnam. It allows foreign personnel to work legally in the country.
  • Temporary Residence Card (TRC) and Work Permit: Foreigners who wish to reside and work in Vietnam for an extended period may apply for a combination of a Temporary Residence Card and a Work Permit.

Each type of work permit has its own eligibility criteria and requirements, which may include qualifications, experience, and documentation. expats should carefully assess their situation and consult with the local DoLISA office or immigration authorities in Vietnam to determine the most suitable option.

Eligibility for Work Permits in Vietnam

The eligibility criteria for obtaining a work permit in Vietnam can vary depending on the type of permit applied for and the individual’s qualifications. However, some common requirements and conditions may include:

  • Having a valid job offer from a Vietnamese employer that is supported by local DoLISA approval.
  • Meeting specific qualifications and experience criteria relevant to the job role.
  • Complying with the regulations and requirements of the local DoLISA office.
  • Providing a valid employment contract outlining terms and conditions.

The specific eligibility criteria may change over time, so expats should check with the local DoLISA office or relevant authorities in Vietnam for the most current information relevant to their situation.

Procedure to Apply for a Work Permit in Vietnam

The process of applying for a work permit in Vietnam typically involves several steps, and it is essential to follow the correct procedure. Here is an overview of the general application process:

  1. Employer’s Approval: The employer initiates the process by obtaining approval from the local Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (DoLISA) for hiring a foreign worker.
  2. Work Permit Application: After receiving approval, the employer applies for the work permit on behalf of the expat through the local DoLISA office.
  3. Document Verification: DoLISA reviews the application and verifies the documents submitted by the employer and the expat.
  4. Work Permit Issuance: Once the application is processed and approved, DoLISA issues the work permit, allowing the expat to work legally in Vietnam for a specified period.

The processing time for work permit applications can vary, and it is advisable to start the process well in advance of the intended employment start date to allow for potential delays. The exact timeline may depend on factors such as the type of work permit, the efficiency of the local DoLISA office, and the workload of government authorities.

Documents Required for a Work Permit in Vietnam

When applying for a work permit in Vietnam, expats and their employers must provide a set of essential documents to support their application. While the specific documents may vary depending on the type of work permit and individual circumstances, here are some common documents typically required:

  • A valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.
  • Approval from the local DoLISA office for hiring foreign workers.
  • A valid job offer or employment contract with a Vietnamese-based employer.
  • Compliance with the requirements and regulations of the local DoLISA office.

It is essential to check the specific document requirements for your chosen work permit category and ensure that all documents are prepared correctly and submitted as part of your application.

Costs Involved in Applying for a Work Permit in Vietnam

Obtaining a work permit in Vietnam may involve certain costs that applicants need to consider. These costs may include:

  • Application fees, which can vary depending on the type of work permit and processing speed.
  • Compliance with the requirements and regulations of the local DoLISA office, which may have associated costs.

The specific costs can change over time, so it is advisable to check with the local DoLISA office or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date fee information. Employers and expats should budget for these expenses when planning to apply for a work permit in Vietnam.

Finding Reliable Information on Working Legally in Vietnam

Expats seeking reliable information on working legally in Vietnam can access valuable resources and guidance from various official sources. Here are some recommended sources for reliable information:

  • Ministry of Justice of Vietnam (Bộ Tư pháp): The official website of the Ministry of Justice provides comprehensive information on legal regulations, including work permits for expats.
  • Local Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (DoLISA): Each province and city in Vietnam has its DoLISA office responsible for processing work permits. expats can contact their local DoLISA office for specific information and guidance.
  • Legal experts and immigration consultants: Consulting with experienced professionals in labor law and immigration can provide personalized guidance and assistance throughout the work permit application process.

It is crucial for expats and employers to rely on reputable and official sources of information when navigating the complexities of working legally in Vietnam. Staying informed and following the correct procedures is essential for a successful and legally compliant work experience in the country.


Latest Videos

Expat Focus Financial Update February 2024 #expat #expatlife

Expat Focus 28 February 2024 2:53 pm

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Important: No API Key Entered.

Many features are not available without adding an API Key. Please go to the YouTube Feeds settings page to add an API key after following these instructions.