Procedure of Entry/Exit, Residence, Work Permit are forced for foreigner who do business trip, work or live in Vietnam.  Although Foreign Worker Labor Law has been updated reasonably and conveniently, foreigner will waste much time, if they do all procedure. These difficulties because of some reasonsyou have to prepare all necessary documents carefully before submitting, you must also have reasonable explanation with officers, beside that Entry/Exit, Residence, Work Permit regulations have often been updated, if you don’t understand clearly or updated your knowledge about Foreign Worker Labor Law causing serious wrongs may be fined or delay your working.

Who can work in Vietnam?

Foreigners wishing to work in Vietnam must be at least 18 years old and be healthy enough to satisfy the job requirements. Only those with high technical skills or high professional qualifications regarding service and with considerable experience may be employed. As with other jurisdictions, a foreign employee is required to prove that he or she does not have any criminal record with a national security offense, and must not currently be subject to criminal prosecution or any criminal sentence in accordance with Vietnamese and foreign laws.

Grounds for Employment

The law lays out clearly different forms under which a foreign employee may work in Vietnam. Generally, a foreigner may enter into Vietnam to work only under the following grounds:

  • Performance of a labor contract between the foreigner and a Vietnam-based company.
  • Internal transfer within an enterprise that has a commercial presence in Vietnam.
  • Performance of a type of contract (but not a labor contract), namely economic, commercial, financial, banking, insurance, scientific and technical, cultural, sporting, educational, or medical health contracts between a foreign entity and a Vietnam-based entity.
  • Service providers pursuant to a contract or, in other words, contractual service suppliers.
  • Service salespersons.
  • Foreigners representing a foreign non-governmental organization that is permitted to operate in Vietnam.
  • Persons responsible for setting up a commercial presence.


Foreigners entering Vietnam must have a valid passport and Visa, and must be able to state the purpose and length of their stay in the country before they can be granted entry. Visas may be applied for, and issued, at the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Police, a consulate office under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a foreign representative office, or a Vietnamese consulate overseas. If a Visa applicant is already in Vietnam, he or she may apply to the Vietnamese immigration authority for a Visa. The maximum Visa term for a foreigner working in Vietnam is 12 months. Visas can’t be renewed once expired, but a new one can be applied for if necessary.

Work Permit

A Work Permit is normally required from a foreign employee working for more than three months in Vietnam. Once an employer receives two sets of application files from the potential foreign employee, the employer can apply for issuance of a Work Permit for that foreigner from the Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (DOLISA). For a foreign employee working in Vietnam on the ground of performance of a labor contract between the foreigner and a Vietnam-based company, after a Work Permit has been issued, usually within two weeks of submitting an application file to DOLISA, a written labor contract in accordance with the labor law of Vietnam, and consistent with the Work Permit issued, must be signed by the foreigner and the employer. A copy of this signed contract must be forwarded by the employer to DOLISA. For foreigners working in Vietnam on other grounds, including internal transfer, no Vietnamese labor contract is required.

A Work Permit is not required from the following foreign employees:

  • A member or owner of a limited liability company or a member of the board of management of a shareholding company.
  • A person offering services to practice law, under a professional license issued by the Ministry of Justice.
  • A Chief Representative Officer, Chief Project Officer, or representative of a foreign non-governmental organization for its operation in Vietnam.
  • An internal transferee of a company that engages in one of 11 service sectors as stated in Vietnam's WTO service commitments.
  • A person providing professional and technical consultancy service or conducting other missions serving for the implementation, evaluation, and supervision of Official Development Aid programs or projects according to the agreements signed between foreign parties and the Vietnamese Government.
  • A person permitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct media activities in Vietnam.
  • Other circumstances as stipulated by the Prime Minister.

Residence Card

Foreigners, who want to reside in Vietnam in the long run to work, do business, study or research may be interested in the renewed policies on immigration of Vietnamese government. Ten years ago, foreigners who wanted to stay in Vietnam for a long period of time were only able to apply for six- to twelve-month Visa and were not exempted for entry or exit Visa.

After the issuance of the Ordinance No. 24/2000/PL-UBTVQH10 on Entry, Exit and Residence of foreigners in Vietnam, a foreigner may get permanent or temporary residence card valid for one to three years. The card will act as a proof of identity and an entry Visa when traveling within, in and out of Vietnam. This helps foreigners save a large amount of time and money for Visa application as well as Visa extension during the entry, exit and residence in Vietnam)

Who can apply: 

  • Members of a limited liable company with two members or more.
  • Owner of a one-member limited liability company.
  • Members in the Board of a joint-stock company.
  • Foreign lawyers who have been licensed by Ministry of Justice to practice law in Vietnam as stipulated by law.
  • Foreigners having Work Permit, work in various kinds of foreign enterprises and representative offices of foreign companies.
  • Professionals, students, trainees working or studying in national programs and projects signed between the ministries and approved by the government.

Accompanying relatives (father, mother, wife, husband, children under 18 of the granting residence card person).A foreign worker with a valid Work Permit may also apply for a Temporary Residence Card for a period of up to three years. The application must be submitted to the provincial Immigration Department, and may include supporting documents such as a leasing contract and an employer's certificate of incorporation.


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