Vietnam Work permit

Vietnam Work Permit for Foreign Labors

Vietnam Work Permit is issued by the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs or the Management Board of Industrial Zone, processing and export area where the Enterprise’s (Employer’s) head-office is located, permitting foreign labors to work legally in Vietnam. Vietnam Work Permit offers the duration of 2 years in maximum.

Requirements for Vietnam Work Permit depend on each group of job position

  1. Experience certificate with the position of “Manager” (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese)
  2. Health check
  3. Criminal record from foreign country OR in Vietnam (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese.
  4. Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  5. 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  6. Notarized copy of passport
  7. Copy of business license of the company/ organization
  1. Experience certificate with the position of “Chief Executive Officer” (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese)
  2. Health check
  3. Criminal record from foreign country OR in Vietnam (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese.
  4. Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  5. 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  6. Notarized copy of passport
  7. Copy of business license of the company/ organization
  1. Specialist certificate OR University degree + 3 -year experience certificate with the same position (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese)
  2. Health check
  3. Criminal record from foreign country OR in Vietnam (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese.
  4. Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  5. 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  6. Notarized copy of passport
  7. Copy of business license of the company/ organization
  1. 1-year training qualification + 3-year experience certificate matched with the job position (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese)
  2. Health check
  3. Criminal record from foreign country OR in Vietnam (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese.
  4. Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  5. 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  6. Notarized copy of passport
  7. Copy of business license of the company/ organization

Processing Sequences of Vietnam Work Permit

1. Dossier of application for a work permit:

  • Proof showing he/she as a manager, executive, expert or technician (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese)
  • Health check
  • Criminal record from foreign country OR in Vietnam (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese.
  • Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  • 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  • Notarized copy of passport
  • Copy of business license of the company/ organization

2. Processing time

7 working days from the date we submit documents to competent authority.

1. If the foreign worker who is the holder of an unexpired work permit wants to enter into the employment contract with another employer at the same job position:

a. Documents required:

  • Valid Work Permit
  • Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  • 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  • Notarized copy of passport

b. Processing time

7 working days from the date we submit documents to competent authority.

2. If the foreign worker who is the holder of an unexpired work permit wants to hold another job position which is different from that defined in his work permit but the employer is unchanged:

a. Documents required:

  • Valid Work Permit
  • Proof showing he/she as a manager, executive, expert or technician (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese)
  • Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  • 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  • Notarized copy of passport

b. Processing time

7 working days from the date we submit documents to competent authority.

3. If the foreign worker whose work permit is expired wants to continue his employment at the job position which is the same with that defined in his work permit:

a. Documents required:

  • Health check
  • Criminal record from foreign country OR in Vietnam (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese.
  • Copy of Work Permit
  • Proof showing he/she as a manager, executive, expert or technician (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese)
  • Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  • 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  • Notarized copy of passport

b. Processing time

7 working days from the date we submit documents to competent authority.

1. Documents required for Work Permit Re-Issuance because of expiration

  • Original current Work Permit
  • Health check
  • Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  • 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background

2. Processing time

5 working days from the date we submit documents to competent authority.

3. Notices

Order for re-issuance of Work Permit because of expiration must be submitted to competent authority at least from 5- 45 days before the work permit is expired.

1. Documents required for re-issuance of Work Permit to change some information

  • Original valid Work Permit
  • 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  • Copy of documents having information to change

2. Processing time

5 working days from the date we submit documents to competent authority.

1. A dossier of request for certification of exemption from work permit comprises:

  • Approval letter from Provincial People’s Committee Chairman to permit the company/ organization where you work to employ foreign labor for suitable job position
  • 02 pictures size 4×6 cm, white background
  • Notarized copy of passport
  • Proof showing he/she as a manager, executive, expert or technician (If it is issued in foreign country, it will be required to get consular legalization and translate into Vietnamese)
  • Proof of eligibility for work permit exemption

2. Processing time:

03 working days from the date we submit documents to competent authority.

1. Documents required:

  • Original Work Permit
  • Memorandum on the termination of the labor contract

2. Processing time:

05 working days from the date we submit documents to competent authority.

Why choose us?

Applying for Vietnam Work Permit, Work Permit Exemption Certificate is a difficult, complicate procedure which takes a long time to process. Each paper required is issued by another authority.

Normally, The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs or the Management Board of Industrial Zone, processing and export areas in all provinces have too many problems related to Labor, Invalids and Socials Affairs to solve, so it’s too difficult for them to give the detail answer for each question. Thus, to avoid wasting time and process the application fast and simply, asking for help from a consulting agent – Vietnam-legal.com is the best solution for each situation.

Vietnam-legal.com always explore, scrutinize all legal documents, policies of Government on foreign labor management, find out all features of each job position, business field of each employer, giving the best consulting and solution. With many years of experience in this field, we can find out and give solution for all problems in your application. We are confident that Vietnam-legal is your trust partner in Vietnam Work Permit Consulting.

1. Conditions, procedures to apply for Vietnam Work Permit;

2. Documents to obtain Vietnam Criminal Record (Foreigners cannot obtain Vietnam criminal record without temporary residential certificate)

3. Guidance to get Health Check in Vietnam

4. Translation, notarization, and consular legalization for all documents necessary for Vietnam Work Permit application

5. Completing the documents

6. Submitting documents to competent authorities

Dossier of request for Vietnam Work Permit and Work Permit Exemption Certificate applied in different province will be different. Issuing authorities are:

  • Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs: for all companies/ organizations having head office located out of Industrial Park or Processing and Export area
  • The Management Board of Industrial Zone, processing and export area where the Enterprise’s (Employer’s) head-office is located.

Northern Area

Southern Area

  • Hanoi City
  • Vinh Phuc Province
  • Hung Yen Province
  • Ha Nam Province
  • Hai Phong City
  • Hai duong Province
  • Bac Ninh Province
  • Bac Giang Province
  • Ho Chi Minh City

FAQ about Vietnam Work Permit

What are documents required for Vietnam Work Permit?

According to Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP, documents required to apply for Vietnam Work Permit includes:

1. Request for issuance of a work permit from the employer in accordance with regulations of the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs.

2. Health certificate or medical certificate issued by a competent foreign or Vietnamese health care agency or organization valid for 12 months from the date of signing to the application date.

3. Judicial record or written document confirming the foreign worker is not an offender or being prosecuted for criminal liability issued by the foreign country. If the foreign worker resides in Viet Nam, only judicial record issued Viet Nam is required.

The judicial record or written document confirming the foreign worker is not an offender or being prosecuted for criminal liability must be issued within 06 months from the issuance date to the application date.

4. Proof showing he/she as a manager, executive, expert or technician

For some occupations and jobs, proof of professional qualifications and skills of foreign workers shall be replaced by one of the following documents:

a) Certificate of recognition for artisan traditional crafts by the competent authorities of foreign countries;

b) Proof of experience of foreign football players;

c) Aircraft pilot license by the competent authorities of Viet Nam for foreign pilots;

d) Aircraft maintenance license by the competent authorities of Viet Nam for foreign workers working as aircraft maintenance.

5. 02 color photos (size 4cm x 6cm, white background, front, bareheaded, without sunglasses), taken within 06 months prior to the application date.

6. A certified copy of passport or valid papers or international travel documents in accordance with the law.

7. Documents relating to the foreign worker

a) Foreign worker stipulated under Point b, Clause 1 of Article 2 of this Decree must provide an appointment letter of the foreign enterprise assigning the foreign worker to work in the commercial presence of the foreign enterprise within the territory Viet Nam and proof of employment for the enterprise for at least 12 months prior to working in Viet Nam;

b) Foreign worker stipulated under Point c, Clause 1 of Article 2 of this Decree must provide a contract or agreement between Vietnamese and foreign partners, which must include an agreement on the foreign worker working in Viet Nam;

c) Foreign worker stipulated under Point d, Clause 1 of Article 2 of this Decree must provide a service contract between Vietnamese and foreign partners and proof of employment for the foreign enterprise which does not have a commercial presence in Viet Nam for least 02 years;

d) Foreign worker stipulated under Point dd, Clause 1 of Article 2 of this Decree must provide an appointment letter of the service provider assigning the foreign worker to come to Viet Nam to negotiate on service provision;

dd) Foreign worker stipulated under Point e, Clause 1 of Article 2 of this Decree must provide a certificate of the foreign non-governmental organization and international organization permitted to operate in accordance with Viet Nam law;

e) Foreign worker stipulated under Point h, Clause 1 of Article 2 of this Decree must provide a written appointment letter of the service provider assigning the foreign worker in Viet Nam to establish a commercial presence of the service provider;

g) Foreign worker stipulated under Point i, Clause 1 of Article 2 of this Decree engaging in activities of the foreign enterprise, which have established a commercial presence in Viet Nam, must provide proof that the foreign worker has engaged in activities of the foreign enterprise.

What are features and benefits of Vietnam Work Permit?
+ Foreign national is not permitted to apply for Vietnam Work Permit by his/her own. Work Permit will be issued under your employers’ guarantee.
+ Vietnam Work Permit is issued to all foreign labors working in Vietnam and supplying all documents required to apply for Work Permit.
+ The processing time: 7 working days
+ The duration of a work permit shall not exceed 02 years. It is one of the most important conditions for foreign labors to obtain a long-term visa or 1-2 year temporary residence card.
+ Vietnam Work Permit need reissued when foreign labors change any information on their passport
+ Reissuance of Work Permit will be allowed if the employer and employee continue to work together.
Who are employers of foreign workers?
a) Enterprises operating pursuant to the Law on Enterprises and the Law on Investment or international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is a signatory;
b) Foreign or domestic contractors participating in tendering, carrying out a contract in Viet Nam;
c) Representative offices and branches of an enterprise, agency or organization permitted to be established by the competent authority;
d) State agencies, political, socio-political, socio-occupational-political, social and socio-occupational organizations;
dd) Foreign non-governmental organizations and international organizations in Viet Nam;
e) State professional units established pursuant to the law;
g) Foreign project offices or offices of international organizations in Viet Nam;
h) Operating offices of a foreign investor pursuant to business cooperation contracts or foreign contractors permitted for registration pursuant to the law;
i) Organizations practising law in Viet Nam in accordance with the law;
k) Cooperatives and co-operative groups established and operating pursuant to the Law on Cooperatives;
l) Associations and business associations established in accordance with the law;
m) Business households and individuals permitted to do business in accordance with the law.
Who are exempted from Vietnam Work Permit?

According to Decree No.11/2016/ND-CP, cases of foreign workers exempted from Vietnam Work Permit includes:

1. Foreign citizen working in Vietnam not subject to the grant of work permit stipulated in Labor Code:

+ As contributing member, or owners of limited liability company.

+ As a member of the Board of Directors of the Joint Stock Company

+ As a Head of Representative Office, project of international organization, non-governmental organizations in Vietnam.

+ Coming to Vietnam with a period of less than 03 months to offer services

+ Coming to Vietnam with a period of less than 03 months to handle the problem, technical situation and complex technology arising that affect or threaten to affect the production and business that the Vietnamese and foreign experts currently in Vietnam cannot be handled.

+ As a foreign lawyer who has been licensed to practice law in Vietnam under the Law on Lawyers

+ Under the provisions of international agreement in which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member.

+ As students who are studying and working in Vietnam, but the employer must give a notice 07 days in advance to the provincial state management agency on labor

2. Other cases of foreign workers exempt from work permits, including:

a) Foreign workers who are internally transferred within an enterprise operating in the 11 service sectors in the list of Viet Nam’s commitments on services to the World Trade Organization, including: business, communication, construction, distribution, education , environment, finance, healthcare, tourism, cultural entertainment and transport;

b) Foreign workers entering Viet Nam to provide advisory services and technical expertise or perform other tasks serving research, construction, appraisal, monitoring and evaluation, management and implementation of programs/projects funded with official development assistance (ODA) as specified and agreed in international agreements on ODA between competent authorities of Viet Nam and other countries;

c) Foreign workers who are issued with a license for the practice of journalism in Viet Nam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with the law;

d) Foreign workers who are teachers of foreign organizations that are sent to Viet Nam by such organizations to teach and research in international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Viet Nam or permitted by the Ministry of Education and Training to teach and research in Viet Nam’s education and training  institutions;

dd) Volunteers certified by foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Viet Nam;

e) Foreign workers coming to Viet Nam to work as experts, managers, executive directors or technical employees with a period of less than 30 days and no more than 90 cumulative days in 01 years;

g) Foreign workers entering Viet Nam to implement international agreements to which central and local state agencies are signatories  as prescribed by the law;

h) Students studying in foreign schools and institutions having agreements on internship in agencies, organizations and enterprises in Viet Nam;

i) Family members of diplomatic agents of foreign diplomatic missions in Viet Nam permitted for working by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, except where international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is a signatory that contains provisions different from this;

k) Foreign workers who have official passports to work for state agencies, social organizations and socio-political organizations;

l) Other cases decided by the Prime Minister at the proposal of the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs.

What are conditions for issuance of Vietnam Work Permit?
+ There is capacity for civil acts fully accordance with the law
+ There is health fit with the job requirements
+ Being manager, executive director, expert or technician
+ Not offenders or being prosecuted for criminal liability accordance with the law of Vietnam or foreign law
+ Being approved in writing by the competent state agencies on the use of foreign workers
What is “Expert” according to Decree no. 11/2016/ ND-CP?

According to Decree no. 102/2013/ND-CP, Specialist means a foreign worker who is recognized by a foreign country as specialist or who possesses an engineer, bachelor or equivalent or higher degree and has worked for at least 5 years in his/her trained discipline.

This definition of “Expert” is changed according to Decree No.11/2016/ND-CP:

Foreign employees are deemed as specialists when they satisfy one of the following requirements:

+    When the said employee is in possession of a written document that verifies their position as a specialist of an office, organization or enterprise overseas.

+    When the said employee has a minimum of a university degree or a certificate of equivalent value, and no less than three years’ experience working in a specialized field appropriate to his or her expected position in Viet Nam. Other special cases shall be examined and decided by the Prime Minister.

What are “Manager and CEO” according to Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP?

According to Decree No.11/2016/ND-CP, the definitions of "Manager and Chief Executive Officer" are clear:

+ Manager position: Manager of an enterprise means a manager of a company or a manager of a private enterprise, comprising the owner of a private enterprise, an unlimited liability partner, the chairman of a members’ council, a member of a members’ council, the chairman of a company, the chairman of a board of management, a member of a board of management, a director or general director, and an individual holding another managerial position, who is authorized to enter into transactions of the company in the name of the company as stipulated in the charter of the company

+ A chief executive officer (CEO) is the leader who directly manages subordinate units of an office, organization or enterprise.

What should you do if your application for Work Permit is refused?

Nowadays, the proportion of unskilled foreign labors is increasing more and more. Therefore, Vietnam Government sets the stringent standards to decrease the number of unskilled foreign labors and those who do not have clear criminal record, promoting all companies in Vietnam to take advantage of Vietnamese labors. This is reason for many Vietnam Work Permit refusals. The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs or the Management Board of Industrial Zone, processing and export area where the Enterprise’s (Employer’s) head-office is located will refuse in some case such as your company employs the number of foreign labors exceed the permitted rate, the job position is not matched to your business fields or foreign labors cannot meet the professional qualifications or experience required for the position. Even the cases that employers of foreign workers violated regulations on using and managing labors will be refused.

Refusal does not mean that employers cannot apply for Vietnam Work Permit again. We need to review the reason of refusal given in the replying letter from The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs or the Management Board of Industrial Zone, processing and export area. We should follow their suggestion and give solution for each problem with application.

Each document offer the duration of 6 months, except for Health Check (valid to 12 months) thus you should take this time to prepare carefully dossiers to obtain Vietnam Work Permit timely.

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