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Obtaining a work permit in Vietnam

Obtaining a work permit in Vietnam

Obtaining a work permit to work in Vietnam not only means a lot to foreigners, but also companies that hire foreigners.

The possession of a work permit significantly helps foreigners, nowadays with respect to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic for which Vietnam successfully adopted necessary, as well as strict, protective measures to effectively minimize the spread of this troublesome virus throughout the country.

The work permit benefits

Some of the work permit benefits to be enjoyed by a foreign employee are:

Eligibility to open a bank account and proof of income.

Possibility of obtaining a bank loan

Ease of registration with the local police

Eligibility to obtain a residence care the LB status

Benefits of having a work permit in Vietnam

Benefits of having a work permit in Vietnam

Challenging to obtain a work permit

Unfortunately, the requirements for obtaining a work permit is applicable to every single foreigner, regardless work status – permanent or temporary.

In fact, obtaining a work permit is a cumbersome task. Even those who have successfully applied for the work permit themselves find it challenging to obtain a work permit because of the complicated procedures, frequent changes in law, the lengthy step-by-step process and the excessive amount of documents to prepare.

The complicated procedures

In order to obtain a work permit, applicant will typically need to follow the following procedure:

Step 1: Apply for Approval of Demand on using foreign workers

Step 2: Prepare documents for work permit

Step 3: Submit documents to get work permit in Vietnam

Step 4: Get the result

Work permit's document preparation

An excessive amount of documents to prepare would take you time.

An application form for re-issuance of work permit made by the employer No. 11/PLI

Health certificate or medical examination certificate

Judicial record card

Work experience certificate (minimum of 3 years) (depending on the specific case)

02 color photos (4cm x 6cm size, white background, front view, bare head, no color glasses), taken 6 months before the application submission date.

In case of changes of information in the work permit, supporting documents are required

ERC and other relevant documents (depending on the specific case).


What is the most important issue?

Bear in mind that the demand for using foreign employees has ranked first in a list of tricky matters for each applicant.

Everyone is aware of the lengthy list of documents required for a work permit application, however, the idiom, “The devil is in the details” certainly applies to this daunting task and to the demand for the use of foreign employees.

Almost half of all applications for work permits are denied due to a lack of evidence demonstrating the demand for hiring a foreign employee.

More specifically, under normal circumstances, applicants will only submit the form of demand to hire a foreign employee to the Department of Labor Invalids and Social Affairs, but in order for each applicant to successfully demonstrate that it has such a demand, it must provide, at least, one of the following criteria, WITH a reasonable explanation and justification.

In particular:

The announcement to recruit Vietnamese job seekers in Vietnamese newspapers or

The announcement to recruit Vietnamese job seekers via an online portal.

The announcement to recruit through a government-owned employment service center.

And, the announcement should be made public, by the employer for a full 30-days prior to recruiting a foreign employee.

And the fees?

Secondly, there are no correct answers to the questions: how much will the fees and costs be in total?

Although government established fees, for work permits, are relatively low, such as is the case for

New applications: 400,000 VND/permit

Re-issued work permit: 300,000VND/permit

Work permit renewal applications: 200,000VND/permit

… there are no fixed fees for work permit applications.

All are subject to

Location in which the foreign employee will work.

Satisfaction of required documents that foreign employees and their prospective employers are able to furnish.

Quantity of work permit applications a service provider can provide for simultaneously.

Duration of time required to obtain a work permit.

Experience and position that the foreign employee assumes

So on and so forth,


BUT, under no circumstances should we charge you more than 800US$. So stay focused on what you are doing the best!


Do not hire an advisor until you’re fully aware of every detail of the transaction, otherwise a nightmarish cost hit will likely occur. When doing so, you should be confident of applying for the work permit by yourself.

However, if time constraints are a concern, please contact Gateway to Vietnam and we’ll work together to see what can be done to ensure an effective and efficient application process toward timely receipt of a work permit.

Can work permit be extended after two years?


The Vietnam work permit can be extended once.

After the extended duration gets expired, the employer is required to submit an application to apply for a new work permit for his/her foreign employee with the labour authorities.

Is a college/university degree necessary for a Vietnam work permit??

The following persons are not required to have an university degree when applying for a work permit in Vietnam:

  • Foreign individuals in charge of managing the company, including legal representative, the chairpersons of the board of members, a member of the board of members, or the company’s president.
  • Technical workers who have undergone training in a specified technical field or other majors for at least one year (college/technical school) OR have a at least 5 years employment certification in a relevant position.
  • Foreign experts who have a at least 5 years employment certification and professional practicing certificate in a relevant position.
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