How to work or live in Vietnam legally

How to work or live in Vietnam legally

How to work or live in Vietnam legally

13 January, 2020


In this article we will show you how to work in Vietnam legally.

There are many compulsory documents that need to be submitted to authorities for legal work : Business visa, work visa, work permit, temporary resident card, e-visa, visa on arrival, investment visa, tourist visa, etc.

But not all of those required, it depends on your duration in Vietnam or your type of work. And, making those documents above is not an easy task for foreigners.

We will consult you how to optimize the documents in the most convenient way, save time and save cost .

For example : by law, every foreigner must have a work permit in order to work in Vietnam legally. But if you work in Viet nam for under 3 months, that is not necessary to get a work permit (In fact, work permit is a certificate that takes time and money).

We categorize necessary documents by short term and long term stay :


1. Short term work or live in Viet nam

Short term work in Vietnam ‘s normally under 1 year.

1.1. Under 3 month

If you are going to enter Vietnam with tourist purpose or business purpose there are 2 most convenient ways to make visa 100% online : Visa on arrival and E-visa (please check the embedded link for the detail). The legal basis : Joint Circular No. 04/2002/TTLT/BCA-BNG and Government’s Decree No. 21/2001/ND-CP .

People almost get Visa 100% online, the e-result returns to your email. The e-result is the legal permission for you to board the plane to Vietnam. No hard document, no embassy visit necessary.

Note that: Visa on arrival or E-visa only be applied to specific countries, check the link for more detail.

And if you are going to work in Viet nam under 3 months you can use business Visa. This trick will exempt you from applying for a work visa and work permit .

1.2 Under 1 year

There are 3 Vietnam popular visa : work visa, business visa, tourist visa.

Tourist visa with validity is maximum 3 months.

Both work visa and business visa have validity of maximum 1 year.

If you use business visa you can not come to a vietnam based company and work for it as an employee, business visa is for : working with enterprises in Vietnam, find protential markets, setting up industrial venture, purchasing or selling merchandise, attending conferences or meeting, signing contract ,etc.

Business visa does not require a work permit to apply.

Work visa is for foreigners who come to Vietnam and work for a Vietnam based company as an employee and have labor contract. Work visa must require work permit to apply. Let’s see this article to see how to apply for a work permit. Work visa is not applicable by online.


2. Long term work  in Viet nam

2.1 More than 1 year with Visa

For people who live in Vietnam 2 years are just suitable for the purpose of working and need work visa.

Work visa has validity of maximum 1 year. But its extension is available.

To work in Vietnam a foriegner also needs a work permit with maximum 2 year validity.

Work permit is an important paper to apply for a working visa for Vietnam.

2.2 More than 1 year with Temporary resident card

After your Work visa or Work permit is expired, if you still want to work in Vietnam for years you can extend the validity again and again. But we highly recommend you to do Temporay resident card. Check the link embedded for more detail.

Temporary resident card (TRC) can be used as a long-term Visa issued by the authorized provincial office managing Entry and Exit.

Unlike Visa, the temporary resident card has longer validity, it normally stays valid for 01 to 05 years. Temporary resident cardholders will be exempted from visa and can save a large amount of time and money for visa application and extension for Vietnam entry, exit, and residence.

More advantages it brings :

  • Foreigners who are granted temporary residence cards can buy apartments and in the near future may buy houses.
  • Foreigners can carry out business procedures, get married… very conveniently.
  • Family members of TRC card holders can apply for TRC card to stay in Vietnam with the same terms and conditions.


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