Work permit

Work permit

Work permit

13 November, 2019

Vietnam work permit is an official certificate issued by the Department of Labor to allow its holder to work in Vietnam legally. And Vietnam work permit is an important paper to apply for a Vietnam working visa.

Work permit paper indicates : name of corporation/enterprise, address, position in charge, title job, profession skill, valid date (but not over 2 years). Let’s see the example below:

A foreigner who had work permit but want to change the job (for example : employer, and/or position of job, and/or another job) also needs to renew his work permit.  


To foreign workers who enter Vietnam for working with the duration more than 30 days except the work permit exemption cases below.


To get a work permit in Vietnam, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Over 18 years old
  • Have a good health condition that satisfies the job’s specific demands and requirements.
  • Free of any criminal record in their country or a national security offense, not currently facing criminal prosecution, or not serving a criminal sentence by the Vietnamese and foreign policemen during the assignment.
  • Have a high degree of specialized knowledge, technology, and qualification; experienced in business, management and other professions that Vietnamese labors are currently unable to conduct efficiently.


Some foreigners are exempted from getting Vietnam Work Permit and can work in Vietnam with business visas only. They are:

  • Working in Vietnam for shorter than 03 months. Those foreigners can work in Vietnam under a business visa;
  • Being the members of a limited liability company with two members or more;
  • Owning a limited liability company with a member (except an authorized representative);
  • Being the Board of Directors members of the joint-stock company;
  • Entering Vietnam to provide services;
  • Entering Vietnam for 03 months to handle emergency problems such as incidents, technical situations, arising complex technologies that affect or likely to affect production, a business that Vietnamese experts or foreign experts currently in Vietnam cannot handle. If the time for the said matters is more than 03 months, they have to apply for a work permit.
  • Being internally transferred within an enterprise operating in the 11 service sectors in the list of Vietnam’s commitments on services to the World Trade Organization, including business, communication, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, healthcare, tourism, cultural entertainment, and transport;
  • Entering Vietnam 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 Vietnam and other countries;
  • Being issued with a license for the practice of journalism in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with the law;
  • Being teachers of foreign organizations that are sent to Vietnam by such organizations to teach and research in international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam or permitted by the Ministry of Education and Training to teach and research in Vietnam’s education and training institutions;
  • Being volunteers certified by foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam;
  • Coming to Vietnam to work as experts, managers, executive directors or technical employees within a period of less than 30 days and no more than 90 cumulative days in 01 years;
  • Entering Vietnam to implement international agreements to which central and local state agencies are signatories as prescribed by the law;
  • Being students studying in foreign schools and institutions having agreements on an internship in agencies, organizations, and enterprises in Vietnam;
  • Being family members of diplomatic agents of foreign diplomatic missions in Vietnam permitted for working by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, except where international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory that contains provisions different from this;
  • Having official passports to work for state agencies, social organizations and socio-political organizations;
  • Other cases decided by the Prime Minister at the proposal of the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs.


According to the Circular No. 23/2017/TT-BLDTBXH guiding the online grant of work permits to foreign workers in Vietnam, the foreigner’s employer or his agent shall, at least 13 working days before  the date the foreigner is expected to start working, fill in the request form and required documents to the Department of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs to apply for the work permit.


Here comes the list of documents that you and your employer need to prepare so that you can apply for the work permit for Vietnam:

1Copy of passport
2Photo 4×6
3Request form to apply for work permit (Form No. 7 issued together with the Circular No. 40/2016/TT-BLDTBXH. You can download it here);
4Diploma to recuite foreign workers
5Certified copy of your certificate/degree;
6Criminal records (issued within 180 days), if applicants have stayed more than 6 months in Vietnam, they will have to provide both Vietnamese criminal records, & the criminal record from their home countries ;
7Relating certificates  (copy)
8 Health check certificate
9Copy of business registration of the employer
10 CV : Working experience confirmation document from former employers;


Your employer/his agent in Vietnam need to follow the steps below to get the Vietnam work permit for you:

  1. Prepare the required documents mentioned above, and their scans as well;
  2. Access to, register an account and fill in a declaration form and submit a dossier of the work permit application to the work permit-granting agency.
  3. Get informed via email of whether the declaration and dossier are legally satisfactory and the work permit will be granted or not within 5 working days after the work permit-granting agency receives the submission.
  4. Submit the prepared documents (in papers) directly or by post to the work permit licensing agency after receiving the positive reply via email from this agency checking, comparison, and storage according to regulations.
  5. Wait and get the Vietnam work permit as it will be delivered to the employer/his agent directly or by post to his registered address within 8 working days after receiving full required documents.


The work permit request processing time is totally 13 working days (after receiving full required documents), including:

  • 05 working days for online approval;
  • 08 working days for granting the work permit.

But all are highly recommended to carry out the procedure at least 20 days before the expected work start date of the foreigners.

The cost for Vietnam work permit varies by the province/city where you submit your application forms. Let Vnclearview do this for you if you have a specific business plan in Vietnam.


A work permit may be terminated if:

  • The work permit has been expired.
  • Labor contract has been terminated.
  • The content of the labor contract is not consistent with the granted work permit.
  • The contracts of business, trade, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, or medicine have been expired or terminated.
  • The foreign employer announced the termination of the foreign employee working in Vietnam.
  • Work permit launched by authorized state agencies has been withdrawn.
  • The operation of the company, organization, and partners in Vietnam has been terminated.

The validity of the work permit for Vietnam is 2 years. you can apply for work permit extension/renewal. But if you want to return to your home country or move to another country for work, before leaving Vietnam, your Work Permit needs to be canceled with the assistance of the Department of Labor.