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Vietnam Work Visas & Work Permits

When taking your business abroad to Vietnam, it’s likely that you’ll need to bring along part of your workforce to help with the setup and transition. To do this, you’ll need to obtain a valid Vietnam work visa for every worker.

Applying for and obtaining Vietnamese work visas can be complicated, so it is important that you fully understand the process if you want to avoid unforeseen delays to your expansion.

At Horizons, our global expansion experts offer comprehensive Vietnam work visa services, immigration and employment advice, and customized support, helping foreign organizations of all kinds to expand into Vietnam more effectively.

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Basic requirements for Vietnamese work visas

The work visa requirements for Vietnam are precise and only certain types of workers are eligible. The main types of workers are experts/specialists in specific fields, technicians, and managers/people with senior positions in a company.

Vietnam has strict rules about hiring locals where possible, so positions can only be given to foreign workers if no Vietnamese locals are eligible. This must be proven by advertising the job in Vietnam for 30 days, after which a foreign employee can be hired if no qualified locals have applied.

Beyond supplying proof that a position has been advertised locally, you must also have various other documents such as a valid travel document, health certificates, a criminal record check, and proof of qualifications/work experience.

Types of working visas in Vietnam

There are several categories of visas for Vietnam, so it is important that you know which is most suitable for your employees. Some commonly used visas for business visitors are:

  • LD visas for foreign workers
  • DT visas for investors
  • HN visas for business conferences/meeting
  • DN visas for people working with Vietnamese companies
  • DH visas for students/interns
  • LV1-LV2 visas for individuals working with Vietnamese officials

Generally, the LD visa will be the most suitable visa for your employees, but other categories may be more relevant to your specific circumstances.

How to get Vietnam work visas

Vietnam work visa applications can be submitted online via the government website or physically mailed to the visa office. Vietnam’s visa requirements are particularly strict so you will need a lot of supporting documents such as preapproval to hire foreign labor, health certifications, an official job offer, and potentially several other documents. Applications must also be submitted at least 15 days prior to the date of entry.

Additional considerations for your Vietnam work visas

The maximum length of working visas in Vietnam is three years, so you will need to reapply if you need one for longer than this. Also, applications can take a number of weeks to be processed. While it is mandatory to submit applications at least 15 days before entry, we strongly recommend submitting them up to three months before they will be used if you want to avoid any chance of delays. Once in Vietnam, your employees will need to register with the local police force and will be issued with their full work permit.

You can read more about the requirements for foreign work visas in Vietnam at our Complete Guide to Vietnam Labor Law.

Horizons Vietnam work visa support

At Horizons, we help companies of all kinds to expand into Vietnam, and an important part of that is acquiring Vietnamese working visas. Our Vietnam work visa specialists offer tailored support and outsourcing services to assist you through the work visa process as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will ensure that you and your workforce are fully compliant with Vietnam’s unique regulations and have everything ready to go ahead of the move.

Additionally, we provide a full suite of other Vietnam-specific outsourcing services covering recruitment, payroll, HR, administration, and more to help your business get up and running in Vietnam as rapidly and risk-free as possible, even if you don’t have a registered entity there.