In recent years, there has been an increase in skilled foreign workers traveling to Vietnam for employment. If your company is in the process of expanding or outsourcing operations to Vietnam, you’ll need to ensure that all of your team members have the necessary work visas and permits before they start working in the country.
Types of Work Visas in Vietnam
Like any other foreign nationals, prospective employees will need to obtain a visa from the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in order to enter the country. Relevant types of visas include:
- DL visas for tourists
- HN visas for meetings and conferences
- DT visas for investors
- DN visas for individuals working with Vietnam businesses
- DH visas for students and interns
- NG1-NG4 visas for diplomatic purposes
- LV1-LV2 visas for individuals working with Vietnamese authorities
- LD visas for foreign workers
An LD visa will be necessary for employees who wish to live and work in Vietnam on a long-term basis.
Requirements to Obtain Vietnam Work Visas
Vietnam has strict requirements to determine which individuals are eligible to obtain a work visa. There are three main categories of foreign workers who may apply for a Vietnam work permit:
- Managers, executives, or those in other high positions within a company
- Specialists and experts
Furthermore, a company in Vietnam can only offer one of these positions to a foreign national if there are no eligible Vietnamese job seekers to fill the position. To prove that a foreign employee is necessary, the company must announce recruitment for this position to job seekers in Vietnam via an online portal or a Vietnamese newspaper. If there are no qualified Vietnamese applicants within 30 days, a foreign worker may be offered the job.
Proof of this announcement is one required document that must be submitted in the process of applying for an LD work visa. Other requirements include:
- A completed application form
- A valid passport
- Health certificates and medical records of the applicant
- Three passport-sized photos taken within the last year
- A judicial profile to prove the applicant has no history of criminal activity that would prevent them from working in Vietnam
- Copies of any relevant professional certificates
To apply for a visa to work in Vietnam, employees should take the following steps:
- Get a letter from their employer that confirms their job within the company
- Gather three recent passport photos or have new photos taken
- Obtain a certificate of health from a hospital in Vietnam or the employee’s country of residence
- Complete the work visa application form and gather all of the necessary documents to be submitted to the Department of Labor in Vietnam
The employer in Vietnam also plays a significant role in the work visa application process. The steps for the employer include:
- Obtaining a letter of preapproval for foreign labor usage from their Local Labor Department
- Filing a work permit application with the Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (DOLISA)
Applications must be submitted at least 15 days before the employee’s intended start date. However, the process can take much longer. It is recommended that companies apply two to three months in advance.
Upon approval of the application, the employee may travel to Vietnam. They will need to declare their status as a temporary resident at their local police authority. A temporary residence permit with a duration equal to that of the work visa will be issued within five days.
Other Important Considerations
Currently, work permits in Vietnam are valid for up to three years and are not eligible for renewal. If your company plans to continue employing a foreign worker beyond the duration of their permit, a new application must be submitted.
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