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Work in Vietnam: Obtaining Vietnamese Work Permit

In order to work in Vietnam, most foreign workers require a work permit except the exemption cases. Vietnamese Work Permit is issued by the Department of Labor, Invalid and Society and valid for a period of 36 months (3 years) maximum. It is one of the most important conditions for foreigners to obtain a long-term visa or 1-3 year Temporary Residence Card.

Vietnamese Work Permit application

Requirements for Vietnamese Work Permit

In order to apply for a work permit, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Over 18 years old and have adequate health condition to fit with the job requirements;
  • High degree of specialized knowledge, qualification and technology; experienced in management, business and other professions that the domestic labors cannot currently conduct efficiently;
  • Your past employment is approved in writing by a legitimate authority, proving you have at least three (03) years experience in your chosen field of employment;
  • If you want to work in special jobs in education or health, you are required to meet all requirements of conducting health and education work of the Vietnamese authorities;
  • Have no criminal record in their living country, Vietnam or other countries; being not under any warrant of arrest or jailing by the Vietnamese or foreign policemen.
  • Being approved in writing by the competent state agencies on the use of foreign workers.


  • Request for a work permit form (prepared by the employer in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs);
  • Health check certification, issued by authorized hospital either abroad or in Vietnam and valid for 12 months. If you’re not in Vietnam, you can get a medical certificate from a foreign hospital and such certificates are subject to translation into Vietnamese and consular legalization.
  • A judicial record issued by an authority (i.e. a judicial or law enforcement agency) in your country confirming you’re not a criminal or liable to criminal prosecution according to Vietnamese law and the foreign country’s law, made within six (06) months from the day on which the application is submitted. The judicial record must be consular legalized, translated into Vietnamese.
    If you have stayed in Vietnam for more than six (06) months, a Vietnamese judicial record issued by the provincial Department of Justice is required
  • Degree (university or higher): It is a document which proves your professional qualifications or certificates, including: diplomas, degrees, and professional certificates;
    For some occupations and jobs, proof of professional qualifications and skills of foreign workers shall be replaced by one of the following documents:
    a) Certificate of recognition for artisan traditional crafts by the competent authorities of foreign countries;
    b) An experience qualification for a soccer player;
    c) An aircraft license issued by authorized agencies in Vietnam for foreign pilots;
    d) An aircraft maintenance license issued by authorized agencies in Vietnam for foreign aircraft maintenance technicians.
    The documents must be consular legalized, translated into Vietnamese and true copy certified.
  • Working experience confirmation document from former employers: The certificates from your former employers to prove that you have the required minimum three (03) years’ experience working in the same position. The documents must be consular legalized, translated into Vietnamese;
  • Approval document from the Provincial People’s Committee which allow employer to use foreign workers;
  • Business Registration Certificate or Investment Certificate of the Employer;
  • A certified true copy of the whole valid passport, including the cover and blank pages and
  • Three passport colour photos, 4x6cm, taken within the previous 12 months from the day on which the application is submitted;

Processing time:

40 working days

Documents legalization

A document issued in a foreign country must be legalized. Legalization requires the following steps:

  1. A photocopy of a document must first be certified as a “true copy” by the licensing authority or a notary public in the place where it was issued (“Country of Origin”);
  2. Second, the certified copy must be endorsed by the State Department or Foreign Affairs Office of the Country of Origin (if required by the law of the Country of Origin); and
  3. Finally, the document must be either: (i) legalized by the Vietnamese Embassy/Consulate in the Country of Origin, or (ii) authenticated by the Embassy/Consulate of the Country of Origin in Vietnam, and then legalized by the Vietnamese MOFA.

A Vietnamese translation of a legalized document notarized in Vietnam is also required.

What documents will you need to apply for a criminal record certificate in Vietnam?

– A completed application form (form 03/2013/TT-LLTP – which you can get at the Department of Justice);

– A copy of your passport and a copy of your residential certificate in Vietnam (your landlord should have this). These documents must be legalized and the original copies must also be submitted for comparison;

– In case you ask for a third person to help you to apply for the criminal record certificate, he/she will need a completed application form 04/2013/TT-LLTP; your written proxy, certified by the People’s Committee of communes where you or your proxy are residing (if you are in Vietnam); or by competent authorities of the country where you are residing. The proxy must be legalised. If this third person is one of your parents, spouse or children, the proxy document is not required, but the relationship between you and this person must be proved. Lastly, you will need a copy of his/her passport.

Where and how can you apply for a criminal record certificate in Vietnam?

You take all the above-mentioned documents to the Department of Justice in Ho Chi Minh City at 141-143 Pasteur, D3 or 1B Tran Phu, Van Quan, Ha Dong in Hanoi. There, you can fill out the form 03/TT-LLTP if you haven’t already done so. Once you have completed this, get your ticket and wait with everyone else until you are called to Station No. 1. The clerk will take a look at your documents to see that they are in order. If they are, you will pay a processing fee of VND400,000.

List of authorized hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

There is a formal list of hospitals that have the authority to give you a health check in Vietnam and only the hospitals on this list are qualified to certify your health for the work permit application.

Authorized hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City

– 115 People’s Hospital at 527 Su Van Hanh, Ward 12, District 10;

– Van Hanh General Hospital at 781/B1-B3-B5 Le Hong Phong (extension), Ward 12, District 10

– Thong Nhat Hospital at 1 Ly Thuong Kiet, Ward 7, Tan Binh District;

– Cho Ray Hospital at 201B Nguyen Chi Thanh, Ward 12, District 5;

– SOS International General Clinic under branch of International SOS Vietnam Co., Ltd. at 167A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ward 7, District 3;

– FV Hospital under Far East Medical Vietnam Co., Ltd. at 6 Nguyen Luong Bang, South Saigon (Phu My Hung), District 7

– Trung Vuong Hospital at 266 Ly Thuong Kiet, Ward 14, District 10

– Thu Duc District Hospital at # 29, Quarter 5, Phu Chau Street, Tam Phu Ward, Thu Duc District.

– An Sinh General Hospital at 10 Tran Huy Lieu, Ward 12, Phu Nhuan District.

– Phuoc An General Hospital – Branch No. 3 at 95A Phan Dang Luu, Ward 7, Phu Nhuan District.

Authorized hospitals in Hanoi

– Bach Mai Hospital at 78 Giai Phong Street, Phuong Mai Ward, Dong Da District.

– Xanh Pon (Saint Paul) General Hospital: 12 Chu Van An Street, Dien Bien Ward, Ba Dinh District.

– E Hospital at 87 Tran Cung Street, Nghia Tan Ward, Cau Giay District.

– L’Hôpital Français de Hanoi at 1 Phuong Mai Ward, Dong Da District.

– International SOS General Clinic – OSCAT Vietnam Joint Venture at 51 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho District.

What happen if you miss one of required documents?

You don’t worry. We can help you to complete the documents before submitting to the Department of Labor, Invalid and Society. Please contact us at vietnamvisabooking@gmail.com or website www.visumvietnamonline.com

When should you ask for a work permit in Vietnam?

Your employer must apply for a work permit at least 15 days before your potential employment.

The governmental address you should have for Vietnamese Work Permit

– To apply for a criminal record in Ho Chi Minh City:

Department of Justice in Ho Chi Minh City

141-143 Pasteur, D3;

+84 28 3829 0230

– To apply for a criminal record in Hanoi:

Department of Justice in Hanoi

1B Tran Phu, Van Quan, Ha Dong

+84 243 3546 151

– To apply for a work permit in Ho Chi Minh City:

Department of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs

159 Pasteur, D3;

+84 28 3829 1302

– To apply for a work permit in Hanoi:

Department of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs

75 Nguyen Chi Thanh, Lang Ha, Dong Da

+84 243 8358 868

Is Vietnamese Work Permit enough for working and living in Vietnam?

Work permit allows you work in Vietnam. However, in order to stay and work in Vietnam legally you will need a business visa or Temporary Residence Card.

Business visa is good for working in Vietnam less than 1 year and the Temporary Residence Cards works if you got longer employment contract. Both multiple entry business visa and Temporary Residence to enter and exit Vietnam as many times as you can.

What should you do if your Vietnamese Work Permit application is refused?

If your professional qualifications or experience does not meet the requirements or you do not have clear criminal record, you may get the Vietnamese Work Permit application refused. Sometime, The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will refuse your application because your company employs the number of foreign labors exceed the permitted rate. Even the cases that employers of foreign workers violated regulations on using and managing labors will be refused.

Refusal does not mean that employees cannot apply for Vietnamese Work Permit again. You should review the reason of refusal given in the response from The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and follow their suggestion to give solution for each problem.

How can I apply for Vietnamese Work Permit without documentation?

Please contact us for special support in getting Vietnamese Work Permit without documentation:

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