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Living in Vietnam

Vietnam is more liberal at present, so foreign nationals who wish to visit the country can apply directly at the Vietnam Embassy or Consulates located in their countries of residence. The entire application process will take about 4 to 10 days. Visitors may also obtain the visa upon arrival at the international airport with certain special requirements. Governing bodies ensure that foreign nationals have their passports and other travel documents in check. Purposes of visits among individuals can vary from business, leisure, study, mass media, and permanent residency. Foreigners should know and follow the stipulations and rules concerning temporary stays and immigration.

Working in Vietnam

Foreigners, who are planning on working in Vietnam, need to get a work visa from a Vietnam embassy or consulate outside of Vietnam in order to enter the country on a status of residence permitting work. To do this, foreigners need to have a work contract and an employer who is willing to arrange the details for them. They will apply to the local Department of Labor, War Invalid & Social Affairs in their city. Work permit in Vietnam is issued by the Department of Labor, Invalid and Society. It is valid for a period of 36 months (3 years). After it is expired; foreigners have to reapply for a renewal 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 match the demand of the job.
+ High degree of specialized knowledge, qualification and technology; experienced in management, business and other professions that the domestic labors cannot currently conduct efficiently.
+ If foreigners want to work in special jobs in education or health, they 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.

Foreigners in Vietnam are required to have a valid work permit, except one of these circumstances:
+ Working in Vietnam for less than 3 months
+ In a company’s board of the corporation that is created under the regulation of the Vietnamese government.
+ Head of the representative office or branch of an international company in Vietnam
+ Entering and working in Vietnam to resolve the emergent errors or situation that the Vietnamese labors or current foreign workers in Vietnam cannot solve.
+ Lawyers that are given permission by the Vietnamese Department of Justice.

How to apply
The process of applying or renewing a work permit for foreigners in Vietnam includes 2 main steps:

Step 1: Completing the application form and submiting it at the municipal office of Department of Labor, Invalid and Society. The application consists of:

+ A filled form of applying for the work permit
+ Work application or confirmation of work change (by the employers).
+ The judicial profile issued by the authority of the resident country or the municipal office of Justice in Vietnam (if have lived in Vietnam for more than 6 months)
+ The autobiographical profile with photo
+ Health certificate issued in residential country or in Vietnam
+ Copies of qualifications or professional certificates or confirmation of qualifications by authorized offices
+ 3 color photos (3x4cm) that has been taken within 1 year.

Step 2: Coming to the submission center and collecting the work permit. 

Processing time & fee
The processing time is 15 working days.

Fee: Fee for a work permit application in Vietnam varies with three major levels:
+ For new applicants: VND400, 000/permit (USD 20).
+ For re-issued work permits: VND 300,000/permit (USD15).
+ For renewal work permits: VND 200,000/permit (USD 10).

Studying in Vietnam

Foreigners, who wish to study in Vietnam, need to get a student visa at a Vietnam embassy or consulate outside of Vietnam in order to enter the country on a status of residence that permits long term studies.

Student visa is issued to individuals who wish to study in universities, academies, colleges, schools, and other educational institutions in Vietnam. Foreign nationals can also obtain a student visa after entering Vietnam via a tourist visa. They can ask the institution the places they need to go to attend seminars about the student visa application process, the fees required and the minimum class attendance requirements.

What procedure needed to get Vietnam student visa?

+ Enroll in classes as a student in Vietnam. The easiest way to do this is to enroll in classes to study the Vietnamese language.
+ Ask the school in which you are enrolled to provide you with formal documentation that you are a student there. Ideally, your documentation should show how long you plan to stay in Vietnam.
+ Take the application to the immigration department along with your passport, two passport-sized photos, proof of study from your school and the application fee. There are immigration departments in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. The application fee will range from $25 to $85, depending on how quickly you need your visa.

In reality, the easiest way to get Vietnam student visa is to contact a travel company and have them help you make the application.

Staying in Vietnam (Residence Permit)

Inside Vietnam, most immigration related matters, such as extending residence permission, changing status of residence or obtaining a re-entry permit, are handled by the Labor Department.

This permit is required after arrival in Vietnam. The MEBV can be continually renewed every six (6) months or when the employee has stayed in the country for a minimum of six (6) months. Employees may also choose to apply for a Permit Card for Temporary Residence, which is usually issued for the duration of the Work Permit. If issued a Residence Permit, this replaces the MEBV for the employee and other dependents, if present.

Before leaving Vietnam, the Work Permit of employees needs to be cancelled with the assistance of the Labor Department. Foreign employees should return the permit to their employer within fifteen (15) days from the date their employment ends. It is the employer’s responsibility to submit the permit with a notification letter to the Labor Department’s local office.

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