How to Get a Work Permit

Information on how and where to apply to the authorities, and the paperwork required...

Foreigners need to apply for a work permit from the local labour authorities of the province or city where their employer is located before signing an employment contract.

A work permit should be obtained within three months of arrival in Vietnam. It is also possible to apply for a work permit in advance of arrival in the country. The employer usually helps organise the application on the employee’s behalf.

Documents Required

  • Work permit application form - Form 1 (in English and Vietnamese)
  • Work permission application letter - Form 7 (in English and Vietnamese)
  • Valid visa
  • Criminal record issued by the applicant’s home country. Foreigners who have lived in Vietnam for more than six months must also obtain a criminal record from the Vietnamese Department of Justice
  • A copy of certificates, diplomas and degree qualifications
  • Health check from a public hospital valid for at least six months
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Three recent passport-sized photos
  • Fee

Note: All documents provided by overseas agencies should be notarised by an overseas Vietnamese Embassy or Vietnam-based overseas Embassy.

The local Department of Labour and Social Welfare usually responds to work permit applications within 15 days on receipt of the completed documents.

Extensions

As of 1 May 2013, the new Labour Code - No. 10/2012/QH13 has resulted in a reduction in the maximum length of a Vietnamese work permit from three years to two years. If no suitable Vietnamese employee can be found at the end of this time the permit may be extended for a further two years. In certain circumstances a second extension to the work permit may be allowed, subject to approval by the Chairman of the provincial level People's Committee.

To extend a work permit the following documents should be sent to the local Department of Labour and Social Welfare at least 30 days before the permit expires:

  • Application form - Form 8 (in English and Vietnamese)
  • A copy of the work contract
  • Expired work permit
  • Fee

The work permit extension is usually issued within 10 days.

Replacements

To apply for a replacement work permit due to loss or damage, the following documents are required:

  • Application form - Form 9 (in English and Vietnamese)
  • Application form from employer - Form 7 (in English and Vietnamese)
  • Old work permit (if replacement application is due to damage to the original)
  • Fee

The work permit replacement is usually issued within three days.