Vietnam visa and working permit or work permit exemption certificate is a MUST for any foreign labor who plans to work for more than 3 months in Vietnam. An appropriate visa and Vietnam working permit must match the requirements of Vietnam laws and need to carry out a number of procedures and legal frameworks that both foreign labor and employer must fully understand. The requirements and procedures of Vietnam visa and work permit application are totally different and handled by two different authorities of Vietnam. Vietnam Visas and Temporary Residence Cards are granted by Vietnam immigration department, while Vietnam work permit or work permit exemption certificate is approved by the provincial Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DoLISA). In this article, we would like to share an overview of the requirements and procedures for visa and working permit in Vietnam.  



Based on Vietnam Immigration Laws, an appropriate visa must be obtained by foreign workers who plan to have a job in Vietnam. Visa type DN1 or DN2 which means “Business or Enterprise Visas” are the visas allow foreign workers to change the visa type and apply for Vietnam Temporary Residence Card in accordance with Vietnam immigration laws. Here are the detailed requirements and procedures to apply for Vietnamese visa to work in Vietnam.

<1> Requirements for Vietnam Visas

As mentioned and based on the regulation of Vietnam visa policies, a foreign labor or visitor should find out and understand the types of Vietnam visa and the purpose of use for each one. Then applying for an appropriate visa category matching with the requirements of Vietnam visa rules. Here are the requirements for both Vietnam’s companies and foreign workers.

  • Foreign worker’s personal information and documents: foreigner is requested to provide such information as their name, date of birth, scanned copy of current passport (which should be valid at least 2 years for foreign labor working in Vietnam).
  • Travel schedule and place of receiving Vietnam visa: the entity sponsoring for foreigners must confirm the place where to obtain the visa, expected travel schedule of foreigners in Vietnam as well as the purposes of their trip.
  • Other requirements are the foreigner is not banned from entry to Vietnam and having a clear criminal record.
  • Documents of Vietnam legal entity: the sponsored entity must submit the business/ investment registration certificate, or representative office license, or contractor permit license depending on the type of business, and stamp registration certificate along with the forms for visa application to Vietnam immigration department.


<2> Procedure for Vietnam Visa

The companies seeking to employ foreign national must apply and get a short-term business approval letter from Vietnam immigration department in advance, then the foreigner picks up the Vietnam’s business visa to complete the whole procedures for visa. The procedures for Vietnam visa are quite simple with two main phases:

  1. Apply for a Visa Approval Letter: the company where the foreigner will work shall sponsor them with Vietnamese competent authorities so that this foreigner is granted a relevant visa for entering and working in Vietnam, the visa approval letter is granted after 5 working days
  2. Receive the visa: the foreigners can get the visa at place shown on the visa approval letter, the places of visa picking up could be at Vietnamese international airports, land border grossing or Embassies/ consulates abroad.



This part is for an employer seeking to employ foreign labors working in Vietnam for a certain time of less than 2 years. The employer in Vietnam must submit a registration of the need of using foreign labors at least thirty days in advance of the worker’s arrival to the provincial Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DoLISA). This step is a MUST and the result is that an approval letter on the need of using foreign workers granted by DoLISA.

<1> Requirements for Vietnam Work Permit and Work Permit Exemption Certificates

Currently, Vietnam government is becoming stricter regarding work permits and work permit exemption certificates for any foreign worker who plans to work in Vietnam. Those who violate the regulations by working in Vietnam without a Vietnamese work permit or work permit exemption certificate may be penalized or, if unable to meet the requirements for work permit, deported back to their home countries in accordance with Vietnam laws.

In order to submit for a Vietnam Work Permit, applicant and their employer should prepare the following:

For the employer:

  1. Notarized true copy of business, investment registration certificate, or representative office license, or contractor permit license;
  2. Explanation for the use of foreign labor “Form No.1” submitted to local labor department (DoLISA).
  3. Suggestion of issuing Work permit for foreign labor submitted to the DoLISA (Form No. 7) after their Explanation for the use of foreign labor has been approved.
  4. A signed labor contract submitted to the DoLISA within 5 days upon the signing date of the labor contract.


For the foreign labor:

Apart from basic personal documents such as copy of passport, health check certificate, foreign police check or Vietnam Criminal Record, they must also submit documents proving their professional skills relevant to the job position. These documents include university/college or other diploma, appointment letter, certificate of expertise and work experience certificate issued by the former employers. Depending on the applied form of work (by labor contract or by internal transfer) and the specific job position, different documents shall be required.

Previously on our website, we have some articles to give our more information on how to prepare the documents, especially for foreign employees, for a work permit in Vietnam. So if you interested in it, please follow this LINK.


<2> Procedures for Vietnam Work Permit and Work Permit Exemption Certificate

Obtaining a working permit or working permit exemption certificate needs to carry out a number of steps and procedures in order. The procedures for getting the work permit must be done in good cooperation between the foreign worker and the employer.

Basically, the procedure to apply for Vietnam Work Permit can be divided into three main steps:

  1. Submit the Explanation for the use of foreign labor submitted to the DoLISA (Form no.1). This is compulsory step in all procedures for Vietnam Work Permit whether you apply the working form as internal transfer or labor contract. Also, only after the explanation of the employer in this stage is approved can we proceed the following phases.
  2. When the DoLISA has agreed on the use of foreign labor, the employer then submit the suggestion of issuing work permit for foreign labor accordingly. This is when all documents relating to the foreign labor including their diplomas and certificates must be sent to the competent authorities.
  3. If the foreign labor satisfies the requirements for work permit issuance, the work permit will be granted within 10 working days.



  1. Fully comply with Vietnamese laws on foreign labors in Vietnam.
  2. Instruct, provide foreign labors with Vietnamese regulations on foreign labors in Vietnam.
  3. Carry out procedures to issue work permit, re-issue work permit, work permit exemption certificate for foreign labors in Vietnam.
  4. Fully execute labor contract with foreign labors at the company, organization in accordance with the law; inform the competent authority issuing work permit of the labor contract in writing and attach along its photocopy.
  5. Manage the dossiers and regularly update, implement the relevant documents of foreign labors working in the company, organization.
  6. Report the foreign labor using status at the request of competent authorities.




  • A Comprehensive Guide To Work Permit In Vietnam
  • Step By Step To Obtain Work Permit Vietnam 2020
  • What Are Documents Required For Work Permit Vietnam
  • Vietnam Work Permit Applications For Foreign Expert
  • Latest Updates on Work Permit Vietnam for Foreigner
  • How To Get Vietnam Work Permit For Management Position
  • Vietnam Submits New Issues Of Vietnam Work Permit
  • Vietnam Work Permit Termination – Foreigners Must Know
  • How To Extend or Renew Visa In Vietnam
  • How To Apply Work Permit In Viet Nam
  • How To Apply Work Permit Extension
  • How To Apply For Vietnam Visa On Arrival
  • How To Apply For Visa Extension In Vietnam
  • How to apply for Extension of Temporary Residence Card
  • Procedures For Lost Vietnam Temporary Residence Card
  • Vietnam Temporary Residence Card For Foreigner’s Relative


For further information please contact:
Discovery Indochina Travel Co., Ltd
5th Floor | Platinum Building | 145 Dien Bien Phu Street, District 1 | Ho Chi Minh City | Vietnam
Tel: 028 39102358 | 028 39102359  Mobile: 0938228856 | 0906640505 |