As many expats in Vietnam have experienced, the Government recently became firmer with the applications and extensions of business visas. In fact, foreigners in Vietnam have been required to a have a work permit and a business visa for quite some time, but before it has not been enforced and most expats in Vietnam have been using business visas only.
The best solution to the problem is to get a Vietnamese work permit, and luckily the rules for how to obtain a work permit has become a bit easier. Earlier you needed a university degree AND 5 years experience within your current field. As of now, you only need to have either University degree OR 5 years experience working within your field. For some fields you can also use a professional skills certificate, ex. accountant certificate.
So what do you need to get the work permit?
In order to get a work permit, an expat in Vietnam need to have 3 things:
1. Work contract.
2. Support to from your employer to get the work permit.
3. University degree, higher degree, professional skills certificate OR 5- year experiences working in the same major.
Paper work required to apply work permit
1. Work permit application form (following a provided template)
2. Work permission application letter (following a provided template)
3. Criminal record: If you have stayed in Vietnam for more than 6 months, you will have to get the criminal record that is issued by the Judiciary Department of the city where you are living. In case you are not in Vietnam or you have stayed here for less than 6 months, you will have to get that criminal record from your Authority Government.
4. A copy of your certificate or degree. This can be: university degree, higher degree or a special professional skills certificate ex. accountant certificate.
In case you do not have a degree, but you have 5 years experience working within the same field, you will need to get a confirmation letter from your old employers or any paper work to prove that you have 5 years experiences within your field in Vietnam or another country. This paper work will then be translated into Vietnamese and certified by a Vietnamese Government agency to prove that this translated version has the same meaning as the original one and can be used legally in Vietnam.
5. Health check from the hospital. There is a list of hospitals that has the authority to give you a health check in Vietnam and only the hospitals on this list are qualified to prove your health for the work permit application. You will get this list with the first 2 templates for paper work; the Work permit application form and Work permission application form. In case, you are not in Vietnam, you can get a health check from any hospital in the country that you are staying. This health check is valid for 6 months.
6. Curriculum vitae with passport photo
7. 3 new passport photos.
1. A valid labor contract.
2. The company license (copy certified by Government authority office)
3. Work permit application form
4. The approval from the Government to use foreign labor.
The 5 years of experience can be counted as total amount of years you have been working in your field. For example:
Mr.A does not have any degree. He started working in Japan from 2001 to 2004 as a web designer, in 2004, he left and traveled around the world. In 2005, he worked at General Manager’s assistant at a real estate company in America, he worked here until 2006. In 2007, he left this job and went to Thailand. He worked at a web agency as a web designer. He left this job in 2009 and come to Vietnam, here he wants to work for another web agency as web designer and he needs a work permit. So Mr.A will need to get confirmation that he used to work as web designer from the company in Japan (3 years experience) and the company in Thailand (2 years experience).
Any paper work that is not in Vietnamese, need to get translated by a Vietnamese Translation office and get stamped to certify the validity of the document. Any paper work that is in Vietnamese or not in Vietnamese, if they require a copied version you will have to get the copy certified by a Vietnamese Government agency.
Your passport photo will have to follow the standards of passport photos in Vietnam.
1.Do not wear anything in your hair.
2. No glasses or sun glasses,
3. The photo of your face must be from the absolute front.
4. No smiling
5. Ears have to be visible
6. Wear a white shirt
7. The pictures size must be 3 x 4 cm.
8. The photo is valid for a year.
After you got all of these papers ready, you will send it to the Labour and Social Welfare Service of the province/city where you are working. They will have to inform if they approve your work permit application or any changes needed within 15 days.