How to get a permit to work in Vietnam as Expats or Foreigners

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These steps apply to both Foreigners, Expats or Native Vietnamese from overseas.  To get work permit in Vietnam could be very complicated, so get ready to waste lot of time waiting and running back and forth.  If you follow these steps down below, then you don’t have to waste lot lot of time.

Step 1: Gather the necessary documents and fill out the paperwork.

  • Background check document: at Vietnam Office of External Relations.  You need to do this one first because it will take 1 month to get back.
  • 8 passport photos: 4×6 cm, white background, straight face, bare head, no sunglasses
  • Temporary resident document: Go to local Police station and request a temporary resident registration and have them sign and stamp, so you can take the document to Vietnam Office of External Relations.  Make sure you go early in the morning, because these guys work a bit slow, so you lose entire day if you go after lunch time.
  • Passport: Needs to be valid for at least 1 year, your current Vietnamese visa needs to have at least 1 remaining.  Make multiple copy of your passport and notarize.  If you recently renew your passport, then don’t forget to get new Visa and make photocopy both passports, and notarize them.  If your passport has paper stapled to it, then take them off before making photocopy.  If you have new passport, make sure to have this before going to Vietnam Office of External Relations, or they can’t pull your history because they won’t pull from old passport number.
  • Health check: Need a to go get a checkup at Van Hanh hospital, you’ll need 2 photos and $1.4 million Dong.  This process take couple hours, but 2 days to get results back. (781/B1-B3-B5 Hẻm 781 Lê Hồng Phong, Phường 12, Quận 10, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam)
  • Affidavit for Diploma:  You need to go to your country Embassy to do this.  Then you need to go to (184 Pasteur, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh) to get it to translate into Vietnamese.  Make sure you do multiple copies, I do 3 just in case.  This takes 3-5 days.
  • (If you have name change) Affidavit for Name Change:You need to go to your country Embassy to do this.  Then you need to go to (184 Pasteur, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh) to get it to translate into Vietnamese.  Make sure you do multiple copies, I do 3 just in case.  This takes 3-5 days.
  • (If your company requires) 1 original document proving you were either born in Vietnam or the child or spouse of a Vietnamese national: Could be a Vietnamese passport, birth certificate or verification of marriage (additional accepted documents listed here). My U.S. birth certificate stated that my parents were born in Vietnam so that was enough proof.  If you don’t have birth certificate, you can go to your home town where you were born and pull a document “Trích Lục Khai Sinh”.
  • Apply for work permit: This cost will vary between $12-14 million Dong.  If your college degree is not related to what you’re applying to work, then it cost $14 million Dong.

Step 2: Go to your country’s embassy or consulate to get your foreign document verified.

For U.S. citizens in Vietnam the address is: 4 Le Duan, Ben Nghe, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh

Cost: US $50

Timing: For a notarial service, you’ll have to make an appointment online ahead of time. The earliest appointment slots are usually four weekdays to two weeks out. Once you arrive at the U.S. Consulate, the whole procedure takes less than an hour and is relatively painless.

Step 3: Go to the Vietnam Office of External Relations to get the verified birth certificate authenticated and translated to Vietnamese.

Address: 184 Bis 1, Pasteur, Ben Nghe, Quan 1, Ho Chí Minh

Cost: VND 210,000

Timing: about 1 week

Go up the stairs and into the glass office immediately to your right. There should be a tray on one of the counters for you to drop your verified foreign document in. Then, sit in one of the seats against the wall and wait for them to call your name. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

Step 4: Go to the Vietnamese Department of Immigration to submit your application and documents.

Vietnamese name for department: Cục Quản lý Xuất nhập cảnh TP. HCM to get your Visa.

* Remember, make multiple copy and notarize them all (all your documents), so you don’t have to keep going back and forth.  Notary office is everywhere, there is one next to VietNamese Department of Immigration on 254 Nguyễn Trãi, Q1, HCM city.

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