Virginia, US

Vietnam Immigration Services

If your company is sending employees to Vietnam — Fragomen is here to help. Working closely with our Local Advisors in Vietnam, we provide the immigration strategies and support you need to get your employees on the ground as quickly as possible.  If you have any questions, please click here to contact us.

The rules governing the employment of foreign nationals in Vietnam are based on a bifurcated system. The Immigration Department has jurisdiction over foreign nationals’ authorization to enter the country (visa status) while the Labor Department has jurisdiction over work authorization (work permits) and what activities the foreign national can conduct in the country. Adding to the complexity, government authorities may have differing interpretations of visa or work authorization rules.  

Foreign nationals entering Vietnam to conduct business activities should obtain a business visa which usually permits a stay of up to three months depending on nationality and the issuing consular post. A tourist visa is not appropriate for business activities.

The primary category of work authorization is the Work Permit, usually granted for up to two years. Because of extensive document requirements, the Work Permit application process has a relatively lengthy lead time: up to 100 days. The Work Permit application is filed with the Labour Department. Foreign nationals may start work once they have secured their Work Permit, and within the validity dates of the Work Permit booklet.

Some categories of assignments and work activities are exempt from the Work Permit requirement.  In many cases, depending on the nature and duration of the visit(s), foreign nationals may not be required to apply for a work permit and may not even need to notify the authorities of their visit/activities.  In other cases, while foreign nationals may be exempt from the Work Permit requirement, they may still need to request a Work Permit Exemption (WPE) certificate prior to commencing work in the country.  For those cases, foreign nationals may start working only when the Labor department has certified that they do not require a work permit.

Certain documents require certification, legalization/apostille, and/or notarization, as part of the work permit and WPE certificate processes.

Detailed Immigration Snapshots, Document Lists and Process Guides are available to clients on request.