Work permits

Foreigners have to obtain a work permit to be able to work in Vietnam. Work permits are valid for a period of up to 24 months, and need to be renewed when they expire. A work permit is used to be able to work in Vietnam, and does not replace a visa or residence card.


What you need to be able to apply for a work permit in Vietnam.

  • You need to be at least 18 years old.
  • You need to have a bachelor degree, specialized qualifications/certificates or provable experience in your field of business.
  • Your position in Vietnam has to match your degree or certification.
  • You need a valid health certificate with confirmation that you are qualified to work in Vietnam.
  • You need a valid police clearance/criminal record from your home country and/or from Vietnam.


Foreigners who work in Vietnam are required to have a valid work permit, except if your situation fits one of the below circumstances.

  • You are working in Vietnam for less than 3 months.
  • You are on a company’s board of directors (but not employed) or investor of a business in Vietnam.
  • You are a lawyer with special permission from the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice.

Work permit extension

When your work permit expires and you plan to continue working with the same job title at the same company, then you can apply to extend your work permit for up to two years. You must apply for the extension at least 30 days before the expiration date of the existing work permit.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to get a work permit?
It takes between 15-40 days to get a work permit.

Do I need to apply for a new work permit if I change jobs?
Yes, you do need to apply for a new work permit when you change your job.

What is the most common job for expats in Vietnam?
English teaching jobs are very common among western expats, especially for expats from English speaking countries. For the large groups of expats from China, South Korea and Japan, occupations vary more.