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Work Permit in Vietnam

Why is Work Permit Needed?

A work visa is an ethical and secure way of relocating for employment. Work visas are a form of protection for the employee, employer, and the nation; they guarantee and prove the legitimacy of staying in the country. Vietnam is famous for its strict laws concerning foreign workers. Therefore, to avoid any unforeseen situation, a valid work permit will act as guarantee. 

Job Market in Vietnam

Vietnam has seen a steady influx of Foreign Direct Investment by global business organizations. These companies, in turn, have brought in foreign talent acting in supervisory roles to handle these ventures. At present, Vietnam lacks the infrastructure to provide skilled workers for these businesses. As such, this has opened up jobs for foreign talent.

Work Permit in Vietnam

Number of Expats:


Expats Job Websites:

Tourism, Hospitality, Construction, Education, Agriculture, Manufacturing, IT Sector, Banking

Popular Industries for Expats:

Types of Vietnam Work Visa

In total, Vietnam has 21 different visa categories. Of these, there are two categories of business visas, called the DN Visa. 

DN1 Visa

Issued to foreigners who work in a business organization or company already legally operating in Vietnam. To enter Vietnam on this visa, the applicant will need a sponsor letter from the company as a letter of guarantee.

DN2 Visa

Issued to those who wish to expand their business into Vietnam and are entering the country to conduct related business negotiations and activities. Anyone who wants to scour future business opportunities in Vietnam can also apply for this visa. 

Vietnam provides four types of validity periods for their business visas.

  1. Vietnam Business Visa with a validity period of 1 month. The visa provides both single and multiple entry into Vietnam
  2. Vietnam Business Visa with a validity period of 3 months. The visa provides both single and multiple entry into Vietnam. 
  3. Vietnam Business Visa with a validity period of 6 months. Allows multiple entry into Vietnam.
  4. Vietnam Business Visa with a validity period of 12 months. Allows multiple entry into Vietnam.

The Investor Visa is an entirely different category and is called the DT Visa. This Visa is issued to you if you plan to invest in the country. There are four categories of DT Visa dependent on the amount you will invest, and the corresponding validity period ranges from 12 months to 5 years.  

The Vietnam Work Visa is called the LD and is of two categories:


Issued to those foreigners who can work in Vietnam with the work permit exemption. 


Issued to those foreigners for whom a work permit is mandatory. 

Work Permit

‍This is a mandatory document in the employment visa application process if an individual wishes to work in Vietnam beyond three months. To acquire this document, the employer has to apply for the same at the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs in Vietnam. 

The application should be submitted 15 days before employment in Vietnam begins. However, a foreign employee cannot apply for the work permit themselves. So, your company has to handle this step.

A work permit is issued for a maximum of 2 years and can be extended only once.

Temporary Residence Card

Issued to a foreign worker in Vietnam if the work permit has a validity of more than 12 months. The card is issued by the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security. Upon expiry of the card, if the employee is still eligible for temporary residence, the card can be renewed.

Stipulations of the Vietnam Work Visa

  • A work permit or work-permit-free written acknowledgment is the most crucial document for obtaining a Vietnam Work Visa. Without either of these documents, an individual will not be issued a work visa and will have to apply for a business visa. 
  • In the case of LD2, if the work permit is valid for less than 12 months, the work visa cannot be issued beyond that time frame. If the applicant wishes to stay beyond the stipulated period, they need to extend the work permit and then, extend the work visa.  
  • A Vietnam Work Visa is issued for a maximum of 24 months, beyond which the applicant will have to apply for an extension. 
  • Vietnam keeps strict control on who can be issued the LD Visa. A firm, before employing foreigners, has to first advertise an open position to domestic workers. Only after a domestic candidate cannot fill the position within a month can it be opened up to foreigners. 
  • At the time of application for the LD Visa, the firm must give documentary proof of the announcement on a job portal/Vietnam newspaper when they sponsor a foreign employee. This is essentially proof of the need of the foreign employee. 

Requirements of a Vietnam Work Visa

To apply for a Business Visa, the following documents are required:

  • A completed NA2 Application Form 
  • A completed NA16 Application Form
  • A passport with a validity for six months beyond duration of the visa 
  • The passport must have two blank pages for immigration and visa stamps
  • Recent passport photograph, no older than one year, with 4×6 cm dimension
  • A sponsorship letter from the company in Vietnam
  • The company’s registration certificate 
  • Background check proving there are no criminal cases registered against the applicant in Vietnam or any other nation

The process for the Vietnam Work Visa will be started by the employer. Your company will have to submit the following documents to the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security:

  • A completed NA16 Application Form
  • A completed NA5 Application Form
  • The certification license of the company; also called the operation license or business registration certificate
  • A certificate of the Company’s Seal
  • A recent passport photograph of the employee  
  • Work permit, or work permit exemption certificate
  • A copy of the passport
  • Background check proving there are no criminal cases registered against the applicant in Vietnam or any other nation

The Immigration Department, on approval of the visa, will issue a visa certificate to the employer/company. The employer should send a copy of this document to the employee who has to submit this at the Vietnam Embassy in their country. 

The next step requires the applicant to submit the following documents to apply for the work visa:

  • A copy of the visa certificate
  • An original passport, with a validity of at least six months beyond the visa period
  • A completed NA1 Application Form, with a passport size photo attached

Application Processing Time for Vietnam Visa

Visa processing time, in general, differs depending on the applicant’s country. However, an individual can pay an extra fee to have their application processed in 2 to 3 working days in case of an emergency. 

Work permits in Vietnam are processed in 20 working days. For the Temporary Residence Card, the application will be processed in 5 working days.

Vietnam Visa Cost

Permit TypeCost
Single Entry 1 Month25 USD/Stamp*
Single Entry 3 Months25 USD/Stamp
Multiple Entry 1 Month50 USD/Stamp
Multiple Entry 3 Months50 USD/Stamp
Multiple Entry – 3 to 6 Months95 USD/Stamp
Multiple Entry – 6 to 12 Months135 USD/Stamp
Temporary Residence Card80 USD – 120 USD

* The costs indicate the stamp fee only- the application processing fee and service fee would depend on the country and visa type. For further details regarding handling and processing charges, applicants should contact their country’s respective Vietnam Consul.

This Is How Multiplier Can Help With The Vietnam Work Visa

We are a Global EOR,with a local presence in over 150 countries,, with experience in managing and delivering HR solutions. Our  experts can handle the process of onboarding and managing workers for global businesses looking for efficient personnel management.

Vietnam has extremely stringent employment laws for foreign workers, and the visa application itself is a multi-step process. Hence, partnering with Multiplier and its in-house specialists can provide you with a one-stop solution to handle this entire process. We will take care of all the applications from the start and keep you abreast of the progress.

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Frequently Asked Questions

To get a Work Visa in Vietnam, an applicant needs a business organization or sponsoring employer to hire them. Individuals cannot apply for a work visa on their own. The application and permits are taken care of by the employers. Only when the employer acquires all the necessary work permits and starts the process in Vietnam, can a foreign employee apply for a Work Visa at the Embassy. Without a work permit or exemption license, you cannot apply for a Work Visa.

You can work in Vietnam under two conditions; with a business visa or with a work visa. The two stipulations of a Vietnam Work Visa are that you either need a work permit or a work permit exemption license. In the absence of these two, you can work in Vietnam based on other visas for a limited time.

Yes, you can work in Vietnam on a Business Visa. But, Business Visa has a shorter stay duration than a Work Visa, and you cannot apply for a temporary resident permit either. However, if your work obligations require you to stay beyond 12 months, you can apply for a Visa change in Vietnam itself.

To do so, you will need to apply for a Work Permit and then switch to the Vietnam Work Visa. You can then proceed to fulfill the other documentation obligations of the new Visa.

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