About work permit in Vietnam


Question: We want to apply one Vietnam work permit for one of our staff, could you help us to apply his work permit? If yes, could you tell me the charge including your service fee and govn charge? And the process and limited time, and the checklist.

Answer: We refer with thanks to your email from which we were requested to advise on obtaining the Work Permit for foreigner working in Vietnam.

Therefore, we are grateful to present our legal services proposal for your review and consideration as follows:

1. Brief introduction to regulation on obtaining work permit

Under Vietnam Law, except for cases[1] in which foreign employee are exempted from work permit, all foreign employee must obtain work permit to be employed in Vietnam. In order to obtain Work Permit, the Employer and Employee must satisfy following requirements:

2. Requirements for the employer:

Article 170, Labor Code 2012, when hiring a foreign employee, the employers need to satisfy the recruitment conditions as follows:

  • The enterprises, agencies, organizations, individuals and contractors in the country are only entitled to recruit foreign citizen to work as manager, operating director, specialist and technical employee while Vietnamese employee has not meet the production and business demand.
  • The foreign enterprises, agencies, organizations, individuals and contractors before recruiting employees who are foreign citizens to work in the territory of Vietnam must explain the demand for labor employment and be approved in writing from the competent state agency.

3. Requirements for the foreign employee:

According to Decree 11/2016/ND-CP date February 3rd, 2016 elaborating some articles of The Labor Code 2012 on foreign workers in Vietnam, the foreign employees need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • The worker is capable of civil acts as prescribed by law.
  • The worker’s health is suitable for his or her job.
  • The worker is a manager, executive officer, expert, or technician.
  • The foreign workers that provide medical examination, medical treatment in Vietnam, or work in education and vocational training must meet the conditions for provision of medical examination, medical treatment, education and vocational training of Vietnam’s law.
  • The worker is not a criminal or liable to criminal prosecution according to Vietnam’s law and the foreign country’s law.
  • The employment of the foreign worker is approved in writing by a competent authority.


SB LAW is ready to provide a service package to the Client for purpose of applying the Work Permit at Department of Labor, Invalids & Social Affairs (“DOLISA”) as follows:


Preparation of the application documents:

· Notifying application documents required in accordance with Vietnamese laws;

· Drafting application documents required for submission;

· Liaising with the Client to discuss about the drafted application documents;

· Amending the application documents based on the Client’s comments;

· Obtaining preliminary comments from the licensing authority on the draft application documents;

· Finalizing the application documents following comments from the licensing authority.

Licensing procedures:

·  Submitting the application dossier to the licensing authority (the DOLISA) on the Client’s behalf;

·  Monitoring and following up with the relevant authorities on the approval process;

· Keeping the Client updated on the developments and additional requirements, if any; and

· Receiving the result and handing it over to the Client.


-Within 02 working days from the full receipt of necessary documents and information provided by Client, SB Law shall transfer necessary documents to client for reviewing and signing.

-Within 01 working days upon receiving the application dossiers from Client, SB Law submit the Explanation Letter for foreign labor demand which is required to be submitted 30 days before the submission date of Work Permit application.

This step shall take 25 days for obtaining the Approval Letter for foreign labor demand.

 Within 25 working days from the obtaining of Approval Letter for foreign labor demand issued by DOLISA, SB Law shall submit the Work Permit application.

-Within 15 – 20 working days from the submission of application dossiers to DOLISA, SB Law shall obtain the Work Permit and hand over to Client.


The Fee for performing the registration of Work Permit as mentioned in item 2.1 above will be 500 USD (Five hundred US Dollars)/permit. Governmental fee is inclusive of this service.

The Fee for performing the registration of Temporary Residency Card as mentioned in item above will be 500 USD (Five hundred US Dollars)/permit. Fee is included 145 USD of governmental fee

The fee is exclusive of 10% VAT, consularization, legalization, translation; obtaining Vietnam Criminal Record (250USD/ 01 Criminal record) if the foreigner have been staying in Vietnam for more than 3 months; Actual communication fee and travelling costs required in performing the legal services. Client is, therefore, required to reimburse these expenses if any.



Document Who to provide Language Remarks
1 Application to obtain Work Permit Form to be provided by S&B LAW, filled out and sealed by Client. Vietnamese To be signed by Client. 2 copies are required.
2 Client Health Check Certificate To be obtained by Client from health care center or clinic. Vietnamese and Vietnamese notarized translation(if clients get this from a hospital outside of Vietnam 2 copies are required.

If the Certificate of Health is obtained from a hospital outside of Vietnam, it must be required to be approved by the Vietnam Ministry of Health and legalized by Vietnamese Embassy in the country of Certificate of Health issuance.

If Client has currently resided in Vietnam, it must be issued by one of these hospital/clinic:

– 115 Hospital;

– Van Hanh Hospital;

– Cho Ray Hospital;

– FV Hospital;

– Trung Vuong Hospital;

– Thu Đuc District Hospital;

– An Sinh Hospital;

– Phuoc An – CN3 Clinic;

– Columbia Asia Saigon International Clinic.

– International SOS Clinic, branch office of International SOS Vietnam LTD.


3 The criminal record or written certification that the foreign worker is not a criminal or liable to criminal prosecution issued by the foreign competent authority. To be provided by Client English and Vietnamese notarized copy Consular legalization required

If the foreign worker is a lawful resident in Vietnam, only the criminal record issued by the Vietnamese competent authority is required.

The criminal record or written certification that the foreign worker is not a criminal or liable to criminal prosecution must be issued within 06 months prior to the submission of the application.


4 The written certification that the worker is a manager, chief executive officer, expert or technician.


To be provided by Client English and Vietnamese notarized translation. Consular legalization required

For some jobs and works, the written certification of the qualification of the foreign worker can be replaced with one of the following papers:

+     Certificate of recognition which is issued by the competent authority of the foreign country if the worker is an artist in the traditional professions;

+     The documents proving experience of foreign soccer players;

+     The pilot license issued by a Vietnam’s competent authority to the foreign pilot;

+     The license for airplane maintenance issued by a Vietnam’s competent authority to the foreign worker who works in airplane maintenance industry.


5 02 color pictures (4cm x 6cm, white background, frontal face, bareheaded and no colorful glasses) To be provided by Client Photo to be taken taken within 06 months ahead of the date of application.
6 Certified copy of passport or a substitute for passport or other license for international travel which is unexpired in accordance with the law. Client provides with the original passport, S&B Law do the notarization 2 notarized copies are required.


7 Document of the foreign Employer, who appoints the Client to work for the commercial organization of the foreign Employer in Vietnam, states the appointment and participation in their work. To be provided by Client English and Vietnamese notarized translation. Mentioned document can be contract or certification document of foreign Employer or recruitment decision of foreign Employer or certificate of tax/insurance.

01 original and 01 copy required. If document by foreign language consular legalization not required.

8 The application for foreign labour acceptance by Department of Labour and Social affairs before at least 30 days since the day Client recruited. Form to be provided by SB LAW, filled out and sealed by Client.
9 Power of Attorney To be provided by SB Law Vietnamese Notarized by Notary Office.

[1] Being shareholder or owner of limited liability company; member of Board of Director of Joint Stock Company; Head of Representative Office, project of international organization, non-governmental organizations in Vietnam, coming to Vietnam with a period of less than 03 months to offer services, coming to Vietnam with a period of less than 03 months to handle the problem, technical situation and complex technology arising that affect or threaten to affect the production and business that the Vietnamese and foreign experts currently living in Vietnam cannot handle, foreign lawyer who has been licensed to practice law in Vietnam Under Lawyer Law, cases under provisions of international agreement in which Vietnam is a member; students who as studying and working in Vietnam, but the employer must give a notice 07 days in advance to the provincial licensing authority.