How To Apply For A Vietnam Work Visa/Work Permit

How To Apply For A Vietnam Work Visa/Work Permit

An official Vietnam work permit enables its holder to work legally in Vietnam. The Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs issues it. Workers or foreigners cannot apply directly but must seek assistance from their employers or a service center in Vietnam. And the Vietnam work permit is an essential document that enables one to apply for a temporary residence card or a working visa in Vietnam.

To qualify for a Vietnam work permit, one must first be employed at a company or entity registered and recognized in Vietnam. This post will take you through some important details you should know before applying for a Vietnam work permit. 

When to apply for a Vietnam work permit?

As per Circular No. 23/2017/TT-BLDTBXH, foreign workers are granted work permits online. To apply for a work permit, the foreigner's employer or his agent must submit the request form and required documents to the Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs at least 13 working days before the date when the foreigner is expected to begin working.

How should you apply for a Vietnam work permit?

Given below are some of the procedures that both you and your employer must follow for you to obtain a work permit in Vietnam:

Step 1: Apply for the employment of foreign workers at the establishment

The employer must apply for approval for the use of foreign workers at least 30 days before the foreign worker starts work. As per the guidelines, the employer must have the following documents ready:

  • Under Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP, Form No. 01/PLI should be used to register demands for foreign workers, or Form No. 02/PLI should be used to register changes in demands for foreign workers;
  • Certified copy of the business registration;
  • The submitter must provide a letter of authorization if they are not the company's legal representative.
  • The mentioned documents must be furnished before the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs or at the People's Committee of the province where the foreigner is expected to work, or they can do it online and submit it to the respective portal. 
  • The processing time will range between 10-15 working days in the case of direct submission and about 12 working days in the case of online submission.

Step 2: Gather the required documents for furnishing

The employer will need to have the following documents ready to be furnished:

  • Application form for Vietnam work permit (Form No. 11/PLI);
  • In most cases, original health certificates are issued in Vietnam, or legalized health certificates are issued abroad with a Vietnamese translation attached. The health check should have been issued within 12 months before it is furnished;
  • Police check issued in Vietnam, or it is legalized version if it is issued abroad, accompanied by its certified Vietnamese translation. The police check should be issued within the last six months;
  • Certified copy of valid passport;
  • Approval letter obtained in Step 1;
  • Two 4x6cm photos with a white background and without glasses;
  • A certified Vietnamese translation of the foreigner's legal documents proving their eligibility for application

Step 3: Submit the documents required to the government departments

The employer must submit the documents prepared for the foreign worker at least 15 days before they are expected to start working at the company. The papers must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs in the province where the foreigner will be employed.

Step 4: Receive a response

The employer will receive the work permit in form 12/PLI within five days after submitting all valid documents. If the work permit is rejected, the employer will be able to ask for clarification or justification for rejection.

Vietnam work permit processing time and cost

The work permit request processing time is a total of 20 working days (after receiving the full required documents), including:

Typically, the average work permit processing time takes about 20 working days after all of the required documents have been submitted before the ministry, including: 

  • 15 days for approval of demand for the employment of foreign nationals
  • Five working days for processing and granting the work permit

But we recommend that concerned employers and employees start with the procedure at least 30 days before their expected start date at their Vietnam office. The cost of a Vietnam work permit varies and depends on the province or city one chooses to submit their application forms. 

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