How to get Vietnam Work Visa for foreigners

How to get Vietnam Work Visa for foreigners

Foreigners permitted to work in Vietnam are eligible for a Vietnam Work Visa or TRC in order to stay in Vietnam for a long term. Find out how to get a Vietnam work visa for foreigners in this article.

1. What is a Vietnam Work Visa?

Vietnam Work Visa, or LD Visa, is issued to eligible foreigners working in Vietnam on a Work Permit or Work Permit Exemption Certificate.

Here are the 2 different types of Vietnam Work Visas:

  • Work Visa LD1: is granted to foreigners working in Vietnam who are exempted from a work permit.
  • Work Visa LD2: is granted to foreigners working in Vietnam who are subject to a work permit.
A Sample of a Vietnam Work Visa LD2
A Sample of a Vietnam Work Visa LD2

A Vietnam Work Visa can be valid for a maximum of 01 year and can be extended upon expiration. If you wish to have a longer term of stay, you can consider applying for a 02-year Temporary Residence Card (TRC) type LD (working). 

With a Vietnam Work Visa or TRC, you can:

  • Stay in Vietnam long-term
  • Work in Vietnam
  • Sponsor your relatives to come to Vietnam
  • Travel to and from Vietnam more easily

2. Can a foreigner work in Vietnam?

Only foreigners in the category of “experts, highly-skilled workers, managers, executives” are eligibly granted the Vietnam Work Visa and Work Permit. In which, the term “expert” and “highly-skill worker” have a wide interpretation. The supporting documents to prove the expert, or highly-skilled worker status are complex.

3. Can a foreigner work in Vietnam on a tourist visa?

No. Typically, a tourist has the right to stay in Vietnam for up to 3 months upon entry. The main purpose of the tourist visa is to visit, leisure and tourism, but not to work. If a foreigner works in Vietnam under a tourist visa, he will be considered an illegal worker. It comes with many legal consequences for both foreigners and employers. It is, therefore, best not to attempt this route. 

How can a foreigner change a tourist visa status without exiting Vietnam?

If you are a foreigner already in Vietnam with a tourist visa, and now you decided that you want to stay in Vietnam, you can consider these 3 options to change the purpose of your visa:

  • Option 1. Find a qualified employer who can offer you a suitable job that matches your educational background. Then, the employer files for a Work Permit/Work Permit Exemption Certificate, and a Work Visa on your behalf. If you enter Vietnam by an E-Visa, you don’t have to exit Vietnam to update the purpose of your visa.
  • Option 2. Starting your own business in Vietnam, if you have a good idea and money to start your business. After that, your tourist visa can be updated to an Investor Visa. You will be able to stay in Vietnam to manage and work for your business. This is an expensive option but valid for those with a truly adventurous and ambitious spirit. 
  • Option 3. Getting married to a Vietnamese citizen.

Setting up a business in Vietnam guide for foreigners

4. What are the requirements to apply for a Vietnam work visa?

When applying for a work visa, you will need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Have a job offer from a Vietnamese employer
  • Have a Vietnam Work Permit/Work Permit Exemption Certificate.
  • Have a passport with at least six months validity remaining and at least two blank visa pages.
  • Not falling into the cases that have not been allowed to enter the country

In practice, the competent authorities might require certain additional documents in order to consider the approval.

5. How to get a work visa

The realistic work visa application procedure includes these 5 steps:

  • Step 1. Receive a job offer from a Vietnamese employer
  • Step 2. Employer files for a report explaining the demand for foreign employees with the Provincial People’s Committee
  • Step 3. The employer applies for a Work Permit/Work Permit Exemption Certificate for the foreign employee with the Labor Department
  • Step 4. The employer applies for a Visa Approval Letter at the Immigration Department
  • Step 5. Receives the Vietnam Work Visa upon arrival at Vietnam international airport. then go fulfill your 1-day hotel quarantine.

6. How much does a Vietnam work visa cost?

No.Type of VisaState Fee (*)
1A multiple-entry visa for 03 month’s duration$50
2A multiple-entry visa for a duration from 03 to 06 months$95
3A multiple-entry visa for a duration from 06 to 12 months$135

(*) The citizens of countries having international treaties with Vietnam such as Korea, Japan, Russia, Belarus, UK, France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and Norway will be exempted from the Vietnam visa state fees.

7. Can You Bring Your Family Members With You With a Vietnam Work Visa?

Yes, foreigners with eligible work visas are allowed to bring close family members (married spouses and children under 18) to Vietnam with them through the Dependent’s Visa with a visa duration of less than 12 months.


Should you need any assistance to obtain Vietnam work visas for foreigners, please do not hesitate to contact Nova Law.

Nova Law Vietnam is a professional business law firm based in Hanoi, Vietnam. We assist and advise foreign business owners in Vietnam in legal consulting, visa, company registration, and compliance work.

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