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Work Permit Changes 4th May 2019

Important updates from may 4th 2019


On 4 May 2019, the Ministry of Labour, War invalids and Social Affairs (“MOLISA”) issued Decision 632/QD-LDTBXH announcing amended and supplemented administrative procedures regarding employment under the management of MOLISA.

Decision 632 - Why the Changes?

The Decision details administrative procedures which are modified, supplemented or repealed as a result of the earlier release of the following legal documents:

• Decree 140/2018/ND-CP by the Government amending Decrees related to business conditions and administrative procedures under the management of the MOLISA

• Circular 18/2018/TT-BLDTBXH by MOLISA on amendments and supplements to certain articles of Decrees related to administrative procedures under the management of MOLISA

Although these legal documents were issued and applied since late 2018, this Decision helps to harmonise the practical processes that are applied from an administrative aspect within MOLISA and its agencies, as the Decision details specific adjustment contents for each administrative procedure under the management of MOLISA.

What has Changed?

Some notable changes from the Decision are:

1. There are no longer circumstances which a work permit is revoked. This is provided by Article 13 of Decree 140/2018/ND-CP, which repeals Article 17 of Decree 11/2016 / ND-CP.

2. A foreign employee can submit a photocopy of their passport for their Work Permit application, and a notarized passport is no longer required according to Clause 6, Article 11 of Decree 140/2018/ND-CP.

3. Article 10 of Decree 140/2018/ND-C reduces the timeline for granting a Work Permit from 7 working days to 5 working days from the date of receipt of valid and sufficient application documents. Please note that an application for an approval of recruitment of foreign employee still needs to be undertaken before applying for the Work Permit.

4. There has been a simplification in the process for determining the "demand for use of foreign employees" by an employer. Previously, employers were responsible for determining the need to use foreign workers for each job position that Vietnamese workers had not met the need, then this was reported to the Chairman of the People's Committee of a Province or Municipality. This has been revised by Clause 2, Article 11 of Decree 140/2018/ND-CP, so that the determination of the need to use foreign workers is simply reported and explained to the Provincial People's Committee or Municipality.

5. Many application forms have been amended, and new forms need to be used. Accordingly:

• The expected work location will need to be declared in Form No. 1, Form No. 2 and Form No. 3

• Form 9 has been changed in its format

• The area for pasting a 3x4 passport photo has been removed from the left corner of Form 12, so the Certification of foreign workers eligible for exemption from Work Permits no longer requires a photo


Visa on arrival

Visas for Vietnam

very important

Most foreign embassies in Vietnam stopped notarising and legalising documents from the end of 2017.  It is essential to have your documents in the correct state in order to obtain a work permit. Only American and Canadian citizens can still do this process at their local embassies in Vietnam. 

You will need

A degree

You will need a 3 or 4 year degree in any subject. Some associate degrees are also accepted for the work permit. 

a teaching certificate

Most employers prefer a teaching course which contains an in-class component. Online qualifications are not recommended but will find you work in smaller and less well paid schools. 

The gold standard for teaching certificates is the CELTA or the TrinityTESOL. Other certificates such as a TEFL or TESOL will also suffice but make sure the course is not one of those cheap ones available on websites such as Groupon. 

The number of teachers in Vietnam has grown dramatically over the last 10 years and employers now have the luxury of choosing those candidates with the best qualifications. 

A police check (clean)

Our advice is to apply for a police check once you have arrived in Vietnam. As long as you have lived here for a month you can apply for one and the cost is 200,000VND (less than $10). 

Some violations are accepted such as DUI but anything drug or violence related will usually result in refusal to issue a work permit. 

Getting your documents ready

important information

 The government is getting stricter and it is simply not worth working illegally here. China is a few steps ahead in cracking down on illegal teachers and several have spent months in prison as a result before being deported and having any future visas revoked. 

Each of your documents must go through 3 stages in order to be valid

  1. Notarisation
  2. Authentication
  3. Legalisation

Firstly you have to take your documents to a public notary to have them notarised/apostilled. Secondly they must then be taken to your government office to be authenticated (to prove the public notary was licensed to deal with your documents). The final stage is to send them to the Vietnamese embassy in your home country to be legalised. 

It is better to do this before you come to Vietnam as the costs for sending these documents back to your home country are high, especially for U.K. nationals.

If you are already in Vietnam then you have 2 options. 

  1. Entrust a family member or friend to help you
  2. Employ an agency which will deal with the entire process for you. 

If you are lucky enough to have a family member or friend to help you then you will need to send all your documents to them. They will have to visit a public notary, then a local government office, then post them to the Vietnamese Embassy in your country, and finally post them back to you in Vietnam. This may take a lot of time and effort. 

The best option is to employ an agency to do this entire process for you. Most employers will reimburse these costs, or at least pay for some of them. 

PLEASE NOTE. All your documents must have exactly the same name on them. If your degree has your middle name on it then your CELTA/TEFL/TESOL MUST also have your middle name on. If it doesn't you will have to visit your embassy in Vietnam and sign an affidavit. 

There are several services our there which can help you with this entire process. Please do your research as some are extortionately expensive and some are just plain scams. Avoid DOCURITE. The amount of teachers who have vastly overpaid this company and ended up with their documents lost is simply staggering. 

Fellow teachers are always a good resource for advice on agents. From experience I have used Vital Consular for over 300 teachers needing this service and they have always delivered a good service. 

Once again, Vital Consular do not sponsor or contribute to this page at all and it is merely a suggestion from us based on good feedback and the experiences of all the teachers we have worked with. 

If you would like a quote please contact them here Vital Consular . The fees become cheaper if you and a friend or 2 use the same service. You will also save money by sharing the cost of the courier. 


Unlike other embassies yours let you legalise all your documents with an affidavit. To do this just make an appointment with your consulate and take along all your documents. The process is simple and fairly cheap. 

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Applying Online

Additional Information

   Vietnam Visa Application Form Visa on Arrival You can save time by completing the Entry/Exit form before you arrive at one of Vietnam’s international airports.

 To get started, click here to download, print, and complete the PDF form. (See document notes for photo requirements) 


Step 1 — Fill out a quick application form online (you will need to know your arrival date and the name of the airport at which you will arrive)

 Step 2 — Pay the visa servicing fee online 

Step 3 — Within two business days, you will get an email with your official Vietnam visa Approval Letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department 

Step 4 — Print the Approval Letter and prepare two (4cm x 6cm) photos of yourself according to noted requirements 

Step 5 — Bring the printed Approval Letter, photos, and the government Stamping Fee (along with your passport and any other required documents) with you on your trip to Vietnam 

Step 6 — When you arrive at your destination airport in Vietnam, show the Approval Letter and photos at the Immigration office 

Please Note

There are many companies online that can assist in issuing a Vietnamese visa for you. 

We have chosen this company as we have heard good feedback. As we are not affiliated or sponsored by this company, we cannot be held responsible for any issues which could arise when ordering your visa from them. 

Other Visa Providers


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Work Permit

How to obtain a work permit (this is usually done by your employer)



1. Required Documents:

+ Request for work permit form. (new form issued in April 2014, employer need to prepare).
+ Health check certification.
+ Criminal records (issued within 180 days), if applicants have been stayed more than 6 months in Vietnam, they will have to provide both Vietnamese criminal records, & the criminal record from their home countries.
+ Degree ( university or higher).
+ Working experience confirmation document from former employers.
+ Passports ( Copy).
+ Approval document from Committee which allow employer to use Foreign workers.
+ Employer’s Business certification.
+ Passport size photos (2).

2. Processing Time: 40 working days

3. Service Fee: USD $320


Yes, You can. If you are in one of the following cases:
+ Working duration is less than 3 months.
+ Members of a limited company which include more than 1 member.
+ Owner of one member limited company in Vietnam.
+ Members of BOD at a joint stock company.
+ Doing service sales activities for a foreign company in Vietnam.
+ Foreign lawyer with a law practice license issued by the Ministry of justice.


Yes, You can change employers names on the work permit, up on your job title, there are two cases:

Case 1: You still have same title as at the former company

The requirements are below:
+ Your Work Permit.
+ Former employer’s confirmation, we provide from, they just need to sign + stamp.
+ Copy of your new employer’s business registration certificate ( notarized).
+ Your passport.
+ 4 photos of you (3x4cm size).

Case 2: You have different Job title at the new company. The applications include:
+ Your Work Permit.
+ Former employer’s confirmation, we provide from, they just need to sign + stamp.
+ Copy of your new employer’s business registration certificate ( notarized).
+ Your passport.
+ 4 photos of you (3x4cm size).
+ Your Degree.
+ Health check certificate.


A foreigner comes to Vietnam for service sales activities needs to report to local department of labor, invalid and social affair in document including information of name, date of birth, nationality, passport Number, working duration in Vietnam, details of business activities in Vietnam. This report must be sent ( through fax, post, at office,etc…) 7 working days before this foreigner arrive.

For Example:
If a foreigner is going to do sales activities for his company’s service in Hanoi from May 16th, 2019, his/her report must have been sent to Hanoi department of labor, invalid and social affair by May 7th, 2019.

Immigration & National Holidays

Additional Information


Below are some main contact information of Vietnam Immigration Department in biggest city in Vietnam:

1. Address:

+ In Hanoi: No. 44 - 46 Trần Phú street, Ba Đình ward, Hanoi, Vietnam. Phone: (+84) 4 38257941. 

Related procedures: Renew visa, Extend visa, issue Temporary Resident Card for foreign citizens staying Vietnam.

+ In Ho Chi Minh: 254 Nguyễn Trãi street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Phone: (+84) 8 9201701

Related procedures: Renew visa, Extend visa, issue Temporary Resident Card for foreign citizens staying in Southern Of Vietnam and provinces of Mekong Delta.

+ In Danang: No. 7 Trần Quý Cáp street, Đà Nẵng city, Quảng Nam province, Vietnam. Phone: (84) 07511.823383

Related procedures: Renew visa, Extend visa, issue Temporary Resident Card for foreign citizens staying in Center and Central Highlands of Vietnam.

+ And in 64 provinces and other cities throughout Vietnam (will be mentioned in the next article)

2. Phone Number:

 + Number (+84) 4 8264026: ask for entry, exit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam; repatriation of Vietnam citizens residing abroad.

 + Number (+84) 4 8260922: ask for the exit and entry of citizens of Vietnam.

 + Number (+84) 4 9345609: ask for the sanctioning of administrative violations in the field of Immigration.

 + Number (+84) 4 8257941: ask for the exit and entry procedure at the border and other related issues in fields of Immigration.

3. Working Time:

- All office and phone number should be contacted from working time : 8:00 - 11:30 and 1:30 - 4:00 pm every weekday from Monday to Friday (excluding  Public Holidays. Please see below for details)

  •   1 Jan Tue New Year's Day 
  •  4 Feb to 8 Feb Mon to Fri Tet 
  •  14 Apr Sun Hung Kings Commemoration Day 
  •  15 Apr Mon Hung Kings Commemoration Holiday 
  •  30 Apr Tue Reunification Day 
  •  1 May Wed Labor Day 
  •  2 Sep Mon National Day 

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