Immigration Process in Vietnam

A country’s immigration processes and laws can be overpowering, complex and time consuming. Vietnam is no exception to this rule. 

Relocation Vietnam helps you in your immigration process in Vietnam with the top authorized local experts we work with in order to ensure time efficient and flawless legal paperwork for you, but we also help your family and your pets in the immigration processes in Vietnam.

Program Overview of Immigration Process in Vietnam

Relocation Profile and Immigration Needs Analysis 

  • Pre-arrival one-on-one consultation*
  • Comprehensive questionnaire detailing specific immigration inquiries and needs

Pre-Arrival Assistance for Immigration Process in Vietnam 

  • Immigration profile assessment
  • Preparation of all required legal documents 
  • Guidance, information and support services*

Assistance and Support for Immigration Process in Vietnam

  • Business visa
  • Work permit
  • Temporary Resident Card

Assistance and Support for Immigration Process in Vietnam for your pet

  • Pet immigration profile assessment
  • Vaccination and test requirements
  • Import papers and other necessary legal paperwork 
  • Recommendations and advice for pet transport and routes
  • Any additional information or assistance concerning your pet

Keeping in Touch

  • Follow up consultation*
      * Consultation and support services are conducted by mail, telephone and/ or skype.

Immigration Processes in Vietnam for citizens from abroad

Immigration Process in Vietnam - All types of Vietnam visa are available again for US citizens since December 15, 2016

It is great for us to inform that since December 15, 2016 a new immigration process in Vietnam has been set up: all types of Vietnam visa will be available again for US citizens.

As you may know, from 01 September, 2016, just 1 type of Vietnam Visa was available for US citizens, that is 1 year multiple entries Visa. All US passport holders had to obtain 1 year multiple entries visa, no matter how many days they wanted to stay in Vietnam. This policy encountered a lot of complaints from US travelers who just wished to stay in Vietnam for a short term, even a few days but had to pay for a large amount of money for the Visa.

Following the confirmation of Vietnam Immigration Department, since 15 December 2016, US citizens can apply all types of Vietnam Visa, including: 1 month with single or multiple entries visa, 3 months with single or multiple entries visa and 1 year multiple entries visa.

Visa Prices
Visas Prices from My Vietnam Visa

* Term and Conditions:

  • Apply for US citizens only.
  • For 6 months and 1 year multiple entries Tourist visa, you can stay maximum for 90 days per entry. After 90 days, you must exit and come back again with a new 3 months of staying, until the expiry date of your 1 year Visa.

Immigration process in Vietnam - The country launches e-visas for visitors from 40 countries

Nationals of eligible countries are able to apply for a 30-day single-entry e-visa from February 1st, 2017.

The nationalities which are eligible to e-visa are:

List of countries which are eligible to e-visa
Andorra Denmark Macedonia Qatar
Antarctica Estonia Malta Romania
Argentina Fiji Marshall Islands Russia
Armenia Finland Mexico Saint Barthelemy
Australia France Micronesia Samoa
Austria Georgia Moldova San Marino  
Azerbaijan Germany Monaco Serbia
Belarus Greece Mongolia Slovakia
Belgium Hong Kong Montenegro Slovenia
Bosnia and Herzegovina Hungary Myanmar Solomon Islands
Brazil Iceland Nauru South Korea
Brunei India Netherlands Spain
Bulgaria Ireland New Zealand Sweden
Canada Italy Norway Switzerland
Chile Japan Palau Timor-Leste
China (*) Kazakhstan Panama United Arab Emirates
Colombia Latvia Papua New Guinea United Kingdom
Croatia Liechtenstein Peru United States of America and Virgin Islands
Cuba Lithuania Philippines Uruguay
Cyprus Luxembourg Poland Vanuatu
Czech Republic Macau Portugal Venezuela

(*) Citizens from China must apply with a traditional passport. Chinese e-Passports cannot be used to apply for e-Visa.

To apply for e-visas for this new immigration process in Vietnam, foreign citizens can access the websites Online Visa Vietnam and E-Visa Vietnam

Applicants are required to complete a form available on two separate websites (one in Vietnamese and the other in English) run by the Ministry of Public Security. They will receive an application code and will be asked to pay a non-refundable fee online ($25).

Successful applicants will be able to print off their e-visas to present when they arrive. It will take three working days for tourists to find out if their applications have been approved or not, according to the directive.

Visitors can touch down at any of Vietnam's eight international airports, including Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Da Nang in the central region. They can also arrive via land at 13 international border gates, and via sea at seven ports across the country.

Since January 2019, regular passport holders from 24 countries below do NOT need a tourist visa for Vietnam:

List of countries with enjoy exemption visa
Countries Maximum stay
Belarus Less than 15 days
Brunei Less than 14 days
Cambodia Less than 30 days
Chile Less than 90 days
Denmark Less than 15 days
Finland Less than 15 days
France Less than 15 days
Germany Less than 15 days
Indonesia Less than 30 days
Italy Less than 15 days
Japan Less than 15 days
Kyrgyzstan Less than 30 days
Laos Less than 30 days
Malaysia Less than 30 days
Myanmar Less than 14 days
Norway Less than 14 days
Philippines Less than 21 days
Russia Less than 15 days
Singapore Less than 30 days
South Korea Less than 15 days
Spain Less than 15 days
Sweden Less than 15 days
Thailand Less than 15 days
United Kingdom Less than 30 days

Immigration process in Vietnam - New work permit regulations for expats in Vietnam

The latest update on the requirements for foreigners to obtain the necessary permit to work in the country, effective on April 1, 2016. Here is what you need to know about the new rules.

Immigration process in Vietnam - Who is exempt?

The rules state that expats who possess a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of experience in a related field are able to work in Vietnam without a work permit, but only if their they are in the country for no more than 30 days at a time and not more than a total of 90 days in a year.

Other employees can, however, work in Vietnam without permits regardless of duration if they are transferred to Vietnam by their company, and if that company operates in one of these 11 service sectors: business, information technology, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, entertainment and transportation.

Working without permits regardless of time periods also applies to teachers working for international schools under the control of foreign embassies or international organizations. If they are working for local schools, they are obliged to get permission from the Ministry of Education and Training to be exempt from work permits.

Additionally, authorized volunteers from international organizations, foreign students working as an intern in Vietnamese companies or experts supporting and implementing Official Development Assistance projects are not required to obtain work permits in Vietnam.

Immigration process in Vietnam - How to get an exemption?

An employer must present the necessary documents to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Welfare to get an exemption for their employees at least seven days prior to their beginning work.

Immigration process in Vietnam - The documents must include:

  • A request to confirm a foreign worker is eligible for work permit exemption
  • Detailed information about the employee, including name, age, gender, nationality, passport number, term on employment and job description.
  • Copies of papers to prove the employee is eligible for a work permit exemption must be translated into Vietnamese. In cases where copies of the above papers are submitted, such copies must be notarized or there must be the originals thereof for comparison.

Within three days, the ministry will confirm a work permit exemption or state the reasons why the employee is ineligible.

A work permit exemption is valid for two years.

Immigration process in Vietnam - Who needs a work permit?

Any foreigner working in Vietnam (except in exemption cases) will need a work permit provided by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Welfare

Immigration process in Vietnam - How to get a work permit?

The necessary documents must be submitted to the ministry at least 15 days prior to beginning of employment.

Documents must include:

  • A request written by the employer for a work permits for the employee.
  • A medical certificate, issued by authorized agencies either abroad or in Vietnam and valid for 12 months.
  • Criminal record from the country of origin. If the employee has resided in Vietnam, he only needs to obtain this from the Vietnamese authorities.
  • Documents to support qualifications as managers, executives, professionals or technical workers. In other cases, these documents can be replaced by:

+ A certificate for traditional craft

+ An experience qualification for a soccer player.

+ An aircraft license issued by authorized agencies in Vietnam for foreign pilots.

+ An aircraft maintenance license issued by authorized agencies in Vietnam for foreign aircraft maintenance technicians.

  • Proof of employment with foreign companies that send staff to work in Vietnam
  • Two color photos (size 4cm x 6cm, white background, looking forward, bareheaded, no colored glasses), taken within the last six months.
  • Notarized copy of passport

Documents provided by foreign companies and organizations must go through a process of consular notarization before being sent to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, & Social Welfare.

Within seven days, the ministry will issue the work permit or state the reasons why the employee is ineligible.

The work permit is valid for 2 years.

After getting a work permit, the foreign employee and employer sign an employment contract and provide a copy of contract to the ministry.

Immigration process in Vietnam - What if foreign employees work in Vietnam without a work permit?

Expats working in Vietnam without work permits (except where they are exempted by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, & Social Welfare) will be expelled from the country.

Apply for work permit without criminal record

Immigration process in Vietnam - Work permit exemption can be applied in which circumstance?

Foreigners in the case under the provisions of Decree No. 11/2016/NĐ-CP.
Having time valid work permit.
The circumstances that allow criminal record exemption when apply for work permit

1. Request for re-issued work permit

Capture D’Écran 2017 04 20 À 08.47.22

2. Request for re-issued work permit renewal

Capture D’Écran 2017 04 20 À 08.47.48

Not qualified for criminal record exemption when apply for work permit

The ones whose circumstance which is not qualified for record exemption when apply for work permit then have to apply to obtain criminal record as the regulations specifiy. According to that:

Expatriates who have never resided in Vietnam => Foreign criminal record.
Expatriates who have once resided in Vietnam => Foreign or Vietnam criminal record.
Foreign criminal record requires Consular Legalization (unless they are exempted under the treaties, regulations,…), translated into Vietnamese and notarized under Vietnam laws.

Immigration process in Vietnam - Good news for your Children's Resident Card

Every expat knows this problem, when the passport of your children expires before the expiration of the resident card (2 years), so that you need to pay another card, because it expires if your passeport is not up to date. So the goverment decided that if you need to renew the resident card of children younger that 14 years old, out-of-date because of their passeport, they give you a visa until the end of the resident card's duration for only 35 USD (against 150 USD before).

Immigration process in Vietnam - Losing his passport in Vietnam

Lose his passport is a tragedy and is among the worst nightmares when you live or travel abroad. Vietnam understood it, so officials in the province of Khanh Hoa ( Nha Trang) have won support from Vietnam’s aviation watchdog over a proposal to assist those who find themselves in such situation by allowing them to Py domestically without a passport with only a confirmation letter from the local police. 

When you lose your passport, you have to go to your embassy or Consulate in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, but how to do if you are far from these towns and can not fly there because you do not have your passport anymore? The Khanh Hoa Administration said this proposal would save tourists inconveniences. The CAAV has shown its support the proposal in a document sent to its superior, the Transport Ministry, which will give its final decision.

Source: Bliss Saigon Magazine

Immigration process in Vietnam- New work permit application classification for intragroup transfers

New work permit application classification now accepted by HCMC Labor Department eases key requirement for intragroup transfers. In English, the new classification is called “Manager, Executive Director, Expert and Technical Worker”. For this alert, we will shorten this classification to “MEDET”.

Immigration process in Vietnam - What is the impact?

High (for those companies wishing to send employees to work in Vietnam for another company within a group of companies).

Immigration process in Vietnam - When is it effective?

Immediately (In Ho Chi Minh City Only).

Immigration process in Vietnam - Why did they decide that?

Typically, in HCMC companies who want to send their employees to Vietnam under an Intracompany Transfer Work Permit Classification, are required to produce an assignment letter from the Investor Entity (the overseas investor entity that is listed on the Vietnamese business licenses). Also required for the Intracompany Transfer is that the employee must have at least 12 months working experience for the Overseas Investor Entity. For many Multinational Companies sending foreign employees to Vietnam, they cannot meet this requirement as the employee normally is being transferred from some other entity or location within the business group. If the employee is not being transferred directly from the Overseas Investor Entity, the only way to apply for a work permit as a “local hire” - with local labor contract. , not Intracompany Transfer.

The new MEDET classification only requires that the employee has at least 12 months working experience within the group of companies related to the Investor Entity. This means the employee does not have to have a working experience with the Overseas Investor Entity.

Immigration process in Vietnam - What are the requirements for work permit applications under the MEDET classification?

  • The Assignment Letter still needs to come from the Overseas Investor Entity but needs only state the entity within the group of companies that the applicant will be sent from to Vietnam. The Assignment Letter also should mention the working experience duration the employee has spent at the company.
  • Like for an intracompany transfer, under the MEDET work permit classification, the employee may remain on foreign payroll - No local labor contract required.
  • The Working Testimonial can come from an entity in the group related to the investor and must contain the same info as the Assignment Letter with regard to location from which the transferee will originate from and duration of working experience with the company.
  • A proof of the relationship of the companies may also be required especially if these entities do not have a common entity name

Immigration process in Vietnam - How to get the permanent resident's card?

You need to fulfil these two conditions:

  • 3 years of consecutive residence in Vietnam
  • To be married to a Vietnamese citizen

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Relocation Vietnam - Immigration process in Vietnam