January 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Vietnam. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.



Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

• Attending business meetings or discussions;
• Making sales calls to potential clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of Vietnam;
• Attending seminars or “fact-finding” meetings.

Type of Business Visas – Certain nationals may enter Vietnam without need of a business visa (visa-exempt nationals). All other nationals will require a business (HN) visa.

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for business purpose;
2. Business visa authorization form the Vietnam sponsor (issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department, Ministry of Public Security);
3. Valid passport;
4. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to Vietnam.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country. The required authorization letter for a Business Visa to be obtained at the Vietnamese embassy overseas is generally issued within a couple of days. Note that as of January 1, 2015 visa on arrival is, at least temporarily, no longer available.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Vietnam for up to three months during their visa validity period.

Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

• a valid passport or other acceptable travel document; and in some cases
• a valid visa or authority to enter Vietnam without visa.


Basic Requirements – The principle “visa” category for temporary employment in Vietnam is the work permit. Host entities sponsor qualified skilled foreign nationals to work in Vietnam on a temporary basis (as Intra-company transfer, assigned to a company to perform a service contract or for local employment). 

Process Overview – The process for obtaining work authorization involves four steps, summarized below:

1. Work Permit;
2. Authorization Letter from Immigration Department to obtain a LĐ work visa at Vietnamese Consulate;
3. Once in country, residence registration;
4. Temporary Residence Card or Long Term Business Visa renewal in country (to be obtained before the Entry Business visa expires).

Please note that extensive documentation including legalized personal documents, police clearances, company documents and medical certificates will be needed.

Note: managers, specialists and technicians in certain service sectors are eligible for a work permit exemption, if they have been working with the foreign related company for at least 12 months.

Estimated Processing Time – 6 to 10 weeks.

Validity periods – A Work Permit and a Temporary Residence Card are generally valid for up to 2 years and are renewable.

Family Members – Dependents will be eligible for Business Visa extension or temporary Residence cards, but cannot work without obtaining their own work permit.

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