Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Vietnam

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country with over 80 million people, which includes various ethnic groups. It has made major economic improvements throughout the last two decades. The North and South are areas of flat lands and major rice cultivation, while there are bustling cities such as Hanoi, Saigon and Ho Chi Min City.


Most foreign nationals must get a visa to enter Vietnam, and there are several different forms of visas. For tourist and business visas, you must submit a Visa Application Form. You must also submit a passport, a passport photo and complete the Global Reservation Form.

Tourist Visa:

Tourist visas are generally granted for a month, and can be extended. It does not allow for employment. You must have a letter of invitation from a travel agent or from someone you know or are visiting in Vietnam.

Business Visa:

Business visas can be granted for a number of periods, from one month to one year, depending on the individual case. Most visas are for six months. You are allowed to attend meetings and do research, but not undertake official employment. You must have an official letter of invitation on the company’s letter head.

Work Permit:

Obtaining a work permit in Vietnam is a very official process, and requires much paper work. The employer applies you for your work permit. Before granting it to you, they are required to advertise the job in the newspaper to make sure that no Vietnamese can fill it.

In order to get a job in Vietnam, you must be at least 18 years old and able to perform all required job tasks, as well as healthy and physically fit. You also must have no criminal record, and exhibit higher skills than the Vietnamese that could be required to hold your job.

You must submit two dossier sets to your employer, one of which they will keep and the other they will use to process your work permit. You must submit the following documents:

  1. Job application
  2. Judicial History card
  3. Your resume, which must be to official Vietnamese standards
  4. Health certificate
  5. Copies of your skill and education certificates
  6. Three color photos

All of these must be notarized and translated into Vietnamese.

After you receive your work permit, you and your employer must enter into written labor contracts. They have the maximum duration of 36 months before extension.

Visit the Department of Planning and Investment for more information.

Click here for information on jobs.

Student Visa:

There are many educational options in Vietnam, such as college study abroad or language school. These options require a visa.

In order to apply for a student visa, you must submit the following:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Two visas applications
  3. One recent photograph
  4. Official letter of invitation from your school, including where you will stay, how long and contact information
  5. Proof of departure
  6. Global Reservation Form
  7. Consular fees

Usually, a single entry visa is valid for one month, while multiple entry visas are valid for three months.

Moving Pets to Vietnam:

You are allowed to bring your pet into Vietnam, but keep in mind that there is little free-range space and it is also very hot there. You must have your pet re-vaccinated at least within 30 days before departure, particularly for rabies. You must have your pet examined within a week, and obtain a Certificate of Health from your veterinarian. You must present a valid rabies vaccination certificate along with this.

Click here for more details.

Other Information:

Visit the Hanoi International Women’s Club for information about female expats in Vietnam.

Visit Vietnam Expat for various further resources.


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