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How to get a Work Permit to teach English in Vietnam

Work Permit to teach English in Vietnam

How to get a Work Permit to teach English in Vietnam, you may have thought that after bagging your dream job in Vietnam, you could just turn up in paradise and that all would be well… 

Under Vietnamese labor law, a foreigner has to apply for and obtain a work permit in order to legally work in Vietnam and to renew business visas. The application needs to be submitted within a reasonable amount of time or you may be requested to leave Vietnam when your visa expires.

To apply for a Working Visa for Vietnam you will need:

  1. Either a University degree or higher degree. For some fields you can also use a professional skills certificate.
  2. A work contract.
  3. Support to from your employer to get the work permit.

What paperwork are you required to provide?

  1. Work permit application form – from Judicial Department of the city in Vietnam where you are going to stay or: Ho Chi Minh City: the address: 141 – 143 Pasteur street, ward 6, district 3, HCM city. You can apply for a work permit when you have a work contract, either when you are here, or if you have someone in Vietnam can do it on your behalf, ideally the school should help.
  2. Work permission application letter -ask for template
  3. Criminal record: If you have stayed in Vietnam for more than 6 months, you will have to get the criminal record that is issued by the Judiciary Department of the city where you are living. In case you are not in Vietnam or you have stayed here for less than 6 months, you will have to get that criminal record from your Authority Government.
  4. A copy of your certificate or degree: This can be: university degree, higher degree or a special professional skills certificate ex. accountant certificate.  This paper work will then be translated into Vietnamese and certified by a Vietnamese Government agency to prove that this translated version has the same meaning as the original one and can be used legally in Vietnam. You will also need to get it “authenticated” -Your degree will need to be certified by the Notary Public department in your country.
  5. Health check: There is a list of hospitals that has the authority to give you a health check in Vietnam and only the hospitals on this list are qualified to prove your health for the work permit application. You will get this list with the first 2 templates for paper work; the Work permit application form and Work permission application form. In case, you are not in Vietnam, you can get a health check from any hospital in the country that you are staying. This health check is valid for 6 months.
  6. Curriculum vitae with passport photo
  7. 3 new passport photos: Your passport photo will have to follow the standards of passport photos in Vietnam.
    1. Do not wear anything in your hair.
    2. No glasses or sun glasses
    3. The photo of your face must be from the absolute front.
    4. No smiling – that means you Australasians!
    5. Ears have to be visible
    6. Wear a white shirt
    7. The pictures size must be 3 x 4 cm.
    8. The photo is valid for a year.

What paperwork is the Employer required to provide?

  1. A valid labor contract.
  2. The company license (copy certified by Government authority office)
  3. Work permit application form
  4. The approval from the Government to use foreign labor.
  5. Any paper work that is not in Vietnamese, will need to be translated by a Vietnamese Translation office and get stamped to certify the validity of the document.
  6. Any paper work that is in Vietnamese or not in Vietnamese, if they require a copied version you will have to get the copy certified by a Vietnamese Government agency.
  7. After you got all of these papers ready, you will send it to the Labour and Social Welfare Service of the province/city where you are working. They will have to inform if they approve your work permit application or any changes needed within 15 days. Note: Tourist visas work as before and there is no problem to apply or extend 1 month tourist visas.

I know it sounds like a lot,  but if you are working for a good school they will have helped employees with visas before and will be able to answer questions and provide necessary forms and might even do it on your behalf. In order to obtain a work permit, the school has to submit an application on behalf of the teacher that includes the following original documents:

  • University degree (BA or higher) Teaching certification (TEFL, TESOL, CELTA or other)
  • *Police clearance certificate (*teachers need to have a police clearance certificate from their home country if they’ve been in Vietnam for 6 months or less; teachers who have been here for 6 months or longer only need a Vietnamese police clearance certificate).




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