Since the beginning of 2022, there has been an increasing number of foreign enterprises investing in Vietnam. Accordingly, the demand for foreign workers in Vietnam has also risen. Foreigners who want to work in Vietnam will have to meet certain conditions as per the prescribed laws, especially in obtaining work permits issued by the competent authorities. In this article, we will briefly introduce the (1) requirements for local companies/employers to legally hire foreign workers in Vietnam as well as for (2) foreign individuals to be qualified to legally live and work in the country.


  1. Application for the Competent Authorities’ Approval Regarding the Demand of Using Foreign Employees

Before recruiting foreign employees, employers are required to verify the demand of using foreign employees for each job assignment that Vietnamese employees have not yet met. This requirement may normally be acquired by managers, executives, experts, specialized technicians.

As such, employers must apply for approval from the competent authorities of labor (such as the Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs where the company is located) on the employment of foreigners.

The competent authorities shall notify their decision in writing no later than 10 working days from the date of receiving the valid documents. In general, the approval is valid for no more than 2 years and constitutes a precondition for employees and employers to process the next step – applying for a work permit.


  1. Application for a Work Permit

The written approval regarding the employment of foreigners for each job assignment will be the legal basis for the employer to legally hire a foreign worker, and for a foreign employee to apply for a work permit.

In order to carry out the procedure of applying for a work permit, a foreign employee must have complete and valid documents as required by the relevant laws. Depending on the particular position, the accurate list of documents may vary (e.g.: criminal record, proof of holding the position of a manager or executive director; proof of educational background or technical qualifications such as degrees, certificates, written confirmation of years of experience, etc.).

Accordingly, the labor authorities will issue a work permit after 5 working days from the date of receiving the valid documents, foreign documents must be notarized and legalized before the Vietnamese consulate or embassy of the country of origin.

Foreigners with work permits will have the right to work legally in the territory of Vietnam, with the validity of a work permit no more than 2 years. In addition to obtaining a work permit, to be able to live and work in Vietnam legally, the employee shall apply and obtain a temporary residence card upon entering the country.


Fines for Violations of Lacking a Work Permit:

Both the employee and the employer are obligated to comply with the regulations related to work permits.

In cases in which a foreigner works without a valid work permit, both the employee and the enterprise may face an administrative sanction.

Specifically, employers who employ foreigners without valid work permits may be subject to a fine ranging between VND 30-75 million (around EUR 1,190 – 1,765), depending on the number of foreign employees illegally employed.

On the other end, foreigners working in Vietnam without valid work permits may be subject to a fine of between VND 15-25 million (around EUR 600-990) and be deported from the country. Accordingly, they will not be allowed to enter Vietnam within 3 years from the effective date of the decision on deportation.


Work permits are a legal basis for the labor authorities to manage the employment of labor in general and foreign employees in particular. Compliance with the laws is of paramount importance in order to avoid administrative fines. Employers must ensure that they have sufficient valid permits to hire foreigners. At the same time, foreign workers need to have valid permits to live and work in Vietnam. For compliance and relevant updates with regulations, experts’ assistance with the most convenient options will be appropriate for both employees and employers.


We hope that the abovementioned details have been informative and helpful. If you have any questions, we remain available upon your request. Please feel free to contact D’Andrea & Partners Legal Counsel at for more information.