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question-circle Do foreigners need a work permit to teach in Vietnam?

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7 months 3 hours ago #1403 by ESLwatch
ESLwatch created the topic: Do foreigners need a work permit to teach in Vietnam?
Question:
Do foreigners need a work permit to teach in Vietnam? I have heard 90% of schools don't have the authority to provide their teachers with a work permit, so most work on tourist visas. Is this true?

Answer:
I am not aware of any country that allows people to work on a tourist visa. Unlike some countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is rather strict when it comes to work visas. Foreign nationals who wish to work in Vietnam must have professional skills, a university or college education, and proper qualifications to work in their field. In addition, they must be in good health, and be able to prove that they do not have a criminal record. If applicants meet these requirements, they can apply for a work permit and a business visa. Usually, the company or school that you work for will assist in arranging the work permit and business visa for you.

In the past, many teachers came to Vietnam and worked with just a business visa. Those days are over, as Vietnam is cracking down on foreigners working in the country without a work permit. In August 2011, a decree was issued stating that all foreign workers who did not have a work permit could be expelled from the country, and banned from applying for future work visas. To get a work permit, you must have a labor contract with a company based in Vietnam. Your company will need to fill out the appropriate application forms to submit to the Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (DOLISA). In addition, the employee must supply the following items:

A copy of your degree or professional skills certificate that has been authenticated by an official body such as your country's embassy in Vietnam.
A health check record from an official hospital. This must be no older than six months, and must include reports on blood work, chest x-rays, blood pressure, height, and weight.
A police record check from your country that shows that you do not have a criminal record and have not violated Vietnamese laws and regulations.
Three passport photos.
Your CV.

It usually takes about 15 working days for the authorities to issue a work permit, which are valid for up to three years. The validity period of your work permit will depend on the length of your labor contract. Work permits can be renewed after they expire, as long as the company or school agrees to another term of employment, and you do not have to leave the country to extend the work permit.

Once you have the work permit, you can apply for a multiple-entry business visa. You may need to change your tourist visa to a business visa or extend your current business visa. This can be done through the Immigration Department, with a travel agent, or through your company from within Vietnam. The maximum validity for a multiple-entry business visa is one year, although this can be extended.

In addition, foreigners who hold a work permit can apply for a temporary residence card. To apply, you need a letter of sponsorship from your school or company and your rental contract from your apartment, house, or hotel. The temporary residence card is valid for a maximum of three years, and acts as an entry visa when leaving and returning to Vietnam.

Before you accept a teaching job in Vietnam, make sure that the company or school will sponsor you for a work permit. Although some companies will offer you employment without a work permit, this is illegal in Vietnam. If you are caught working without a visa, you may be forced to leave the country and blacklisted.

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