Documents to apply for a WORKING PERMIT IN VIETNAM

Working Permit in Vietnam

Getting the Working Permit in Vietnam to legally teach English is not as difficult as in countries where allowing foreigners to work is a taboo, as I tell you in this video.

As promised there, I paste then the list of the documents required to apply for a Working Permit in Vietnam :

  1. University Degree. It doesn’t have to be related to teaching, as long as you get an official English Teaching certification, as I specify below. Attention: NEVER ever give your original degree, even if they insist a thousand times. Why? Well, they can use it to threaten and blackmail you, as Elink Vietnam did with me. Just give a notarized copy instead and if they reject that option, look for another place to work (there are thousands of places in the country. Better to avoid scammers).
  2. A Business Visa with the company that is offering the job. For this visa, the company must do the invitation letter and send it to you, because you will need to show it in the airport, once you arrive in Vietnam.
  3. A Criminal or Police Check Record, made in your country or your Embassy. This shows that you haven’t committed any crime. In my case, as Colombian, I did it online and legalized it in the Embassy in Hanoi.
  4. An English teaching certificate that can be TEFL, TESOL, CELTA… It is not always complimentary if you have studied a Major in English, or you are a native speaker and did a Bachelor’s in something related to Teaching (please confirm this subject, as some companies have different standards).
    Working Permit in Vietnam.
    The price of the TEFL courses depends on the quantity of hours (suggestion: do at least the one with 120h because that was the minimum accepted, according to my employers at that time), the type of course and the institution or academy where you are doing it.
    It’s possible to do the TEFL online but, once again, some companies don’t accept this kind of training. In my case, I did it with TEFL Full Circle but I wouldn’t recommend it, as it was not easy to legalize (please read until the end so that you understand what is the legalization about).
    I was not in the United Kingdom, where that TEFL company was based, and the UK Embassy asked me to legalize it in London, which of course was not a practical solution.
    Therefore, I did a research on possible TEFL courses that can be recommended to you, with good reputation, and easy to legalize in Vietnam. I found out a serious company that gives different options to legalize the document (no need to travel to the US or UK to do it).
    Its name is ITTT (International TEFL and TESOL Training) and I explain carefully the reasons to recommend it in this other post. Anyway, if you book it through this link, you will get a 15% discount for reading this blog. 

    If you are not convinced to do it with them, just remember that the legalization part is very important to get a Working Permit in Vietnam.

    REMINDER: Again, don´t give the TEFL original certification to your employer. Use only a notarized copy.


  5. A letter certifying at least 3 years of teaching experience
  6. Temporary residence certificate. You can ask this letter to your landlord, once you choose a place to live in Vietnam
  7. Pictures
  8. A medical check that can be done in some hospitals of Hanoi. It validates that you are able to work.

    The legalization to get a Working Permit in Vietnam

    The legalization is not the same as the apostille: as Vietnam is not part of the Hague Convention – by which an apostille certifies a document in any of the member states -, the procedure is different.

    Usually, the future employer gives you information about this but taking into account that some enterprises try to take advantage of the teachers, I suggest you to do a little research on your own.

    It’s always good to ask in your country about all these documents before traveling, to avoid spending money on delivery and re-delivery.

My experience…

I am a journalist, Master in International Affairs, that left everything in Colombia to travel around South East Asia. I did all these procedures once I arrived to Hanoi, Vietnam, the place where I taught English for 8 months.

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*ENGLISH BELOW Acá está mi cara de… y esto era todo?! 😂😂😂. Claro, eso era ANTES de que pasara el tren, literalmente, entre las casas de esta calle en #Hanoi 😲😲😲 . Es uno de los puntos más curiosos de la capital de #Vietnam: mientras no está, la gente usa la vía como si fuera su patio trasero: cocinan, lavan ropa, extienden ropa, bañan a los niños…😂 Hasta que pasa el tren, con un estruendo impresionante y a toda marcha, que de verdad no da tiempo sino para arrinconarse lo más que se pueda porque pasa demasiado cerca!!!!! 😥😥😥 . En mis #stories aún pueden ver qué tan cerca pasa de las casas 🤤🤤🤤 . Su frecuencia es de 7 veces al día los fines de semana y 4 veces entre semana. No se lo pierdan cuando pasen por acá😉 . 🇬🇧 So this is my face saying… "that was all????" 😂😂. Obviously, that was BEFORE watching the #train coming, literally, between these houses in Hanoi. . One of the most #curious points of the #Vietnamese capital : while it is not there, the people use the #railway as their own house: they cook, they hang clothes…😂😂😂 . Until the train appears, with a lot of noise and high speed, that you don't have time for anything but to stick to the houses (it passes REALLY close) 👀🙈 . You can still see in my #instagram stories how close it can get! Don't miss it when you #visit around 😉. . #trainstreet #monday #instadaily #photodaily #igers #tourist #tourism #whattodo #instago #cityscape #scary #impressive #wanderlust #wanderluster #dametraveler #viajeras #travelstories #travelblogger

A post shared by Paula Carrillo 🌏 solo traveler (@viejaqueviaja) on

My experience was not very pleasing, though, as I spent a horrible time dealing with the lack of respect of the agency where I worked, called Elink Vietnam. As I don’t want anyone to suffer the same, I decided to warn everybody.

Therefore, some reasons to do a little research before accepting any English teaching job in Vietnam…

UPDATE 05/10/2018

The Vietnamese government has created a new decree that tightens the regulation for foreign and Vietnamese English teachers. I personally ignore how this is going to affect the list of required documents, but you’d better ask your employer (but beware, as you cannot always trust your employer there), or a Vietnamese lawyer.

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