Written By PLF Law Firm

Foreign employees can either reside in Vietnam temporarily or permanently depending on certain conditions.

1. Temporary residence

When entering into Viet Nam, foreign nationals are permitted to temporarily stay in Viet Nam for a certain period as stated in their visa. In case where the persons are granted visa-free entry under international agreements to which Vietnam is a signatory, the duration of their temporary residence will comply with such international agreements; if it is not provided for by the international agreements, such duration will be 30 days. In addition, the duration of temporary residence permits issued to nationals of the countries to which Vietnam grant visa-free entry shall be 15 days. However, it is important to stay informed that the time limit for temporary residence may be shortened or invalidated by the immigration authority when the foreign nationals violate Viet Nam’s law.

When working in Viet Nam, foreign nationals must possess a work permit issued by Vietnamese competent authorities, except for cases of work permit exemption. After a work permit is granted, the inviting entity (the enterprise) may directly submit the application for issuance of the temporary residence card to the foreign employee to the immigration authority in the same administrative division in which the enterprise is based. The duration of a temporary residence card shall not exceed 02 years.

Holders of temporary residence card being foreign employees may sponsor: their grandparents, parents, spouse, and children to visit Viet Nam; their spouse and children (under 18 years of age) to stay with them during the period of the temporary residence card if agreed by the enterprise in which they work.

2. Permanent residence

Foreign employees may request competent authorities to consider granting a permanent residence card if: (i) they are sponsored by their parents, spouse, or children being Vietnamese citizens permanently residing in Viet Nam; and (ii) they satisfy the following conditions:

  • Having a legitimate residence and a stable income to ensure their lives in Viet Nam;
  • Having temporarily resided in Viet Nam continously for 3 years and longer.

Foreign employees, who are granted permanent residence card, are permitted to reside indefinitely in Viet Nam. When temporarily staying at an address other than that written in the permanent residence card, foreign nationals must submit a declaration of temporary residence as prescribed by law.  Furthermore, every 10 years, foreign employees must visit a police authority in the province or city under central authority in which they permanently reside to replace their permanent residence card. In addition, when leaving Viet Nam to permanently reside in another country, the foreign employees must return the permanent residence card to the immigration unit at the border checkpoint.

Every holder of a temporary residence card being a foreign employee may sponsor his/her grandparents, parents, spouse, and children to visit Viet Nam.

One should also note that, once foreign employees are considered to be legally residing in Viet Nam, either temporarily or permanently, they are eligible for visa-free entry when entering into Viet Nam; travelling within the territory of Viet Nam for purposes of tourism, visiting family members, or medical treatment without having to ask for permission. Foreign nationals accessing areas prohibited or restricted from visiting and residing shall be dealt with in compliance with la

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