The Southeast Asian country of Vietnam is culturally exciting and friendly for expats to find a home. The scenic views, amazing food, and busy streets can be an overwhelming yet rewarding experience.
Since there isn’t a retirement visa in the country, and the cities can be busy with cars and motorbikes, retirement may not be your best bet for living overseas in Vietnam. Many people find that working in Vietnam, however, is the best way to immerse yourself into the country and enjoy the challenges and the rewards that come with them.
Many young professionals have comfortably made Vietnam their home, due to the growing expat community, low cost of living, and the cultural adventures. A majority of foreign workers are employed as contractors or working with a foreign direct investment project. A large portion are also working in Vietnam as English teachers.
Before taking the leap, you should have all the information you can get.
To work in the country, you must obtain a work visa and a permit. Acquiring a work visa and permit in Vietnam can be complicated, but the government is working to simplify the process.
There are a few different work visas to choose from:
- B2- Investing in projects already licensed by Vietnamese state agencies
- B3- Working with a Vietnamese enterprise
- B4- Working at representative offices or branches of economic, cultural, or other professional organizations of foreign countries, or work with a Vietnam-based non-governmental organization
To obtain a visa to work overseas in Vietnam, you need to get a professional partner in the country. They will handle all the procedures. You will give them your personal information, passport information, and details about your stay including why and how long.
The visa needs to be issued by the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and can be granted while in another country or while in Vietnam.
You will also need to obtain a work permit. This is a 3-year document issued by the Department of Labor. The requirements include the following:
- 18 years or older
- Adequate health to match demand of the job
- Degree of specialized knowledge, qualification, and experience that can’t be fulfilled by locals
- Meet all requirements of the Vietnamese authorities for conducting health and education work (if applicable)
- No criminal record in any country
Where to Work
Jobs are rarely advertised, so finding work in Vietnam is often a matter of asking around. Sometimes there are Western-owned bars and restaurants in the country to find casual work in. Most foreigners, however, make a living teaching English.
English is growing as Vietnam’s second language and is the most popular language for students. You can expect to work 10-25 hours a week, depending on where you find your job opportunity. Wages can vary from $1,000-$2,000 a month, which can earn you quite a comfortable lifestyle.
In order to teach in Vietnam, you need to have a degree…any degree. It really doesn’t matter what you studied in school, just as long as you’re a native English speaker. There are some specific teaching qualifications, such as TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA, but they aren’t required for most of the teaching jobs.
Finding a job teaching English can sometimes be quite easy. Some expats have reported using Facebook pages, posting they are available for teaching English and receiving a job that way. There are online job boards as well that can point you in the right direction towards working overseas in Vietnam as an expat.
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