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How to get a job as an expat in Vietnam

With a growing economy, breathtaking natural landscapes, exciting cities, and a variety of jobs that expats can take advantage of, Vietnam has become one of the most popular destinations for those who want to work abroad for any span of time.

To help you navigate the process of becoming an expat in Vietnam, check out the information below, which is designed to help you:

What kinds of jobs are available in Vietnam?

The great thing about Vietnam is the fact that you can find employment opportunities in small towns, as well as in large cities like Hanoi, where many people go to work in NGOs.

Expats who are interested in living and working in Vietnam can find jobs in a range of industries that include:

  • Tourism
  • Education
  • Construction
  • IT
  • Management
  • Banking
  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture

In addition to service sector jobs, which are popular among expats, it’s worth noting that the economy relies heavily on exporting goods, so you might be able to find employment in that area as well.

Ocean bay with boats surrounding by mountains

How to find work as an expat in Vietnam

Unfortunately, you might encounter some challenges when seeking employment as an expat in Vietnam. For example:

  • The language barrier might get in the way, even though many of the people working in business often do speak English.
  • Even if you only master basic Vietnamese, it might help you stand out against the competition and make you a more desirable job candidate—in addition to making it easier to live in the country and go exploring.
  • New requirements and restrictions implemented by the Vietnamese government might make it harder to obtain employment as an English teacher in the country.
  • You might find that some job openings require having higher-level qualifications that are hard to meet.

To make the process of finding employment in Vietnam as easy as possible, consider trying the following strategies:

Internal transfer

Are you currently working for a multinational company? Great! Ask them about what steps you can take to transfer to their office in Vietnam and work as an expat there.

Apply for multinational companies

If you don’t already work for a large corporation that has operations in Vietnam, consider applying to one to join their team. Brands like Adidas, IKEA, Nike, Microsoft, INTEL, LG, Samsung, and Walmart are a few examples.

Job boards

Using online job boards is a good way to see what’s available, and to create job alerts that can be emailed to you so you never miss an attractive opportunity. Examples include VietnamWorks, Careerjet, and CareerLink.


Network as much as possible so you can meet more people who might have connections with business owners and employers in Vietnam. You might be surprised by how valuable a simple tool like LinkedIn can be when it comes to connecting with people who can help you land a fabulous job.

You can figure out where you’ll live in Vietnam based on the type of employment that you seek. For example:

  • In Hanoi, you might find great job openings in the fields of finance, IT, education, and trade.
  • In Ho Chi Minh, you might find opportunities to teach English, or to work in the fields of tourism and hospitality.
  • In Hai Phong, you might be able to land a good job in several sectors, including service, export, and trade, but you might also be able to find jobs with businesses that have chosen to operate there.

Train speeding past fields of green plants

What are the requirements to work in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese government might make changes to visa requirements and regulations for expats who wish to work in the country, so it’s a good idea to check the latest rules to ensure you meet all of the qualifications for your work permit.

  • To apply for your work permit, you might be able to get some help from a visa agency or your employer if you already have a job lined up. You might also be able to apply from abroad or within 90 days after arriving in Vietnam.
  • To apply for a work permit, you need to be 18 years of age or older and physically fit to work.
  • If you’re planning on applying for work at local businesses, you might need to prove that you have technical expertise that Vietnamese workers don’t already have, or you might need to prove that you’re going to be working as a manager or executive.
  • Application documents might need to be translated into Vietnamese and notarized, and you might need two copies of each document.
  • You can submit your application, and all necessary documents, to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Documents that you might need to provide include:

  • A notarized copy of your passport
  • Photos of yourself
  • A written request by your employer
  • Proof of employment with a foreign company
  • Proof of qualifications
  • A medical certificate
  • A criminal record

Expect to pay a fee when you submit your application for your work permit. Once issued, your work permit might be valid for as long as three years, but you could apply for an extension if necessary.

Local citizen carrying two baskets hanging from the shoulders on a busy street

How to send earnings abroad when working in Vietnam

Planning on sending money home, or making international purchases, while living and working as an expat in Vietnam? Using an international money transfer service like OFX is a smart way to save money that you’d otherwise spend on bank margins and fees when you need to move funds from one account to another.

In addition to being able to easily send money online from Vietnam, OFX also provides expats with resources, such as market rate alerts and currency charts, that can help you make the wisest money-saving choices whenever you have to transfer your hard-earned money.

Looking for a place to work abroad? Vietnam might be it!

A rich culture, amazing scenery, and thriving job market all make Vietnam a popular choice for anyone who wants to go on an adventure and live as an expat in Asia. With the right plan in place, you can find a job that you’ll love, and you’ll be able to take in everything that this fascinating country has to offer.

Sending money from the US to Vietnam?

When you use OFX to make a global money transfer, you could save on our competitive Vietnamese dong (VND) exchange rates.
IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

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