Comprehensive Immigration Guide for Foreign Investors Interested in Vietnam

Once you have incorporated your business in Vietnam you may apply for an investor visa & residency. This is a guide for investors.

Investing in Vietnam and wondering about your immigration options? Starting a company in Vietnam is the first step in the process, once you have proof that you have a business in your name you may apply for the relevant visas. This is your comprehensive guide to immigration in Vietnam as an investor, whether you want to live in Vietnam full-time, or you want to work remotely and travel to Vietnam a few times per year. 

Where do you fit in the following scenario?

Scenario (jump to section)Minimum Capital AmountLiving Situation
Scenario 1> 3 Billion VND Want to work & live in Vietnam
Scenario 2> 3 Billion VNDDon’t plan to live in Vietnam/plans to come occasionally to Vietnam
Scenario 3< 3 Billion VNDWant to work & live in Vietnam
Scenario 4< 3 Billion VNDDon’t plan to live in Vietnam/plans to come occasionally to Vietnam

Scenario 1: High Minimum Capital Amount, Live in Vietnam

  • You are a foreign investor currently living outside of Vietnam
  • You are planning to invest and live and Vietnam
  • You have a capital amount of more than 3 billion VND.

Step 1: Register a business in Vietnam

To start a business in Vietnam, foreign investors need to obtain an Investment Registration Certificate (IRC) and an Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC).

Step 2: Apply for Investor Visa

There are three types of investor visas in this bracket.

  • DT3 Visa is granted to foreign investors and representatives investing in Vietnam with a capital contribution between VND 3 and 50 billion. It’s valid for up to three years, depending on the investment amount.
  • DT2 visa is granted to foreign investors and representatives investing in Vietnam (in government-encouraged business lines) with a capital contribution between VND 50 and 100 billion. It’s valid for up to five years, depending on the investment amount.
  • DT1 visa is granted to foreign investors and representatives investing in Vietnam (in government-encouraged business lines and geographical areas) with a capital contribution of at least VND 100 billion. It’s valid for up to ten years, depending on the investment amount.

To obtain an investor visa (DT visa), you need the following:

  • Form NA5 – visa application form (included in Circular 04/2015/TT-BCA) declared by foreigners.
  • A legal document with the signature and seal sample of the sponsor (Form NA16 signed and stamped by the representative of the enterprise)
  • A request for a temporary residence card (Form NA6 signed and stamped by the representative of the enterprise)
  • A certified document with the amount of capital contributed by the investor, such as an ERC of their limited liability company or a certificate of contributed capital of their joint-stock company
  • 02 photos sized 2x3cm
  • Original passport
  • Documents proving that the investor has declared temporary residence

Note: The sponsoring company must apply for an investor visa with the Immigration Department of the province or city or the Ministry of Public Security.

Step 3: Enter Vietnam

You must present your paperwork, including your passport, a printed copy of your visa approval letter, a completed entry-exit form, and two passport-type photos (4x6cm) at the immigration counter of your chosen entry point.

Review the details on your Vietnam visa very carefully, and disclose any errors immediately to the officer. You can then proceed to Immigration Control if everything is correct and your visa is now validated.

Step 4: Once in Vietnam, Apply for a Temporary Residence Card (TRC)

A Temporary Residence Card is a legal document that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or an immigration agency issues to a foreigner who is granted temporary residency in Vietnam. You can find more details on TRCs here.


Scenario 2: High Capital Amount, Invest Remotely

  • You are a foreign investor living outside of Vietnam
  • You are planning to invest but not live in Vietnam
  • You have a capital amount of more than 3 billion VND

Step 1:  Register a business in Vietnam

To start a business in Vietnam, foreign investors need to obtain an Investment Registration Certificate (IRC) and an Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC).

Step 2: Apply for Investor Visa

There are three types of investor visas in this bracket.

  • DT3 Visa is granted to foreign investors and representatives investing in Vietnam with a capital contribution between VND 3 and 50 billion. It’s valid for up to three years, depending on the investment amount.
  • DT2 visa is granted to foreign investors and representatives investing in Vietnam (in government-encouraged business lines) with a capital contribution between VND 50 and 100 billion. It’s valid for up to five years, depending on the investment amount.
  • DT1 visa is granted to foreign investors and representatives investing in Vietnam (in government-encouraged business lines and geographical areas) with a capital contribution of at least VND 100 billion. It’s valid for up to ten years, depending on the investment amount.

To obtain an investor visa (DT visa), you need the following:

  • Form NA5 – visa application form (included in Circular 04/2015/TT-BCA) declared by foreigners.
  • A legal document with the signature and seal sample of the sponsor (Form NA16 signed and stamped by the representative of the enterprise)
  • A request for a temporary residence card (Form NA6 signed and stamped by the representative of the enterprise)
  • A certified document with the amount of capital contributed by the investor, such as an ERC of their limited liability company or a certificate of contributed capital of their joint-stock company
  • 02 photos sized 2x3cm
  • Original passport
  • Documents proving that the investor has declared temporary residence

Note: The sponsoring company must apply for an investor visa with the Immigration Department of the province or city or the Ministry of Public Security.

Step 3: Enter Vietnam

You must present your paperwork, including your passport, a printed copy of your visa approval letter, a completed entry-exit form, and two passport-type photos (4x6cm) at the immigration counter of your chosen entry point.

Review the details on your Vietnam visa very carefully, and disclose any errors immediately to the officer. You can then proceed to Immigration Control if everything is correct, and your visa is now validated.

Step 4: Once in Vietnam, Apply for a Temporary Residence Card (TRC) (optional)

A Temporary Residence Card is a legal document that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or an immigration agency issues to a foreigner who is granted temporary residency in Vietnam. You can find more details on TRCs here.

The TRC is optional depending on how often you plan to travel to Vietnam and how long you stay each time. If you have a TRC, you can come to and leave Vietnam at will without limitations.


Scenario 3: Lower Capital Amount, Live in Vietnam

  • You are a foreign investor living outside of Vietnam
  • You are planning to invest and live in Vietnam
  • You have a capital amount of less than 3 billion.

Step 1: Register a Business in Vietnam

To start a business in Vietnam, foreign investors need to obtain an Investment Registration Certificate (IRC) and an Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC).

Step 2: Apply for a Business visa

A Vietnam business visa (DN visa) is a short-term visa for entry into Vietnam, granted to foreigners to work for or with a firm here, attend meetings or negotiations, or sign contracts without a valid working visa or temporary residence card.

Vietnamese business visas are categorized as DN1 and DN2.

  • DN1 visa is granted to foreigners who work for companies and organizations operating legally under Vietnamese law.
  • DN2 visa is granted to foreigners who visit Vietnam to provide services, create a business presence, or engage in other activities under Vietnam’s international trade agreements.

Required documents to apply for Vietnam Business Visa (DN Visa)

  1. Your passport with 6-month validity (at least) and two blank pages for Vietnam’s visa stamp and immigration stamp
  2. Two passport-type photos (4x6cm)
  3. Sponsorship letter from a licensed company in Vietnam
  4. Business visa application 

Steps to apply for Vietnam Business Visa (DN Visa)

Getting a business visa at the Vietnam embassy/consulateApplying for a Vietnam business e-visa
Steps1. Get the Vietnam business visa sponsorship letter:
Required documents are:
Photo of foreigner’s passport
Certified copy of Business Registration of the sponsor company
Form NA2
Form Na16
2. Prepare documents for Vietnam business visa stamping
The invitation letter you received in step 1 will be sent to you by your sponsor
You will then print it out and file it with the other necessary paperwork, which may include but is not limited to:
– A completed Vietnam visa application form
– Your original passport
– Your photos
– Visa fee 
3. Get a Business visa stamp
Depending on the regulations, you can deliver your prepared documents to the registered Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate by mail or in person.
Applying on your own
– Complete the online application form at the Vietnam Immigration Portal
– Select “Business Activities” as the purpose of your travel on the dropdown menu
– Pay the visa fee, upload a photo of yourself and a scanned copy of your passport, and then wait for the visa to be processed
Having your organization/company apply for you
– The company will register on the Vietnam Immigration Portal, where they will be provided with an account and an electronic signature
– Upload your photos and a scanned copy of your passport, and then pay the visa fee.
– In order for you to print out your e-visa and enter Vietnam, they must email you the registration code if their application is accepted.

Step 3: Enter Vietnam

You must present your paperwork, which includes your passport, a printed copy of your visa approval letter, a completed entry-exit form, and two passport-type photos (4x6cm) at the immigration counter of your point of entry into Vietnam.

Review the details on your Vietnam visa very carefully. You can now proceed to Immigration Control if everything is correct. Before going to immigration control, disclose any errors immediately to the officer. Otherwise, you have successfully obtained your visa.

Step 4: Once in Vietnam, Apply for the Work permit and the TRC

Work PermitTemporary Residence Card (TRC)
OverviewA work permit is required for submitting a business visa or TRC application in Vietnam.
Under the latest Labor Code, work permits last up to two years and can be renewed once.
Note: A work permit cannot be requested by foreign workers for themselves.
A Temporary Residence Card is a legal document that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or an immigration agency issues to a foreigner who is granted temporary residency in Vietnam. You can find more details on TRCs here.
How to applyStep 1: Apply for Approval of Demand on using foreign workers
The employer needs to prepare the following documents:
Registration form for demand on using foreign workers (Form No. 01/PLI under Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP or Form No. 02/PLI in case of changes of demand on using foreign workers);
– Certified copy of business registration;
– Letter of attorney in case the submitter is not the company’s legal representative.
Step 2: Prepare documents for work permit
The employer will need to prepare the following documents:
– Application form for Vietnam work permit (Form No. 11/PLI)
– Original health check issued in Vietnam or legalized health check if issued abroad attached with its certified Vietnamese translation. The health check should be issued within the last 12 months.
– Original Vietnamese Police check or legalized police check, if issued abroad, attached with its certified Vietnamese translation. The police check should be issued within the last 6 months.
– Certified copy of valid passport
Approval letter obtained in Step 1
02 4*6cm photos (see the photos requirements here)
– Legalized copy documents proving the foreigner’s eligibility for the applied position attached with their certified Vietnamese translation
Step 3: Submit documents to get a work permit in Vietnam
The employer must submit the prepared documents at least 15 days before the expected date when the foreign workers start their work at the company to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of the province.
Step 4: Get the result
After submitting all necessary documentation, the employer must wait no more than five working days before receiving the work permit in form 12/PLI within 05 working days after submitting full valid documents.
The employer will inquire about the reasons if they are rejected.
Step 1: Prepare documents
– A written request for issuance of temporary residence card for foreigners by the guarantor (Form NA6 for agencies and organizations; Form NA7 for individuals)
– Information form for temporary residence card attached with 3cm x 4cm photo (Form NA8)
– Copy of passport and a valid visa (bring an original for comparison)
– Two 3x4cm photos (01 one to attach to the Information form, 01 one is kept separately)
– Depending on the circumstances, one of the following is required: a copy of the ERC of the sponsoring legal entity or a work permit or work permit exemption certificate
– Proof of temporary residence declaration or Certification of temporary residence in the locality with the seal of the Commune Police
Note: Vietnam consular legalization and notarized translation into Vietnamese are necessary for all documents in a foreign language.
Step 2: Submit the documents
The agencies, organizations, and individuals submit the application documents to the Immigration Department – Ministry of Public Security.
Officials receiving dossiers will then examine the legality and content of the documents.
If the documents are complete and valid, the official will print and give a receipt of an appointment to get the TRC
The official will instruct the applicant to complete the application if more than the documents are needed.
Step 3: Get the results
When the results are returned for inspection and comparison, the individual who received the results hands over the receipt, identity card, or passport to the officials.
The official asks the applicant to pay fees and provide a temporary residence card.

Scenario 4: Lower Capital Amount, Invest Remotely

  • You are a foreign investor living outside of Vietnam
  • You are planning to work remotely and visit Vietnam sometimes
  • You have a capital amount of less than 3 billion VND

Step 1:  Register your business in Vietnam

To start a business in Vietnam, foreign investors need to obtain an Investment Registration Certificate (IRC) and an Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC).

Step 2: Apply for an Investor Visa

  • DT 4 Visa is to be granted to foreigners investing in Vietnam with a capital contribution of less than VND3 billion and representatives of international organizations investing in Vietnam.
  • Valid for up to 12 months

To obtain an investor visa (DT visa), you need the following:

  • Form NA5 – visa application form, according to Circular No. 04/2015/TT-BCA, declared by foreigners.
  • A legal document introducing the signature and seal sample of the sponsor (Form NA16 issued together with Circular No.04/2015/TT-BCA – Signed and stamped by the representative of the enterprise)
  • A request for a temporary residence card (Form NA6 issued together with Circular No. 04/2015/TT-BCA – Signed and stamped by the representative of the enterprise)
  • A certified copy showing the amount of capital contributed by the investor, such as a certificate of business registration if it’s a company limited, a certificate of contributed capital if it’s a joint-stock company
  • 02 photos sized 2x3cm
  • Original passport
  • Documents proving that the foreigner has declared temporary residence

Note: A sponsored company must apply for an investment visa to the Ministry of Public Security or the Immigration Department of the province.

Step 3: Enter Vietnam

  • You must present your paperwork, which includes your passport, a printed copy of your visa approval letter, a completed entry-exit form, and two passport-type photos (4x6cm) at the immigration counter of your point of entry into Vietnam.
  • Review the details on your Vietnam visa very carefully. You can now proceed to Immigration Control if everything is correct. Before going to immigration control, disclose any errors immediately to the officer. Otherwise, you have successfully obtained your visa.

Step 4: Once in Vietnam, Apply for the Work permit and the TRC

Work PermitTemporary Residence Card (TRC)
OverviewA work permit is required for submitting a business visa or TRC application in Vietnam.
Under the latest Labor Code, work permits last up to two years and can be renewed once.
Note: A work permit cannot be requested by foreign workers for themselves.
A Temporary Residence Card is a legal document that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or an immigration agency issues to a foreigner who is granted temporary residency in Vietnam. You can find more details on TRCs here.
How to applyStep 1: Apply for Approval of Demand on using foreign workers
The employer needs to prepare the following documents:
Registration form for demand on using foreign workers (Form No. 01/PLI under Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP or Form No. 02/PLI in case of changes of demand on using foreign workers);
– Certified copy of business registration;
– Letter of attorney in case the submitter is not the company’s legal representative.
Step 2: Prepare documents for work permit
The employer will need to prepare the following documents:
– Application form for Vietnam work permit (Form No. 11/PLI)
– Original health check issued in Vietnam or legalized health check if issued abroad attached with its certified Vietnamese translation. The health check should be issued within the last 12 months.
– Original Vietnamese Police check or legalized police check, if issued abroad, attached with its certified Vietnamese translation. The police check should be issued within the last 6 months.
– Certified copy of valid passport
Approval letter obtained in Step 1
02 4*6cm photos (see the photos requirements here)
– Legalized copy documents proving the foreigner’s eligibility for the applied position attached with their certified Vietnamese translation
Step 3: Submit documents to get a work permit in Vietnam
The employer must submit the prepared documents at least 15 days before the expected date when the foreign workers start their work at the company to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of the province.
Step 4: Get the result
After submitting all necessary documentation, the employer must wait no more than five working days before receiving the work permit in form 12/PLI within 05 working days after submitting full valid documents.
The employer will inquire about the reasons if they are rejected.
Step 1: Prepare documents
– A written request for issuance of temporary residence card for foreigners by the guarantor (Form NA6 for agencies and organizations; Form NA7 for individuals)
– Information form for temporary residence card attached with 3cm x 4cm photo (Form NA8)
– Copy of passport and a valid visa (bring an original for comparison)
– Two 3x4cm photos (01 one to attach to the Information form, 01 one is kept separately)
– Depending on the circumstances, one of the following is required: a copy of the ERC of the sponsoring legal entity or a work permit or work permit exemption certificate
– Proof of temporary residence declaration or Certification of temporary residence in the locality with the seal of the Commune Police
Note: Vietnam consular legalization and notarized translation into Vietnamese are necessary for all documents in a foreign language.
Step 2: Submit the documents
The agencies, organizations, and individuals submit the application documents to the Immigration Department – Ministry of Public Security.
Officials receiving dossiers will then examine the legality and content of the documents:
If the documents are complete and valid, the official will print and give a receipt of an appointment to get the TRC
The official will instruct the applicant to complete the application if more than the documents are needed.
Step 3: Get the results
When the results are returned for inspection and comparison, the individual who received the results hands over the receipt, identity card, or passport to the officials.
The official asks the applicant to pay fees and provide a temporary residence card.

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Thanh (Tim) Ta

Tim Ta is the Head of the Business Consulting Department of Incorp Vietnam. He is a seasoned professional with more than 6 years of consulting experience in Vietnam for market entry, incorporation, and real estate investment.