Are Foreigners Going To Vietnam For Tourism Allowed To Work?

Are Foreigners Going To Vietnam For Tourism Allowed To Work?

Clause 2, Article 44 of the Law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam provides for the rights and obligations of foreigners as follows:

“2. Foreigners who enter, exit, or reside in Vietnam have the following obligations:

b/ To operate in Vietnam in accordance with the purposes of their entry”

Accordingly, foreigners entering Vietnam must operate for the right purpose of entry, namely, travel, and visas must not be converted. Therefore, foreigners holding tourist visas are not allowed to work in Vietnam.

In principle, foreigners working in Vietnam must have a work permit (except in some cases in which foreign workers are exempt from work permit). When a foreigner enters Vietnam with a tourist visa (DL visa) but is offered a job in Vietnam, he or she must obtain a work permit. The foreigner must depart Vietnamese territory and reapply for a work visa in order to be eligible to work in Vietnam. They will return to Vietnam to work after they have secured a work visa.


First, foreigners are not allowed to work even though they have a work permit.

In terms of labor law, foreigners, after having a work permit, are allowed to work in Vietnam.

However, in terms of the law on entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam, foreigners with tourist visas are only allowed to reside in Vietnam for tourism purposes. They are not allowed to carry out any activity with a purpose other than tourism purpose. 

Therefore, to be allowed to reside to work in Vietnam, foreigners need a visa for the working purpose. 

Second, a temporary residence card cannot be issued if the foreigner has a tourist visa.

Article 36.1, amendments to some articles of the 2014 law on entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam in 2019 provides “foreigners making an entry on LV1, LV2, LS, DT1, DT2, DT3, NN1, NN2, DH, PV1, LD1, LD2, and TT visas” are granted temporary residence cards with symbols similar to visa symbols. 

Thus, for a tourist visa (DL visa), a temporary residence card will not be issued. 

Third, there may be a fine and/or deportation from Vietnam if working in Vietnam with a tourist visa.

Foreigners who only have a tourist visa but work in Vietnam may be fined from VND 15,000,000 to VND 25,000,000 and/or may be deported from Vietnam for “entering and practicing jobs or having other activities in Vietnam without permission of the Vietnamese competent authority” (Article 17 Decree 167/2013/ND-CP).

Please contact us for further assistance:


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