The Visa Vortex

Matching the many different types of visas with the right person

Dear Antoine, I’m looking to open a business in Vietnam in the next few months and wanted to discuss some of the ambiguous Vietnamese visa laws. Although the visa situation is constantly changing, do you know with what visa I can open a business in Vietnam? I’ve read that if I co-own a joint stock company (JSC) here with my  Vietnamese colleague I can apply for a work permit on that business? Is this true? But before that, what visa do I begin with—a business visa I’m guessing?

Some visa issues are more complicated than others—and visas are not the clearest one, considering the number of different types of visa. Let’s see what the Vietnamese  law says about it.

Define Your Position In The Company: Executive Or Board Member?

First thing you need to know: a work permit is required for any foreigner working in Vietnam, save some exceptions. According to one of these exceptions, the members  of the board of management of a Vietnamese company are allowed to exercise their assignments as members of the board in Vietnam without the need to obtain a work permit.

However, this exception is limited to members of the board. Other positions in the company do not offer the same advantage: For example, the exception does not  apply to the chairman of the board or to the director of the company. If you hold concurrently one of these positions and the position of member of the board, then you need to obtain a work permit.

Coming back to your specific situation—to partner with your Vietnamese colleague to set up a company in Vietnam—it means that work permit requirement will depend on the role you wish to have in the company. If you’re considering an executive position in the company (such as director), then you will need to obtain a work permit. But if you plan to only invest in the company without having an executive role (while holding a seat at the board to oversee and determine the company’s activity), then you may avoid the work permit requirement.

To give you a more practical idea of what that means, the director of the company, as the “legal representative,” has the obligation to reside in Vietnam. He, or she, manages the day-to-day activity of the company. In comparison, the board of management meets generally four times a year only. During the meetings, the board members define the general policies that would be implemented daily by the director.

Be Ready For Plenty Of Paperwork

The second thing you need to know: in case you enjoy the above-mentioned exception to the work permit, you are required to obtain, from the provincial authority where the Vietnamese company is registered, a certificate of exemption of a work permit, which is issued at the request of the company. After having obtained this certificate, you may apply for a temporary residence card.

The procedure to obtain such certificate of exemption may be a little bit lengthy, but in any case, will be less burdensome (especially in terms of paperwork) than the work permit procedure.

What is important for you is the following point: you may have a work permit (executive position) or be exempted of work permit and have a certificate of exemption  (board member), in both cases you will be allowed to stay in Vietnam for a long time and receive a temporary residence card. This card will allow you to reside in Vietnam and to go out and in the territory as much as you wish.

What About The “Preparation Phase” (Before Establishing The Company)?

The above advice applies to you once the company is already established and operates. However, before operation of the company, you may need to be in Vietnam in order to prepare your business with your Vietnamese colleague: for example, to find the appropriate premises, to open bank accounts, start negotiations with partners and providers, etc.

There is not really a specific visa for the “preparation phase” of an investment. Some businesspeople use a tourist visa. Others find a sponsor in Vietnam that invites them for business purpose (for example, this could be one of your future client). These kinds of visa may be up to 12 months.

I hope the above will be helpful and I wish you good luck on your business project!

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

1 thought on “The Visa Vortex”

Leave a Comment

Importance of Cyber Security for small businesses

Introduction Be it a small-sized, medium-sized, or large-sized company, all share a common threat of cyber-attack. While large companies and corporates are the most popular target for hackers, small businesses are not immune and are off late the more desired target. In fact, small businesses are marked as easy targets for they often have no

Read More »

Top 10 Interesting Jobs in Vietnam

The sign of a growing economy is the increase in employment opportunities. In the world today, Vietnam is among the countries whose economy is growing at a fast rate. So, it is no surprise that some of the top jobs in the world are in Vietnam. Keep reading to find out some of the exciting

Read More »

Chinese Insurtech Company Insnail Launches Their First Solution to Solve the Difficulties of Claim Settlement for Policyholders

Promoting the development of insurance networks brings the insurance industry enter a new historical phase in many emerging countries, but at the same time this also causes the emergence of a series of new problems, such as difficulties in understanding the claim settlement scope, choosing suitable insurance products, and most of all, getting a fair claim settlement. On August 26th, Insnail, a Chinese growing Insurtech company, announced the launch of their first solution to solve the

Read More »

Go Long

Markets are tanking. Should I cash out? It is almost impossible to read about anything other than COVID-19 and we are no different. As a wealth manager, I can only pass on my ideas on what to do given the turmoil in the markets. There are many losers in these markets, but with every loser,

Read More »

Which Trading Bots Really Work and Are Profitable?

How can you make money with cryptocurrencies? You can buy coins and hold onto these for the long-term or you could sell the coins when their value has risen. To do this, you can either rely on yourself or get crypto trading bots to do your work. Trading bots can be profitable provided you have

Read More »

How to sell bitcoins? Successful tips and strategies

When you are the owner of Bitcoins you have to know exactly how to go about selling these if the need arises. There are various ways to sell Bitcoins depending on if you wish to sell these directly or on a crypto exchange website. Here are some steps to sell off your Bitcoins in the

Read More »