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

What Is Video Marketing and Why Is It Important for Small Businesses

In the recent past, video marketing has gained immense popularity as one of the most effective marketing strategies. Marketers prefer video marketing since it enhances the overall engagement of the target audience compared to other forms of marketing. Video marketing encompasses the entire social domain through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. It

Read More »

5 Trends That Will Continue to Impact Singapore Businesses in the Years to Come

An economic powerhouse, Singapore has long been a preferred location for companies that are aiming to expand their operations in Southeast Asia. On top of the current opportunities that the city-state’s vibrant and strong economy presents to businesses and entrepreneurs, Singapore is also poised for tremendous future growth. The country’s government makes an effort to

Read More »

The Best Online Casino Slots for Players in Thailand

Most forms of gambling are illegal in Thailand except for horse betting and government-regulated lottery. And because of that, more Thais are resorting to online casinos located offshore to get a dose of excitement and entertainment. Luckily, there a plenty of online casinos for players in Thailand to check out at 88ThaiCasino.com, but not all

Read More »

5 Important Trends Insurance Organizations Should Take Note Of

It’s important for insurance organizations to know and understand industry trends if they want to continue growing their business and to succeed in the digital age. With this information, your own insurance company can easily identify which aspects of your business you need to improve on. More importantly, you’ll be able to pinpoint where you’re

Read More »

Various types of Baccarat Games need to try

Baccarat games are available both online and in real-world casinos. After the game of Blackjack, this is the second most popular game in casinos. The table game – like Blackjack and other card games, does not have a lot of different varieties to play and enjoy. But don’t be discouraged; there are several outstanding features

Read More »

JBO Online Casino Review: A Guide for Beginners

If you have just discovered the fun and exciting world of online casinos, you probably are looking for a casino online Thailand to play games on. The good news is that you can test your knowledge and skills with real players at the comfort of your home at JBO online casino. Play, get excited and

Read More »