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Vietnam Country Guide 2023


Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia with breathtaking landscapes, extremely friendly people, and a lively expat community. Vietnam has a lot of job opportunities, although getting a work permit can be complicated, and the language barrier can be a problem; there is great private healthcare, lots of transport options and a very affordable cost of living.

Vietnam has a vast amount of natural attractions, and a rich cultural history with many museums and temples; the locals are very friendly, but there is generally little personal space and privacy which can be a a bit of a culture shock. While the weather is very warm, the climate is also very humid, and living in a major city comes with heavy air pollution.

  • Capital: Hanoi
  • Spoken Languages: Vietnamese, English
  • Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
  • Minimum monthly wage: Region-dependent: VND 3,250,000 – 4,680,000

Entry Visa

Most foreign nationals need to a visa to enter Vietnam; however, in a lot of cases, it is possible to get a temporary visa on arrival without  previous applications.

Work Permit / Residence Permit

Foreign nationals must obtain a work permit to work and live in Vietnam for more than 3 months. The application is done by the employer; they must first gain approval for the demand of employing foreigners, and then apply for the permit itself at the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

After the work visa has been approved, the employer can sponsor the employee’s Vietnam Work Visa by obtaining a Letter of Sponsorship from the Immigration Department; the employee can use this letter to get a visa at their local Vietnamese Embassy.

If the work permit is valid for more than a year, the individual can receive a Vietnam Temporary Residence Card (TRC) at Immigration Services, which also works as a multiple-entry visa.

Social Security Registration

The employer is responsible for registering foreign employees with social security within 30 days from the start date of the employment.

Working Hours

The standard working week in Vietnam is 8 hours/day, or 48 hours/week, with a 6-day working week. However, some companies have a more traditional working week of 5 days (40 hours). Overtime is paid at a higher rate, and maximum overtime hours cannot exceed 40 hours per month.

Public Holidays

  • 01 January (New Year’s Day)
  • 29 January – 04 February (Tet Holiday – Vietnamese New Year)
  • Hung Kings Temple Festival (Not a standard date, 10th day of the 3rd lunar month)
  • 30 April (Reunification Day)
  • 01 May (Labour Day)
  • 02 September (National Day)

If a public holiday falls on a weekend, it is usually carried forward to a weekday.

Vacation Allowance

Employees working in Vietnam are entitled to a minimum of 12 paid leave a year; this amount increased by one day for every 5 years of service.

Sick Leave

Employees working in Vietnam are entitled to up to 30 days paid sick leave per year; this is paid by social security at a rate of 75% of base salary. A medical certificate must be provided within the first 48 hours.

Maternity / Paternity leave

  • Maternity: 6 months.
  • Paternity: 5 days within the first 30 days of birth.

Termination & Severance

After employment termination, if an employee has worked at a company for at least 12 months, they are entitled to severance pay equal to one half of a month’s wages per year worked.

Notice Period

The standard notice period is 45 days for open-ended contracts, and 30 days for fixed length contracts; this applies to both employer and employee.

Social Security

Employee social insurance contributions are deducted automatically from the wage and paid by the employer.

Insurance TypeEmployerEmployee
Sickness, Maternity3%0%
Occupational Diseases and Accidents0.5%0%
Retirement and Death14%8%
Health Insurance3%1.5%
Unemployment Insurance *1%1%

The maximum monthly insurable earnings for social security contribution is capped at 20 times the basic salary (VND 1,490,000 in 2022).

* Unemployment Insurance is applicable only for Vietnamese nationals.


Pensions in Vietnam are covered by social security contributions; foreigners are fully entitled to a pension if they have made at least 20 years’ worth of contributions.

Taxation in Vietnam

The Vietnamese fiscal year runs from 1 January to 31 December.

Tax Rates

The following progressive rates apply for 2022.

Annual Taxable Income (VND)Rate (%)
0 – 60,000,0005%
60,000,001 – 120,000,00010%
120,000,001 – 216,000,00015%
216,000,001 – 384,000,00020%
384,000,001 – 624,000,00025%
624,000,001 – 960,000,00030%
960,000,001 +35%

Tax Returns

The annual income tax return must be filed by 31 March of the following year.

Double Taxation

Vietnam has tax treaties with multiple other countries, which can reduce payable tax on certain incomes.

Health Insurance

While it is possible to get basic health care from social security contributions for foreigners, it is better to opt for private health insurance instead.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Vietnam is quite low, even in the main cities. The estimated monthly cost for a single person is around VND 15,000,000– 19,000,000, with 5,000,000  – 8,000,000 going to rent.

How We Can Help

It can be challenging to figure out how to employ a team, incorporate a subsidiary, and set up payroll in Vietnam; it requires great attention to detail and a deep understanding of local best practices. Access Financial makes it painless and easy for you to expand into Vietnam – we do the research, and you reap the benefits.

Access Financial simplifies global expansion by enabling you to hire talent in Vietnam without a branch office or subsidiary. You find the talent, and we put your team member on our locally compliant payroll. For all intents and purposes, the employee works for you, however, they’re legally on our payroll.

If If you would like to discuss how Access Financial can help in Vietnam, please contact us.