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How can business visa holders stay in Vietnam long-term?
Tightened regulations for business visas mean it is more difficult for expats to stay in Vietnam long-term. However, there are other options for individuals, remote workers and those acting for foreign companies in Vietnam.
For many expats, leaving behind Vietnam’s lifestyle and the opportunities in its growing markets is the last resort. Despite this, many feel they are running out of options as it becomes increasingly difficult to extend their business visas.
It is a roll of the dice to engage an agency to renew these three-month visas in the current climate. Agencies commonly use a sponsor business to satisfy the government regulations and these are companies that you will often not know anything about.
With close government inspection of the sponsor company’s activities now the norm, only legitimate business operations can provide sponsorship. While many have stayed on business visas for extended periods previously, it seems they are no longer suitable for this purpose.
The good news is that there are alternative visa options that offer expats a long-term stay in Vietnam.
Three types of visas permit foreigners to stay in Vietnam, without having to renew again for between 1 and 5 years:
- Investor Visa – A DT visa, is an option if you are an investor operating in Vietnam or plan to set up a business. Depending on the amount you invest, it will allow you to apply for a temporary residence card (TRC) valid for between 1 and 5 years.
- Work Visa – If you hold a job with a company in Vietnam and can satisfy the work permit regulations, you may apply for a TRC that allows you to stay in the country for up to 2 years.
- Marriage – After marrying a Vietnamese citizen, you can apply for a visa exemption certificate of up to 5 years (must leave every 180 days). Another option is the TT Visa which is available to spouses, parents or children of Vietnamese citizens. Holders of this visa can apply for a TRC which will be valid for 2 or 3 years.
We will look at the first two options and how to convert a short-term visa to one that provides a longer residency in Vietnam.
Long-term stay in Vietnam option #1 – Investor Visa
The fastest way to obtain an investor visa is to open a business in Vietnam. You can open some types of companies relatively quickly. It is possible to incorporate enterprises involving consultancy, trading, IT or IT services, in about a month.
While it is possible to start a business with a small capital investment of 5-10k USD (or even less as there is no minimum requirement), there are recurring costs to running a company that you should consider. You must also demonstrate to the authorities that you have a solid business plan in place.
An investment visa is an option we only recommend to people with legitimate business intentions, but it is one method of staying in Vietnam long-term. If you successfully obtain a TRC, your capital investment and business plan will be key factors in determining its duration.
Long-term stay in Vietnam option #2 – Investor Visa
It is a common misconception that a business visa is the only legal way to operate in Vietnam if you work for an overseas company.
However, this is not the case, as by using Emerhub’s EOR (Employer of Record) Service, you can obtain a valid work visa and TRC depending on your line of work.
We can act as your employer in Vietnam and aid you in applying for a visa and TRC in line with Vietnamese immigration law. You will continue to work for your overseas employer or yourself, but the government will recognise you as an Emerhub employee.
How the EOR service works:
- Emerhub and your overseas employer sign a service contract.
- You sign a Vietnamese labour contract with Emerhub.
- Every month, we invoice your employer for your gross salary, including your tax contribution:
Personal Income Tax is 23.5% of gross salary + our EOR service fee of 10% = Total due from the employer
- A deposit of one month in advance is needed when we first engage.
- The employee will receive the same mandatory state insurance and benefits as all Emerhub’s employees.
- The employee(s) will carry out the tasks and assignments for your company, as well as work under your company’s policy.
Why should you choose Emerhub’s EOR service?
Emerhub is a multinational company that has operated in Vietnam for over five years. We can help you legally obtain the correct work permit and TRC for your line of work and help you through the application process. You can focus on your work, certain of your ability to stay in Vietnam long-term.
As we have many business lines, we already hold a range of work permits and understand the requirements for obtaining work visas and TRCs. The Temporary Residence Cards are typically issued for two years, removing the uncertainty of renewing your visa every three months.
Benefits of the EOR Service:
- No need to set up a company in Vietnam, allowing you to “test the water” before fully entering the market
- No hassles with payroll calculation, tax filings or labor regulations
- Can easily approach new markets in the region instantly
- Allows you to work legally with all benefits and state insurance
- Your employer can manage you remotely via Emerhub. We are not only the Employer of Record but also a point of contact and local advisor.
Our Employer of Record service handles the employment contract, payroll processing and tax filing for your employment outsourcing in Vietnam.
While many expats in Vietnam believe a business visa is the only option available, this is not always true. By speaking to Emerhub, you can assess if there are other avenues open to you.
The same conditions will apply for obtaining work permits in terms of age requirements and professional qualifications. However, if you are working here remotely or seeking to start a business in Vietnam, we offer professional services regarding business incorporation and as an Employer of Record.
If you want to remove the uncertainty of whether you can stay in Vietnam long-term, book a meeting with our legal team today.
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