Working Legally in Vietnam
Given the fast growth of English Centers all over Vietnam, you can hear different information about the requirements of working legally from different centers. Unfortunately, a lot of centers do not meet the legal requirements for employing foreign teachers, mainly to avoid paying the required taxes involved.
The Department of Education in Da Nang recently reported that out of all foreigners residing and working in Da Nang, only 69 foreigners have Work Permits. Currently, Fisher's SuperKids employ 32 foreign teachers, all of whom are meeting all the legal requirements, having a Work Permit and Temporary Residence Card. This means that 46% of the total amount of foreigners working legally in Da Nang are currently working at SuperKids.
We highly respect our moral duty towards our community and Vietnam as a whole by consistently having an open and honest channel of communication with the Immigration office, the Labor Agency and the Department of Education. All our Teachers meets the legal requirements regarding their documentation, qualifications, visas, residential paperwork, medical checks and Criminal Background Checks.
According to the Vietnamese Immigration Law, the requirements for a Foreign Teacher to be employed at any English center are:
An internationally recognized TEFL/ TESOL/ CELTA certificate (original document)
A health check from an approved hospital (this is very easy and cheap to do in Vietnam)
A University degree/diploma (original document)
A housing registration form from your landlord in Da Nang
A Criminal Background Check
An academic transcript (original document) if requested
If you have all these documents, it’s the responsibility of the English Center/school to obtain a Work Permit and Temporary Residence card for your employment. They should not keep your original documentation after your employment.
The teacher is usually expected to pay for the fees involved in obtaining a Medical Check, Criminal Background Check, and the notarization and legalization of their Degree/Diploma and TEFL Certificate at their respective embassies.
To get Affidavits & Legalization for your University Degree/Diploma and TEFL/ TESOL/ CELTA Certificate:
Affidavit Stamp: This is a stamp given by your country’s embassy on the copies of your documents, which means that your country acknowledges that your documents are legal in your own country.
Legalization Stamp: This is a stamp given by the Vietnamese Local Authorities or by the Vietnamese embassy if you are outside of the country on the copies of your documents, which means that your documents are acknowledged legally for use in Vietnam.
Usually, the center/school will help you with this process after signing a work contract. The more reputable schools and language centers will often cover the cost of your work permit and the temporary residence cards.
AVOID SCHOOLS/ CENTERS WHO:
Many companies might promise a Work Permit, but after months of waiting won't deliver. There are well known schools/centers who employs foreign teachers without meeting the legal requirements. They either pay money under the table or don’t report foreign teachers to the Labor Agency. This is dangerous, because if the police finds out about this, the school and the teachers will get fined and teachers can get deported.
Avoid schools who:
Asks you to start working without signing a contract.
Seems hesitant/unsure about the work permit procedure and requirements.
Asks you to pay extra money for you documentation which was not agreed upon in the contract.
Don't deduct income tax from your salary.
Promise a work permit but don’t ask for all the necessary original documentation needed for the work permit, like the notarized and legalized degree/diploma and TEFL certificate, Medical Check and Criminal Background Check.
Tell you things like, “The process is delayed from the Vietnamese office”, “It’s not necessary for you to have a work permit”, “You can only have a business visa, no work permit is required.”
Keeps your passport for longer than 2 weeks.
Tells you that because you only work there part-time (less than 40 hours a week) you don’t need a work permit. A work permit is required for any amount of work if you work at a company for longer than 3 months.