Wage portage is already widely used around the world. This system is compatible with many freelance and consulting professions. Vietnam is one of the countries where wage portage is beginning to gain ground. This innovative status offers interesting opportunities for those who want to expatriate to the land of the dragon.  

How can I move to and work in Vietnam?

A welcoming country in so many ways

Between the sea, countryside and mountains, Vietnam is one of the countries in Asia most open to foreigners.

In addition to its welcoming people, the land of the Dragon has numerous assets that attract expatriates from all over the world.

For example, just under 10,000 French people have settled here, to enjoy retirement, to do international voluntary work or to earn a living.

The main cities are Hanoi (the capital) and Ho Chi Minh City (the economic capital). These cities are relatively well populated and offer all the necessary amenities (local government, stores, hospitals and healthcare facilities, cultural and recreational centers, etc.).

These cosmopolitan and multicultural cities are where most of the country’s economic activity takes place. The country has excellent road, air and river routes.

Other towns and rural areas are usually located in a green setting, along the Red River.

Bordered by the sea, Vietnam has some of the world’s most beautiful coastal landscapes and beaches.

Vietnam is also popular with expatriates for its relatively low cost of living and its safety.

The excellent quality of life, the unspoiled natural environment and the mild climate are just some advantages of living in this country.

Access and working in Vietnam 

Two types of visas are available for coming to Vietnam:

  • Tourist visas: single-entry visa for stays of 30 days and multi-entry visas for stays of 90 days. Note that French people who are spending two weeks or less in Vietnam do not need a visa. A letter of invitation from the immigration authorities is required for a visa upon arrival.
  • Business visas are for people coming for business or professional reasons. A letter of invitation from the company requesting their assistance or services is a prerequisite. You can apply online via e-visa or at the Vietnamese embassy.

Would-be expatriates must apply for a TRC (Temporary Residence Card). This card is valid for 12 to 36 months. A business visa or work permit is required.

Note that the work permit also requires an invitation or letter of sponsorship from the employing company.

Finding work in Vietnam

As with any job search, the first step is to find out what opportunities exist in the industry you want to work in.

Once you’ve found potential employers, you can simply contact them or respond to their job offers.

If your application is approved, and you manage to get an interview, all you need to do is convince your interviewer that you have the right skills, experience and motivation for the job.

If you have the opportunity, you can plan a trip to Vietnam to get to know the companies you are interested in and then make your choice.

Vietnam has a 48-hour work week. Overtime, which is of course paid by each company’s conditions, is limited to 200 hours per year. Employees are entitled to 12 days’ paid leave. Vietnam has nine public holidays a year.

Moreover, in the local work culture, superiors and elders are always respected in the workplace. Violations of company regulations may be severely punished.

Expatriates can choose between temporary contracts, permanent contracts whose length corresponds to the length of their work permit, and seasonal contracts (lasting less than a year).

What industries are hiring in Vietnam? 

Vietnam has enjoyed sustained economic growth in recent years. Virtually all business sectors are contributing to this growth, and there are plenty of opportunities for foreign workers. It’s worth pointing out that many Vietnamese companies are looking for foreign employees who are experts in their field.

The Vietnamese labor market is doing very well, with an unemployment rate of around 2.30% in December 2022 (official figures of the General Statistics Office of Vietnam).

However, the main sources of employment are manufacturing, agriculture and services. Other areas which are hiring, and in which expatriates have a good chance of finding a job, are:

  • Teaching foreign languages;
  • The textile and clothing industry;
  • Exports;
  • Tourism;
  • Hotels and restaurants;
  • Digital and computer technologies.

Becoming a ported employee in Vietnam

Halfway between traditional employee status and independent employee status, wage portage allows you to bypass the administrative and tax burdens associated with these two types of status, and to benefit from the advantages of both.

This specific type of employment is ideal for:

  • Expatriates;
  • Retirees who want to continue working and settle in Vietnam;
  • People who want to start their businesses.

As in most countries that allow wage portage, ported employees in Vietnam have complete autonomy when choosing their clients. They are free to set the terms and conditions of their assignments, and to negotiate the amount of their fees with client companies.

Ported employees are entitled to paid vacations, health coverage, unemployment benefits and professional insurance (including insurance for accidents and loss of earnings). They also can make pension contributions (first and second pillars).

What’s more, they don’t have to deal with the administrative side of their business (accounting, invoicing, collecting customer payments, taxes, etc.). The portage company takes care of all of these tasks for them.

Ported employees receive a salary, net of mandatory deductions and portage fees, by agreements with the portage company concerning the frequency of payments.

Note that wage portage allows independent entrepreneurs to test their business in Vietnam without having to set up a company. By choosing to start as ported employees, they also avoid the risks associated with a failed project.