The legal requirements for teaching English in Vietnam are often ambiguous, but the official word is that all teachers wanting to apply for the work permit must provide a criminal background check, be a native English speaker, hold a college degree (in any subject) and have an international TEFL certificate from a reputable school.
The work permit must be applied for whilst inside the country. We recommend entering Vietnam on a 3-month tourist visa and then starting your teaching job while the work permit is being processed. Once you receive your work permit, you can then apply for a business visa, which will mean that you can then stay indefinitely within the country for as long as your work permit and business visa are valid – your work visa is valid for as long as your business visa is valid and you can extend your business visa on an annual basis.
Because of this work visa system, schools rarely recruit from abroad and apply a 3-month probationary period on all new teachers, to cover their backs in case the work permit application is unsuccessful. However, if you have all your paperwork ducks lined up in a row then you won’t experience any issues in receiving the work permit and then being able to apply for the business visa.
It is also worth noting here that not all schools will encourage you to apply for the work permit, and will instead recommend that you leave the country every three months to then return on a fresh 3-month tourist visa. While we never recommend teaching illegally, it is however common practice in Vietnam and this can be clearly seen by the many expats teaching in Vietnam who don’t possess a college degree and who might not necessarily be a native English speaker.
Please remember that at tefl online pro we assist our graduates with ongoing job support, help and advice, so if you are wanting Vietnam teaching English advice then feel free to reach out and contact us.