Vietnam is a country which attracts many expats and investors due to the great economic growth is has been experiencing in recent years. It is a dream country for expatriates looking for a good job. However, this Vietnamese paradise is not within everyone’s reach. It is not so easy to get a job when you are a foreigner because of the standards and costs that come with hiring a foreigner. In this article, we will tell you more about how to find work in this country, the possible offers and the conditions to be fulfilled.
State the job market for foreigners in Vietnam
Despite the fact that Vietnam is a country with an almost negligible unemployment rate, foreigners find it hard to find a job. This is due to the laws that the Vietnamese government have when it comes to hiring foreigners making it hard for expatriates to enter the labor market.
For a foreigner to have a chance of finding a job, the company hiring them must prove that he is more qualified than Vietnamese. The ability to speak foreign languages and an impressive international career are also often required to fill a position that would be held by a Vietnamese. Low-paying jobs that do not require special skills are routinely occupied by Vietnamese.
What to do to find work in Vietnam when you are a Foreigner?
Expats have various options for settling in Vietnam. It is possible to get hired for local jobs, expatriate contracts, or international voluntary contracts in small and medium-size businesses. As for your educational level, it usually does not matter. Whether you studied at a university or stopped schooling earlier, you can still find a multitude of positions in Vietnam with its high growth rate. It is, therefore, possible to find a job with or without a diploma in Vietnam, but of course, you may still face some difficulties and we will discuss this in a bit. So if you are French, English, American, Korean, Japanese … you should be able to find companies or organizations that need your kind of profiles.
Local jobs in Vietnam
The local employment contract is one of the contracts you can get in a Vietnamese company as a foreigner. These contracts are only signed with foreigners who are the most qualified for the job. The industries foreigners are usually recruited for are in the IT, supermarkets, insurance, business, call centers, and health sector. Aside from this, another top job for foreigners is to be an English teacher and this position usually comes with a very attractive salary. You just need to have a good level of English. The hospitality and food industries are also open to foreigners in local employment. Unfortunately, in these fields, a foreigner can be hired only if he is fluent in Vietnamese. If this does not suit you, do not worry because expatriate contracts and international volunteering in companies are also available to you.
Contracts for expatriates: with or without diploma?
Vietnam is a country open to large corporations and multinational companies that have established themselves their own fields. Since they already have a name in their field, it is easier for them to hire foreign technical employees. Because of this, it is usual for these companies to offer expatriate contracts. Competition at this level is tough as these companies are looking for the best in their fields. It is possible to be hired on an expatriate contract in various fields such as tourism, finance, banking, and oil (petroleum). If you are qualified, you should also check companies who are originally from your country since these would sometimes have preference or agreement with your government to prioritize nationals. For example, in the French institutions like the Institute of Cultural Exchanges with France which recruits qualified French teachers. Find the appropriate companies will help you to find a job within a few weeks of research and meeting the right people. Our key advice to help you finding a job within the next weeks you just arrived would be to join some event, meet up to get introduced to the local and foreign community living in the city you plan to settle down.
International volunteering in companies
Young people under the age of 28 can benefit from an international volunteering contract. This offer is popular in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and it allows volunteers to be paid up to 1500 euros per month. This amount is definitely more than enough to live well in Vietnam and even save money. In addition, the company you volunteer for may also offer other benefits such as paying for transportation or covering medical insurance. Young people with sought-after skills who want to prove themselves are eligible for these offers.
Now that you know the types of hiring contracts that are waiting for you in Vietnam, it is high time that you know how to be informed of these offers.
How to know about job offers for Vietnam?
You do not have to go to Vietnam and apply directly before you start looking for your job. We recommend that you have a clear idea of your job before you go all the way there. To do this, you can check job sites such as Vietnamworks and Monster. You may also find offers on social networking sites like Facebook where you can join groups dedicated to Vietnam. Linkedin and Viadeo are professional social networks that are also very useful for finding a job. Those who are interested in an international corporate volunteering contract can click on this link to view the offers.
In case you are already in Vietnam, you can become friends with expatriates in order to be informed of job offers within the community.
Conditions for working in Vietnam as a Foreigner
As in all countries of the world, before working in Vietnam, foreigners must have a visa and a work permit. The validity period of the work permit is twelve months. You must apply if your stay exceeds three months and you want to work. The work permit can be renewed once, for those who want to settle in Vietnam for a long time.
However, you should note that Vietnam grants work permit and visa exemptions to a certain category of people who are more likely to find a job. The experts, managers, technicians, and any profile with a university degree with three years of professional experience are part of it.
Your situation outside your Country
Depending on your nationality and your hometown country, you may fit different cases regarding to your situation living as an expat in Vietnam. We will try to cover and introduce you the different concept so you will be able to investigate by yourself what is the schema applied to your case.
As a French worker abroad, there are two possible statuses you could have: the status of a seconded employee and expatriate employee. Depending on your situation and the type of job you are going to find in Vietnam, you will have to follow certain procedures if you wish to benefit from certain rights, notably to activate pension contributions to make the best use of these years of work done abroad.
Status of seconded employee: your pension contribution
You benefit from the status of a “seconded employee” when your employer decides to keep you in France’s social system scheme during your different missions and your professional trips in other territories. You will be treated like a Frenchman who works on the French territory. This means that each of your assignments will be integrated into the calculation of your French retirement pension. Your contribution will be as if your geographical location had never changed, basically, it will be like you worked in France your whole life. Regarding the supplementary pension, there will be no change either. You will, therefore, continue the contribution at the level of ARRCO or AGIRC. You still have to know that the amount of your contributions for the supplementary pension is determined by premiums and other benefits in kind. Your employer is therefore required to fulfill all the requirements in this register. In some countries, especially those not linked to France by a social security agreement or a bilateral agreement, you may be forced to also subscribe to the local pension scheme. In this case, you will be able to benefit from a double pension. It is, therefore, necessary to get as much information about this as possible.
Expatriate employee status: contributing to retirement outside France
With this status, you are no longer considered to be on French territory. So you depend entirely on the pension funds of your host country, in this case, Vietnam. This does not include making voluntary contributions to prepare for your upcoming retirement. You may also have the chance to enjoy the benefits of community and/or international social protection agreements between the host country and France. But it depends on whether the country has such agreements with France. Unfortunately, Vietnam does not but it is still very feasible to set up a pension plan there.
However, with this status, you can subscribe to the old-age insurance of the Caisse Française de l’Etranger (CFE). This contribution allows you to benefit from a complete basic pension. In reality, the CFE is the equivalent of the social security fund for the French living abroad. You can also opt for a contribution buy-back at the level of the National Old-Age Insurance Fund (CNAV).
Complementary retirement of expatriate employees
In addition to your basic retirement, you have the possibility to contribute for additional pensions. This contribution can be made to the Caisse that you are a member of. There are, however, dedicated offices for these kinds of procedures. These are the Expatriate Pension Fund, as well as the Institute of Retirement of Executives and Assimilates of France and the Outside. You can subscribe individually or by using your company’s collective agreement.
As a cirizen of the USA working abroad, you should register with STEP as soon as you are settled in Vietnam. This registration allows you to benefit from various schemes such as the social security scheme which may add up to your retirement pension.
As for taxes, you would still need to declare your earnings for the year and this can still be subjected to U.S. income tax regardless of where you live at the moment. Living abroad qualifies you for a two-month extension on your tax filing extending the usual April 15 deadline to June 15. To know more about filing taxes and how to make sure you are not paying double taxes, it is best to consult a lawyer or an accountant. You may also refer to this site for more info.
Depending on your particular situation, you may be regarded as a factual resident, deemed resident, deemed non-resident, or non-resident of Canada. Each of these classifications faces different taxation scheme. Here is some information to help you determine which you fall under:
- Factual resident – citizens who have significant residential ties to Canada and are: temporary workers abroad, students abroad, or vacationing outside Canada
- Deemed Resident – if you have severed residential ties with Canada
- Deemed non-resident – if you have permanently emigrated to another country
- Non-resident – if you have emigrated and have no residential ties to Canada (or live there for less than 183 days per year).
To know more about your status you visit The Government of Canada website.
Each country may have specialized rules and schemes for their citizens working abroad. It is best to check with the proper authorities before you leave your country to make sure you would not be fined and that you have enough contributions to be eligible for a pension.
Another tip for Citizens of all Countries
Before calculating your retirement, you must prove a salary. You must, therefore, have some information such as pay slips, employment contract, contact information for your employers. This means that you have to keep these documented in order to prove that you were being paid and that you were legally working in Vietnam.
We know that for young people — which is the majority of those moving to Vietnam, these issues concerning pensions and contributions are not the priority. But know that sooner or later you will have to look into it. If you are going to work in Vietnam for 6 months or a year, you may not have to deal with this, but if you stay there for many years, you will have to. In fact, contributing to retirement will allow you to validate your years worked abroad to be able to benefit from a retirement pension (full or partial) when the time comes for you to retire.
This article hopefully gave you more information on what it is like to move and work in Vietnam. If you are still on the fence about moving to Vietnam here is an article about why you should seriously consider this tropical country. If you have any other questions please feel free to comment them below.