Vietnam's dynamic booming economy and efficient business environment have made it a highly attractive destination for foreign investors. As one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, Vietnam has seen a significant increase in international investment. In response to this enthusiasm, Vietnam has recently streamlined its immigration policies to facilitate investment for foreign investors. As for now, foreign investors can choose between two following residency options when investing in Vietnam.

Option 1: Residency by investment of more than USD 150,000

Although foreign nationals typically need a work permit and a residency permit to live and work in Vietnam, there are some exceptions. Vietnamese law allows for certain exemptions such as for foreign investors who make a direct investment of at least 3 billion Vietnamese dongs (USD 150,000 approximately) in a Vietnamese company.

By creating a new company or taking over an existing one in Vietnam and investing sufficient amount, foreign investors can request a confirmation that they are not subject to the issuance of a work permit by the competent authority. This work permit exemption is valid for a maximum of 2 years and is renewable.

With this exemption, foreign investors can easily apply for temporary residence card with a same validity period up to 2 years.

Option 2: Long stay visa by investment of less than USD 150,000

This option is suitable for foreign investors who wish to stay in Vietnam for a period of time and make a more modest investment. Specifically, if a foreign investor invests less than USD 150,000 in a Vietnamese company, they can enjoy a long-stay visa for a maximum of 1 year. However, this visa does not allow them to work in Vietnam. In other words, if foreign investors want to work, especially to manage the company they invest in, they need to apply for a regular work permit, which can last up to 2 years and be renewable.

In case of having a work permit, they may be able to exchange their visa for a temporary residence card that is valid for the same period as the work permit.

Vietnam - attractive destination for foreign investors

In the first quarter of 2023, Vietnam granted over 150 new foreign investment projects with an estimated investment capital of more than 1.2 billion USD, involving approximately 28 countries and territories, notably Singapore and China.

In addition, foreign investors may benefit from investment incentives if their projects are located in socioeconomically difficult areas of the country, or fall within certain industries such as information technology, software, digital content production. These incentives may include, by example, exemptions or reductions in corporate income tax, import tax, or land use fees.

For more information, please contact Harvey Law Group (HLG) via email at We are an international law firm with over 30 years' experience in immigration law and offices worldwide. You can visit our website for other residency and citizenship by investment programs.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.