Changing Type of Visa in Vietnam

In many cases, individuals who enter Vietnam on a tourist visa later choose to switch their visa to a different type, such as a work visa, business visa, or investor visa.

Tourist visa is a visa issued for foreigners coming to Vietnam for tourism purposes while business/work visa is issued for those coming for business/working purposes. A tourist visa holder must not work or do business-related activities. Depending on the objects and the attached conditions, the tourist visa can be converted into a business or work visa to facilitate work while in Vietnam.

Foreign tourists discovering Hoi An, Vietnam (Photo: Shutterstock)

What is the difference between Tourist Visa and Business Visa/Work Visa?


Tourist Visa

Business Visa

Work Visa


Visa DL

Visa DN (DN1, DN2)

Visa LD (LD1, LD2)


Vacation, leisure, sightseeing

Business (signing a contract, attending a business seminar, researching markets,..)



- 1 month (single/multiple entries)

- 3 months (single/multiple entries)

- 1 month (single/multiple entries)

- 3 months (single/multiple entries)

- 6 months (multiple entries)

- 1 year (for US passport holders, multiple entries)

- 1 month (single/multiple entries)

- 3 months (single/multiple entries)

- 6 months (multiple entries)

- 1 year (for US passport holders, multiple entries)


All foreign nationals not listed in 25 Vietnam visa exemption countries (with a given period of time)

- Foreigners coming to Vietnam for business purposes

- Representatives of non-government organizations

- Foreigners granted a work permit or a certificate proving the work permit exemption in Vietnam

- Foreign lawyers licensed by the Ministry of Justice of Vietnam

Foreigners having a work permit or work permit exemption certificate in Vietnam



Up to 3 months

Up to 1 year

Up to 1 year (Can be converted to a temporary resident card with a validity of 2 years)

Conditions to change

In general, a visa cannot be used to change the intended purpose of entry, except in some special cases as outlined below:

  • Foreigners being invited or guaranteed to work by an agency/organization in Vietnam and have a work permit or a work permit exemption in accordance with the Labor Code.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam for tourism purposes with an E-visa and have a work permit or a work permit exemption in accordance with the Labor Code.

How to change


Foreigners coming for travel purposes and wishing to convert a tourist visa to a business/work visa must have an inviting/guaranteed company/organization/agency in Vietnam. Here are all documents needed for the conversion process.

  • A valid original passport
  • A valid tourist visa
  • A visa issuance application form (Form NA5)
  • Temporary residence registration
  • Work permit or work permit exemption certificate (for visa LD1, LD2)
  • Documents explaining the need and suitability for visa conversion (for visa DN1 and DN2)
  • Introduction letter of a representative applying the visa conversion


  • Step 1: Prepare all documents as required
  • Step 2: Submit documents at Vietnam Immigration Office (Headquarter in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City).
  • Step 3: Pay the fee and get the visa conversion

Time and fee

  • The process of changing a tourist visa to a business/work visa takes around 5 business days.
  • The fee is varied based on the visa type you expect to change:
Visa type Fee

1 month, single-entry


1 month, multiple-entry


3 months, single-entry


3 months, multiple-entry


6 months, multiple-entry


12 months, multiple-entry


Questions and Answers (01)

Ask your question
Contact Information
Nokuthula Ngcobo
South Africa

Can I change my tourist visa to business visa without doing a boarder run?

Your Reply
No more than 2,000 characters, please.
A Answered by Lan

Hello, it is not possible to change the type of visa to a business visa with just a border run, as a business visa requires a sponsor letter from an inviting company in Vietnam.

7 people found this helpful

Frequently asked questions

1. Can I apply to change the visa type by myself?

Yes. However, a business visa or work visa requires you to have a sponsor company/agency in Vietnam and some administrative procedures. Hence, you are recommended to work through a visa agency in Vietnam to avoid complicated procedures and save time.

2. What is the validity of the business visa that I change to?

The business visa has a maximum validity of up to 1 year. However, the 1-year visa is currently available for US passport holders. If you have other nationalities, you can have a business visa with a validity of 6 months at maximum.

3. How long does it take to process the change?

You can expect 5 working days for the process (except for holidays).

4. Do I need to submit a copy of my passport or an original passport?

You need to submit your original passport with the validity corresponding to the visa type expected to convert to.

Contact sales if you have additional questions.

Contact support if you already submitted your visa application on our website.

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