Teaching in Vietnam – How To Legalise Your Documents

Vietnam continues to gain the attention of those looking for a location to teach ESL, for the beautiful landscapes, friendly people and cost of living being low compared to other locations. As a legalisation for Vietnam specialist, we have extensive experience in helping those looking to start a new adventure.

Vietnam continues to gain the attention of those looking for a location to teach ESL, for the beautiful landscapes, friendly people and cost of living being low compared to other locations. As a legalisation for Vietnam specialist, we have extensive experience in helping those looking to start a new adventure.

We’re here to guide you through the requirements and processes you’ll come up against when applying for positions and making the move to Vietnam. While this is based on a UK applicant, we can complete the legalisation processes for you wherever your documents were issued. With our extensive network of colleagues in over 150 countries, we will be able to advise you on any legalisation or visa related query as required.

Document Requirements For Teaching ESL In Vietnam

Teaching in Vietnam demands the legalisation of a certain set of documents, in order to gain legal employment. Although the requirements can differ from company to company, there is a minimum set of documents which must be provided which is outlined by government legislation. Anything additional is set by the company itself, so you need to check on a case-by-case basis when you are applying for a position.

An example of candidate and document requirements from an ESL recruiter in Vietnam would be:

  • The teacher must be a native speaker of English (or have native proficiency)
  • Hold a TEFL certificate or equivalent from a regulated provider
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from University
  • A clean, recent criminal background check
  • A medical health check (this can be completed in Vietnam upon arrival)

The HR department at your prospective school or recruitment company should be your first port of call for confirming exactly which documents will be required. Once you have these documents ready to process, you can have them legalised in their issuing country.

Tefl tip

TEFL certificates are one of the trickier types of document to deal with. Whilst these qualifications are becoming much more accessible to those who wish to teach ESL, the industry itself is not officially regulated by any central body. This can make it difficult for would-be students to identify which course would meet their needs, and to establish a standard certificate format which will be accepted by the FCO.

This means that the company issuing the award may not always be officially registered in the country in which they operate. In order for your documents to be legalised, the government must recognise the awarding body. Another issue we’ve seen our customers encounter is their certificates containing wording that certain governmental departments or embassies may take exception to. We check every TEFL before submission and if the content is unsuitable, we are able to advise on what actions to take next to help ensure the TEFL is accepted.

What is the process for legalising a document?

Once you have your list of requirements from your contact in HR, it’s time to get those documents legalised (sometimes also known as authentication or attestation). Not every country follows the same process, and this applies to both the country of origin and where you’re relocating to. Therefore any processes you require will need to be checked carefully based on your individual requirements. Being careful here could save you both time and money!


As simple as it seems, there are a few ways that this process can get rather complicated. The amount of steps required can differ; some documents can be legalised on a certified copy whereas some will only be accepted as an original. You must also ensure the solicitor making the copy has their signature on the FCO database, otherwise this can cause significant delays whilst the document is being verified.

Where do I start with the legalisation process?

If you would prefer to take care of the legalisation yourself, one of the main issues can be the time and expense involved, especially if you’re overseas. Many departments will not accept applications by post which means an unexpected road trip or flight. They will also not forward a document on for you, so you will either need to wait for them to be returned to you between each stage. There are also certain Embassies that will only accept documents submitted by an agent registered with them, such as ourselves.

The first step you will need to complete is identifying which process your documents will require. From there, you can figure out which official body handles those processes and how you can apply for each stage, and if you can complete that stage personally.

If you’ve got a handle on the legalisation process, you’re ready to move on to the next step; getting your work permit. Although we can’t help with this stage directly, we can give you an overview.

What’s next after the legalisation for Vietnam has been completed?

If you are travelling to Vietnam for employment purposes, you will need to apply for a business visa from the Vietnamese Embassy in your country of residence. It is illegal to seek employment on a Vietnamese tourist visa.

Once you have secured your job offer and you are ready to start your role, you can have your visa converted to your official employment permit by your employer in-country. You are then able to complete the final step of applying for your residency permit.

One thing to be wary of when looking for employment is that any Police Clearance Check you are required to provide will likely need to have been issued within the last 6 months, if not less. It may be wise to wait to apply for this when you feel you are likely to receive a job offer imminently.

We know that this can be both an exciting and stressful time, but we are here to put your mind at rest. Be it from checking over your documents, to answering any questions you may have about the process.

Whether you’re getting ready to travel out to Vietnam, or are already in-country and are looking for employment, we offer unrivalled support, convenience and excellent value. You don’t have to travel home to complete any of stages, we can complete everything for you and return them via secure courier as quickly as possible.

Get in touch today to speak to our friendly team, or if you prefer you can use our live chat system, send us a message via WhatsApp or alternatively give us a call on 0330 088 1142. Wherever you’re coming from and going to, we can help.

Ashraf Vachhiat
Ashraf Vachhiat

Ashraf is the Marketing Technologist at Vital Consular, which means he handles all the technicalities involved in bringing this blog to life! He also enjoys creating in-depth articles around current affairs which impact the travel and relocation industry. In his free time, Ashraf relishes travelling as much as possible, and is always looking for quirky spots to take some great photos.

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