Permanent residence card for foreigners in Vietnam: conditions and application procedures

Foreigners intending to reside and work permanently in Vietnam may be eligible for a Permanent Residence Card (‘PRC’) valid for ten years. This document, issued by Vietnamese authorities, serves as a valid substitute for a visa and grants the holder indefinite residency rights within Vietnam. Within the scope of this article, the author will address issues related to “Conditions and procedures for applying for Permanent Residence Cards for foreigners in Vietnam.

1. The concept of PRC 

Permanent Residence Card (‘PRC’) is a document issued by immigration authorities to foreigners who are allowed to reside indefinitely in Vietnam and are valid instead of a visa. 

The permanent resident card is valid for up to 10 years.

2. Cases of PRC issuance 

Not all foreigners qualify for a PRC. Only those falling under one of the following four categories are eligible: 

(1) Meritorious person: Foreigners who have made significant contributions to Vietnam’s national development or defense, recognized by the Vietnamese state through medals or honorary titles. 

(2) Scientists and Experts: Foreign scientists and experts currently residing in Vietnam temporarily.

(3) Family Sponsorship: Foreigners sponsored by their parents, spouses, or children, who are Vietnamese citizens residing permanently in Vietnam. 

(4) Stateless Persons: Stateless individuals residing continuously in Vietnam since 2000 or earlier. 

3. Conditions for issuance of PRC 

All eligible applicants must also meet the following conditions: 

  • Maintain legal residence and a stable income sufficient to support their livelihood in Vietnam. 
  • Have resided in Vietnam continuously for at least three years (calculated based on entry and exit stamps from the past four years, with a total temporary stay of at least three years within that period). 

Note: The length of temporary residence is determined based on the entry and exit verification stamps issued at border gates, with a total temporary stay in Vietnam of at least 3 years in the last 4 years up to the date of applying for permanent residence.  

  • For Scientists and Experts: Be nominated by government ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, or relevant authorities responsible for managing their professional field. 

4. Procedures for issuance of PRC 

Step 1. Foreigners apply for permanent residence to conduct procedures at immigration authorities. The dossier includes:  

  • An application for a PRC. 
  • A criminal record issued by the competent authority of the country of which the person is a citizen.  
  • A Dispatch from the representative office of the country of which the person is a citizen requesting Vietnam to settle for that person’s permanent residence. 
  • Certified copy of passport. 
  • Documents proving eligibility to be considered for permanent residence.
  • Guarantee Certificate for foreigners. 

Application fee: USD 100 per card. 


  • Applicants for permanent residence under cases (1) and (2) file documents at the Immigration Department. 
  • The applicant for permanent residence in cases (3) and (4) shall apply to the Immigration Office of the police of the province or centrally run city where permanent residence is applied. 

Step 2. Within 04 months from the date of receipt of a complete dossier, the Minister of Public Security shall consider and decide on permanent residence; In case it is considered that additional verification is required, it may be extended but not exceeding 02 months. 

Step 3. Immigration authorities shall notify in writing the settlement results of the permanent residence applicant and the police of the province or centrally run city where the foreigner applies for permanent residence. 

Step 4. Within 05 working days from the date of receipt of the notification by the immigration authority, the police of the province or centrally run city where the foreigner applies for permanent residence shall notify the foreigner to be settled for permanent residence. 

Note: Within 03 months from the receipt of the notice of settlement for permanent residence, foreigners must go to the immigration management office of the police of the province or centrally run city where the permanent residence is applied to receive the PRC. 



This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide any legal advice for any particular case. The legal provisions referenced in the content are in effect at the time of publication but may have expired at the time you read the content. We therefore advise that you always consult a professional consultant before applying any content.

For issues related to the content or intellectual property rights of the article, please email

Apolat Legal is a law firm in Vietnam with experience and capacity to provide consulting services related to Employment and contact our team of lawyers in Vietnam via email

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