Vietnam’s Entry Procedures for Foreign Experts

  1. Apply for Sponsor Letter and the List of experts on entry to Vietnam for the People’s Committee where the company’s head office is affiliated or where the expert is working (Submit to the Department of Invalids and Labor of the commune Association – 33 Street No. 13, Hiep Binh Chanh, Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City, for experts entering Ho Chi Minh City)

The application form is available at

*The Provincial People’s Committee reviews the petition and forwards it to the Immigration Department – Ministry of Public Security and notify the results to the company within 20-25 days.

  1. Submit the Sponsor Letter approved by the People’s Committee with the list of the experts to the Immigration Department – Ministry of Police after it has issued a decision on approval from the People’s Committee together with the Immigration Application (NA2)and the Sample Seal Registration Form at the Department of Immigration(Form NA16)

* In case the expert does not have a Visa / Work permit, then Submit the VISA Application (Form NA1) to the Department of Immigration

*The process of returning results at Immigration Department takes 5-7 working days

  1. Apply for Quarantine Accommodation According to Official Letter No. 1441 / BYT-MT dated 20/3/2020 of the Ministry of Health, medical isolation at hotels (with fee) is currently only applicable to foreigners such as experts, business managers, skilled workers, …

The application form is available at

  1. The company prepares and submits the isolation plan to the local Department of Health for approval (1 day).

* In the Ho Chi Minh City area, there is no need to obtain confirmation from the Department of Health from February 1, 2021. However, the guaranteeing company still has to submit the quarantine plan to the airline

The required documents to send to the Department of Health / Center for Disease Control as following (Not applied for HCMC)

  • List of experts approved by the Provincial People’s Committee / Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs;
  • The Decision of the People’s Committee to propose to the Immigration Department to issue visas to experts. In case, the expert who working in another province desires to be isolated in Ho Chi Minh City, the Expert must have approval from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee.
  • Letter of approval from Immigration Department for the experts;
  • Proposal for Quarantine location – Hotel selection;
  • Scan of confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 test by real-time PCR technique from 3- 7 days before the entry date. The SARS-CoV-2 test must be done at government-approved laboratories or at the World Health Organization (WHO) accredited laboratory system.
  • Having documents, certifying insurance, international insurance of the expert or the host organization inviting the expert to commit to paying treatment costs in case of Covid-19;
  • The Commitment from the Expert’s Organization/Company for ensuring and taking responsibilities to the public safety from the Covid-19 pandemic

5. When you have all the documents, please register to join the Flight to Vietnam

6. After buying the air ticket, please take the Covid-test by PCR system.

7. Please fill out the Medical Declaration / Vietnam Health Declaration form 24 hours before your departure.

[The 7-day Tet series] Day 7 – Vạn Sự Như Ý, An Khang Thịnh Vượng.

Vietnamese Lunar New Year is NOT Chinese Lunar New Year

It is absolutely mistaken to say that the Vietnamese are celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Although both countries use the lunar calendar, Vietnamese people have different lunar new year customs, celebrations, and traditions from China.

The History of Lunar New Year in Vietnam

According to the historical documents, in the thirteenth century, Vietnamese people often celebrated the Tet holiday by painting tattoos on themselves, drinking traditional glutinous-rice liquor, using betel nuts to welcome guests, and eating Chung cakes, pickled onions. In the Ly dynasty (1009-1226), many important rituals were made on the Tet festival such as setting up a dome to pray for the rains or building communal houses to crave for a year of abundant harvests. In the period of King Le Thanh Tong (1442-1497), Tet was the most important festival and hundreds of mandarins had to gather at the royal court to celebrate this lunar new year festival with royal families.

How is Tet Holiday Celebrated?

Tet begins with officially starting on the day Mr. Tao (Kitchen God) go back to heaven. On the 23rd of the last month in the lunar calendar, Vietnamese people prepare traditional offerings to send the kitchen god back to heaven. Then A week before the Tet festival, all members of the family clean the house, the garden, the altars, do Tet holiday decorations. Broken things will be repaired, old things will be replaced. Clothes and decorations such as lanterns, distiches, led lights will be bought. All those preparations have the same purpose – to be the best to welcome the Lunar New Year festival and to receive luck as well as fortune.

The Last Day of the Year & Lunar New Year Eve

On the last day of the year, every member of different generations gathers around a grand banquet to enjoy the last meal of the year. The talk at that time is about things already happening in the year. The ambience of the reunion is always the most wonderful and happiest at all.

On Lunar New Year Eve, the young often go out to watch the Tet holiday firework performance while the elderly and adults stay at home making offerings of pig head, boiled chicken, rice, and salt for outdoor worshipping to the Gods and indoor one to the ancestors. They will pray for a new year of luck, health, and fortune to every family member.

After that, the young return home and become the first one to come to the house in the lunar new year. It is believed that the wishes of that person for the host will come true. Then everyone gathers again to drink some alcohol or juice. Then the wishes, as well as plans of every person for the new year, will be shared with others.

During Tet Holiday – Vietnamese Lunar New Year Traditions & Customs

On the New Year’s Day, the first ones who come to visit households—called first-foot—are very important and hence need to be well chosen, as they are believed to hold in their hands the entire luck of the family in New Year (Tan Nien). After that, till the third day or even the fourth day of Tet, individuals meet relatives, friends and colleagues, wishing them all kinds of good things like happiness, health and success. They give children lucky money covered in pretty little red envelopes also because of that reason, as red represents good lucks. Also, they visit pagodas to pray for a good start in the coming year. In addition, sweeping during Tet Holiday is taboo, since this action symbolizes sweeping the luck away. Anyone who experienced a recent loss of a close family member also shouldn’t visit anyone else during Tet Holiday.

There is a saying in Vietnam, (Mùng 1 Tết cha, mùng hai Tết mẹ, mùng ba Tết thầy” (Father’s Tet is on the First Day of New Year, Mother’s Tet is on the Second, and Teacher’s is on the Third). The best illustration of the quotation is that, on the first day, Vietnamese visit their parents on the husband’s side on; on the second day, they turn to parents on the wife’s side; and lastly, they spend their third day of Tet visiting their teachers. All in all, Tet is all about back to origins, wishing for the best, and joining in colourful parties.

During Tet holiday, Vietnamese people often use lucky money which they just received recently to play cards with relatives or friends. Those kinds of games such as blackjack, Lô tô (nearly the same with Bingo), cờ cá ngựa (petis chevaux), etc. are popular choices between family members during the Tết holiday.

After Tết, some will come back to work. But there are still many festivals occur around this month. Especially in the North, lots of festivals start from 6th January of Lunar Calendar until the end of January. Some festivals which attract thousands of locals to come are Hương Pagoda Festival, Khai Ấn Đền Trần in Nam Định Province, Tịch Điền Đọi Sơn Festival in Hà Giang, etc. Each of the festivals has a different meaning. But in general, they all celebrate for a successful year.

Vietnamese New Year Wishes & Greetings

The Tet festival is the main holiday in Vietnam. Therefore, Vietnamese people will give each other the best wishes for a lucky and successful Lunar New Year. Below are some of Tet holiday greetings and wishes with the meanings in English.

  • “Sống lâu trăm tuổi” (Live up to 100 years): used by children for elders. Traditionally, everyone is one year older on Tet, so children would wish their grandparents health and longevity in exchange for “mừng tuổi” or “lì xì”.
  • “An khang thịnh vượng”: Security, good health, and prosperity
  • “Vạn sự như ý”: May myriad things go according to your will
  • “Sức khoẻ dồi dào”: Plenty of health
  • “Cung hỉ phát tài”: from the Cantonese Gung hay fat Choy (Congratulations and be prosperous)
  • “Tiền vô như nước” (May money flow in like water): used informally.

With this last article, we hope that articles in this 7-day Tet series help you understand and have knowledge about the Vietnamese Tet Holiday. On this occasion, we also want to send all the best wishes to you and your family, with a new year filled with joy, full of health, prosperous and “Vạn sự như ý”.


[The 7-day Tet series] Day 6 – Don’ts and Do in Tet Holiday.

Each time the Tet holiday is drawing near, people start being in a rush to prepare lots of things for welcoming a new year, which makes up the most vibrant and emerging atmosphere any international tourist will find difficult to visualize if having not ever experienced before. It is extremely necessary to understand traditional customs and values of the festival while you join it for your Vietnam tour packages. To do that, let’s explore DOs and DON’Ts during Tet holiday in Vietnam here!

[The 7-day Tet series] Day 5 – The Meaning Of Vietnamese Traditional Dishes In Tet Holiday

Tet is a time for everyone in the family to reunite after a year of hard work. Therefore, the feast of the Tet Holiday also needs to be prepared very well. For Vietnamese people, meals on the first day of the year must be plentiful, not only expressing prosperity and happiness but also wishing for a full and prosperous New Year. Those foods were all prepared to be worshipped before on the ancestral altar on New Year’s Eve and on the first day of the new year.

Moreover, in the Vietnamese language, Tet is not literally celebrated, but “eaten” instead! In Vietnam, ăn Tết (eat Tet) is understood as to celebrate Tet. This shows how important food and cuisine is to Vietnamese New Year. On Tet days, Vietnamese people often prepare a lot of food because this is a time when they often have many guests/friends/family visiting and wish wishes for the new year, so they must always have food to treat the guests.

Vietnamese people have a very good habit of saving, which are reflected by the regular meals – rice with the main dishes (meat or fish/shrimp), a vegetable food and a bowl of soup. Vietnam food is thus often jokingly labelled “food for peasants”. However, this statement no longer holds water during Tet holiday, when Vietnamese let themselves taste more protein-rich and sophisticated made dishes.

Following are the most typical food found in Vietnamese’ Tet holiday:

  1. Banh Chung/ Banh Tet – pickled onions

    Thịt mỡ dưa hành câu đối đỏ.
    Cây nêu tràng pháo bánh chưng xanh.

    Fat meat, pickled onions, red parallel sentences.
    New Year pole, strings of firecrackers, green Banh Chung.

    Ask anybody in Vietnam which food comes to their mind first when talking about Tet. I’m sure that the answer is banh chung and banh tet (it’s tét, not Tết, the festival). While both of this banh is essentially rice, fatty pork and bean fillings packed neatly inside green banana leaves or dong leaves, there’s some obvious difference between them. In general, banh chung is an iconic Tet food in Northern Vietnam. Meanwhile, banh tet usually represents Southern Vietnam.

    This is the cake in Vietnam food culture since long time ago. According to the old legends, banh chung appeared on the Hung dynasty. This cake symbolizes the ground expressing gratitude to the ancestors and the earth, sky. Besides, it emphasizes the important role of rice and nature in water rice culture. In contrast to the fast food in modern life, the process of making banh chung is time-consuming and requires the contribution of several people. Family members often take turns to keep a watch on the fire overnight, telling each other stories about Tet of past years.
    Banh Chung is made of sticky rice, pork meat and green bean, every ingredient is wrapper inside a special leaf which calls Dong. Making the Banh Chung requires care and precision in every step. The rice and green bean have to be soaked in water for a day to make it stickier. The pork meat is usually soaked with pepper for several hours. Squaring off and tying the cakes with bamboo strings require skilful hands to make it a perfect square.
    To eat Banh Chung you should combine with pickled onions to add the sour taste of food and makes it more digestible. Banh Chung and pickled onions have become must-have dishes on the occasion of Tet.

  2. Gio/ Cha – Frozen meat
    Gio Cha (Vietnamese ham/sausage) is another traditional food in Tet holiday and usually served with Xoi (sticky rice) and Banh Chung. Gio is different from Cha since Gio is boiled and Cha is deep-fried. Vietnamese people make Gio from lean meat, added fish sauce and covered by leaves then boiled for hours. Cha is also made of lean pork and ingredients, but Cha is not wrapped by leaves and boiled but deep-fried in oil. Cha just survives for some days when Gio can last for a month due to its covers. There are many kinds of Gio, categorized by its origins: Gio Lua (made from pork), Gio Ga (made from chicken), Gio Bo (made from beef). All these types are used not only in Tet holidays but also over the year.

    In Lunar New Year, especially in the northern regions, Frozen meat is also an indispensable dish in Vietnamese trays. A piece of frozen meat like a transparent jelly symbolizes clarity, good luck all year. The blend and linkage between the components in frozen meat express harmony and be a blessing for those who loved, in love and will love.

  3. Ga Luoc
    Thit ga (boiled or steamed chicken) plays an important role in Tet holiday cuisine because all the tribute meals to the ancestors must contain a boiled chicken, whole or chopped. Besides, people believe that boiled chicken symbolizes prosperity, wellbeing. Therefore, Starting a new year with boiled chicken will be lucky all year. Chicken meat in Tet meals are various in forms: usually, chicken is boiled and sliced, but sometimes people can place the whole chicken in a plate, or nowadays some families use roasted or fired chicken to replace the original boiled ones. Chicken meat is served with Xoi (sticky rice) and Banh Chung, and become one of the most popular main dishes in Tet holidays. Boiled chicken always goes with sliced lemon leaves and salt-and-pepper sauce, as a tradition. Chicken (especially bones, legs and heads) can be used to prepare the broths for other soups.

  4. Mut Tet & other snacks
    Mut is an indispensable treat during the Lunar New Year Festival. Everyone prepares a box of colourful candied fruits at home to give visitors, the gift to friends and family, and offer to ancestors. Mut Tet (Tet jam) is not a food to serve in a meal during Tet holiday, but more like a snack to welcome guests in this special period. Mut is always kept in beautiful boxes and placed at the table in the living room, and it is the main food for the owners and guests to taste when they’re talking, enjoyed over a cup of tea. Unlike Western jam, which is usually in liquid form and served with bread, “Vietnamese jam” is mainly in dry form, usually dried fruits and some kind of seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds).

    It is a simple process and the ingredients are all readily available like coconut, ginger, sweet potato, kumquat, tamarind, and pineapple. They also have health benefits. For instance, having a few pieces of candied ginger will help digestion, while candied kumquat, which is often eaten with the peel helps relieve sore throats and ease hangovers. The candied lotus seeds are used for relieving stress and getting a good night’s sleep. Ever had roasted melon seeds? They go perfectly with a cup of tea. To eat them, you use your front teeth and dig out the tasty centre. It’s a bit of work, but you’re with friends, so there’s no hurry.

  5. Five-fruit tray (Mam Ngu Qua)

    The five-fruit tray is a must-have on the ancestral altar on New Year’s Eve and on the first day of the new year. The exact selection varies through time, region, and even the house owner’s preference. However, they must be of a different colour as the five-fruit tray also plays an important role in decoration for Tet.
    The number must be five (ngũ – năm) because of the concept of five fruits represents the five blessings: Phú – Quý – Thọ – Khang – Ninh ( Wealthy – luxurious – long-life – healthy – safe) and the five elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth).

    mâm ngũ quả daotaobeptruong

    Why is this five-fruit tray needed in Tết?
    The five-fruit tray of the New Year has a common meaning which is to show respect and to wish for good things in the new year. However, the way of presenting five fruits on the Tet holiday of three different regions is different. In the South, there are usually Custard (mãng cầu), Fig (sung), Coconut (dừa), Papaya (đu đủ) and Mango (xoài – xài). Watermelon, pineapple, tangerine, dragon fruit can also be added to the tray for more colours and more blessing (from the radiant colours). Normally, people will have 2 watermelons on the altar because of its lucky red colour. They believe that the red in watermelon will bring well-being throughout the year.
    Why these fruits?
    The names of these fruits can be put together into the phrase “Cầu sung vừa(dừa) đủ xài (xoài)”
    Cầu – pray for/ wish
    Sung/Sung túc – wealthy
    Vừa đủ – enough
    Xài – use/spend
    which means “(we) wish that the money in the new year will be enough for consumption and a fulfilled life.”.
  6. Thit Kho Trung (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs)
    Among the familiar dishes on Tet holiday in Saigon, perhaps braised meat with coconut milk is the most familiar dish also known as raised meat with duck eggs (Thit Kho Trung) or braised meat (Thit Kho Tau). On the days of Tet, any family in the South will have a pot of meat and eggs. Bacon has only three layers of lean and fat is stored with eggs, coconut milk with attractive brown colour, beautiful. Can be eaten with pickles or Banh Chung/Banh Tet are very delicious.
    The reason for this is that Vietnamese celebrate TET for days on end and so during the first 3 TET days, there will be no market, no restaurant. The first TET days, people only rely on home-cooked dishes. This braised egg and pork belly dish can last a long time and since its taste is light and delicate in the beginning, after enduring being heated and reheated several times, the sauce will be reduced and the pork belly and eggs will become saltier over time.


[The 7-day Tet series] Day 4 – “Du Xuân” Let’s go spring travel!!

Spring is not only the most beautiful season but also the season of the festival, imbued with Vietnamese cultural identity. From past to present, Vietnamese New Year always has good customs on Tet such as picking fortune, travelling spring … Moreover, It is believed that the first director you go on the first day of the year is also very important, this direction will affect the person’s future in the coming year. People often look at books, learn folk experiences, and then look at calendar books to choose a departure direction for them to have the best luck and convenience in the new year.

These practices are very meaningful and bring peace, happiness and luck in the new year. Let’s find out where Vietnamese people usually go this time of the year.

1.Flower Market

As the cycle of creation, the spring begins a new year with these proliferating creatures… Ever since the spring flower market has become a familiar springtime destination for everyone at the end of the year. It seems that the flower market has become an indispensable tradition in the Tet holiday. People go to the flower market not only to choose a peach branch, apricot pot, but also a chance to find moments of relaxation in the soul, hoping for warm, happy spring and welcoming the new year together.

Here are addresses of some flower markets that you can visit now


  • Van Phuc flower market: Van Phuc Street, Van Phuc, Ha Dong, Hanoi
  • Tay Tuu flower market: Tay Luu, Tu Liem, Hanoi
  • Quang An flower market: 236 Au Co, Quang An, Tay Ho, Hanoi

For more address of Flower market in Hanoi, click here

Ho Chi Minh:

  • Gia Dinh Park: Hoang Minh Giam, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 23/9 Park Flower Market: Le Lai Street, Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Ben Binh Dong Flower Market: Ta Quang Buu Street, Ward 14, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City

For more address of Flower market in Ho Chi Minh, click here

2. “Đi chùa hái lộc” – Go to the temple to pick buds

In the mind of Vietnamese people for many generations now, Tet not only has the meaning of seeing off the old year, welcoming the new year but also bearing spiritual and religious features. In addition to the custom of worshipping the ancestors, people often look to temples and pagodas to pray for blessings and luck for their families with wishing for the best in the new year.

At the time of New Year’s Eve or the first day of the New Year, people go to the temple to pick up a branch of young buds to bring home, wishing to be blessed by the divine and holy Buddha with fortune and good luck throughout the year.

These are very small buds on the trunks with strong vitality such as si, fig, banyan … They bring them, hang them on the porch or plugin a vase, there are places still hanging in the middle of the door to eliminate the devil, or intended to announce that he had brought blessings home. According to researchers on national culture, Picking buds is a beautiful cultural feature of the Vietnamese people, in the moment of harmony between heaven and earth, picking the buds home is what many people like, it is the concept of wanting to bring good things, dispelling the unlucky things in the old year, hoping for good things to come in the new year …

Today, in the temples, to protect the trees in the temple and make it possible for everyone to pick the buds, people will replace the buds with small red envelope and hung on the branches.

Going to the temple ceremony at the beginning of the year is not simple to wish but it is also a time for people to find their spiritual place after hard-working days, looking for peace, getting rid of the sadness of the old year.