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Set up a foreign language center with foreign investment in Vietnam

Currently, the demand for learning foreign languages ​​in the Vietnamese market is very large, especially in the context, that foreign investment in our country is increasing and workers in Southeast Asia are moved freely. Vietnam receives huge capital flows from many countries in the region such as Korea, China, Singapore, and Japan, so the demand for learning and using foreign languages ​​is becoming more and more diverse. It will be a wise choice if foreign investors are interested in the sector of foreign language training, not only for the sake of profit but also to help spread the language and culture effectively. For your convenience, Viet An Law Firm would like to summarize some relevant regulations to set up a foreign language center with foreign investment in Vietnam.

According to the provisions of the Law on Investment 2020, the educational activities of foreign-invested educational institutions are conditional business lines, that is, in addition to the provisions of the Law on Investment, the Law on Enterprises and other relevant documents, investors should pay attention to the provisions of specialized documents, especially is Decree No. 86/2018/ND-CP stipulating about the foreign cooperation and investment in the field of education. Accordingly, a foreign language center belongs to a short-term training and retraining institution with the aim of training and fostering foreign language knowledge. Foreign investors can perform in two forms below:

  • Establishment of 100% foreign-owned educational institutions;
  • Establishment of a joint venture educational institution between domestic and foreign investors.

Before operating, foreign investors must satisfy the conditions and perform the procedure

Conditions that need to be satisfied:

Investment rate:

at least 20 million VND/student (excluding land-use costs). The least total investment capital is calculated based on the time of the highest expected size;

Facilities and equipment:

  • Having appropriate classrooms in terms of lighting, furniture, equipment, and teaching aids;
  • Have an area used for learning and teaching at an average level of at least 2.5 m2/ 01 learner;
  • There is the office of the Board of Directors, teachers’ room, library and other functional rooms;

Educational programs:

Short-term training institutions may organize to teach short-term foreign training and retraining programs.

Educator team:

  • Teachers must have at least a college degree or equivalent, with a training profession suitable to their assigned teaching specialty;
  • The maximum student/teacher conversion ratio is 25 students/ 01 teacher;

Process to set up a foreign language center with foreign investment in Vietnam

Step 1: Apply for granting a Investment Registration Certificate

Dossier to apply for granting an Investment Registration Certificate:

  • A written request for implementation of an investment project;
  • For individual investors: A copy of identity card, citizen ID card or passport;
  • For organization investors: A copy of the Establishment Certificate or other equivalent document certifying the legal status;
  • The investment project proposal includes the following contents: investors who implementing the project, investment objectives, investment scale, investment capital and capital mobilization plan, location, duration, and investment schedule, demand for labor, proposal for investment incentives, assessment of the project’s socio-economic impact and efficiency;
  • Bản sao một trong các tài liệu sau: báo cáo tài chính 02 năm gần nhất của nhà đầu tư; cam kết hỗ trợ tài chính của công ty mẹ; cam kết hỗ trợ tài chính của tổ chức tài chính; bảo lãnh về năng lực tài chính của nhà đầu tư; tài liệu thuyết minh năng lực tài chính của nhà đầu tư;
  • A copy of one of the following documents:The investor’s financial statements for the last 2 years; Commitment to support financial of the parent company;Commitment to support financial of financial organizations;Guarantee on the financial capacity of the investor;Documents explaining the financial capacity of the investor;
  • Proposing land use needs; In case the project does not request the State to allocate or lease land or permit the change of the land use purpose, investors must submit a copy of the location lease agreement or other document confirming that the investor has the right to use the location for implementation the investment project;
  • Explanation about the using of technologies for the project, which used technologies in the transfer restriction list.

Place of application: Department of Planning and Investment where the enterprise is headquartered.


  • For projects requiring the investment policy decision from the Provincial People’s Committee: 30 – 45 working days;
  • For projects that do not require the investment policy decision: 15 – 20 working days.

Result: An Investment Registration Certificate.

Step 2: Apply for granting a license to establish an educational institution

The dossier to request permission to establish an educational institution includes:

  • A written request for permission to establish an educational institution;
  • A certified copy of an Investment Certificate;
  • Detailed project to establish an educational institution includes the following contents: Name, objectives, duties, scope of activities, diplomas and certificates to be granted, estimate about the organizational structure, management, and control; estimate specific plans for construction, development and training scale in each period;
  • In case of building facilities: A written approval to allocate or lease land from the Provincial People’s Committee and relevant legal documents; investment project to build facilities (including explanation and detailed design);
  • In case of renting facilities: Agreement on principles for renting available facilities and relevant legal documents.

Place of application: Investors submit 6 sets of dossiers to the Department of Education and Training.

Duration: 60 working days.

Result: Decision to allow the establishment of short-term training institutions.

Step 3: Apply for granting an educational operating license

Educational institutions can only go into operation after being granted an educational operation license. Within a maximum period of 24 months (2 years) from the date of receipt of the Decision permitting the establishment of a short-term training institution.

Dossier for registration of educational activities includes:

  • Document registering educational activities;
  • A certified copy of the Decision permitting the establishment along with the dossier request for permitting establishment;
  • Regulations on the organization and operation of educational institutions or branches of educational institutions;
  • Report on the implementation progress of the investment project, capital contribution and loan status, and the total of performed investment capital;
  • Report explaining that the institution has satisfied the conditions;
  • Documents on List of Principals (Directors), Vice Principals (Deputy Directors), heads of faculties, divisions, boards and chief accountants, List and personal resumes of officials, teachers and lecturers (main, visiting lecturer); Education level, training level, training lines; Programs, lesson plans, study materials, list of textbooks and main references; Enrollment subjects, regulations and enrollment duration; Training Regulations; Training scale (students, trainees); Regulations on tuition fees and related fees; Regulations on examination, assessment and recognition of completion of subject programs, modules, and training levels; Sample diplomas and certificates will be used.

Place of application: Department of Education and Training where headquarters is located.

Authority to allow operation: Director of Department of Education and Training where headquarters is located.

Result: A license for educational activities.

Publication of the establishment statement: Within 20 working days from the date of receipt of the license for educational activities, investors must publish the statement in 05 consecutive issues of at least 01 central newspaper and 01 local newspaper.

Services of Viet An Law Firm

  • Consulting on legal regulations related to the foreign investment and the enterprise establishment in Vietnam;
  • Consulting on the order, procedures, and application dossiers for all kinds of documents and sub-licenses;
  • Drafting and submitting dossiers at competent state agencies as authorized by clients;
  • Consulting on post-establishment issues: labor, insurance, taxes, and contracts;
  • Consulting on procedures related to changing legal representatives, headquarters, adding business lines, terminating operations, merging, consolidating and dissolution;

Clients wishing to set up a foreign language center with foreign investment in Vietnam, please contact Viet An Law Firm for more details!

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