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Can foreigners set up English centers in Vietnam?

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English education is in high demand in Vietnam for different reasons such as work, study abroad, labor export, etc. Also, the demand for communication with foreigners has also been increasing. Many foreigners want to set up an English center in Vietnam but don’t know how. Can foreigners set up English centers in Vietnam? Let’s find out in this article with LSX Law firm.

  • Investment Law 2020
  • Decree 86/2018/ND-CP

Can foreigners set up English centers in Vietnam?

According to the WTO commitment form, the foreign language training profession belongs to the group of other services, code CPC 929, which Vietnam has committed to open freely without limits from January 1, 2009. Therefore, any Foreign Investor from a member country of the WTO can establish a foreign language training institution with a maximum foreign capital of 100% in Vietnam.

According to Clause 1, Article 5 of Investment Law 2020.

Investors have the right to conduct business and investment activities in businesses not prohibited by this Law. For businesses with investment conditions, the investors must satisfy the conditions for business investment as required by the law.

Thus, Foreign investors are completely allowed to invest and set up an English center in Vietnam. However, according to the provisions of the 2020 investment law, educational business activities, the operation of foreign-invested educational institutions is a conditional business line according to the provisions of Decree 86/2018. /ND-CP. Therefore, foreign investors must also meet the conditions required by the Investment Law and relevant documents when establishing an English language center.

Conditions for setting up an English center.

Regarding investment capital:

According to Decree 86/2018/ND-CP, English language centers are classified as short-term training institutions and must have an investment rate of at least 20 million VNĐ per student (excluding land-use costs). The minimum total investment capital is calculated based on the time with the highest expected scale.

For the establishment of an English center; If foreigners do not build new facilities but just rent existing ones or the Vietnamese investors contribute with existing facilities to carry out operations, the investment level for foreign investors must be at least 70% 

Facilities and equipment standard

  • Classrooms must be suitable in terms of lighting, furniture, equipment, and teaching aids. 
  • Must have an area for learning and teaching with the capacity in an average of at least 2.5 m2/Student;
  • Must have offices of the board of directors, leaders, teachers’ rooms, libraries, and other functional rooms.

Rented facilities must ensure a stable lease term of 5 years and must satisfy the above-mentioned material conditions.

Education standard

Teaching programs at the Center must demonstrate the educational objectives. Thus, there should be no content harmful to national defense, security, or community interests. Additionally, they must not propagate religion, distort history, adversely affect the culture, morality, customs, traditions of Vietnam, and must ensure the connection between education levels and training levels.

Teaching staff standard

  • Teachers must have at least a college degree or equivalent; Have suitable knowledge for their assigned teaching profession.
  • The maximum student/teacher ratio is 25 students/teacher.

Naming the English Center

The name of a Foreign-Invested Language Center must include the following consistent elements arranged in the following order: “Education or training center”; “Field of education” and a “proper name”.

The proper name of the foreign-invested center must not coincide with or cause confusion with the name of the other registered educational institutions, or enterprises.

do not use words; symbols that violate the Vietnamese nation’s historical, cultural, ethical, and fine Vietnamese traditions.

The Center can have a transaction name in Vietnamese and the international transaction name in English (or in another common foreign language) with equivalent content.

Procedures for setting up an English center.

When establishing a foreign-invested English language center, Investors must carry out the procedures for applying for an Investment Registration Certificate (IRC). Then, they must apply for a decision on permitting educational activities for the Center to be established and announce on the website of the permitting organization.

Procedures for applying for an Investment Registration Certificate:

Firstly, to be granted an Investment Registration Certificate, Foreign investors planning to establish an English language center must meet the aforementioned conditions.

Secondly, English Center established by foreign investors, need to apply for an investment certificate and get acceptance from the Department of Education and Training.

Additionally, The dossier, order, and procedures for applying for an Investment Registration Certificate must comply with the provisions of the Investment Law.

Procedures for permitting educational activities:

Conditions for permitting educational activities:

  • Having an investment registration certificate;
  • Satisfying the conditions mentioned above
  • Have regulations on the organization and operation of the Center.

Dossier for registration of educational activities:

A dossier for the establishment of an English center includes:

  • An application for registration of educational activities according to Form No. 16 in the Appendix issued with Decree 86/2018/ND-CP.
  • Certified copy or photocopy/ the original copy of the registration certificate and the enterprise registration certificate for comparison.
  • Regulations on organization and operation.
  • Report on the implementation progress of the investment project, the situation of capital contribution and borrowing capital, the total amount of realized investment capital.
  • Report concluding that the Center has met the above conditions together with the following information:

+ List of principals (directors), deputy principals (deputies of directors), heads of faculties, departments, divisions, and chief accountants;

+ List and personal curriculum vitae of officials, teachers, and lecturers 

+ Description of education level, training level, training field;

+ Curriculum, teaching plan, study materials, list of textbooks and key references;

+ Enrollment subjects, regulations, and enrollment time;

+ Regulations on training;

+ Training scale (students, 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 of diplomas and certificates that will be used.

Procedures for enabling the establishment of the English centers

The procedure of establishing an English center and go into operation are as follows:

  • Firstly, The investor must send 01 application for registration of operation directly or by post to a competent authority permitting educational activities.
  • Then, within 20 working days from the date of the complete dossier is received, The receiving organization shall assume the responsibility of coordinating with other agencies in order to appraise the conditions as prescribed and submit to competent authorities for consideration. The decision to allow the operation is in accordance to Form No. 17 in the Appendix issued together with Decree 86/2018/ND-CP.

Finally, hope this article is helpful for you!

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