In this paper, a multiscale approach has been developed for investigating the rate-dependent viscoplastic behavior of polymer matrix composites (PMCs) with thermal residual stress effect. The finite-volume direct averaging micromechanics (FVDAM), which effectively predicts nonlinear response of unidirectional fiber reinforced composites, is incorporated with improved Bodner–Partom model to describe the viscoplastic behavior of PMCs. The new micromechanical model is then implemented into the classical laminate theory, enabling efficient and accurate analysis of multidirectional PMCs. The proposed multiscale theory not only predicts effective thermomechanical viscoplastic response of PMCs but also provides local fluctuations of fields within composite microstructures. The deformation behaviors of several unidirectional and multidirectional PMCs with various fiber configurations are extensively simulated at different strain rates, which show a good agreement with the experimental data found from the literature. Influence of thermal residual stress on the viscoplastic behavior of PMCs is closely related to fiber orientation. In addition, the thermal residual stress effect cannot be neglected in order to accurately describe the rate-dependent viscoplastic behavior of PMCs.