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Updates: Vietnam work permit for foreigners 2020

Jun 01, 2020 267 Views By Ngo Long

The Amended Law on Immigration for foreigners and the New Labor Code have been passed by the National Assembly of Vietnam and will take effect from 1 July 2020 and 1 January 2021 respectively.

Vietnam work permit sample
Vietnam work permit sample

The changes concern new rules for who is entitled to a work permit exemption, the ability to renew work permits, procedures for changing visa types, and residence terms, amongst other matters.

The number of foreign skilled workers coming to Vietnam has increased in recent years and is expected to increase considerably over the next few years. To enforce the management of foreign workers in Vietnam, a number of changes were introduced in the New Labour Code, which is expected to give the labour authorities more power to control and review the status of foreign workers employed by/at Vietnamese employers.

By contrast, the Amended Law on Immigration is expected to provide more convenience for foreign workers with valid work permits to apply for/transfer to resident permits in Vietnam.

These changes will require employers to review and update the current status of their foreign employees for work permit and immigration procedures and planning.

In order to be eligible for Vietnam work permit application, the foreigners have employment in a company/entity registered and recognized in Vietnam.

The maximum validity of a work permit for foreigners working in Vietnam is 2 years, and its extension is available.

Vietnam Work Permit Requirements

To get a work permit in Vietnam, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Over 18 years old

  • Have a good health condition that satisfies the job’s specific demands and requirements.

  • Free of any criminal record in their country or a national security offense, not currently facing criminal prosecution, or not serving a criminal sentence by the Vietnamese and foreign policemen during the assignment.

  • Have a high degree of specialized knowledge, technology, and qualification; experience in business, management and other professions that Vietnamese laborers are currently unable to conduct efficiently.

Vietnam Work Permit Exemption

Do you need a work permit to work in Vietnam? In fact, some foreigners are exempted from getting Vietnam Work Permit and can work in Vietnam with business visas only. They are:

  • Working in Vietnam for shorter than 03 months. Those foreigners can work in Vietnam under a business visa;

  • Being the members of a limited liability company with two members or more;

  • Owning a limited liability company with a member (except an authorized representative);

  • Being the Board of Directors members of the joint-stock company;

  • Entering Vietnam to provide services;

  • Entering Vietnam for 03 months to handle emergency problems such as incidents, technical situations, arising complex technologies that affect or likely to affect production, a business that Vietnamese experts or foreign experts currently in Vietnam cannot handle. If the time for the said matters is more than 03 months, they have to apply for a work permit.

  • Being internally transferred within an enterprise operating in the 11 service sectors in the list of Vietnam’s commitments on services to the World Trade Organization, including business, communication, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, healthcare, tourism, cultural entertainment, and transport;

  • Entering Vietnam to provide advisory services and technical expertise or perform other tasks serving research, construction, appraisal, monitoring and evaluation, management and implementation of programs/projects funded with official development assistance (ODA) as specified and agreed in international agreements on ODA between competent authorities of Vietnam and other countries;

  • Being issued with a license for the practice of journalism in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with the law;

  • Being teachers of foreign organizations that are sent to Vietnam by such organizations to teach and research in international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam or permitted by the Ministry of Education and Training to teach and research in Vietnam’s education and training institutions;

  • Being volunteers certified by foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam;

  • Coming to Vietnam to work as experts, managers, executive directors or technical employees within a period of less than 30 days and no more than 90 cumulative days in 01 years;

  • Entering Vietnam to implement international agreements to which central and local state agencies are signatories as prescribed by the law;

  • Being students studying in foreign schools and institutions having agreements on an internship in agencies, organizations, and enterprises in Vietnam;

  • Being family members of diplomatic agents of foreign diplomatic missions in Vietnam permitted for working by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, except where international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory that contains provisions different from this;

  • Having official passports to work for state agencies, social organizations and socio-political organizations;

  • Other cases decided by the Prime Minister at the proposal of the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs.

When to Apply for Vietnam Work Permit?

According to the Circular No. 23/2017/TT-BLDTBXH guiding the online grant of work permits to foreign workers in Vietnam, the foreigner’s employer or his agent shall, at least 13 working days before the date the foreigner is expected to start working, fill in the request form and required documents to the Department of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs to apply for the work permit.

Required documents to get a work permit for Vietnam?

  1. Request form for Vietnam work permit (Form No. 7 issued together with the Circular No. 40/2016/TT-BLDTBXH);

  2. Health check certificate;

  3. Criminal records (issued within 180 days), if applicants have stayed more than 6 months in Vietnam, they will have to provide both Vietnamese criminal records, & the criminal record from their home countries (you can see step-by-step guide to get criminal record in Vietnam);

  4. Certified copy of your certificate/degree;

  5. Working experience confirmation document from former employers;

  6. Passport and valid visa (Copy);

  7. Approval certificate which allows the employer to use foreign workers from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs or the People’s Committee where the employer resides. This certificate should be applied for at least 20 days before the expected date of recruitment of foreign workers by the employer; 

  8. Certified copy of the Employer’s Business Registration Certificate;

  9. 02 4*6cm photos;

  10. Employment contract.

What if I do not have my certificate/degree?

If you want to apply for a work permit but have no certificate or diploma of recognition, you must have a written certification of at least five years’ experience in your profession, production execution and management issued by a competent foreign agency.

Processing time and cost

  • 05 working days for online approval;

  • 08 working days for granting the work permit.

But all are highly recommended to carry out the procedure at least 20 days before the expected work start date of the foreigners.

The cost for a Vietnam work permit varies by the province/city where you submit your application forms.

Vietnam Work Permit Termination

A work permit may be terminated if:

  • The work permit has expired.

  • Labor contract has been terminated.

  • The content of the labor contract is not consistent with the granted work permit.

  • The contracts of business, trade, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, or medicine have been expired or terminated.

  • The foreign employer announced the termination of the foreign employee working in Vietnam.

  • Work permits launched by authorized state agencies have been withdrawn.

  • The operation of the company, organization, and partners in Vietnam has been terminated.

The validity of the work permit for Vietnam is 2 years. And then, if you wish to work in Vietnam for longer, you can apply for work permit extension/renewal. But if you want to return to your home country or move to another country for work, before leaving Vietnam, your Work Permit needs to be canceled with the assistance of the Department of Labor, Invalids and Foreign Affairs. Foreign employees should return the permit to their employer within fifteen (15) days from the date that their employment ends. It is the employer’s responsibility to submit the permit with a notification letter to the local office of the Labor Department.

May you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +84.899.33.12.12 or email us at [email protected]

Our address: No. 88 Xa Dan Street, Phuong Lien Ward, Dong Da Dist, Hanoi, Vietnam

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