Work Permit Vietnam: Legislative Updates to the Management of Expatriates Working in Vietnam
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Work Permit Vietnam: Legislative Updates to the Management of Expatriates Working in Vietnam

The Vietnamese government will be monitoring the employment and administration of foreign workers much more closely in the future. To enable this, it has introduced Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP, which tightens the requirements and documentation obligations for work permits in Vietnam. It came into effect on 15 February 2021.

Since the decree came into effect, the government has been accelerating its implementation in an effort to prevent illegal foreign migrant workers, one of the main potential causes of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam. The most important aspects of Decree 152 are:

Work Permit Vietnam: Requirements

The decree re-defines some of the typical basic conditions for defining internal transfers, experts, and technical workers:

  • Internal transfer: An employee must be employed by the foreign entity for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the transfer date, instead of only 12 months as before.
  • Expert: Experts must have at least 5 years experience and a practicing certificate corresponding with the job position that the expatriate will occupy in Vietnam. Expert certificates issued by overseas organisations are no longer accepted as proof of expertise.
  • Technical worker: Technical workers must now have at least 5 years experience in a job corresponding with the position that the expatriate will occupy in Vietnam.

Work Permit Vietnam: Exemptions

Decree 152 also clarifies certain cases for work permit exemption, including:

  • Owner or capital contributor to a limited liability company with a capital contribution of at least VND 3 billion (VND one billion is the quivalent of around USD 43,380).
  • Chairman or member of the board of directors of a joint-stock company with a capital contribution of at least VND 3 billion.
  • Foreigners married to Vietnamese citizens and residing in Vietnam.
  • Managers, executives, experts, or technical workers entering Vietnam for a period of work of up to 30 days and no more than 3 times a year.
  • Foreigners in charge of setting up a commercial presence of a foreign entity in Vietnam.

It should be noted that the first four cases above are not required to apply for a certificate of work permit exemption, but must inform the labor authorities at least 3 days before commencing work in Vietnam, explain the Ecovis experts.

We can support you in correctly implementing the new and stricter labour laws in Vietnam.
Nghia Tran, Partner, ECOVIS AFA VIETNAM, Da Nang City, Vietnam

Term of Work Permit/Work Permit Exemption Certificate

A work permit or a work permit exemption certificate is only valid for up to 2 years.
The foreign employee can renew the work permit once for a further two-year term at least five days but not exceeding 45 days before the expiry date. After that, a new work permit must be applied for.

Reporting the Use of Foreign Workers

Vietnamese employers are required to submit biannual reports on the status of foreign workers to the relevant labour authorities before 5 July and 5 January of the following year.

The Ecovis experts highly recommend that businesses read Decree 152 carefully for purposes of labour compliance. Companies and employees who do not comply with the regulations may, in the worst case, face severe penalties or even deportation.

For further information please contact:

Nghia Tran, Partner, ECOVIS AFA VIETNAM, Da Nang City, Vietnam
Email: Nghia.Tran@ecovis.com.vn

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