Vietnam – Update on Work Permit Exemption

What has changed

The acting authorities in Vietnam have issued a new circular, effective February 1, 2017, granting Operating Office (Văn phòng điều hành) entities eligibility to apply for a Work Permit Exemption (WPE) for intra-company transfers. Previously, this type of entity could only apply for a work permit for intra-company transfers.

Who is affected?

  • Foreign companies classified as Operating Offices (Văn phòng điều hành) in Vietnam
  • Intra-company foreign transferees to Vietnam

What to expect

The Operating Office (as well as other foreign enterprises that qualify) must still meet the following requirements to apply for an WPE for their foreign workers:

  • The company is operating in one of the eleven (11) sectors specified in Vietnam’s World Trade Organization (WTO) commitment and has in the company’s business license one of the designated appropriate Civil Proceedings Codes (CPC) for its business sector. If a company does not have the appropriate CPC in their business license, it does not qualify for WPE and foreign transferees to that company must apply for work permits.
  • The foreign transferee must hold a managerial position, or is an expert/specialist or technician.
  • The foreign transferee must be working for the foreign company which owns shares in the Vietnamese registered entity for at least twelve (12) months prior to being transferred to the Vietnam-based entity.

All other aspects of the law pertaining to WPE for intra-company transfer for qualified enterprises remain unchanged.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.