Vietnam – Work Permit Changes Presented in Draft Decree

What has changed

The Vietnam’s Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has released a draft decree which flags key changes in work permit laws for foreigners. Key changes include extension to work permit exemptions, revised work permit requirements and application procedures. Additionally, under the draft decree, it is foreshadowed that ¬†the processing times for work permits will be shorter.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Foreigners working in Vietnam

The goals of the decree are to reduce administrative burden and streamline work permit application procedures, facilitate increased foreign Direct Investment, and ensure that the Vietnamese workforce remains a priority. Under the decree, the work permit processing time is predicted to reduce to seven (7) days from two (2) weeks. Other possible changes include:

  • Work permit exemptions are expected to be allowed for
    • foreigners working in Vietnam for less than thirty (30) days (for each visit)
    • foreign interns working in Vietnam for a period of less than ninety (90) days
  • Work permit exemptions should be valid for up to two (2) years
  • Foreign experts and specialist are required to provide either a bachelor degree (or higher) or an engineer qualification (or equivalent). If the expert or specialist has neither, evidence of work experience of a minimum five (5) years in the related field will be accepted.
  • Health check certificate validity for the work permit application should be twelve (12) months instead of six (6) months. The employer should also confirm in a letter that the employee is in good health to perform his/her work in Vietnam.
  • Applicants will have a choice to provide either a foreign or a Vietnamese police clearance certificate regardless of the duration and place they have lived.
  • Work permit renewals should be accepted by the authority up to forty-five (45) days before the current work permit expiry date.
  • Procedure for work permit in case of change of location, change of position, or change of employer is expected to be simplified.

Another proposal by MOLISA (though not written in the draft decree), is that the work permit application can be lodged either at the provincial authority or through MOLISA in Hanoi regardless of where the assignee is working. Provincial offices of MOLISA are yet to be in agreement with this proposal.

These proposals have not taken effect and are at the draft stage. Consideration to adopt the provisions of the draft decree are planned to take place sometime in late August early September, with full implementation date still to be determined. Until the provisions have been adopted, it is to early too determine the full impact that the changes will have.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Emigra Worldwide will provide a further update if proposals are adopted and will give detail on their impact at that time.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.

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