Vietnam – Work Permit Guidelines Updated

What has changed

The Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) have issued a new circular “40” (further to Decree 11 issued in April 2016). This circular provides further guidance and clarification on the implementation of Decree 11 as briefly outlined below. The changes listed in this circular are effective December 12, 2016.

Interpretation and implementation of immigration rules tend to differ across jurisdictions in Vietnam. Regulations may also be subject to change without any prior notification.

Who is affected?

  • All companies intending to send their employees to Vietnam for work purposes

What to expect

Key points covered in Circular 40 issued in December 2016 are listed below:

  • Absence of a degree certificate: In lieu of a degree certificate, expatriates under foreign experts and specialists category can now provide  a confirmation letter issued by an agency, public/private organization or public/private enterprise in overseas confirming their field of expertise.
  • Intra-company transferees: In order to provide evidence of a minimum of twelve (12) months experience with the sending company, the authorities will accept an assignment letter, a former labor contract, an employment decision letter, or a tax or insurance certificate of the foreign employee.
  • Work permit exemptions: Foreign nationals traveling to Vietnam for a short term duration on a business visa sponsored by the host entity/company in Vietnam may qualify for a work permit exemption. However, the exemption is allowed for only up to thirty (30) days per visit from initial date of entry into Vietnam and  must not exceed ninety (90) days in a twelve (12) month period.
  • Change in work location within Vietnam: A new work permit is not required for foreign nationals holding a valid Vietnamese work permit and seconded to work at company’s branch, project or client’s location in another province of Vietnam for a duration of more than ten (10) days. However, in such instances, the employer must report such cases to the labor department in the concerned jurisdiction where the foreign employee is expected to work.
  • Quarterly foreign labor use report:  A new template is provided and companies are required to send this report to the provincial labor department every quarter before the 5th of the month. This report must include all foreign nationals currently holding work permits, currently holding work permit exemption certificates, and those who are not required to obtain work permits or work permit exemptions but are currently working in Vietnam for the company.

Termination of employment: The foreign national’s work permit must be returned to the labor department within fifteen (15) days from effective date of termination.

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.

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.