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Process of granting work permits for foreign employees in VN

The demand for foreign workers has become popular thanks to the increase in foreign investment projects in Vietnam, the demand for services provided by foreign enterprises, and the signing of the national treaties. International trade liberalization such as the WWTO, ASEAN… Especially from 30/06/2020 Free Trade Agreement Vietnam – EU (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement Vietnam – EU (EVIPA) officially is signed. This is a condition for organizations and enterprises to attract foreign employees. The following article provides an overview of the conditions and procedures for businesses and organizations wishing to employ foreign employees who wish to apply for a work permit in Vietnam.

Process of granting work permits for foreign employees in Vietnam

Conditions for foreign employees to be granted work permits in Vietnam

  • Be at least 18 years old and have full civil act capacity;
  • Have professional qualifications, techniques, skills, work experience; have good health according to the regulations of the Minister of Health; 
  • Not being a person in a period of serving a penalty or having not had his criminal record removed or being examined for penal liability following the provisions of foreign laws or Vietnamese Law; 
  • Have a work permit issued by a competent state agency of Vietnam, except for the case specified in Article 154 of the Vietnam Labor Code 2019.

Foreign employees who are granted work permits in Vietnam

  • Performance of labor contracts;
  • Intra-corporate transition; 
  • Performing various types of contracts or agreements on economic, commercial, financial, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sport, education, vocational education, and health; 
  • Contractual service provider; 
  • Offering services; 
  • Woking for foreign non-government organizations, international organizations in Vietnam licensed to operate under the provisions of Vietnamese law; 
  • Volunteers
  • The person responsible for establishing a commercial presence; 
  • Managers, executive directors, experts, technical worker; 
  • Participate in the implementation of bidding packages and projects in Vietnam.

Note: According to the provisions of the Labor Code 2019 taking effect from January 1st, 2021, a foreigner who gets married to a Vietnamese person even if he/she participates in working in Vietnam is not required to be granted a permit. This is a very new point of the Labor Code 2019.

Conditions for recruitment and employment of foreign employees in Vietnam

  • Enterprises, agencies, organizations, individuals, and contractors are only allowed to recruit foreign workers to the positions of managers, executives experts, and technical workers that Vietnamese workers have not yet responded to to meet the needs of production and business.
  • Enterprises, agencies, organizations, and individuals, before recruiting foreign employees obtain written approval from competent state agencies. 
  • Before recruiting and employing foreign workers in Vietnam, the contractor must specify the job positions professions, techniques, work experience, working time required to use foreign employees to execute the bidding package and obtain written approval from a competent state agency. 

Procedures for applying for work permits for foreign workers

Step 1: Apply for approval for the demand for the foreign employees

At least 30 days before the intended date of employment of the foreign employees, the employer (except contractor) shall send a report explaining the need to employ foreign employees to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs or Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee.

Under the new regulation from Circular 23/2017/TT-BLDTBXH taking effect from October 2sd, 2017, an employer can also submit this declaration and report through the web portal: http://dvc.vieclamvietnam.gov.vn. The procedure is as follows: 

  • The employer registers an account at the above web portal and applies with the established account within at least 20 days before the expected date of employment of the foreign worker;
  • Within 12 days from the date of receipt of the valid declaration and explanation of demand for foreign workers, the approving agency will send the results via email to the employer. If the submitted application is not valid, the approval agency will issue a correction notice; 
  • After obtaining the approval of the employment of a foreign worker, the employer shall submit the original application directly or by post to the approval agency. Within 02 hours, the agency receives the original of the application, the approving agency will return the original of the approval results to the employer. 
  • The application includes a report explaining the need to use foreign workers (under the form of Circular 40/2016/TT-BLDTBXH). 

Step 2: Apply for a work permit for foreign employees

Applications need to prepare:

  • The written request for a work permit;
  • Health certificate or health certificate issued by a competent medical organization in Vietnam (must be valid for less than 12 months by the date of application); 
  • Judicial records are issued within 6 months from the date of filing; 
  • Documents proving the qualifications suitable for the job as a manager, executive director, expert, or technical worker: degrees, confirmation of experience from other companies…; 
  • Certified copy of passport; 
  • Besides, for industries and occupations with special requirements (soccer player, pilots, aircraft maintenance) or cases of foreign employees providing services or performing contracts, offering services… in Vietnam, the application file will include other documents as required by law. 

Similar to the application for approval, the employer is also allowed to apply directly to the approval agency or through the web portal: http://dvc.vieclamvietnam.gov.vn

The time limit for issuing work permits for foreign employees

  • Submit directly to the competent authority: 07 working days from the date of receipt of a valid application.
  • Apply online, the deadline for returning the results is 05 days. The approving agency will issue a work permit if the application is valid or notify the modification of the application if there is a mistake. After receiving the work permit via email, the employer will submit the original application file to the licensing agency and receive the original work permit.

Note: Foreign employees’ papers need to be consular legalized, translated into Vietnamese, and notarized or authenticated before submitting.

Above are some provisions of the law on application and procedures for applying for work permits for foreign employees. If you need more information, please contact Viet An Law Firm.

Viet An Law Firm is a leading vietnam law firm & Vietnam Intellectual Property Firm  & a reputable and professional law firm providing consulting services and supporting procedures related to the fields of foreign investment; business establishment; applying for permits for conditional professions and trade; protection of intellectual property, work permit…

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