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The process of granting work permits for foreigners in Vietnam

Demand for foreign workers has become popular due to the increase in investment projects in Vietnam, demand for services provided by foreign enterprises, and signings of national treaties Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Vietnam – EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) were officially signed on June 30, 2020. This is a condition for organizations and enterprises to attract foreign workers. The following article Viet An Law would like to summarize conditions and procedures for businesses and organizations wishing to employ foreign workers and have demand for applying for work permits in Vietnam.

work permit in vietnam

What cases are foreigners eligible for work permits in Vietnam?

          Foreigners who are 18 years old or older, have full capacity for civil acts, have a university degree, have professional qualifications, have work experience and good health are the conditions to be granted a work permit in Vietnam.

  • Is at least 18 years old and has full legal capacity;
  • Has qualifications, occupational skills, practical experience, and adequate health as prescribed by the Minister of Health;
  • Is not serving a sentence; does not have an unspent conviction; is not undergoing criminal prosecution under his/her home country’s law or Vietnam’s law;
  • Has a work permit been granted by a competent authority of Vietnam, except in the cases stipulated in Article 154 of this Labor Code?

Which types of foreigners are granted work permits in Vietnam?

          Granting of foreign work permits applies to foreigners working in Vietnam, specifically including the following:

  • Performing employment contracts;
  • Performing intra-company transfer program;
  • Performing contracts or agreements on business, trade, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, vocational training, and health;
  • Providing services under contracts;
  • Offering services;
  • Working for foreign non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam that have been granted operating licenses under the Vietnam law;
  • Working as volunteers;
  • Taking charge of establishing the commercial presence;
  • Working as managers, executives, experts, technical workers;
  • Performing packages or projects in Vietnam; or
  • Accompanying members of foreign representative bodies in Vietnam who are authorized to work in Vietnam under an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory as their relatives.

Who has the right to employ foreign workers?

          Foreign employers are all organizations of enterprises, representative offices, branches, cooperatives, business households, and individuals licensed to do business under the law having permission to use foreign workers.

  • Enterprises operating under the Law on Enterprises, the Law on Investment or international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory;
  • Bidders making bids or performing contracts;
  • Representative offices, branches of enterprises, agencies, or organizations licensed by the competent authorities;
  • Regulatory agencies, political organizations, sociopolitical organizations, sociopolitical professional organizations, social organizations, or socio-professional organizations;
  • Foreign non-governmental organizations licensed by competent authorities of Vietnam under Vietnam’s laws;
  • Public sector entities, educational institutions established as per the law;
  • International organizations, offices of foreign projects in Vietnam; agencies and organizations licensed by the Government, the Prime Minister, ministries or central authorities as per the law;
  • Executive offices of foreign investors in business cooperation contracts or those of foreign contractors awarded operating licenses by the law;
  • Law-practicing organizations in Vietnam as per the law;
  • Cooperatives and cooperative unions established and operated under the Law on cooperatives;
  • Household businesses and individuals are licensed to do business under the law.

Procedures for applying for work permits for foreigners in Vietnam

Step 1: Obtain the demand for employing foreign workers

           At least 30 days before the date on which foreign workers are expected to be employed, the employer (except contractor) shall determine the demand for foreign workers for every job position for which Vietnamese workers are underqualified and send a corresponding report to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the People’s Committee of the province.

  • Within 12 days from the date of the valid declaration receipt and the report explaining the need to use foreign workers, the approving agency will send the results via email to the employer. If the submitted dossier is not valid, the approving agency will issue a correction notice.
  • After obtaining the approval of a foreign worker, the employer submits the original application directly or by mail to the agency for approval. Within 08 hours, the agency receives the original dossier, the approving agency will return the approval results original to the employer.
  • Documents include: Report explaining the demand for foreign workers (using form 01, Appendix 01 of the Decree No 152/2020/ND-CP).

Step 2: Submit the application for work permits for foreigners

          Documents need to prepare:

  • An application for certification of exemption from work permit;
  • Fitness to work certificate issued by a foreign or Vietnamese competent health facility issued within 12 months before the submission date of the application;
  • A police certificate is issued no later than 06 months from the date of submitting;
  • Documents proving the qualifications suitable for the job as a manager, executive director, expert or technical worker: qualifications, confirmation of experience from other companies…;
  • A valid certified true copy of passport;
  • In addition, for industries and occupations with special requirements (soccer players, pilots, aircraft maintenance) or cases of foreign workers providing services or performing contracts, offering services… in Vietnam, the dossiers comprise other documents as prescribed by law;
  • 02 color photos (4cm x 6cm size, white background, front view, bare head, no color glasses), taken within 6 months before the submission date of application.

The time limit for issuing work permits for foreigners

  • Submit directly at the competent authority: 05 working days from the date of receipt of a valid application.

Notices: Foreigner’s documents need to be consular legalized, translated into Vietnamese, and notarized or authenticated before submitting.

          The above are some provisions of the law on dossiers and procedures for applying for work permits for foreigners. If customers need more information, please contact Viet An Law. Viet An Law is 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 trades; protect intellectual property rights; work permits, temporary residence cards for foreigners…

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