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Work permit for foreign workers in Vietnam

The demand for foreign workers has been increasing lately due to the development of foreign investment in Vietnam, the need for services provided by foreign entities and the participation of Vietnam in international organizations such as WTO, ASEAN and so on. Free trade such as WTO, ASEAN … The following article outlines the conditions and procedures for enterprises and organizations wishing to apply for work permit for their foreign employees.

A foreign citizen wishing to work in Vietnam must fully meet the following conditions:

  • Possessing full civil act capacity;
  • Possessing technical and professional qualifications and skills and health appropriate to the work requirement;
  • Not being a criminal or subject to penal liability examination according to Vietnamese and foreign laws;
  • Possessing a work permit granted by a competent Vietnamese state agency (except for who are exempt from work permit).

Workers who are foreign citizens moving to Vietnam for employment (hereinafter referred to as the foreign workers) for the purpose of:

  • Executing the labor contracts; or
  • Complying with the company’s internal reassignments; or
  • Enforcing contracts or agreements on business, commerce, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, vocational training and health; or
  • Providing services under contracts; or
  • Offering services; or
  • Working for foreign non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam that have been granted with operating licenses in accordance with the Vietnam law; or
  • Working as volunteers; or
  • Taking charge of establishing the commercial presence; or
  • Working as managers, chief executive officers, experts, technicians; or
  • Participating in the execution of bid contracts and projects in Vietnam.

Procedure for applying work permit:

Step 1. Approval for demand for employment of foreign workers

The employer (other than contractors) shall submit a written explanation about demand for utilization of foreign workers to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or President o the People’s Committee of provinces (hereinafter referred to as “approving authority”) at least 30 days ahead of the expected date of recruitment.

The approving authority shall inform the employer of whether or not utilization of foreign workers is approved in writing within 15 days from the date of receipt of the explanation.

However, the circular No. 23/2017/TT-BLDTBXH, which took effect on 2nd October 2017, has allowed the employer to submit the explanation online through this website: http://dvc.vieclamvietnam.gov.vn.

The process of carrying out this formality online:

  • At least 20 days before the planned date of employing foreign workers, the employer (excluding contractors) must submit the declaration and explanation about his/her demand for employment of foreign workers the approving authority through the website.
  • Within 12 days from the receipt of the declaration and explanation, the approving authority must give a response by sending an email to the employer. If the explanation is not consistent with the law regulations, the approving authority shall an email which indicates reasons thereof to the employer.
  • After receiving a response indicating that the employer’s explanation or report on change in demand for employment of foreign workers is conformable with the law regulations, the employer shall by hand or by post submit the original explanation and to the approving authority for verification and retention as regulated.
  • Not later than 8 working hours from the receipt of the original explanation, the approving authority must give processing results to the employer. The employer may receive processing results by hand or by post via the employer’s registered address.

Step 2. Applying for work permit

An application for the work permit consists of:

  • The written request for the work permit made by the employer;
  • The health certificate or report on medical examination which is issued by the foreign or Vietnamese authorized health organizations or agencies and takes effect within 12 months from the signing date of conclusion of heath status to the date of application.
  • The criminal record or written certification that the foreign worker is not a criminal or liable to criminal prosecution issued by the foreign competent authority and must be issued within 06 months prior to the submission of the application.
  • The written certification that the worker is a manager, chief executive officer, expert or technician, such as certificate and qualification, approval of work experience…
  • 02 color pictures (4cm x 6cm, white background, frontal face, bareheaded and no colorful glasses) that are taken within 06 months ahead of the date of application.
  • Certified copy of passport.
  • Documents related to the foreign workers, depend on the purpose mentioned above.

Similar to the application for approval, the employer is allowed to submit the application directly to the approving authority or submitting via the portal http://dvc.vieclamvietnam.gov.vn.

Duration for granting work permits to foreigners:

  • Directly submit the application to competent authorities: 07 working days from the date of receipt of valid application.
  • Online submit the application: 05 working days. The approving authority will issue a work permit if the application is approriate or issue a notice to amend the document if there is any mistake. After receiving the work Permit via e-mail, the employer shall submit the original application to the agency and receive the original work permit.

Note: The documents of the foreigner must be consular legalization, then translated into Vietnamese and notarized or authenticated before submitted.

These are some provisions of the legulations on conditions and procedures for applying for work permits for foreigners. If you need more information, please contact Viet An Law Firm.

Viet An Law Firm is a reputable and professional unit providing consultancy services and supporting procedures related to the fields of: foreign investment; establishment of enterprises; apply for sub-license of conditional business lines; protection of intellectual property; work permit…

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