Procedures for issue of work permits for foreign employees in Vietnam

A. SUBJECTS TO APPLY FOR WORK PERMITS.

Employees who are foreign nationals entering Vietnam (hereinafter referred to as “foreign employee“) for employment under these purposes:

a) Performing labor contracts;

b) Internal reassignments;

c) Executing contracts or agreements on business, trade, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, vocational training, and health;

d) Providing services under contracts;

dd) Offering services;

e) Working for foreign non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam that have been granted operating licenses in accordance with Vietnamese law;

g) Working as volunteers;

h) Taking charge of establishing the commercial presence;

i) Working as managers, executives, experts, technical workers;

k) Participating in the execution of bidding packages or projects in Vietnam; or

l) 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.

B. CONDITIONS FOR ISSUING WORK PERMITS.

– Being 18 years of age or older and having full legal capacity;

– Not serving a sentence; not having an unspent conviction; not undergoing criminal prosecution under his/her home country’s law or Vietnam’s law;

– Having an acceptance of demand for foreign workers, except for cases where such demand is not required;

– Having qualifications, occupational skills, practical experience, and adequate health as prescribed by the Minister of Health, specifically:

Foreign employee must be a manager, an executive, an expert, or a technical worker and have full documents as prescribed in Article 3 of Decree 152 as follows:

  • For foreign employee who is an expert:
  • At least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and at least 03 years of experience in his/her training field in corresponding with the job position/job assignment that he/she will be appointed in Vietnam;
  • At least 5 years of experience and a practicing certificate in corresponding with the job position that he/she will be appointed in Vietnam.
  • For foreign employee who is a technical worker:
  • Having been trained in a technical field or another major for at least 01 year and having worked for at least 03 years in his/her training field; or
  • Obtaining at least 5 years of experience in corresponding with the job position that he/she will be appointed in Vietnam.
  • For foreign employee who is an executive or a manager:
  • Having an appointment decision;
  • Obtaining at least 3 years of experience in corresponding with the job position that he/she will be appointed in Vietnam.

C. COMPOSITION OF DOSSIER.

  1. An application form for the issue of work permit – Template No. 11/PLI in Appendix I attached to Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP (“Decree“), (attached file).
  2. A medical certificate or a health check issued by a foreign or Vietnamese competent health facility within 12 months from their signing date to the submission date of the application or the certificate as specified in regulations of the Minister of Health.
  3. A criminal record certificate or a document certifying that the foreign employee is not serving a sentence or has conviction expungement or is not facing a criminal prosecution issued by a foreign or Vietnamese authority. The criminal record certificate or the above document shall be issued within 06 months from the issue date to the submission date of the application.
  4. Papers, documents proving that the foreign employee is a manager, an executive, an expert, a technical worker, etc. The details are as follows:
  • Papers proving that the foreign employee is a manager or an executive;
  • Papers proving that the foreign employee is an expert or a technical worker, include: diplomas, certificates, certification of foreign agency, organization, or enterprise concerning the number of years of experience of the expert or the technical worker;
  • Documents proving the experience of a foreign football player or an international transfer certificate (ITC) issued to the foreign football player or a document of the Vietnam Football Federation which certifies the temporary or official registration of a player of a club affiliated with the Vietnam Football Federation;
  • A pilot license issued by Vietnamese competent authority, or issued by a foreign competent authority and validated by the Vietnamese competent authority(for foreign pilot); or a certificate of eligibility for working on aircraft issued by the Ministry of Transport (for flight attendants);
  • A certificate of proficiency in aircraft maintenance issued by a Vietnamese competent authority, or issued by a foreign competent authority and validated by the Vietnamese competent authority (for foreign employee who performs maintenance on aircraft);
  • A certificate of proficiency or validation of certificate of proficiency issued by Vietnamese competent authority to a foreign seafarer;
  • A certificate of high achievement in sports which is certified by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (for sports coaches or person having one of the following certificates: AFC’s (Asian Football Federation) football level B coaching certificate or AFC’s goalkeeping level 1 coaching certificate or AFC’s fitness level 1 coaching  certificate or AFC’s futsal level 1 coaching certificate or any equivalent foreign certificate accredited by AFC;
  • A diploma issued by the competent authority in accordance with qualifications or standard qualifications in the Law on Education, the Law on Higher Education, the Law on Vocational Education, and Regulation on organization and operation of foreign language and computer training centers issued by the Minister of Education and Training.
  1. 02 color photos (4cm x 6cm, white background, front view, bare head, no color glasses), taken no more than 6 months before the submission date of application.
  2. A writing acceptance of demand for foreign employee (performed at Step 1 in Section SEQUENCE), unless it is not required.
  3. A valid certified true copy of passport as per the laws.
  4. Documents relevant to the foreign employee:
  • For foreign employee being internally reassigned in the company: he/she must obtain a document issued by the foreign company that send him/her to work at a commercial presence of that company in Vietnam’s territory and a document justifying that he/she has been recruited by the foreign company at least 12 consecutive months prior to the reassignment date;
  • For foreign employee performing contracts or agreements on business, trade, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, vocational training and health: a contract or agreement concluded between Vietnamese and foreign partners which specifies the arrangement to send the foreign employee to Vietnam;
  • For foreign employee providing services under contracts: a service contract concluded between Vietnamese and foreign partner and a document justifying that he/she has worked at least 2 years for the foreign company having no commercial presence in Vietnam;
  • For foreign employee offering services: he/she must obtain a document issued by the service provider stating that the company send him/her to Vietnam to negotiate the service provision.
  • For foreign employee working for foreign non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam that have been granted operating licenses in accordance with the Vietnam law: he/she must obtain a document of agency, or organization that sends him/her to work for a foreign non-governmental organization or international organization in Vietnam, except for the case provided in point a Clause 1 Article 2 of the Decree, and the operating license of that foreign non-governmental organization or international organization in Vietnam as per the law.
  • For foreign employee working as a manager, an executive, an expert, a technical worker: he/she must obtain a document issued by foreign enterprises, agencies, or organizations to send him/her to work in Vietnam and stating that he/she is conformable with the expected job position.
  1. Application for the issue of work permits in special cases:
  • If the foreign employee who has been issued with a work permit that remains valid wishes to work for another employer at the same job position and job title in the work permit, an application for a new work permit shall include: a document issued by the former employer certifying that he/she has been working there, documents mentioned in Clauses 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the Decree and a certified true copy of the current work permit;
  • If the foreign employee who has been issued with a work permit that remains valid wishes to work for the same employer but at another job position or job title or working form in the work permit, an application for a new work permit shall include the documents mentioned in clauses 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the Decree and the original or a certified true copy of the current work permit.

Note:

  • Any document mentioned in Clauses 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 of the Decree is 01 original or certified true copy;
  • if a document is written in a foreign language, it must be consular legalized, translated into Vietnamese, and certified, unless it is exempt from consular legalization under an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the concerned foreign country are signatories or under the principle of reciprocity or as per the law.

D. SEQUENCE.

Step 1: Request for a writing acceptance of demand for foreign employee.

  • Submit directly:
  • At least 30 days before the date on which foreign employees are expected to be employed, the employer (except contractor) shall send a corresponding report about the demand for foreign employees to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, or the People’s Committee of the province.
  • Within 10 working days after receiving the valid corresponding report about the demand for foreign employees, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, or the People’s Committee of province shall issue a document specifying accepted job positions and non-accepted job positions.
  • Submit online:

The employer can also submit declarations and reports via the website http://dvc.vieclamvietnam.gov.vn/ according to the following procedure:

  • The employer registers an account at the Portal and submits the application, at least 20 days before the expected date of employment of the foreign employee;
  • Within 12 days from the date of receipt of the valid declaration and corresponding report about the demand for foreign employees, the competent authority shall send the result via email to the employer. If the submitted application is not valid, the competent authority shall issue a correction notice.
  • After receiving the approval to use foreign employees, the employer directly submits or sends by post the original documents to the competent authority. Within 08 hours from the moment the agency receives the original dossier, the competent authority will return the original approval result to the employer.
  • A dossier consists of a corresponding report about the demand for foreign employees (Template No. 03/PLI in Appendix I of the Decree).

Step 2: Submit an application for a work permit for the foreign employee.

  1. Prepare a full set of dossiers.
  2. At least 15 working days before the day on which a foreign employee starts to work in Vietnam, the applicant shall submit an application for a work permit to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of the province where he/she is expected to work.
  3. Within 05 working days after receiving a duly completed application, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of the province where the foreign employee is expected to work shall issue a work permit to the foreign employee.
  4. If the application is rejected, a written explanation is required.

Note:

For foreign employees performing labor contracts, after being granted work permits, the employer and the foreign employee must sign a written labor contract as per Vietnam’s labor laws before the date on which the foreign employee is expected to work.

The employer shall send that labor contract to the competent authority that issued the work permit. That labor contract shall be the original or a certified true copy.

E. COMPETENT AUTHORITY.

The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, or the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of the province where he/she is expected to work.

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