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VIETNAM - Amendments to Work Permit Regulations

The government of Vietnam has published a decree (No. 46/2011/ND-CP) which amends some articles of the current decree (No. 34/2008/ND-CP) on the employment and administration of foreign employees working in Vietnam. The amendments were published on 17 June 2011 and come into force on 1 August 2011. The key changes are as follows.

Work Permit Exemptions for Senior Staff

The new decree allows for work permit exemptions for several categories of foreign national employees, including (but not limited to):

  • Chiefs of Representative Offices
  • Heads of Project Offices
  • Non-Governmental Organisation assignees
  • ODA (Official Development Assistance) project assignees
  • Intra-company transferees working in service sectors covered by the Vietnam commitments on services with the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • Foreign journalists licensed by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commitment to Training

The Vietnamese government is keen to see that foreign investment is committed to up-skilling the Vietnamese labour market. The amendments make it mandatory that work permit extensions will now only be granted where proof can be submitted that training a local Vietnamese employee, with the intention for that employee to ultimately take over from the foreign national, has been carried out. A training contract signed by the employer and the Vietnamese employee in question must be submitted in support of the work permit extension request.

Reporting and Advertising Requirements

Companies wishing to recruit foreign national employees will need to show that they have tested the local labour market first, by advertising positions locally or using professional recruitment agencies.

Employers must annually submit a written demand for foreign labour to the Department of Labour, invalids and Social Affairs. If requirements are changed, companies may submit amendments to their demand for foreign labour, but this must be done at least 30 days before hiring any foreign national not accounted for in the demand.

In addition, foreign contractors and investors submitting tenders for projects must show in their tender proposals their plans for using Vietnamese labour as a priority, and will need to report Vietnamese worker employment details to the authorities.

Amendments to Work Permits

The new decree also specifies that new work permits may be granted if the personal particulars of the foreign national are changed, specifically, his/her passport number and his/her place of work.

Action Items

  • Note that some positions will be exempt from the work permit requirement, from 1 August 2011
  • Ensure that training contracts for the up-skilling of local labour are in place for any positions where work permit extensions will be required
  • Note that positions must be advertised or recruited for via a professional recruitment agency, and allow additional lead time for this
  • Inform foreign employees and HR in Vietnam that work permits should be amended if their personal particulars are changed

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Resident Vietnam and Santa Fe Relocation.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.