A draft circular released in January this year by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) introduced a nationwide portal for the online submission and management of work permit applications. According to the draft circular, online work permit applications will be mandatory nationwide from 1st July 2017, and the systems are currently being developed and tested.
Currently the online submission of work permit and other applications is compulsory for some processes and optional for others and varies from province to province, with very little consistency.
The department of labour in Hanoi, began offering companies the option to submit new work permit, work permit renewal, job position approval and work permit exemption certificate application online from 1st April 2017. However, in other cities, such as Ho Chi Minh City, there is no requirement or any testing yet of any online system. Other provinces such as Vung Tau have developed their own portal for online work permit submission, but MOLISA is expected to eventually introduce a nationwide portal.
Details of the proposed new online work permit system are as follows:
- Pre-approval for work permit, work permit re-issuance, work permit exemption certificate and job position approval will be granted based on soft-copies of documents submitted online
- Original documents and photos will be required at the stage of issuance of work permit or work permit exemption certificate. Officers will then compare hard copies with previously submitted soft copies
- Beyond the upload of documents, the portal will enable users to check progress, and will notify users of any problems or issues that occur during the application review
- Companies will have to apply for an account online and may set up their own e-signature (currently optional) to authenticate the user when uploading a new application. An application that is not submitted with e- signature is expected to take more time for the department of labour to review
- Note that online services for the Vietnamese labour authorities are still under development, and many changes to functionality and security are likely before the official launch date of 1st July 2017
Companies applying for work permits for foreign nationals in Vietnam should expect ongoing changes to the application systems as the new online services are developed and implemented.
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