VIETNAM: New Decree on Management of Foreign National Employees

Effective from the 1 November 2013, the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has issued a decree (102/2013/ND-CP) which defines the implementation of the new labour code in reference to foreign nationals working in Vietnam.

New Work Permit Exemption Categories –

Presently in Vietnam, various categories of foreign workers are exempt from acquiring work permits. The new code will introduce the further following exemptions – 

·         Teachers assigned to international universities;

·         Holders of Masters Degrees assigned to teach or research at universities or colleges for under 30 days;

·         Those working within the framework of an international agreement between central authorities and political/religious organisations

The new Labour Code that came into effect on the 1st May 2013 was intended to provide clearer guidance as to how to obtain work permit exemptions, to make it easier for companies to obtain them for their employees. The new Code effective from the 1st of November goes further to simplify the process and now the notarisation and legalisation of documents issued overseas will no longer be required for work permit exemptions. To date, obtaining approval for a work permit application exemption is an extremely administrative and complex affair and the documents required to obtain an exemption are much the same as the documents needed to apply for a work permit, and therefore very rarely used. This may now change, with less onerous documentation requirements.

Furthermore, the Labour Department is obliged to return a response to the exemption application within three working days of receiving the application.

Please note however that the applicant will still need to provide a police clearance certificate, health check and evidence of qualifications.

Technical Workers –

Previously in Decree 34/2008/ND-CP only workers who were classed as managers, executive directors or experts were eligible for work permits.

The new code allows for immigration approval to be given to ‘Technical Workers.” Technical Workers will need to give evidence of their qualifications in a technical field (at least 1 year of study/training) and a minimum of 3 years experience in the related field.

Reporting Demand for Employing Foreign Nationals –

The Decree confirms that this reporting requirement will remain in place. Each year and during the year, if any changes are made, employers are responsible to determine and then report their demand on employing foreign nationals for specific positions where Vietnamese nationals cannot meet their requirements. Employers must seek approval from the Chairman of People”s Committee where the company”s head office is located.

Additional Documents for Work Permit Applications –

Additional documents will now be required for work permit applications, as follows–

–          Approval letter issued by the Chairman of People Committee allowing the employment of foreign nationals

–          In the case of Internal transferees – If a worker is being transferred from a company office in another country, to an office in Vietnam, proof of employment of at least 12 months with the company before being transferred to Vietnam will need to be evidenced.

Work Permit Renewals –

Renewal applications must also now include –

–          The work permit expiry date;

–          A new medical check and medical certificate;

–          The approval letter issued by the Chairman of People”s Committee on the use of foreign nationals;

–          New assignment letter or service contract (depending on each case) to justify the extension of the assignment.

If you have any questions about the Work Permit application, please contact us to discuss further. 

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