How to get a work permit for VietnamLaws
May 15, 2019
How to get a work permit for Vietnam
There are several job categories that foreigners can apply for, and specific conditions they must meet to qualify.
The liberalisation of Vietnam’s economy has created favourable conditions for those looking to expand their business to the country. The flow-on effect has been an increase in opportunities for foreign workers in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese government has improved its legal framework to manage this economic development and social security - especially around foreign workers - more effectively. Decree no. 11/2016/ND-CP and the guidance Circular no. 40/2016/TT-LDTBXH have been issued, which updates the requirements for work permit applications.
Here’s what you need to know when applying for a work permit in Vietnam.
There are several categories under which foreigners can apply for a work permit, and they include:
- Managers and executive directors
- Short-period contract experts.
A specialist must be certified by the relevant foreign authority or organisation as an expert; have a university equivalent or higher degree; have at least three years’ working experience in the speciality in which they were trained; have work experience compatible with their proposed position in Vietnam.
According to the Law of Enterprises, a manager can be an owner of a private company, a general partner, the chairperson or member of the board of members, the company’s president, the chairperson or member of the Board of Directors, Director/General Director, or a person holding another managerial position who is entitled to enter into the company’s transactions according to the company’s charter.
A manager can also be the head or deputy head of an agency or organisation.
An executive director is a person who is the head of, and the direct executive operator of, a subsidiary unit of any organisation or enterprise.
Foreign students must have an internship agreement signed with an agency, organisation or enterprise in Vietnam.
There is another category that covers foreigners entering Vietnam for less than 30 days to work as a manager, executive director, expert or technician. However, the cumulative period of working in Vietnam in a year must not exceed 90 days.
CAN I WORK IN VIETNAM WITHOUT WORKING PERMIT
Yes, You can. If you are in one of the following cases:
- Working duration is less than 3 months.
- Members of a limited company which include more than 1 member.
- Owner of one member limited company in Vietnam.
- Members of BOD at a joint stock company.
- Doing service sales activities for a foreign company in Vietnam.
- Foreign lawyer with a law practice license issued by the Ministry of justice.
What can go wrong?
The government of Vietnam will deport any foreigner who is working in Vietnam without a work permit, or on an expired one.
As for employers, an administrative penalty ranging from VND5 million to VND10 million will apply if they fail to, or insufficiently report, any employment of foreigners to the authorised agencies.
If employers employ any foreigner without a work permit, with an outdated one, or without confirmation issued by the competent authority of work permit exemption, the employers will be subject to penalty ranges as follows:
- VND30 million to VND45 million for up to 10 foreign workers
- VND45 million to VND60 million for 11 to 20 foreign workers
- VND60 million to VND 75 million for over 21 workers.
Employers could also be suspended from operating for up to three months if the violation is serious enough.
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