Doing Business

Requirements and documentation: Work permit for foreign workers in Vietnam

Trường Lăng

November 27, 2023

Doing Business

Requirements and documentation: Work permit for foreign workers in Vietnam

Trường Lăng

November 27, 2023

It is compulsory for foreign employees to adhere to the requirements and procedures of application for a work permit in Vietnam. Gaining a clear understanding of these requirements and documentations is essential for effectively addressing the conditions posed by local authorities.

Eligibility Criteria and Documents for Foreign Employees Applying for Work Permits

  1. Foreign employees who are being internally reassigned within the company fall under the categories of managers, chief executive officers, experts, and technicians of a foreign enterprise already established a business presence in Vietnam and have been employed by the stated enterprise for a minimum of 12 months. 
  2. Volunteers are foreign workers engaging in unpaid work in Vietnam to fulfill obligations under International Treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a party.
  3. An expert refers to a foreign worker who is either eligible for one of the two:
  • Holds certification as an expert from an overseas agency, organization, or enterprise; or
  • Achieves a bachelor’s degree or equivalent to higher qualification and has a minimum of 3 years of experience in the relevant field, corresponding to the applied job position in Vietnam.
  1. Managers and chief executive officers fall under the category of foreign employees, comprising:
  • Managers: those who are responsible for the company’s management or serving as heads/ deputy heads of agencies and organizations.
  • Chief executive officers: those who are leaders directly in charge of managing subordinate units within agencies, organizations, or enterprises.
  1. Technicians are workers who have completed at least 1 year of technical training or relevant field and accumulated a minimum of 3 years of working experience in the respective fields.

Work permit application consists of the following

  1. The employer’s written request for the work permit application, follows the guidelines set by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs.
  2. A health certificate or a medical examination report issued by authorized health organizations, whether foreign or Vietnamese, valid within 12 months from the date of health status assessment to the application date.
  3. A criminal record or an official certification attesting that the foreign worker has no criminal record or ongoing criminal prosecution, issued by the relevant foreign authority. In cases of foreign workers holding legal residency in Vietnam, only the criminal record issued by Vietnamese authorities is necessary.
  4. An official certification affirming the worker’s role as a manager, chief executive officer, expert, or technician. For certain jobs and work, the stated qualifications of the foreign worker could be substituted with the following:
  • Certificate of recognition from the competent authority of the foreign country, applicable for workers engaged in traditional art professions.
  • Documents outlining the foreigner’s employment as a soccer player.
  • Pilot license issued by Vietnamese competent authorities for foreign pilots.
  • License for airplane maintenance issued by Vietnamese competent authorities for foreign workers employed in the airplane maintenance sector.
  1. 02 colored photographs (4cm x 6cm) with a white background, front-facing, without headwear or colored glasses, taken within six months before the application date.
  2. A certified copy of the applicant’s passport or other valid international travel document that remains within the expiration day as per legal regulations.

Other ad hoc documents required for foreign workers

  • Foreign workers in cases of internal company reassignments must possess documentation from the foreign enterprise indicating their appointment to work at the foreign enterprise’s commercial presence in Vietnam, along with paper showing their employment by said foreign enterprise for a minimum of 12 months prior to their appointment in Vietnam.
  • Foreign workers defined in Point c Clause 1 Article 2 herein must have contracts or agreements signed by both the Vietnamese partner and the foreign partner, including documents of assigning foreign workers to Vietnam for employment.
  •  Foreign workers under contracts related to business, commerce, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, vocational training, and health must possess service contracts signed by both the Vietnamese and foreign partners, along with evidence showing that employment duration in the foreign enterprise without a commercial presence in Vietnam for a minimum of 02 years.
  • Foreign workers under contracts in the services sector must have documentation from the service provider confirming their appointment in Vietnam for service supply negotiation.
  • Foreign workers employed by foreign non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam possessing valid operating licenses in accordance with Vietnamese law must obtain certificates issued by the respective foreign non-governmental organization or international organization.
  • Foreign workers under appointment of introducing commercial present must possess documents from the appointing service provider to conduct the task in Vietnam.
  • Foreign workers with positions as managers, chief executive officers, experts, and technicians and participating in the operation of the foreign enterprise established its commercial presence in Vietnam must provide evidence of their eligibility to participate in the operation of the stated foreign enterprise.

Work permit application under certain conditions includes

If the foreign worker holding a valid work permit is interested in joining a contract with a different employer in the identical position described in the work permit application as per the law.

If the foreign worker holding a valid work permit is interested in adapting to a different position from described in the work permit while retaining the same employers as per the law.

Consular legalization and document certification includes

Documents subjected to these regulations entail 01 photocopy of each type, supported by the original documents/ or 01 certified photocopy for comparison.

Given the stated documents originated by foreign authorities must undergo consular legalization, with exceptional in case of the consular legalization defined in the international treaties signed by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the involved country, or in the principle of reciprocity, or in adherence to the law; must be translated into Vietnamese and verified as per the law.

Final thoughts

In the complex terrain of work permits in Vietnam, our expertise simplifies the journey for foreign workers. Navigating through requirements and documentation is a maze—we’re here to be your guide. Trust us to streamline the process, turning bureaucratic hurdles into a seamless experience. Your venture into Vietnamese work permits deserves a partner who understands the nuances; let us be that ally. With our assistance, consider the path to your work permit not just cleared, but paved with confidence. Choose expertise, choose ease—trust us to turn the intricate into the effortless. Your journey starts with a click.

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