On December 30th, 2020, Decree 152/2020/ND-CP has been issued regulating on foreigners working in Vietnam and recruiting, managing Vietnamese employees working for foreign organizations and individuals in Vietnam. Decree 152 clearly defines the forms and conditions for foreign employees to be eligible to work in Vietnam, and provides conditions for exemption from work permits in Vietnam, recruitment of foreign employees, renew and re-issue work permits.
According to current regulations, foreign citizens come to work in Vietnam for the purposes of performing employment contracts; performing intra-company transfer program; performing contracts or agreements on business, trade, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, vocational training and health; providing services under contracts; offering services; working for foreign non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam that have been granted with operating licenses in accordance with the Vietnam law; working as volunteers; taking charge of establishing the commercial presence; working as managers, executives, experts, technical workers; performing packages or projects in Vietnam; or accompanying members of foreign representative bodies in Vietnam who are authorized to work in Vietnam under an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory as their relatives.
For the conditions for foreign employees to work in Vietnam, Decree 152 has some notable new points, which according to Clause 3, Article 3 of this Decree, an expert who wish to work in Vietnam requires a foreign worker who obtains at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and at least 03 years’ experience in his/her training field in corresponding with the job position/job assignment that he/she will be appointed in Vietnam or obtains at least 5 years’ experience and a practicing certificate in corresponding with the job position that he/she will be appointed in Vietnam. There are opinions that this regulation makes it difficult for many foreign experts to come to Vietnam to work because in fact there are many experienced people who do not have appropriate qualifications and certificates.
Foreign experts, managers, executives or foreign technicians working in Vietnam for up to 30 days and no more than 3 times a year may be exempted from work permits. Cases eligible for exemption from work permits (or a certificate of exemption from work permits) must be notified to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of the provinces and centrally-run cities regarding personal information of the foreign worker and the expected start /end date, at least three days prior to the first scheduled working date in Vietnam.
At least 30 days from the expected date of employment of the foreign employee, the employer (except contractors) is responsible for determining the demand to use foreign workers for each job position that the Vietnamese employee has not yet met requirements of the position and report to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the People’s Committee of the province where the foreign worker is expected to work. During the implementation process, if there is a change in the demand for foreign employees, the employer must also report at least 30 days in advance.