How Should Enterprises Employ Foreign Workers? 

Foreigners working in Vietnam must meet the following conditions:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and have full legal capacity.
  • Have qualifications, occupational skills, and practical experience.
  • Be in adequate health condition as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.
  • Is not serving a sentence, does not have an unspent conviction, and is not undergoing criminal prosecution under his/her home country’s law or Vietnam’s law.
  • Must obtain a work permit (WP), or confirm eligibility for ‘Work permit exemption’ or ‘WPE’ prior to commencing work.

Conditions for employer

Enterprises shall employ foreigners only for the positions of managers, executive directors, specialists and technical workers with professional requirements which cannot be met by Vietnamese workers.

Prior to the recruitment of foreign employees in Vietnam, the Enterprises must submit an explanation regarding the same which is subject to written approval by the competent authorities.

Enterprises employing foreign workers must follow the following general procedure:

First, determine the need to use foreign workers:

  • At least 30 days prior to the expected date of employment of foreign workers, the employer shall submit a report explaining the need to employ foreign workers to the labor agency.
  • During the process, if there is a change in demand for foreign workers, the enterprise must report about such changes at least 30 days in advance.

Second, ask for WP or WPE:

  • Work permit exemption: The enterprise must request the labor management authority for confirmation of WP or WPE at least 10 days prior to the date the employment of the foreigner.
  • Issuance of work permit: At least 15 days before the date on which the foreigner is expected to start working in Vietnam, the enterprise shall submit an application for a work permit to the labor authorities.
  • Foreign workers working under the form of labor contract, after being granted a work permit, the enterprise and the employee must sign a written labor contract before the expected date of beginning work at the enterprise.
  • The enterprises must send the signed labor contract to the competent authorities which issued the work permit.

Third, sign a labor contract.

Fourth, report on employment of foreign workers:

  • Enterprises must submit reports for the first 6 months of the year (before 05 July) and annual reports (before 05 January of the following year) on employment of foreign workers to the labor management authorities.

Fifth, revoke the work permit:

If the work permit expires, the enterprise must revoke the foreigner’s work permit and submit it to the labor management agency within 15 days from the date of expiration of the work permit.

  • Work permit has a maximum term of 2 years. The labor contract must specify a definite term of employment and can be renewed many times. However, such renewal must be within the term of the issued work permit.
  • Work permit can be renewed only once. After it has been renewed once, if the employee wishes to continue working, he/she must apply for a new work permit.
  • Work permit is not a valid substitute for the foreign worker’s residence document. Enterprises need to apply for temporary residence registration, temporary residence cards, or relevant visa for the foreign employee during the employment period.

Enterprises should pay attention to the personal income tax of foreign workers and must plan for the payment of the same in advance to avoid delays.

The article is based on the current law at the time of recording as above and may no longer be relevant at the time readers access this article due to changes in applicable law and specific cases that the reader wants to apply. Therefore, the article is for reference only.

Src: PLF Law Firm