According to Vietnamese labour law, a foreign person who wants to work in Vietnam cannot apply for a work permit by themselves. In other words, if it is necessary to employ a foreign employee, the enterprise where the foreign employee works are obliged to apply for a work permit for their foreign employee at the competent Department of Labours, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

In fact, enterprises often face many difficulties which result in the increase of cost and time, even worst they cannot obtain a work permit for a foreign employee who they want to sign a labour contract. Therefore, enterprises need to pay attention to the following issues to get a work permit quickly and effectively. Specifically:

1. Enterprise has to manage the demand for foreign employee

According to Article 152 Labour Law 2019 and Decree No. 152/200/ND-CP on foreign employee working in Vietnam, before recruiting a foreign employee, the enterprise shall be obliged to create the demand for that foreign employee to hold the position which cannot meet by Vietnam labour and report to the Chairman of People’s Committee of province or central-affiliated city where the enterprise has an office. After that, enterprise has to get issue a document specifying accepted job positions from the People’s Committee of the province, then enterprise just has enough basic to apply for a work permit for foreign employees working in their company.

2. Request a fitness to work certificate

According to Labour Law in Vietnam, the foreign nationals are at the age of 18 or older and full legal capacity. In fact, competent authorities in Vietnam shall require enterprises to provide fitness to work certificates issued by some competent hospitals according to the regulation of the Ministry of Health showing that the employee has enough consciousness ability and behavior control and take legal responsibility for his/her activities. In other words, the fitness to work certificate must prove that the foreign employee does not have any disease affecting his/her consciousness ability and behavior control, includes but is not limited to mental illnesses, schizophrenia.

It should be noted that foreigner might not be able to speak fluently Vietnamese and Vietnam hospitals would not hire enough staffs those could examine and issue Health Certificate in English in which the whole legal requirements shall be incorporated. Therefore, they need an interpreter to support the doctors. The enterprise should also note the validity period of the Health Certificate (which will be valid within 03 months from the date of issue). In fact, there are some cases in which the application form for a work permit is delayed by the issuance of a Health Certificate and then the foreign have to check again to get the Certificate as required.

3. Diplomas and certificates

As mentioned above, Vietnam labour law restricts Vietnam enterprises to recruit foreign for the position which can provide Vietnam employees. Therefore, documents for applying for a work permit shall attach the legalized foreign nationals’ diplomas and certificates. In fact, the enterprise shall also be obliged to do the consular legalization of diplomas and certificates issued by foreign individuals and organizations before submitting this to the competent authorities in Vietnam.

PositionMinimum documents need to be prepared
Technical workersTechnical Certificate issued by domestic/international organization; and Certificate of at least 1 year working experience in recruitment field issued by the former enterprise
ExpertiseBachelor’s Degrees or higher; and Certificate of at least 3 years working experience in recruitment field issued by the former enterprise
If there is a Certification of Expertise from a foreign organization, no Bachelor’s Degrees and Certificate of at least 3 years working experience shall be required
ManagerBachelor’s Degrees or higher; and Certificate of at least 3 years working experience in recruitment field issued by the former enterprise
Some of the manager positions do not need the Bachelor’s Degrees such as Managing Director, Financial Manager, Deputy Managers…

4. Require the foreign to prepare criminal record certificate

Foreign nationals who want to be recruited and legally work in Vietnam must be not serving a sentence; shall not have an unspent conviction; shall not be undergoing criminal prosecution under his/her home country’s law or Vietnam’s laws. It is a fact that the competent authorities in Vietnam shall require the enterprise to provide the foreign’s criminal record certificate to prove. Now, Vietnam Laws have not agreed on the content of the criminal record certificate and the regions do not require with same contents. Especially, judicial entrustment to confirm foreign’s criminal record certificate has so many difficulties. Therefore, the duration of criminal record certificate confirmation (not be more than 20 days in regulation) is usually prolonged.

5. Need to have a consistent period of work permit and a labour contract

The difference between the period of a work permit and a labour contract for a foreigner employee: According to previous regulations, a work permit for foreigner employee is valid for a maximum of 3 years, but now the period of the work permit is not more than 2 years at most, which would encounter many obstacles for signing contracts between enterprises, organizations and foreign employees.

Above are some of the noted information for enterprises to apply for a work permit. In case having any questions or needing support related to work permit and work permit procedures, readers can contact Lac Duy & Associates for timely support at:

Rate this post