The latest draft decree amending Decree 102/2013/ND-CP eases conditions for employing foreign workers in Vietnam. It is still a draft, but we are hopeful that is it is close to final.

10 improvements to look forward to under the new decree:

  1. Revised definition of “foreign expert” to be a foreigner who: (i) is recognized in writing by a foreign country as an expert; (ii) has qualifications at level of engineer, bachelor’s degree or higher; or (iii) has at least 5-year experience working in the proposed position in Vietnam.
  2. Removes the obligation on annual demand plan for hiring foreign employees. The employer will only be required to obtain the labor authorities approval when the recruitment demand arises.
  3. Two new work permit exemptions for foreigners who: (i) come to Vietnam to work for less than 30 days; and (ii) are studying at schools or training institutions outside of Vietnam and who come to Vietnam to work. Point (ii) may cover foreign interns.
  4. Expats entering Vietnam to offer services for less than 3 months and those who come to Vietnam to work for less than 30 days (see point 3(i) above) will also be exempted from the procedure to confirm that they are work permit exempted. (However, the work permit exemption confirmation will only be valid up to 2 years, which is the same as the maximum term of a work permit).
  5. Health certificates will be accepted whether they are issued by a Vietnamese or offshore healthcare provider, provided that they are issued within 12 months before applying for the work permit.
  6. Criminal records issued either in Vietnam or in a foreign country will suffice (instead of requiring both Vietnamese and foreign records as under current law).
  7. Application documents: a non-certified copy will be acceptable instead of a legalized copy, so long as the applicant can present the original document for comparison when submitting it.
  8. Simplifies the application procedures for expats who would like to work: (i) for another employer in the same position; or (ii) for the same employer but in another position.
  9. Reduces the statutory time for issuing a work permit from 10 working days to 7 working days.
  10. Extended filing period for work permit re-issuance of 5 to 45 days before the current permit expires. (Only 5 to 15 days under current law.)