Foreign experts, technicians and teachers will only have to show that they meet professional qualifications to apply for work permits, instead of also having to prove many years of working experience.

The Vietnamese Government issued Resolution No. 47/NQ-CP on 8 July 2014 (“Resolution 47”) to improve conditions for doing business in Vietnam. Among other changes, Resolution 47 addresses foreigners working in Vietnam. Concerned government agencies will have to amend current labor regulations, before the changes become law. However, legislative action is expected by the end of 2014.[1]

High working experience requirements under current regulations are deterring businesses from hiring qualified international personnel. Generally, under current regulations, foreign “experts” and “teachers” must have both at least a college-level degree and at least 5 years of working experience. Likewise, “technicians” must have at least 3 years of work experience.

Alternatively, experts can be exempted from the experience requirement, if they can produce a document to confirm that they are experts from a “competent agency, organization or enterprise”. (However, this requirement is ambiguous and leaves room for the authorities to arbitrarily refuse work permit applications.)

Resolution 47 provides that experts and technicians can either show that they meet “specialist training qualifications” or have at least 5 years of working experience. Foreign teachers can qualify with college-level degrees and must be “professional teachers,” but do not need any experience.

Of course, the work permit issuing authorities will still have discretion in deciding what qualifies as professional qualification or who is a professional teacher, but Resolution 47 appears more reasonable with regard to working experience requirements. This should be good news for international businesses in Vietnam.