On September 05, 2013, the Government has issued Decree No.102/2013/ND-CP on detailing a number of articles of the Labor Code on foreign employees in Vietnam ("Decree 102").

In comparison with the two current legal documents governing the same issues are the Decree No. 34/2008/ND-CP dated March 25, 2008 on recruitment and management of foreign employees in Vietnam ("Decree 34") and the Decree No.46/2011/ND-CP dated 17 June, 2011 of Government on amendments to the Decree No. 34/2008/ND-CP dated March 25, 2008 on recruitment and management of foreign employees in Vietnam ("Decree 46"), Decree 102 records some adjusted points as follows:

Subjects of application

Decree 102 sets out further following cases which foreigners working in Vietnam are exempt from applying for the work permit as follows: (i) Volunteers; (ii) Teachers of foreign organizations that are sent to Vietnam by such organizations to teach in international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam; and (iii) The employees hold master's degrees or higher and provide consultancy, teach or conduct scientific research at institutions of higher education or vocational colleges within 30 days.

Procedure for certifying foreign employees exempt from work permit

Procedure for certifying foreign employees exempt from work permit is totally a new-coming rule. Accordingly, instead of being automatically waived of request for obtaining work permit, the foreign employees falling in the list of exemption from work permit, are forced to follow procedure on obtaining the confirmation of Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs on exemption from work permit at least 07 working-days before the day on which the employees start to work.

Responsibility of the employers

Annually, the employers (excluding contractors) shall determine the demand for foreign employees for every position in which Vietnamese employees are not competent and send a report to Presidents of Provincial People's Committees where the employees' head offices locate.

Procedure for obtaining work permit for foreign employees

Other than documents relating to personal information, working history, working experiences, the dossier on obtaining work permit is forced to attach the written approval for employment of the foreign employees given by the President of Provincial People's Committee.

Term of work permit

The maximum term of a work permit is 02 years.

Process of obtaining work permit

The dossier on obtaining work permit must be applied at least 15 days prior to the date on which the foreign employee intents to start working. Within 10 working days since the receiving full set of dossier, Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs shall consider and grant the work permit.

Renewing work permit

At least 05 days prior but not exceeding 15 days since the expiry date of work permit, the employer shall apply for Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs to renew the work permit.

Decree 102 shall take effect on November 1, 2013 and concurrently replaces Decree 34 and Decree 46.