A work permit is a legal document that allows a foreigner to work legally in Vietnam. Foreign workers in Vietnam as well as business owners, employers of foreign workers, etc. all consider this issue seriously to a high standard. This article will address the standard information of work permits for foreign workers in Vietnam and answer some of the most common questions regarding this issue, such as: Who is eligible to be granted work permits in Vietnam? What are the conditions to be granted a work permit in Vietnam? Where does one apply for a work permit? How much does it cost to get a work permit? In what cases can the work permit be re-issued? What are the documents and procedures for the re-issuance of work permits for foreign workers in Vietnam?
What is the penalty for not having a work permit?
A work permit is a document that allows a foreigner to work legally in Vietnam without penalty or punishment by the government. The work permit must clearly state information about the employee, including full name, passport number, date of birth, nationality, etc.
Furthermore, the work permit also lists the name and address of the organization of the foreign worker and the position of the worker in that organization. Additionally, the work permit is also an important document needed for foreign workers to apply for a 2-year temporary residence card in Vietnam.
Overall, the work permit is an extremely important document for foreigners who want to work in Vietnam, because according to the provisions of Article 31 of Decree No. 28/2020/ND-CP:
- Foreign workers who do not have a work permit or there is no written confirmation that they are exempted from having a work permit as prescribed by law but they still work in Vietnam, they will be fined from 15,000,000 VND to 25,000,000 VND or deported, exiled according to the provisions of the Labor Code 2019;
- Employers that use foreign workers to work in Vietnam without a work permit or without a certificate confirming that they are exempted from having a work permit or employ a foreign worker whose work permit has expired or the written confirmation of exemption from having a work permit has expired can result in a fine from 30,000,000 VND to 75,000,000 VND depending on the number of employees involved.
In order to avoid administrative penalties and related consequences, companies that employ foreign workers must complete the procedure for applying for a work permit before that foreign worker starts working at the company.
Who is eligible to be granted work permits in Vietnam?
Subjects who are eligible to apply for a new work permit are clearly stated in Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP on work permits for foreign workers entering Vietnam. The foreigners who enter Vietnam for the following purposes are eligible to be granted work permits:
- Executing labor contracts;
- Intra-corporate transferees;
- Performing various types of contracts or agreements on economic, commercial, financial, banking, insurance, scientific and technical, cultural, sports, education, vocational education, and health;
- Providing services under contracts;
- Offering services;
- Working for foreign non-governmental organizations, international organizations in Vietnam licensed to operate under the provisions of Vietnamese law;
- Working as volunteers;
- Taking charge of establishing the commercial presence;
- Managers, executive directors, experts, technicians;
- Participate in the execution of bid contracts and projects in Vietnam;
- Relatives of employees of foreign representative missions in Vietnam who are permitted to work in Vietnam according to international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a party.
In addition, Decree 152 also updates the types of foreign employees exempted from having a work permit as follows:
- The owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a capital contribution value of 3 billion VND or more;
- The Chairman of the Board of Directors or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company with a capital contribution value of 3 billion VND or more;
- Volunteers who are foreign workers working in Vietnam voluntarily and unpaid to implement international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory and certified by the agency. Foreign diplomatic representative or international organization in Vietnam;
- Entering Vietnam to work at the position of a manager, executive director, expert or technical employee for a working time of fewer than 30 days and not more than 3 times a year;
- The person is responsible for establishing a commercial presence;
- Foreign workers entering Vietnam are certified by the Ministry of Education and Training to teach and research;
- Foreigners married to a Vietnamese citizen and living in the territory of Vietnam;
- Relatives of members of foreign representative missions in Vietnam specified at Point l, Clause 1, Article 2 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP;
- To be sent to Vietnam by competent foreign agencies or organizations to teach and research at international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or the United Nations; establishments and organizations established under the agreements that Vietnam has signed and acceded to;
- Intra-business transferees within 11 service sectors in Vietnam’s schedule of service commitments with the World Trade Organization, including business, information, construction, distribution, education, school, finance, health, tourism, entertainment, and culture;
- To be licensed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to operate information and press in Vietnam under the law;
- Students who are studying at overseas schools and training institutions with internship agreements in agencies, organizations, and enterprises in Vietnam; trainees and apprentices on Vietnamese ships;
- Having official passports to work for state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations;
- Entering Vietnam to implement international agreements signed by agencies or organizations at the central or provincial level following the law.
In what cases can a work permit be re-issued?
A work permit is one of the five conditions for foreign workers to work in Vietnam. Accordingly, in order to ensure that the work permit is re-issued to the foreign workers in the unfortunate event that that work permit is loss, damage or require alteration of information, Article 12 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP have specified cases of re-issuance of work permits, including:
- The valid work permit is lost;
- The valid work permit is damaged;
- Change of full name, nationality, passport number, working location stated in the valid work permit.
Thus, in order to be re-granted a work permit, a foreign worker must sufficiently meet the following conditions:
- The work permit falls into one of 03 states which include lost, damaged, change information about full name, nationality, passport number, working location;
- The work permit at the time of re-issuance must be valid.
What documents are required to apply for a work permit?
Decision No. 526/QD-LDTBXH in 2021 detailed the documents that need to be prepared to carry out the procedure for the re-issuance of a work permit, including:
- A written request for the re-issuance of a work permit, made according to form No. 11/PLI, Appendix I issued together with Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP.
- 02 color photos (size 4cm x 6cm, white background, straight face, bare head, no colored glasses), photos taken within 06 months from the date of application.
- Granted valid work permit:
- If the valid work permit is lost, it must be certified by the commune-level police agency where the foreigner resides or a foreign competent agency as prescribed by law.
- In case of change of contents inscribed on the work permit, there must be proofs.
- Written approval of the need to employ foreign workers, except for cases where the need to employ foreign workers is not required.
What is the procedure for the re-issuance of a work permit?
According to the provisions of Article 14 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP and guidance in Decision No. 526/QD-LDTBXH in 2021, the application for re-issuance of a work permit is carried out as follows:
- Prepare a complete set of documents including the above-mentioned documents;
- Submit an application for the re-issuance of a work permit in person or by post or through the Online Public Service Portal. The place of submission is the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs or Department of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs.
- Come to receive the re-issued work permit.
The normal processing time for the re-issuance of a work permit is within 03 working days from the date of receiving the complete application.
If the work permit is not re-issued to the foreigner than the authorized agency must reply in writing and clearly state the reason.
Foreigners will not have to pay a work permit application fee. This fee will be paid by the foreign employer. Depending on the locality, the fee for applying for a work permit will be different (according to Circular 250/2016/TT-BTC)