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Requirements for foreigners to work in Vietnam
A foreigner employee means a person who has a foreign nationality and:
- Is at least 18 years old and has full legal capacity
- Has qualifications, occupational skills, practical experience and adequate health as prescribed by the Minister of Health;
- Is not serving a sentence; does not have an unspent conviction; is not undergoing criminal prosecution under his/her home country’s law or Vietnam’s law;
- has a work permit granted by a competent authority of Vietnam, except in the cases of work permit exemption.
Duration of work permit
The maximum duration of a work permit is 02 years.
A work permit may be extended once for up to 02 more years.
Work permit exemption for foreigner employees in Vietnam
-Being a chief representative or director of a project, or being in charge of operation of a Vietnam-based international organization or foreign non-governmental organization.
- Entering and staying in Vietnam for under three months to offer services.
- Entering Vietnam for a period of under three months to solve complicated technical or technological incidents that adversely impact or are likely to adversely impact production or business activities and cannot be solved by Vietnamese experts and foreign experts currently in Vietnam.
- Being a foreign lawyer who has been licensed to practice law in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyers.
- Falling into one of the cases specified in treaties to which Vietnam is a contracting party.
- Having married a Vietnamese and is currently residing in Vietnam’s territory.
- Being the owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a contributed capital value of at least VND 3 billion.
- Being the chairperson or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company with a contributed capital value of at least VND 3 billion.
- Being an intra-corporate transferee in one of the 11 sectors specified in the Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services between Vietnam and the WTO, including business, communication, construction and engineering, distribution, education, environment, financial, health, tourism and travel, recreation, cultural, and sporting, and transport.
- Entering Vietnam to provide professional and engineering consultancy services or perform other tasks to serve research, formulation, appraisal, supervision, evaluation, management and implementation of programs and projects using official development assistance (ODA) in accordance with regulations or agreements in treaties on ODA signed between competent authorities of Vietnam and foreign countries.
- Having been granted a certificate of communication and journalism practice in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with law.
- Being sent by a foreign competent authority to Vietnam to teach or do research at an international school managed by a foreign representative mission or the United Nations; or at a facility or an organization established under an agreement to which Vietnam is a contracting party.
- Voluntarily working in Vietnam without pay to implement a treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party as certified by a Vietnam-based foreign representative mission or international organization.
- Entering Vietnam to work as a manager, chief executive officer, expert or technical worker for a period of under 30 days and for no more than three times a year.
- Entering Vietnam to implement an international agreement to which a central- or provincial-level authority is a signatory in accordance with law.
- Studying at a foreign school or training institution that has a probation agreement with an agency, organization or enterprise in Vietnam; or a probationer or apprentice working on board a Vietnamese seagoing vessel.
- Being a relative of a staff member of a Vietnam-based foreign representative mission who is permitted to work in Vietnam in accordance with a treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.
- Possessing an official-duty passport to work for a state agency, political organization or socio-political organization.
- Being responsible for establishing a commercial presence.
- Being certified by the Ministry of Education and Training as a foreign worker entering Vietnam for teaching or research purpose.
Cases in which a work permit is invalid
- The work permit expires.
- The employment contract is terminated.
- The contents of the employment contract are inconsistent with the contents of the work permit granted.
- The work performed is not conformable with the contents of the work permit granted.
- The contract that is the basis for issuance of the work permit expires or is terminated.
- The foreign party issues a written notice which terminates the dispatch of the foreign employee to Vietnam.
- The Vietnamese party or foreign organization that hires the foreign employee ceases its operation.
- The work permit is revoked.
Requirement for employment of foreigners in Vietnam
- Enterprises, organizations, individuals and contractors shall only employ foreigners to hold positions of managers, executive directors, specialists and technical workers the professional requirements for which cannot be met by Vietnamese workers.
- Recruitment of foreign employees in Vietnam shall be explained and subject to written approval by competent authorities.
- Before recruiting foreign employees in Vietnam, a contractor shall list the positions, necessary qualifications, skills, experience and employment period of the contract, and obtain a written approval from a competent authority.
Duration of labour contract
The duration of a foreign employee’s employment contract must not exceed that of the work permit. When a foreign employee in Vietnam is recruited, both parties may negotiate conclusion of multiple fixed-term labor contracts.
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