Some positive changes in the Vietnam work permit landscape.
On September 28, 2023, the long-awaited amendment to Labour Decree 152, now known as Labour Decree 70, has been officially released by the Vietnamese government. This amendment brings significant changes to the process and criteria for obtaining work permits. Notable adjustments include updated prerequisites for foreign experts and technical workers, the acknowledgment of work in multiple locations and related inconvenience of having to obtain multiple work permit in multiple provinces, the removal of responsibilities of the Management board of industrial zone authorities economic zones to oversight, approve and issue foreign labor requests, work permits, and exemption certificates.
The new decree also includes a new introduction of recruitment announcement requirement for sponsoring organizations (effective from January 1, 2024) which could delay, complexify and jeopardize the obtaining of the foreign labor demand approval.
The key changes of degree 70 includes:
- Educational Requirements and Evidence:
- Replacement of the term “university degree” by “university graduated” which means confirmation of graduation in lieu of an actual certificate should now be more commonly accepted by the labor authorities.
- The requirement for an education or training background to be relevant to the job position has been eliminated for expert and technician positions.
- Experience Documentation: Vietnam Work permits or work permit exemption certificates issued in the past may serve as evidence of applicant’s working experience for a new work permit application.
- Documentation Simplification:
- Sponsoring entities can certify copies of work permit applicant’s passports, eliminating the need for notarized true copies.
- In the event of a company name change with the same enterprise number, work permit re-issuance is accepted (instead of a new work permit application) and without the need for a new foreign labor demand approval.
- Approval requisition simplification for spouse of foreign nationals: The foreign labor demand request is no longer required for spouse of Vietnamese nationals who are indeed exempted of work permit since the former decree 152. Sponsoring entities are also required to obtain a work permit exemption certificate for this category of foreign nationals.
- Application Procedure Changes:
- The foreign labor demand should be sent at least 15 days prior to expected work starting date and there is no more expiry date as first introduced in the last draft decree
- Starting from January 1, 2024, at least 15 days prior to the request for foreign labor demand, the sponsoring entity shall submit the recruitment announcement for Vietnamese workers to the positions where the entity expect to recruit foreign national through the portal of MOLISA, DOLISA, or the Employment Service Center of the provincial People’s Committee
- In case of work in different locations within the same province, all work locations must be included in the application submitted to DOLISA
- In case of work in different provinces, the foreign labor demand approval, work permit and work permit exemption certificate application can now be submitted to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs instead of DOLISAs in each province where the employee may work. The sponsoring entity would however be requested to notify the MOLISA and related provincial DOLISA(s) about employees’ work within 3 days of their work start date.
- Authorities change for sponsoring entities located in Economic & industrial zones: Economic and industrial zone authorities are no longer in charge of the management of foreign national working in Vietnam; these responsibilities are now with the provincial Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs and Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs when applicable.