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Work Permit: Updates on Vietnam’s new Labour Decree 152

The Vietnamese work permit system has recently undergone an overhaul with the issuance of new Labour Decree 152 (implemented in February 2021).


As Decree 152 continues to result in unprecedented changes and challenges for companies employing foreign workers in Vietnam (indeed, the Labour authorities have been instructed to more strictly scrutinize any and all work permit applications submitted now), it is important that you are aware that requests for further information, delays, and even rejections could occur.


One significant change is that work permits issued under previous Labour Decrees cannot be renewed and a new work permit (under Decree 152) must be applied for (and the applicant must qualify for the work permit under stricter adjudication standards, even if he/she previously obtained a work permit).
We therefore recommend that any renewal applications are started at least 3 months in advance of the work permit expiry date.


Furthermore, these changes have been occurring under the backdrop of highly discretionary and inconsistent travel and immigration rules, brought about by the ever-changing Covid-19 situation in Vietnam and abroad. Applications for special entry approvals (which are concessionary in nature) will therefore continue to evolve. Stated processing times are estimates only and can be delayed indefinitely, depending on the pandemic situation.

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