New rules on foreign workers proposed

Foreigners working in Vietnam without work permits would be expelled, according to a draft decree guiding the Labor Code’s provisions on foreign workers in Vietnam. 

Under the draft, foreigners working in Vietnam are those who enter the country to work in any of the following forms: (i) performing labor contracts; (ii) internal transfer within enterprises with commercial presence in Vietnam; (iii) performing contracts or agreements in the economic, trade, financial, banking, insurance, scientific and technical, cultural, sports, educational and health sectors; (iv) acting as contractual service providers; (v) offering services; (vi) working for foreign non-governmental organizations and international organizations licensed to operate in Vietnam; and (vii) working as volunteers.

However, work permits would be not required in some cases, e.g., foreign employees transferred to Vietnam by their employers which are service businesses operating in 11 service sectors listed in Vietnam’s WTO schedule of specific commitments on services.

Work permits would also be unnecessary for those who enter Vietnam to provide professional or technical consultancy or perform other tasks serving the study, elaboration, appraisal, supervision, management and implementation of ODA-funded programs or projects and those who work in international schools managed by foreign diplomatic representative missions or inter-governmental international organizations.

Under the draft, the validity duration of a work permit granted to a foreign employee would comply with the term of the labor contract to be signed with him/her, his/her term of office in Vietnam, the term of the contract between his/her employer and the Vietnamese partner, the foreign service provider’s document assigning him/her to enter Vietnam for negotiation on service provision or the term identified in the operation license of the concerned foreign non-governmental organization or international organization. However, the maximum duration would be 24 months.

The draft decree, which would replace Decree No. 34 of 2008 and Decree No. 46 of 2011, on recruitment and management of foreigners working in Vietnam, is expected to take effect on May 1, concurrently with the new Labor Code.