23rd November 2018

Amendment to work permit regulations in Vietnam

The Vietnamese government has issued a new Decree, which revises some of the current provisions applicable to work permits and certificates of work permit exemption for foreigners in Vietnam.

Who will be affected?

Companies seeking work permits or work permit exemptions will notice these changes, as will individuals on assignment, or with an upcoming assignment to Vietnam.


The Vietnamese government is seeking to simplify the work permit and work permit exemption process to make this simpler for business.


Key Changes to the work permit process:

1) Demand of foreign labour report

  • Demand of Foreign Labor Report must be submitted to the provincial-level People’s Committee, instead of to the President of provincial-level People’s Committee as previously prescribed.
  • No Demand of Foreign Labor Report is required for a foreign employee who is:
    (i) chief representative of a representative office or head of a project office of an international organization or a non-government organization; or
    (ii) relative of a member of a foreign diplomatic mission in Vietnam who is permitted to work in accordance with relevant treaties.

2) Certificate of work permit exemption:

Foreigners may qualify for a Certificate of Work Permit Exemption under the following conditions:
– A foreign individual in charge of establishing a commercial presence in Vietnam.
– Relative of a member of a foreign diplomatic mission in Vietnam who is permitted to work in accordance with relevant treaties.

3) Work permit application:

– The applicant’s passport or travel document is no longer required to be notarized.

– A work permit will be issued within 5 working days upon the receipt of the full application, instead of 7 working days as previously stipulated.

– Employers with a head office in one city and representative offices or branches in another city are entitled to file applications at the most convenient Ministerial office of the Department of Labor. 

4) Work permit de-registration:

Work permits are no longer required to de-registered after the assignment is complete.

Santa Fe Analysis:

No active effort is required by Vietnamese sponsors. These changes do not require any additional effort and should streamline matter for assignees and their Vietnamese employers.

Should you have any questions, please contact the following:

Phuong Tran
Immigration Manager
Santa Fe Relocation
T: (84-8) 3933 0065 Ext. 886
E: Phuong.Tran@santaferelo.com

Soumeya Messadi
Head of Immigration – APAC, Middle East and Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +65 6398 3520
M: +65 9169 6061
E: Soumeya.Messadi@santaferelo.com

For more Immigration Updates, click here

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