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Work-permit-HN  work-permit-HCM
1. What is work permit for foreign employee?
- Work permit is the document issued by the Department of Labor which foreign employees use to work legally under the sponsorship of a company located in Vietnam and have their legitimate rights and interests protected in labor relations.
- With a Work Permit, foreign employees can receive their salary into a Vietnamese bank account (in Vietnam Dong or a nominated foreign currency), and they can transfer these funds from their bank account to outside Vietnam as they wish.
- Work permit is valid for up to 2 years and can be renewed in most situations for another 2 years, also allows an individual and their immediate family to obtain Temporary Resident Cards, removing the need for obtaining and maintaining Visas whilst in Vietnam.
2. Conditions for issuance of work permits
According to regulations, in order to apply for work permit, a foreign employee must fully meet the following conditions:
- Foreign employee must have his/her full capacity for civil acts as prescribed by law.
- Foreign employee must demonstrate his/her health conditions are suitable for the requirement of the vacant.
- Foreign employee must not be criminals or undergoing criminal prosecution in accordance with Vietnamese law and external law.
- Foreign employee must be manager, chief of operation, expert or technician and must be able to provide document proving status in accordance with Decree 152/2020/NĐ-CP - Article 3 as follow:

For Foreign Expert:
+ Having a bachelor's degree or higher or equivalent and have at least 3 years of experience working in the trained field relevant to the job position the foreign worker is expected to work for in Viet Nam;
+ Having at least 5 years of experience and practice certificate relevant to the job the foreign worker is expected to work in Viet Nam, with stamp of consular legalization;

For technical worker:
+ An individual that has been training in a technical field or another major for at least one year and has been working for at least three years in their trained field, with stamp of consular legalization; or
+ Having at least five years’ experience related to the job for which they will be employed in Viet Nam.

For an executive, manager:
+ Decision for Appointment;
+ Having at least five years’ experience related to the job for which they will be employed in Viet Nam.
3. Documents required for processing a work permit
Documents that need to be collected and submitted in the work permit application process are detailed below. These documents can vary slightly for each specific application or individual circumstance, such as for some teachers, however the standard documents detailed will apply for most cases.
Employer Employee
+ Job Description (Form of Explanation for the demand of hiring foreign employee (according to the form of Circular 40/2016/TT-BLDTBXH).
This must be done at least 30 days before the commencement of employment. 
+ University degree (specialize in relevant position you are going to apply for on  work permit).
+ University degree majored in English education (for those who do teaching in Vietnam)
+ Approval letter to employ foreigners (if have, otherwise we can do it for you ~ 14 working days).

+ An application form for a work permit of the employer is specified in form No.11/PL1 Appendix attached with Decree No.152/2020/ND-CP). 
+ Experience Certificate(s)/ Letter confirming 3-5 years relevant work experience
  • For employee as a general director: Certificate of career as a manger or director with at least 05-year experience
  • For employee as an English teacher in Vietnam (for non-native speakers): University degree, Teaching certificate (TESOL, TEFL, CELTA), and CEFR from C1 or IELTS from 6.5.
+ Business license (this document needs notarising in Vietnam, most commonly at the People’s Committee). + Criminal record check (issued within 06 months): If you cannot arrange this document we will do it for you (7-10 working days)
+ Education license (if the company is an education company). + Work Permit Health Check from an authorised Vietnamese hospital (issued within 12 months)
+ Seal Register (this document needs notarising in Vietnam, most commonly at the People’s Committee). + Portrait photo with white background.
+ (Draft) Employment Agreement / Labour Contract + Passport and valid visa/resident card

Note: Documents issued overseas (not in Vietnam) must be authenticated and legalised. This involves either:

- The document is stamped by the employee’s Embassy/Consulate in Vietnam, translated then legalised at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vietnam, or
- The document is stamped in the employee’s home country by the appropriate government agency, and then legalised at the Vietnamese Embassy in that country.
We handle the entire application process for clients - first lodging and gaining approval for the employer to employ foreign labour, and then lodging the physical application and submission of documents to support each employees personal work permit.
We can also arrange the Notarisation of most Vietnamese documents, and in some circumstances we can also assist and undertake the Consularisation and Legalisation for certain nationalities and documents in Vietnam.
Contact us today to enquire about your work permit needs.
4. Work permit duration
Article 10 of Decree 152/2020/NĐ-CP clearly stipulates that the duration of a work permit shall be granted according to the period of one of the following cases, but shall not exceed 02 years:
- The duration of the labor contract expected to be signed;
- The duration of the foreign party sending foreign employee to work in Viet Nam;
- Limitation of serving time in the written approval to use foreign employee.
5. Work permit process

The actual process can take from 5 to 8 weeks, depending on a range of factors, and assuming all documents are in order. If the required documents are not ready, then this timeline will obviously be extended. Some documents can take a considerable time to prepare, and it is encouraged that these be arranged before the work permit process commences. The process is one that is constantly changing, but work permits are certainly achievable for the vast majority of foreign employees.

6. Benefits 
Tax Deductibility
WIthout a Work Permit, any payments to foreign employees are not tax deductible to the employer and are technically illegal. With a Work Permit, payments are deductible for Corporate Income Tax, reducing the company tax paid by the employer.

Bank Payments for Salary
With a Work Permit, employee salaries can be paid directly into employees bank accounts - in either Vietnam Dong or a nominated foreign currency. Employees can also later transfer funds earned to other countries should they choose.

Eligibility for Temporary Resident Cards for all family members
Employees with Work Permits, and their direct family members, are eligible for Temporary Resident Cards for the length of the Work Permit. This removes the need for Visas and Visa runs, and provides certainty to individuals and families.
Other Benefits
Work Permits also provide other benefits to employees and employers, including:
- The ability to own and register a motorbike or car in the employees name
- Removal of immigration and associated risks should an inspection of the employers offices occur.
7. What happens if you don’t have work permit?
7.1. For employer
Employers who employ foreign workers in Vietnam without work permits or written confirmations of their exemption from work permit requirements, or employs foreign workers holding expired work permits or written confirmations of exemption from work permit requirements shall be implied:
- A fine from VND 30,000,000 to VND 45,000,000 if the violation involves 01 – 10 workers;
- A fine From VND 45,000,000 to VND 60,000,000 if the violation involves 11 – 20 workers;
- A fine From VND 60,000,000 to VND 75,000,000 if the violation involves 21 or more workers.

7.2. For employee
A fine of between 15 and 25 million dong shall be imposed on foreign employee who commits one of the following acts:
- Working without work permit or without written certification showing that he/she is not subject to apply for work permit;
- Using an expired work permit or an invalid written certification of not being subject to apply for work permit.

In addition to fines, foreign workers are also expelled from Viet Nam without a work permit or a written certification of not being subject to apply for work permit.

Hereinabove is information related to work permit for foreign employee in Viet Nam. This information shall be updated regularly in case of changes.
If you have further questions, please email to or or call us at (+84) 902 088 698 (WhatsApp, Zalo) or (+84) 388 619 018. For non-office hour emergency booking, please dial (+84) 902 088 698 (WhatsApp, Zalo) – (English speaking staff on duty available from 08:00 to 24:00 daily).