Under the 2012 Labor Code, a FIE may either directly recruit Vietnamese employees or recruit via an authorized labor agency. The FIE is then required to register the list of recruited Vietnamese employees with the local labor department, and submit reports on the utilization of and changes to staff to the labor department on a periodic basis.
Registration of expatriate employees
Expatriates working in Vietnam for 03 months or more must obtain a work permit. The term of a work permit is required to correspond with the length of the labour contract, which is capped at 36 months but may be extended at the employer’s request.
Not less than twenty days before an expatriate’s estimated date of commencement of work, an FIC must apply to MOLISA or its authorised agency to obtain a work permit for that expatriate. MOLISA or its authorised agency is obliged to give its decision within 15 days of its receipt of such application. Clear reasons must be provided if the application is refused. In addition, a work permit can be withdrawn in certain circumstances, including for a breach of the laws of Vietnam by the expatriate.
Five groups of foreigners working in Vietnam are exempt from the requirement of obtaining a work permit: (i) foreigners entering Vietnam to work for less than 03 months; (ii) a member of a limited liability company with two or more members; (iii) the owner of a one member limited liability company; (iv) a member of the board of management of a shareholding company; (v) a foreigner entering Vietnam to offer services; (vi) foreigners entering Vietnam to work to resolve an emergency situation such as a breakdown or a technically or technologically complex situation arising and affecting, or with the risk of affecting, production and/or business which Vietnamese experts or foreign experts currently in Vietnam are unable to deal with. Such foreigners must carry out procedures for issuance of a work permit if their work extends for more than 03 months; and (vii) a foreign lawyer to whom the Ministry of
Justice has issued a certificate to practice law in Vietnam.Not less than seven days prior to the date of commencement of work, foreigners who are exempted from work permit requirements must be registered at DOLISA where the employer’s head office is located. The registration must state the name, age, nationality and passport number of the employee, the dates of commencement and termination of employment, and a description of the work to be done.
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