New regulations on foreign workers working in Vietnam

Date Create: 01/03/2021


On December 30, 2020, the Government issued the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP regarding the regulations on foreign workers working in Vietnam and the  recruitment and management of Vietnamese employees to work for foreign organizations and individuals in Vietnam. This Decree takes effect as from February 15, 2021.

One of the prominent contents of the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP is the regulation on the granting of permits for foreign workers to work in Vietnam, specifically:

Forms of labor of foreign citizens entering Vietnam to work

Pursuant to Clause 1, Article 2 of the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP, foreign citizens entering Vietnam to work (hereinafter referred to as foreign workers) in the following forms:

+ Performance of labor contracts;

+ Intra-corporate movement;

+ Performance of various types of contracts or agreements in fields of economics, commerce, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, vocational education, and health;

+ Service provider under contracts; offering services;

+ Working for foreign non-governmental organizations, international organizations in Vietnam licensed to operate under the provisions of Vietnamese laws;

+ Volunteers;

+ Persons responsible for setting up commercial presenc;

+ Managers, executive directors, experts, technical workers;

+ Participating in the implementation of bidding packages and projects in Vietnam;

+ Relatives of members of foreign representative missions in Vietnam allowed to work in Vietnam in accordance with provisions in international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member.

Case of foreign workers who are not subject to a work permit

In addition to the cases specified in Clauses 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, Article 154 of the Labor Code, foreign workers in the following cases are not subject to work permits:

  1. Being the owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a capital contribution value of 3 billion VND or more.
  2. Being the Chairman of the Board of Directors or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint stock company with a capital contribution value of 3 billion VND or more.
  3. Intra-company movement within 11 service sectors listed in Vietnam's schedule of service commitments to the World Trade Organization, including: business, information, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, entertainment and culture, and transportation.
  4. Entering Vietnam to provide professional and technical advisory services or to perform other duties serving the research, development, evaluation, monitoring, evaluation, management and implementation of the programs, projects using official development assistance (ODA) according to regulations or agreements in international treaties on ODA signed between Vietnamese and foreign competent authorities.
  5. Being licensed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to operate in fields of information and press in Vietnam according to the provisions of laws.
  6. Being sent to Vietnam by competent foreign agencies or organizations to teach or study at international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or the United Nations; establishments and organizations established under the agreements that Vietnam has signed and acceded to.
  7. Volunteers as defined in Clause 2, Article 3 of the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP.
  8. Entering Vietnam to work as a manager, executive director, expert or technical employee for a working time of less than 30 days and not more than 03 times a year.
  9. Entering Vietnam to implement international agreements signed by agencies or organizations at the central or provincial level according to the provisions of laws.
  10. Pupils and students studying at overseas schools and training institutions with internship agreements in agencies, organizations and enterprises in Vietnam; trainees and apprentices on Vietnamese ships.
  11. Relatives of members of foreign representative offices in Vietnam as specified at Point 1, Clause 1, Article 2 of the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP.
  12. Obtaining official passports to work for state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations.
  13. Being the person responsible for establishing the commercial presence.
  14. Foreign workers are admitted by the Ministry of Education and Training to enter Vietnam for teaching and research.

The Ministry of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs has the authority to certify that the foreign worker is not subject to a work permits.

The term of the work permit for foreign workers

In addition to the cases that are not subject to work permits as prescribed, foreign workers entering Vietnam to work must be granted work permits.

The term of a work permit is according to the term of one of the cases specified in Article 10 of the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP specified below but not exceeding 02 years:

  1. Term of the labor contract is expected to be signed.
  2. Term of the assignment of foreign workers being assigned to work in Vietnam by a foreign party.
  3. Term of the contract or agreement signed between Vietnamese and foreign partners.
  4. Term of the contract or service provision agreement signed between a Vietnamese and foreign partner.
  5. The term stated in the service supplier's document appointing the foreign worker to enter Vietnam to negotiate on service provision.
  6. The term has been determined in the operation license of the agency, organization or enterprise.
  7. The term stated in the service provider's written appointment of sending the foreign worker to Vietnam to establish the commercial presence of such service supplier.
  8. The term stated in the document proving that the foreign worker is allowed to participate in the activities of a foreign enterprise already established a commercial presence in Vietnam.
  9. The term stated in the written approval of using foreign workers, except for the cases in which the report on the need to use foreign workers is not required, as prescribed at Point b, Clause 1, Article 4 of this Decree.

The order of issuing work permits is specified in Article 11 of the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP.

Re-issuance, renewal and revocation of work permits

Re-issuance of work permits: In cases the valid work permit is lost; valid work permit is damaged; or there is a change of the full name, nationality, passport number, working place indicated in the valid work permit, the work permit will be re-issued. The term of a reissued work permit is equal to the term of the issued work permit minus the time the foreign worker has worked up to the time of application for reissuance of a work permit.

Extension of work permits: Foreign workers wishing to extend work permits must satisfy the conditions specified in Article 16 of the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP, specifically:

- The issued work permit are still valid for at least 05 days but not more than 45 days.

- The demand for the employment of foreign workers is approved by a competent agency as prescribed in Article 4 or Article 5 of this Decree.

- Documents proving that the foreign worker continues to work for the employer according to the contents of the issued work permit.

Revocation of work permits: Work permit is revoked in the following cases: (1) Work permit expires as prescribed in Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Article 156 of the Labor Code; (2) The employer or the foreign worker fails to comply with the provisions of the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP; (3) Foreign workers in the process of working in Vietnam fail to comply with Vietnamese laws, affecting social security, order and safety.

>> See the the Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP for details, attachments: DOWNLOAD

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