What are the penalties for employing foreign workers without a work permit?

Date Create: 29/12/2020


Many businesses have the need to recruit foreigners to work in Vietnam. However, not all foreign workers employed by an enterprise have a work permit. So, if the enterprise employs foreign workers without a work permit, what sanctions they should face?

Conditions for foreign citizens to work in Vietnam

Pursuant to Article 169 of the Labor Code 2012 stipulating that the workers who are foreign citizens working in Vietnam must satisfy the following conditions:

+ Having full civil act capacity;

+ Having sufficient professional qualifications, skills and health to fit the job requirements;

+ Not being a criminal or being prosecuted for criminal liability according to the provisions of Vietnamese laws and foreign laws;

+ Having a work permit issued by a competent state agency of Vietnam, unless being exempted from a work permit.

Foreigners who are exempted from a work permit

According to the Decree No. 11 which came into force as from May 01, 2016, additional foreign workers who are exempted from work permits include:

+ Such person(s) entering Vietnam to work as an expert, manager, executive director or technical employee with a working time of less than 30 days and a cumulative time not exceeding 90 days in a year.

+ Teachers and research students being certified by the Ministry of Education and Training to teach and do research at educational and training institutions in Vietnam.

+ Students studying at overseas schools and training institutions with internship agreements in agencies and enterprises in Vietnam.

+ Individuals having official passports to enter Vietnam to work for state agencies, socio-political organizations.

Note: Although there are provisions on work permit exemption, in some cases the employer needs to confirm that the foreigner is subject to such cases at least 7 working days in advance from the date of foreign workers begin to work/study/teach in Vietnam.

Penalties for employing foreign workers without a work permit

In case of failure to comply with regulations on work permit application, foreign workers and the enterprise employing foreign workers shall be fined as below:

  1. Foreign workers working in Vietnam who commit one of the following acts shall be subject to a fine of between VND 15,000,000 and VND 25,000,000 (specified in Clause 3, Article 31 of the Decree No. 28/2020/ND-CP):

+ Working without a work permit or without a written certification of subject to work permit exemption as prescribed by laws;

+ Using an expired work permit or expired written certification of subject to work permit exemption.

At the same time, to be expelled from Vietnam if they are working in Vietnam, yet do not have a work permit or do not have a written certification of subject to work permit exemption.

  1. For enterprises employing foreign workers to work in Vietnam without a work permit:

+ For violations of between 01 and 10 people, a fine of from VND 60,000,000 to VND 90,000,000 shall be imposed.

+ For violations of between 11 and 20 people, a fine of between VND 90,000,000 and VND 120,000,000 shall be imposed.

+ For violations of 21 people or more, a fine of between VND 120,000,000 and VND 150,000,000 shall be imposed.

In addition, the enterprise will also be subject to an additional penalty of suspending operation from 01 to 03 months.

The above are the most useful information on penalties for employing foreign workers without a work permit.

For more details regarding the regulations on work permits as well as procedures for applying work permits for foreign workers, please contact Nhi Gia via hotline +84 1900 6654 or send a message via Facebook Fanpage at https://www.facebook.com/nhigia. An experienced team of experts will directly support the fastest!

>> Vietnam work permit application procedures for foreigners 2021

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