Vietnam: Visas and work permits for expatriates in Vietnam 2015

Last Updated: 15 March 2015

by Russin & Vecchi's lawyers

This paper outlines regulations governing the entry and immigration of expatriates to work for a foreign or Vietnamese entity in Vietnam. .

A. ENTRY AND IMMIGRATION

The regulations governing immigration and residency for expatriates in Vietnam are provided in the following legal documents:

  • Law No. 47/2014/QH13 on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Expatriates in Vietnam ("Immigration Law"); and
  • Circular No. 04/2015/TT/BCA of the Ministry of Public Security ("MPS") dated January 5, 2015, providing the forms on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Expatriates in Vietnam.

1. Entry visa

1.1 General background

According to the Immigration Law, an expatriate may enter Vietnam if he is granted an entry visa. To obtain an entry visa, the expatriate must meet the following conditions:

  • is invited or sponsored by an organization or individual in Vietnam, or by the head of the overseas visa-issuing authority of Vietnam;
  • is on a white-list to enter Vietnam; and
  • holds papers evidencing a qualified purpose to enter into Vietnam, such as: a work permit for a foreign employee, an investment certificate with respect to a foreign investor, a practice license with respect to a foreign lawyer, etc.

A visa is granted to each expatriate, except for children under the age of 14, who will receive a visa jointly with their parent or guardian. An expatriate will apply for a visa based on his occupation or intended travel purpose, with distinct visa categories for occupations such as investor, lawyer, journalist, and others. Each visa category will have its own maximum duration ranging from 30 days to five years. Under the Immigration Law, there are 20 specific visa categories. We focus only on visas with a commercial, tourist, or related purpose.

Visa Categories Description Visa Duration
Group 1: Working Visas
Group 1A: Expatriate enters to work with Vietnamese Authority, a Non-Government Organization ("NGO"), or a Foreign Trader
NN1 Visa for a foreign head of either a Representative Office ("RO") or a project of an international organization or foreign NGO Up to 12 months
NN2 Visa for a foreign head of an RO, branch of a foreign trader, an RO of other foreign economic, cultural, or professional organizations Up to 12 months
NN3 Visa for an expatriate who will work for a foreign NGO, RO, branch of a foreign trader or an RO of other foreign economic, cultural, or professional organizations Up to 12 months
Group 1B: Expatriate enters to work with Vietnamese parties/companies
DN Visa for an expatriate who will work with a Vietnamese enterprise Up to 12 months
LD Visa for an expatriate who will work Up to 2 years
Group 2: Professional Visas
DT Visa for a foreign investor or foreign lawyer practicing in Vietnam Up to 5 years
PV1 Visa for a foreign journalist who has permanent residence in Vietnam Up to 12 months
PV2 Visa for a foreign journalist who will work for a short period of time in Vietnam Up to 12 months
Group 3: Other Visas
DH Visa for an expatriate who will study or for an internship Up to 12 months
HN Visa for an expatriate who will attend a convention or conference Up to 3 months
DL Visa for a foreign tourist Up to 3 months
TT Visa for an expatriate that either is a parent, spouse, or under-18-year-child of an expatriate has been issued with DT/NN1/NN2/DH/PV1/LD visa, or is a parent, spouse, or child of Vietnamese citizens Up to 12 months
VR Visa for an expatriate who visits his relatives or for other purposes Up to 6 months

Vietnam made broad commitments as part of its WTO accession2 ("Vietnam's WTO Commitments") with regard to the immigration of expatriates working as managers, executives or experts in a foreign "commercial presence" 3 in Vietnam. In particular, Vietnam has made the following commitments:

  • An expatriate recruited by the commercial presence of a foreign entity in a position of "manager", "executive" or "expert" may obtain an entry visa with a duration of up to three years, renewable subject to his term of employment in Vietnam, in which:
  • A "Manager" or "executive" is a person who manages a foreign invested enterprise ("FIE"), or a branch or a business cooperation contract ("BCC"), and report only to the board of directors or shareholders. Management responsibilities include directing the FIE, the branch or the office of the BCC themselves, or directing a department, division or independent unit. Management responsibilities also consist of supervising the performance of other supervisory, professional, or managerial staff, including recruiting and dismissing staff. Oddly, it appears that a manager or an executive can only manage the "supply" of services or production, but cannot provide the services or be involved in production. This is limiting in certain businesses. For example, a software, architectural, or similar service provider in which a manager both manages the operations and provides services to their clients do not qualify.

    An "Expert" is a person who has qualifications at an advanced level of expertise or who has knowledge of services, research equipment, techniques, or management.

  • An expatriate transferred from abroad to work for the commercial presence of a foreign entity in the position of "manager", "executive", or "expert" may obtain a renewable entry visa with a duration of more than three years.

The difference between the Immigration Law and Vietnam's WTO Commitments is the duration of the visa for an expatriate employed by a Vietnamese company (under category LD in Group 1B of the table above). According to the Immigration Law, visas can only be issued for a maximum duration of two years, while this term can be three years or more under Vietnam's WTO Commitments. In practice, the Government still grants visas for two years or less. It is not clear when three-year visas will be available.

1.2 Purpose of Entry

A visa may be used only in accordance with its stated purpose. The purpose of a visa may not be converted. For instance, an expatriate entering Vietnam with a tourist visa (DL) may not convert his visa to a working visa (LD).

A visa may be renewed provided that conditions on which the original visa was issued continue.

1.3 Visa exemptions

Under Article 12 of the Immigration Law, a visa is not required if the expatriate:

  • is eligible for a visa exemption in accordance with international agreements to which Vietnam is a member;
  • holds a residence permit (see Section A.2 below);
  • enters a border-gate economic zone or special administrative-economic unit;
  • is eligible for unilateral visa exemption; or
  • is an overseas Vietnamese who has been granted a visa-free entry.
  1. Exemption under international agreements, protocols, etc.

As of March 2015, Vietnam has reached entry visa exemption agreements with 79 countries.4 However, most of these agreements only grant exemptions to those with diplomatic or public affairs passports.

An entry visa exemption for persons holding ordinary passports and staying in Vietnam for 30 days or less is granted under Vietnam's agreements with Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore. Such exemptions are also granted to citizens of Russia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland holding ordinary passports and staying in Vietnam for 15 days or less according to Resolution No. 99/NQ-CP issued on December 29, 2014. This Resolution expires on December 31, 2019.

In this regard, the Government has issued Resolution No. 46/NQ-CP dated June 18, 2015, for citizens of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, as long as the term of temporary residence in Vietnam does not exceed 15 days. This Resolution dates from July 1, 2015 and expires on June 30, 2016, but it can be extended.

  1. Exemption for expatriates who are overseas Vietnamese

According to Decision No. 01/VBHN-BCA of the MPS dated February 10, 2014, an overseas Vietnamese is exempt from a visa to enter Vietnam if that person has obtained a certificate of visa exemption issued either by a Vietnamese diplomatic office abroad or by the Immigration Department of the MPS. A person with a certificate of visa exemption may stay in Vietnam for up to 90 days upon each entry.

In order to apply for such certificate, an overseas Vietnamese must present one of the following documents:

  • Certificate of Vietnamese origin;
  • Guarantee letter either from a Vietnamese association in the foreign country or from a Vietnamese national.

A visa exemption is also issued to the spouse and children of an overseas Vietnamese. A certificate of visa exemption for an overseas Vietnamese and his spouse or children is valid for up to five years and is renewable.

2. Residence permit

2.1 Temporary Residence Card ("TRC")

An expatriate who has stayed in Vietnam for at least one year may apply for a TRC from the Immigration Department. With a TRC, an expatriate may stay in Vietnam without a visa.

The Immigration Law classifies the TRCs into several categories. Three different terms apply to the TRCs. For example, a foreign investor, a foreign lawyer or an overseas student may obtain a five-year TRC; a chief representative of a foreign trader's RO/branch may obtain a three-year TRC; and a foreign employee may obtain a two-year TRC.

If an expatriate works for a FIE or under a BCC as a manager, an executive or an expert, he may obtain a TRC under the more favorable terms specified in Vietnam's WTO Commitments. In this regard, the law distinguishes between the case of an intra-company transfer and the normal recruitment of an expatriate. In particular:

  • A manager, executive, or expert that has transferred from abroad to work for the commercial presence of a foreign entity in Vietnam may receive an extendable TRC with an initial term of three years. To qualify, the employee must have been employed by the foreign enterprise for at least one full year.
  • A manager, executive, or expert who is recruited by the commercial presence of a foreign entity may be granted a TRC for the duration of his employment contract or for an initial period of three years, whichever is shorter. A TRC may be extended, subject to the duration of the employment contract.

2.2 Permanent Residence Card ("PRC")

A PRC may be granted to an expatriate who resides temporarily in Vietnam, as follows:

  • An expatriate who contributes to the development and protection of Vietnam and is awarded a medal or title by the Government;
  • An expatriate who has resided temporarily in Vietnam for three or more consecutive years, and is sponsored by his parent, spouse, or child who is a Vietnamese citizen and has permanent residence in Vietnam;
  • Foreign scientists or experts who temporarily reside in Vietnam and are recommended by the Minister or head of ministerial/governmental agencies in their fields; and
  • Persons who have no nationality and have resided temporarily in Vietnam since before 2000.

An expatriate holding a PRC can stay in Vietnam without a visa. Ironically, a PRC must be re-issued every ten years.

  1. Transit and Exit

An expatriate is granted transit to Vietnam if he presents the following documents:

  • a ticket showing the next destination; and
  • a visa issued by the competent authorities of the next destination.

An expatriate may exit Vietnam if he does not fit one of several categories which relate to business, employment, marriage, or family matters. The Immigration Department may compel an expatriate to exit if he fails to leave Vietnam upon expiration of his temporary residence period. If there is a reason that relates to national defense, national security, or social order, the Minister of either National Defense or MPS may compel the expatriate to exit.

B. EMPLOYMENT OF EXPATRIATES IN VIETNAM

The employment and management of expatriates working in Vietnam is regulated by the following legal documents:

  • Labor Code No. 10/2012/QH13 issued by the National Assembly on June 18, 2012 ("Labor Code");
  • Decree No. 102/2013/ND-CP of the Government, dated September 5, 2013 on Employment of Expatriates in Vietnam ("Decree 102");
  • Circular No. 03/2014/TT-BLDTBXH of the Ministry of Labor, Invalid and Social Affairs dated January 20, 2014 promulgating guidance on a number of articles of Decree 102 ("Circular 03");
  • Circular No. 41/2014/TT-BCT of the Ministry of Industry and Trade dated November 5, 2014 regarding foreign employees seconded to enterprises belonging to one of the eleven services under the list of Vietnam's WTO Commitments ("Circular 41");
  • Resolution No. 47/NQ-CP of the Government dated July 8, 2014 ("Resolution 47"); and
  • Official letter No. 2779/LDTBXH-VL of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs dated August 4, 2014.
  1. Employment of expatriates

1.1 Approval for recruitment of expatriates

An employer must prepare a plan to recruit expatriates for each job for which Vietnamese citizens do not qualify, and file such plan, 30 calendar days or more prior to the proposed recruitment. The plan must be filed with and approved by the provincial People's Committee. This is a compulsory step in order for an expatriate to be issued a work permit.

1.2 Qualifications

Decree 102 sets out a number of conditions that an expatriate must meet in order to be issued a work permit. In particular:

  • An expatriate must have full capacity of civil acts;5
  • His health must be appropriate for the required working conditions;
  • An expatriate must hold the position of manager, executive, expert or technician;
  • The expatriate must not: (i) have a criminal record that involves a national security offence; or (ii) be subject to criminal prosecution or be under criminal sentence under Vietnamese or foreign law;
  • The employer must receive approval to recruit an expatriate (see Section B.1.1); and
  • The expatriate must have a work permit issued by the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs ("DOLISA"), except where an exemption applies.

Under regulations on employment and management of expatriates working in Vietnam, a "manager" or an "executive" is a person directly participating in management of an enterprise. He may give instructions to an enterprise and its subsidiary, supervise and control performance of experts, supervisors, and staff. An "expert" or a "technician" is a person who meets the requirements regarding specialist training qualification (ie, bachelor's degree or higher degree) or who has at least five years' experience in the same position for which he proposes to work in Vietnam.

1.3 Numerical limit

There is no limitation on the number of expatriates that can be employed by an employer.

1.4 Form of employment

An expatriate who qualifies as a manager, executive, expert, or technician can work in Vietnam under any of the following circumstances:

  1. Recruited by an entity in Vietnam
  2. An entity in Vietnam, including a foreign entity's commercial presence or a Vietnamese entity, can recruit a qualified expatriate to work for it as a manager, executive, expert, or technician. (b) Under a secondment A foreign entity may transfer a manager, executive, expert or technician ("intra-company transferee") to its commercial presence in Vietnam. To do so, the intra-company transferee must have been employed by the foreign entity for at least 12 consecutive months.

  1. Under a secondment
  2. A foreign entity may transfer a manager, executive, expert or technician ("intra-company transferee") to its commercial presence in Vietnam. To do so, the intra-company transferee must have been employed by the foreign entity for at least 12 consecutive months.

  1. Performance of contract
  2. An expatriate may work in Vietnam to perform a contract between a foreign entity and a Vietnamese counterparty when the contract requires the use of the expatriate's service.

  1. Contractual service supplier ("CSS")
  2. The following conditions and requirements apply to a CSS who is an employee of an offshore entity, and enters into Vietnam, on behalf of the offshore entity, to render services for a Vietnamese counterparty:

  • A service contract must have been agreed to by the offshore entity and the Vietnamese counterparty;
  • The CSS must have been employed by the foreign entity for a period of at least two years; and
  • The CSS must meet the requirements to be classified an expert as discussed in Section B.1.2 above.
  1. Service sales person ("SSP")
  2. An SSP is an expatriate employee who neither lives in Vietnam, nor receives remuneration from any source in Vietnam. The SSP may represent an offshore service provider in negotiations for the service, as long as he neither sells nor provides the services to the public.

  1. Work permit exemptions

A work permit is not required if the expatriate:

  1. is a contributing member/owner of a limited liability company established in Vietnam;
  2. is a member of a management board of a joint stock company established in Vietnam;
  3. is head of either an RO or a project of an international organization or a foreign NGO in Vietnam. A chief representative of a foreign trader's RO is not included in this category, and is required to obtain a work permit;
  4. enters and stays in Vietnam for less than three consecutive months to provide services (defined in Section B.1.4(e)). A work permit is required if a foreign SSP stays in Vietnam for more than 3 consecutive months;
  5. enters Vietnam and stays for less than three consecutive months, to handle complicated technical or technological problems that affect or could affect production/business and these problems cannot be adequately addressed within Vietnam. However, if the situation requires the expatriate to stay in Vietnam for more than 3 months, a work permit is necessary;
  6. is a foreign lawyer with a Certificate of Law Practice in Vietnam granted by the Ministry of Justice;
  7. is a foreign pupil/student who is studying in Vietnam. The employer, however, must inform the provincial labor authority of its recruitment of a foreign pupil/student seven days prior to the recruitment;
  8. is seconded to Vietnam as permitted under Vietnam's WTO Commitments. Under Appendices 1 and 2 of the Circular 41, the 11 services include: business services (such as: professional services, computer and related services, research and development services, rental services without operator), communication services, construction and related engineering services, distribution services, educational services, environmental services, financial services, medical and social services, tourism and related travel services, recreational, cultural and sporting services, and transport services;
  9. provides expert and technical consultancy services or undertakes other tasks with respect to research, formulation, evaluation, monitoring and assessment, or management and implementation of a program or project using official development aid;
  10. has a media license issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  11. is appointed by a competent authority in a foreign country to teach at an international school which is managed by a foreign diplomatic office or an international organization in Vietnam;
  12. is a foreign volunteer who works in Vietnam on a voluntary basis and without entitlement to a salary in order to implement an international treaty to which Vietnam is a signatory;

Seven working days prior to the date the exempt expatriate is scheduled to start working in Vietnam, the employer/Vietnamese counterparty must send an application to the DOLISA of the locality where the expatriate will be working. The application must contain:

  • A request for confirmation that the expatriate is not required to obtain a work permit (made on a standard form);
  • Spreadsheet list of work-permit-exempt expatriates indicating their names, ages, nationalities, passport numbers, dates of commencement of work, and their positions; and
  • Document to prove that the expatriate falls into an exempt category.

A document in a foreign language need not be legalized, but it must be translated into Vietnamese and the translation must be notarized.

Within 03 working days upon receipt of a complete application, the DOLISA will provide the employer/Vietnamese counterparty with a letter of confirmation on work permit exemption. In a case of refusal, the DOLISA will issue a letter containing the reasons for refusal.

  1. Compulsory to obtain work permits

Unless exempt from obtaining a work permit as described in Section B.2, an expatriate is required to obtain a work permit in order to work in Vietnam.

The work permit requirement applies equally to both expatriates working for the commercial presence of a foreign entity as well as expatriates working for a Vietnamese entity. A work permit is specific to an employer or Vietnamese counterparty. If an expatriate wishes to work concurrently for another employer in Vietnam, even if his current work permit is valid, he must obtain another work permit.

3.1 Application to obtain a work permit

The entity for which an expatriate will work, not the expatriate himself, is responsible for applying for a work permit. The application for a work permit includes the following documents:

  1. Standard documents
  • A request to issue a work permit (made on a standard form);
  • A health certificate issued in a foreign country or in Vietnam;
  • A judicial record issued by an authority (i.e. a judicial or law enforcement agency) in the country in which the expatriate resides, showing whether the applicant has a criminal record.
  • Criminal record of an expatriate who has lived or is living in Vietnam includes: a criminal record issued by the Criminal Records Centre of Vietnam (if the expatriate has lived in Vietnam in the past) or issued by the provincial Department of Justice (if the expatriate currently lives in Vietnam), and a criminal record issued by a competent foreign authority;

  • Documents to certify that the expatriate is a manager, executive, expert, or technician. These are documents which prove either the expatriate's professional qualification or his required working experience. Professional qualification can be shown by diplomas, degrees, or skill certificates where an expatriate is a craftsman, soccer player, pilot, or aircraft maintenance person. Required work experience must be at least five years for a foreign expert or technician.
  • Letter of consent on expatriate's employment issued by the provincial People's Committee to the employer;
  • Copy of a valid passport (or valid document in place of a passport); and
  • Two passport photos [4cm x 6cm] taken within six months prior to the filing date.

A document issued in a foreign country must be legalized. Legalization requires the following steps:

  • A photocopy of a document must first be certified as a "true copy" by the licensing authority or a notary public in the place where it was issued ("Country of Origin");
  • Second, the certified copy must be endorsed by the State Department or Foreign Affairs Office of the Country of Origin (if required by the law of the Country of Origin); and
  • Finally, the endorsed document must be either: (i) legalized by the Vietnamese Embassy/Consulate in the Country of Origin, or (ii) authenticated by the
  • Embassy/Consulate of the Country of Origin in Vietnam, and then legalized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A notarized Vietnamese translation of a legalized document is also required.

  1. Specific documents relating to the expatriate's work in Vietnam

Along with the standard documents listed above, depending on the category, the application must also include the following additional documents:

Category Documents
Recruitment by an entity in Vietnam No other documents are required.
Seconded by a foreign entity to Vietnam
  • Intra-company transfer decision; and
  • Document proving that the expatriate has been employed by the foreign entity for at least 12 consecutive months prior to coming to Vietnam to work, e.g. employment contract, confirmation from parent company, decision on employment recruitment, or receipt of tax/insurance payments.
Performance of a contract
  • Contract signed between the foreign entity and Vietnamese counterparty which contains a provision on the requirement for expatriates.
CSS
  • Service contract signed by the foreign entity (as a service provider) and Vietnamese counterparty (as a customer); and
  • Document proving that the expatriate has already worked for the foreign entity (without a commercial presence in Vietnam) for at least 24 months, eg., employment contract, confirmation from foreign entity, decision on employment recruitment, or receipt of tax/insurance payments.

In this case, the work permit will be specific to the Vietnamese counterparty. An expatriate who is employed by an offshore entity and obtains a work permit to work as a foreign CSS for a Vietnamese counterparty, cannot use that work permit to provide services to any other Vietnamese party, including a different Vietnamese counterparty of the same offshore entity.

SSP
  • Letter issued by foreign service provider (as an employer) to appoint the expatriate (as an employee) to Vietnam in order to negotiate the sale of services.
Work for a foreign NGO or international organization
  • Copy of an operation permit of the foreign NGO or international organization permitted to operate under Vietnamese law.
Establishment of commercial presence of a foreign service provider in Vietnam
  • Letter issued by the foreign service provider appointing the expatriate to Vietnam in order to establish the commercial presence of the foreign service provider.
Recruitment occurring after a foreign contractor has been awarded a contract
  • Contractor permit;
  • Job application; and
  • Approval of the provincial People's Committee permitting the recruitment of expatriates.

If the specific document is written in a foreign language, it does not have to be legalized, but it must be translated into Vietnamese and the translation must be notarized.

Upon receipt of a work permit, the employer and the expatriate must enter into an employment contract. Within five working days from the date of the employment contract, the entity at which the expatriate works must send a copy of the employment contract to the DOLISA. This requirement only applies to an expatriate recruited by a commercial presence of a foreign entity in Vietnam or a Vietnamese entity.

3.2 Time frame

An application for a work permit must be filed with the DOLISA of the province where an expatriate will be working. If the expatriate has to work in several provinces or cities, the application will be filed with the DOLISA in the province in which the employer or Vietnamese counterparty is located.

The application must be completed at least 15 working days prior to the date the expatriate is scheduled to start working in Vietnam. An employer or Vietnamese counterparty will normally receive the work permit from the DOLISA within 10 working days from the date of filing, and must then deliver it to the expatriate. As issuance of a work permit can be delayed, filing timelines should take this into account. Moreover, filing should be coordinated with the recruitment timelines mentioned in Section B.1.1.

3.3 Term of a work permit

The term of a work permit cannot exceed two years and must coincide with the following duration:

  • term of employment contract;
  • term of transfer in case of an intra-company transfer;
  • term of the contract in case of performance under a contract;
  • term of the contract under which the expatriate works as a CSS;
  • term of appointment for sale of services;
  • term of license of the foreign NGO or international organization in Vietnam; or
  • term of appointment for the expatriate to establish a commercial presence in Vietnam.

3.4 Extension of a work permit

A work permit is no longer extendable. That is, when a work permit expires, a new application for a new work permit must be made. See discussion below.

3.5 Reissuance of a work permit

A new work permit can be issued in the following two circumstances:

  1. The current work permit is lost, damaged, or there are changes to information in the work permit, such as: name, date of birth, nationality, passport number, or working location.
  2. Within three days from the date a work permit is lost or damaged, or if any information in the work permit changes, the expatriate must inform his employer, the Vietnamese counterparty, or the representative of the foreign NGO or international organization. Within five working days from the receipt of the report, the employer, Vietnamese counterparty, or the representative must submit an application for reissuance. It must be submitted to the DOLISA where the work permit was originally issued. The dossier must include:

    • request for reissuance (on a standard form);
    • copy of passport or equivalent document;
    • work permit unless it is lost; and
    • two passport photos [4cm x 6cm] taken within six months prior to the filing date.
  1. The current work permit expires.
  2. At least five days but no earlier than 15 days prior to the expiry of the work permit, the employer must file an application with the DOLISA for reissuance of the work permit. Documentation for reissuance of a work permit is less complicated than that required for an initial work permit. Specifically, the employer is not required to submit the judicial records, documents confirming professional qualifications/skill certificates and required working experience, nor the copy of a passport as required in the standard documents discussed in Section B.3.1(i) above.

    In this case, the dossier for a work permit includes:

    • request for reissuance (on a standard form);
    • health certificate;
    • letter of consent on expatriates' employment (See Section B.1.1);
    • specific documents relating to the expatriate's work in Vietnam as mentioned in Section B.3.1(ii);
    • work permit which is going to expire; and
    • two passport photos [4cm x 6cm] taken within six months prior to the filing date.

The DOLISA will re-issue a work permit within three working days from the date of the application.

After receipt of the re-issued work permit, and when the employment contract is signed, a copy must be filed with the DOLISA that re-issues the work permit. It must be completed within five working days from the date of the employment contract.

3.6 Withdrawal of a work permit

There are several reasons a work permit may be withdrawn by the DOLISA that issued it:

  • There is false or incorrect information in the application;
  • The work permit expires;
  • The expatriate or the employer fails to comply with the contents of the work permit;
  • The employment contract between the expatriate and the entity in Vietnam is terminated. As a work permit is specific to an employer, it cannot be used to work for another employer;
  • The work as described in the expatriate's employment contract is inconsistent with the contents of the work permit;
  • Economic, commercial, financial, banking, insurance, scientific and technical, cultural, sporting, educational, vocational training or medical health contract for which he works is terminated;
  • It is revoked by competent State authorities because the expatriate violated Vietnamese law;
  • The foreign entity sends a notice to terminate the intra-company transfer of the expatriate to the entity in Vietnam;
  • The employer terminates its operation; or
  • The expatriate is imprisoned, dies or is missing as determined by a court.

3.7 Consequences of working in Vietnam without a work permit

Except in the case of exemptions, a work permit is mandatory. An expatriate who works in Vietnam without a work permit may be deported within 15 working days from discovery. The employer's operation may be suspended for three months, and a maximum penalty of VND 75 million (approximate US$ 3,500) may be applied to the employer.

  1. Work permit, customs clearance of personal effects

Decree No. 08/2015/ND-CP of the Government dated January 21, 2015 guiding the Law on Customs No. 29/2001/QH10 (as amended in 2005 by Law No. 42/2005/QH11) ("Decree 08") regulates customs procedures, inspection, and supervision. Under Decree 08, an expatriate who brings personal effects into Vietnam has to submit: (i) a customs declaration; (ii) a bill of lading; and, most importantly (iii) written certification of his permission to work in Vietnam, issued by a competent authority (ie., a work permit). This requirement for a work permit for customs clearance purposes is currently provided in the Labor Code.

Footnotes

1 This book has been written and updated by lawyers from Russin & Vecchi. It is current through July 2015.
2 Vietnam committed to WTO on November 7, 2006 and the WTO Commitments took effect on January 11, 2007.
3 This is an awkward term, but it is used in the Vietnam's WTO commitments and best encompasses both commercial entities and commercial offices that are not juridical entities.
4 http://lanhsuvietnam.gov.vn/Lists/BaiViet/B%C3%A0i%20vi%E1%BA%BFt/DispForm.aspx?List=dc 7c7d75-6a32-4215-afeb-47d4bee70eee&ID=64
5 One condition for full capacity of civil acts is that he must be 18 years of age or older (Articles 18 and 19 of Civil Code No. 33/2005/QH11 dated June 14, 2005).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions