VIETNAM – New Work Permit Eases Criteria for Intra-Company Transfers
Effective immediately, the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Labour Department is accepting applications for a new category of work permit which eases key requirements for intra-company transferees.
The new classification, called “Manager, Executive Director, Expert and Technical Worker”, only requires applicants to have at least twelve months of working experience in a company of the same group, rather than specifically in the Overseas Investor Entity (parent company).
The new classification is only accepted by the HCMC Labour Department. It is unclear when and if it will be adopted by other provinces. The standard intra-company transfer (ICT) category is still in effect.
The assignment letter still needs to come from the Overseas Investor Entity but need only state the entity within the business group that the applicant will be sent from to Vietnam. The assignment letter also should mention the duration of the employee’s experience at the company. Under the new work permit classification, there is no need for a local employment contract. The required working testimonial document can come from an entity in the group related to the investor but must contain the same information as the assignment letter with regard to the location from which the transferee will originate and the duration of working experience with the company.
Since the beginning of 2017, under the standard intra-company transfer (ICT) rules, companies who want to send their employees on assignment to Vietnam within the same group of companies are required to produce an assignment letter from the Overseas Investor Entity (the entity listed on the Vietnamese business licences).
Also required for an intra-company transfer is that the employee must have at least 12 months working experience for the Overseas Investor Entity. In many cases, multinational companies sending foreign employees to Vietnam cannot meet this requirement as the employee normally is being transferred from another entity or location within the business group.
Under the standard ICT route, if the employee is not being transferred directly from the Overseas Investor Entity, the company must instead send the employee to Vietnam as a local hire, not as an intra-company transfer.
Employers sending their employees to Vietnam within the same group of companies should consult an immigration specialist for the latest updates and advice.