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VIETNAM – Work permit duration cannot exceed local entity business licence validity

, 19/06/2018

Effective immediately, the Labour Authority in Ho Chi Minh City has clarified that the proposed duration of a work permit as stated in the application (currently two years maximum) cannot exceed the expiration date of the sponsoring entity’s current business licence.

This may particularly affect representative offices, whose business licences tend to be issued for between two and five years, and therefore may be close to expiry. Larger companies tend to hold business licences which are valid for longer periods.

It takes at least two months to renew a business licence.


Until June 2018, the HCMC labour authorities were more flexible on this matter and would allow the work permit duration in the application to exceed the business licence validity, anticipating that the business licence would be renewed in the interim.

There is no change for temporary residence cards and long-term visas, for which the same rule already applied.

Action Items

Companies employing foreign nationals in Vietnam which may be affected are advised to contact their immigration specialist for case-specific advice.