VIETNAM – Changes to Work Permit Rules
On 8 October 2018, Decree 140/2018/N?-CP was issued by MOLISA, bringing a few changes and additions to Decree 11/2016/ N?-CP.
As with any new decree or change in law, application by the different provinces can vary during the initial transition period.
What has changed?
According to the new decree, only a normal copy of the applicant’s passport is required for a work permit application. Previously, a notarized/certified copy of the passport was required. However, at the time of writing the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) labour department is still requiring a notarized passport copy. The new decree annuls the requirement to cancel work permits. At the time of writing, the HCMC and Hanoi labour departments have stopped accepting work permit cancellations. However, the HCMC office has stated that it expects to begin requiring cancellations again, despite what the new decree states. The processing time for work permit applications has been reduced from seven days to five days. However, labour department officers have stated that this may not be realistic in practice. The new decree clarifies that “the person responsible for establishing the commercial presence” of an entity in Vietnam is exempt from the requirement to obtain either a work permit or a work permit exemption certificate.
Companies employing foreign nationals in Vietnam are advised to contact their immigration specialist for up-to-date, case-specific advice.