Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The changes in Vietnam's regulations on Work Permit for foreign labours

Foreign labours working in Vietnam are increasing rapidly, from 12,602 people in 2004 to nearly 84,000 in 2019. The regulations of the country on Work Permit (WP) have been changed over time to both simplize the procedures and tackle the "illegal" working in Vietnam by some foreigners. This article shall illustrate on how the regulations on WP have been modified from 2013 to 2020.


Regulation in 2013

Regulation since 2016

 Judicial Record
(A written document confirming the foreign worker is not an offender or being prosecuted for criminal liability)

If the foreign worker resides in Viet Nam, it's required both the judicial record issued Viet Nam and the one by their home country

If the foreign worker resides in Viet Nam, only judicial record issued Viet Nam is required.

Time to issue Work Permit (since submission of full application dossiers)

10 working days

7 working days

Minumum years of experience for experts

5 years

3 years

Duration of short-term working eligible for WP exemption


Less than 30 days of working on each entry/exit or less than 90 accumulated days in a year


1. Request for issuance of a work permit
2. Health certificate or medical certificate
3. Judicial record
4. Proof showing he/she as a manager, executive, expert or technician (education or career diplomas, certificates of experience …)
5. 02 color photos
6. A certified copy of passport or valid papers or international travel documents in accordance with the law.
7. Documents relating to the employment the foreign worker (appointment letter, labour contract, work agreement …)
Some documents needs consularization and notarization.

The Labor Law of Vietnam passed in 2019 and in effect since 1st Jan 2021 has a new regulation on the conditions for business owners to be eligible for WP exemption. Accordingly, the shareholders or business members must meet some minimum amount of capital contribution in the business entities so as to be WP exempted. Such criteria has not been specified so far and is expected to be regulated by relevant authority soon.

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