Vietnam Updates Regulations for Foreign Workers

On September 18, the Vietnamese government issued the new decree 70/2023/ND-CP amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP regulating foreign workers working in Vietnam. The updates simplify some procedures, with one of the main changes relating to the requirement to post all jobs on the government portal as some may confidential or sensitive especially for executive roles. The changes go into effect from September 18, 2023.

Labour market testing: From January 1, 2024, employers will be required to advertise the job position on the jobs website of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), or the relevant Employment Service Centre, for at least 15 days before applying for permission to hire a foreign national for the position.

Qualifications and work experience: Foreign nationals are no longer required to have bachelor’s degrees or training which is directly related to their intended job positions in Vietnam, as was previously required.

Now, foreign nationals are required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher, or a graduation certificate, and at least three years of suitable working experience for the position to be taken in Vietnam to be considered as an “expert”; or be trained for at least one year and have at least five years of suitable working experience for the position to be taken in Vietnam to be considered a “technical worker”.

Work permit exemption: The new decree introduces a new work permit exemption for managers, executives, principals, and deputy principals of educational institutions established by foreign diplomatic representative agencies or intergovernmental organisations.

Document requirements: Vietnamese companies can now certify copies of a foreign national’s passport, removing the need for notarised or certified true copies, which will expedite the application process. The new decree also recognises that Vietnamese translations of legalised documents issued by foreign organisations can be either notarised or certified instead of certified only as previously.

Foreign lawyers and foreign workers married to Vietnamese citizens no longer require job position approval, and can apply for work permit exemption certificates.

Moreover, job position approval must now be sought at least 15 days prior to the employment begins, rather than 30 days as previously.

Finally, previously-issued work permits or work permit exemption certificates can now be used as evidence of work experience.

Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.