Why should a foreigner apply for work permit in Vietnam?

By Hong | April 06, 2018

According to Vietnamese Labor Law code 2012, a foreign labor has to apply for a work permit in order to work legally in Vietnam and renew his/her business visa. The application needs to be submitted within a reasonable of time or the applicant may be requested to leave Vietnam when his/her visa expires.

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By obtaining a permit, a foreign citizen can show that he/she fully meet the following conditions:

  • Possessing full civil act capacity;
  • Possessing technical and professional qualifications and skills and health appropriate to the work requirement;
  • Not being a criminal or subject to penal liability examination according to Vietnamese and International Law.
  • Possessing a work permit granted by a competent Vietnamese state agency, except the cased specified in Labor Code.

Therefore, based on regulations of the Labor Code of Vietnam, except for the foreign citizens exempted from a work permit i.e. investor of a company established in Vietnam, all of the cases the foreign citizens wishing to work in Vietnam shall be subject to work permit application. A foreign employee shall produce his/her work permit when carrying out immigration procedures or upon request of a competent state agency.

In case foreign citizens who do not belong to work permit exemption being found working in Vietnam without a work permit, that person shall be considered a violation of the law of Vietnam. Besides, the employer that uses the violated employee without work permit shall be punished accordingly.

According to Decree No. 95/2013/ND-CP amendments to the government's Decree No. 95/2013/ND-CP dated August 22, 2013, on Penalties for administrative violations of regulations on employment, social insurance, and Vietnamese guest worker:

1. A foreign citizen who is working without a work permit, except for the cases in which the work permit is exempted shall be expelled. He/she will hardly obtain a visa for Vietnam later.

2. Employers who employ a foreign labor in Vietnam without a work permit or a certificate of exemption from work permit, or employ a foreign labor using an expired work permit shall be implied:

a. A fine from VND 30,000,000 to VND 45,000,000 if the violation involves 01 – 10 workers;

b. A fine From VND 45,000,000 to VND 60,000,000 if the violation involves 11 – 20 workers;

c. A fine From VND 60,000,000 to VND 75,000,000 if the violation involves more than 20 workers;

Additional penalty: The employer who commits the violation mentioned herein shall have its operation suspended for 1 – 3 months.


Best regards

Your Vietnam Immigration Advisor