In the age of globalization, the employment of foreign workers gradually becomes familiar with the Vietnamese enterprises. However, for opening the door attracting talents across borders, the satisfaction of legal requirements regarding foreign human resources entering the Vietnamese market is the key to success. Together with the Labor Code 2019 which has just come into effect in early 2021, Decree No. 152/2020/NĐ-CP (“Decree 152”) brings a number of notable new regulations for the enterprises when recruiting and employing foreign workers.

Expanding conditions for the expert and technical worker

According to the current Decree No. 11/2016/NĐ-CP amended in 2018 (“Amended Decree 11”), a foreign employee shall be identified as an expert if they have confirmation by an overseas agency, organization, enterprise, and some other cases.

In the spirit of wide-stretched arms welcoming qualified experts and technical workers, Decree 152 opens another door: they shall only obtain above 5-year experience and appropriate practicing certificate. Simultaneously, the case of expert due to the above confirmation is abolished because of its laxity and ambiguity.

Two more cases of exemption from work permits

Currently, there are 11 cases that do not require work permits, e.g. transferring within intra-company according to the services sectors as committed by Vietnam with WTO, or entering Vietnam to work for period less than 30 days, etc.

For the purpose of reducing burden of unnecessary procedures, Decree 152 adds new cases in which this “passport” is no longer needed, including:

  • The owner or member in limited liability company or the Chairperson or member of the Board of Directors in joint stock company who has made capital contribution value of at least 3 billion VNĐ (approximately USD 130,000);
  • The employees entering Vietnam for teaching and research purposes as certified by the Ministry of Education and Training.

This provisions make favorable conditions for manager, head of the enterprise, invited researcher and educator  to easily work, support enterprise development and enhance academic exchanges.

Changes in procedures for foreign employees

In order to prioritize domestic employees, Decree 152 still requires the enterprises to explain the demand for foreign workers by report to the State. When the contractors and investors want to recruit workers, the provincial government shall recommend and supply Vietnamese workers first to the contractors, depending on the number of vacancies.

Nevertheless, upcoming, the State agencies have to follow a stricter schedule to respond the above demand report (within 10 days of receipt, earlier 5 days than current period) as well as recommendation and supply of domestic employees (15 days if the constructors want to recruit under 100 workers, instead of 01 month as currently). Concurrently, the investors shall report on employment of foreign employees only twice a year (prior to July 5th and January 5th of the next year), instead of as quarterly as the present.

The most significant change is the restoration of procedure for work permit revocation. This procedure was abolished in 2018 for administrative reform, but there were then many troubles arising out in governmental management. Therefore, Decree 152 reestablishes cases of revocation (work permit is expiry; the employer or the foreign employees fails to comply with this Decree) as well as new plug-in (fail to abide Vietnamese’s law which compromises security and social order).

Besides, the enterprise also needs to aware of that work permit shall be re-issued if the foreign employees changes their name, nationality, passport number, or working place thereon.

Decree 152 comes into force as of February 15th, 2021.