What is the change? Vietnam has issued long-awaited guidance on the implementation of Decree 11 earlier this year that introduced new rules for foreign experts and employers.

What does the change mean? The guidance clarifies several important issues regarding foreign experts, intra-company transferees, 30-day work permit exemptions, change of workplace procedures, and quarterly reporting by companies on their foreign labor usage.

  • Implementation time frame: Dec. 12.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing or assigning foreign nationals in Vietnam.
  • Business impact: The circular clarifies some documentation requirements to prove minimum qualifications, and guidance on the submission date for the quarterly reporting requirement on companies that use foreign labor.
  • Next steps: Employers should pay close attention to the reporting requirement and the scope of foreign employees covered according to Decree 11.

Key points:

  • Foreign experts and specialists may prove their qualifications with a confirmation letter issued by an agency, organization or enterprise (public or private) confirming the foreign national’s field of expertise.
  • Intracompany transferees may prove the minimum 12 months of employment with the sending company by presenting an assignment letter, a former labor contract or employment decision letter or tax or insurance certificate of the foreign employee.
  • Quarterly foreign labor use reports must be submitted by companies on a new form provided by labor authorities. The reports must be submitted to the provincial Labor Department every quarter before the fifth of the month and must include foreign nationals currently holding work permits or work permit exemption certificates, as well as those who are not required to obtain work permits or work permit exemptions but who are currently working in Vietnam for the company.
  • The 30-day work permit exemption will be counted from the employee’s first date of entry into Vietnam for work purposes. The exemption allows 30 days per stay and no more than 90 days per year.
  • Procedures for changes of work location of a foreign national have been clarified. A new work permit is not required if a foreign national holds a valid work permit and is assigned to work at another company’s branch, project or client location in another province of Vietnam for more than 10 days; however, the employer must report the change to the Labor Department in the new location.
  • Upon termination of employment, a foreign employee’s work permit must be returned to the Labor Department within 15 days.

BAL Analysis: The circular provides important guidance and clarifications. Employers should contact their BAL professional for assistance in determining its impact in individual cases.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Vietnam. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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