What is the change? Vietnam has released Circular No. 23 on the recently introduced online work permit application system. 

What does the change mean? The guidelines set out the online process for each type of application and clarifies that online submission is optional, not mandatory; applications may continue to be submitted manually.

  • Implementation time frame: Oct. 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: Foreign-labor demand applications, work permit applications and renewals, work permit exemption requests.
  • Who is affected: Vietnamese companies applying for the above services.
  • Impact on processing times: Online work permit applications will be processed within five business days (compared with seven for manually submitted applications). Renewals and exemptions will be processed within three business days. Foreign-labor demand applications will be processed within 12 business days.
  • Business impact: The online system will provide a convenient option and slightly shorter processing times with results issued by email.

Background: Online procedures and timelines for various applications are as follows:

Type Application Period Processing time Issuance
New work permit At least 7 business days before work start date 5 business days After approval is emailed, applicant must provide hard copies of supporting documents to labor authorities. Permit is issued within 8 hours.
Work permit renewal 5  to 45 days before expiration of existing permit 3 business days Same as new work permit.
Work permit exemption At least 5 business days before work start date 3 business days Same as new and renewal applications.
Foreign-labor demand At least 20 days before work start date (at least 10 days before for renewals) 12 business days Same as above.

BAL Analysis: The online option provides more flexible time frames, reduced paperwork and faster processing, but the system is only widely available in Hanoi; other jurisdictions have yet to implement it.

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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