Vietnam to simplify work permit for foreign businesses and workers
Vietnam pledged to facilitate foreign companies and workers to obtain work permits.
The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) would start making legal changes in May to simplify work permit procedures for foreign workers and expects to complete them by July to meet practical requirements.
Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung made the statement at a recent meeting with foreign investors.
The government is working to simplify labor laws and that foreign experts and managers are the top priority in drafting new regulations for work permit issuance, the minister stressed.
"Vietnam is working to change the relevant legal framework to make it more favorable to businesses, especially foreign firms and workers," Dung said.
He also underlined that the visa policy would be changed to provide the best conditions for foreigners, following feedback from businesses and investors.
At the Vietnam Business Forum 2023 held in Hanoi on March 19, Gabor Fluit, Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), said that Vietnam should streamline work permit procedures for foreign workers.
Gabor Fluit, Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) at the Vietnam Business Forum 2023 in Hanoi in mid-March. Photo: VGP
Gabor Fluit noted that as European investment in Vietnam increases, so does the number of foreign workers.
He noted that representatives of South Korean, European, and American companies in Vietnam have complained that they struggle to obtain work permits for their foreign employees due to inconsistent and vague regulations.
"Administrative procedures related to work permits need to be simplified so that Vietnam can attract and retain talent," Gabor Fluit stressed. It is unreasonable for foreigners who have lived, worked and invested in Vietnam for many years to be denied a work permit extension just because of a minor administrative issue, he added.
Meanwhile, Greg Testerman, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam), said there are unclear points in the work permit regulations and they should be simplified.
Hanoi, one of the big cities in need of foreign workers, has simplified procedures for approving foreigners' employment, according to the Hanoi Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.
Most foreigners who want to work in Hanoi must apply for a work permit, a legal document that gives them the legitimacy to be employed and paid by an enterprise in the capital.
However, according to Decree No.152 of December 20, 2020, a foreigner can work in Hanoi without a work permit but with a work permit exemption certificate. This certificate is equivalent to a work permit, valid for up to two years, and is a basis for applying for a temporary residence card.
The Hanoi Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs holds a workshop on regulations for licensing foreign workers. Photo: Tran Oanh/The Hanoi Times
In particular, foreigners who fall into one of the categories listed below are eligible for work permit exemption in Hanoi:
- Foreigners who are heads of representative offices, projects, or persons who have primary responsibility for the operations of international organizations or foreign non-governmental organizations in Hanoi;
- Foreigners working in Hanoi for less than three months;
- Foreigners staying in Hanoi for less than three months to solve complicated technical or technological problems, which have or may have a negative impact on the companies' production and operation and cannot be solved by Vietnamese;
- Foreigners marry Vietnamese citizens and wish to reside in Vietnam;
- Foreigners who come to Hanoi for less than 30 days for expert, managerial, executive, or technical positions and make a maximum of 03 visits to the capital per year;
- Foreigners holding official passports to work in state agencies, political organizations or socio-political organizations;
- Foreigners certified by the Ministry of Education and Training to teach and conduct research in Hanoi.
As planned, the department will continue to provide guidance and disseminate regulations regarding foreign workers. It also operates the software for issuing work permits to foreigners via the web portal of the MoLISA.
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