Vietnam's Labor Code 2021 - new rules on working foreigners management

Working foreigners in Vietnam are to benefit from positive points of the Revised Labor Code which has been effective since January 1, 2021. Here're some of the main changes.

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Working foreigners no longer have to produce a work permit upon their entry to Vietnam, The Saigon Times reported. According to the current Labor Code, working foreigners have to show their work permits when conducting entry or exit procedures in Vietnam.

Entry and exit of working foreigners are governed by the Law of Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam. This law rules that a work permit is only one of the conditions for indicating the purposes of foreign employees working in Vietnam so that they are provided with the appropriate visas. Meanwhile, the conditions for entry to Vietnam include an effective passport and a valid visa.

Therefore, the new Labor Code has removed such an unjustifiable obligation to be complied with by foreign workers when entering Vietnam. The removal spares foreign enterprises from possible troubles if their workers enter Vietnam without a work permit in hand.

In the another case, when a foreigner marries a Vietnamese who is living in Vietnam, he or she will not have to obtain a work permit.

The new rule helps those foreign people avoid difficulties when they want to live in Vietnam together with the spouses and find a job without having to get a work permit.

There was another condition applicable to foreigners which ruled that the duration of their work permits lasted maximum for only two years. The Revised Labor Code has relieved foreigners from this constraint as they can sign multiple fixed-term labor contracts.

In the past, they were only permitted to work continuously for an enterprise for only four years at most because they were allowed to sign fixed-term labor contracts two times.

Besides these positive points of the Revised Labor Code, some changes expected of by enterprises and their foreign workers have not been noted and introduced in the new code.

The present Labor Code and the decree on fines on administrative violations concerning labor does not specify clearly that foreigners have to obtain a work permit at every enterprise they work for. Instead, they only state generally that foreigners must obtain “work permit.”

In line with this stipulation, a foreigner is awarded a work permit is also considered as having “work permit.” However, regulations on the details of work permits have compelled working foreigners to obtain a work permit at each of the enterprises they work for—say, the content of the employment contract is not compatible with that in the work permit or the holder’s work is not compatible with the content of the work permit. Relying on these details, State management agencies have forced foreigners to have one work permit with each employer./.