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January 15 2014

Vietnam 's New Decree on Work Permits

On 1 May 2013, the new Labour Code of Vietnam came into force, introducing many significant changes concerning employment matters. To give effect to these changes, the government has issued a number of guiding regulations. The new Labour Code of Vietnam restricts the employment of expatriate employees in Vietnam. To implement the provisions of the Labour Code on work permits, on 5 September 2013 the government issued Decree No.102|2013|ND-CP (Decree 102). As a general rule, in order to work in Vietnam a foreigner must secure a work permit from the labour authority (Work Permit). Decree 102 introduces a new pre-recruitment procedure that must be carried out by employers. Specifically, employers must submit for approval an annual report on their requirements for expatriate employees to the chairman of the local Provincial People's Committee. Any change to these requirements must also be reported. The term of the Work Permit must not exceed two years (as opposed to three years under the preceding legislation). Upon expiry of his or her existing Work Permit, the Work Permit holder should apply for a new Work Permit (instead of applying for an extension as with the preceding legislation). An expatriate employee who is subject to Work Permit requirements and who is working in Vietnam without a Work Permit may be expelled from Vietnam. The government also issued Decree No. 182|2013|ND-CP on 14 November, which provides for new regional minimum salaries of employees, including employees of foreign invested enterprises.