Foreign Worker Regulations in Vietnam

Foreign Worker Regulations in Vietnam

  1. Legal basis
  • Labor Code No. 45/2019/QH14 dated November 20, 2019.
  • Decree 152/2020/ND-CP of the Government dated December 30, 2020 Regulations on foreign workers working in Vietnam and recruitment and management of Vietnamese workers working for organizations and individuals Foreigners in Vietnam (amended and supplemented by Decree No. 70/2023/ND-CP dated September 18, 2023).
  1. Requirements for foreigners to work in Vietnam.

Pursuant to Article 151 of the 2019 Labor Code, regulations on conditions for foreigners to work in Vietnam include:

  • is at last 18 years of age and has full legal capacity;
  • has qualifications, occupational skills, practical experience and adequate health as prescribed by the Minister of Health;
  • is not serving a sentence; does not have an unspent conviction; is not undergoing criminal prosecution under his/her home country’s law or Vietnam’s law;
  • has a work permit granted by a competent authority of Vietnam, except in the cases stipulated in Article 154 of this Labor Code.

Foreign workers who want to work in Vietnam, in addition to the above conditions, must also ensure:

  • The duration of a foreign employee’s employment contract must not exceed that of the work permit. When a foreign employee in Vietnam is recruited, both parties may negotiate conclusion of multiple fixed-term labor contracts.
  • Foreign employees working in Vietnam shall comply with and shall be protected by the labor law of Vietnam, unless otherwise prescribed by treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory.
  1. Forms for foreign workers to work in Vietnam

Workers who are foreign nationals moving to Vietnam for employment (hereinafter referred to as foreign workers) for the purposes of:

  • performing employment contracts;
  • performing intra-company transfer program;
  • Implementing various types of contracts or agreements on economics, trade, finance, banking, insurance, education, culture, sports, science and technology, vocational education and health;
  • providing services under contracts;
  • offering services;
  • working for foreign non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam that have been granted with operating licenses in accordance with the Vietnam law;
  • working as volunteers;
  • taking charge of establishing the commercial presence;
  • working as managers, executives, experts, technical workers;
  • performing packages or projects in Vietnam; or
  • accompanying members of foreign representative bodies in Vietnam who are authorized to work in Vietnam under an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory as their relatives.
  1. Licensing procedures for foreigners working in Vietnam

Step 1. Determination of demand for foreign workers

At least 15 days before the date on which foreign workers are expected to be employed, the employer (except contractor) shall determine the demand for foreign workers for every job position for which Vietnamese workers are underqualified and send an explanation report to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of province where the foreign workers are expected to work.

Step 2. Request judicial records for foreigners

Foreigners carry out procedures to apply for a judicial record certificate as an additional basis for their work permit application. Foreign workers can request their judicial records in their country of residence or in Vietnam.

Step 3. Apply for a work permit for foreigners (work permit)

After receiving the written notice of approval for the job position of employing foreign workers and the foreigner’s judicial record, the employer submits an application for a work permit to foreigners at the Ministry or Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs at least 15 days before the employee’s expected working date in Vietnam.

Step 4. Apply for temporary residence card for foreigners

After being granted a work permit, the foreign worker has enough facilities and conditions to work in Vietnam. At this time, foreign workers must register for a temporary residence card for foreigners to legally stay in Vietnam and have their rights protected by Vietnamese law.

  1. Reference

Website of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs:

  • English
  • Tiếng Việt