Recently, the Government has issued Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP regulating foreign workers working in Vietnam and recruiting and managing Vietnamese employees working for foreign organizations and foreign individuals in Vietnam. In particular, the provision on the duration of the work permit for foreign workers is a prominent content in this Decree. As follows: 

In addition to the cases that are not subject to work permits as prescribed, foreign workers working in Vietnam must be granted work permits. 

The duration of work permits issued according to the duration of one of the cases regulated in Article 10 of Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP is stated below but not exceeding 2 years:

– The duration of the labor contract to be signed;

– The duration of assignment in Vietnam decided by the foreign partner;

– The duration of the contract or agreement signed by and between the Vietnamese partner and the foreign partner;

– The duration of the service contract or agreement signed by and between the Vietnam partner and the foreign partner;

– The duration stated in the paper made by the service provider who sends the foreign worker to Vietnam to negotiate the service supply;

– The duration has been determined in the operation license of the agency, organization or enterprise;

– The duration stated in the paper made by the service provider who appoints the foreign workers to Vietnam to establish its commercial presence;

– The duration stated in the paper proving the foreign worker’s eligibility to participate in the operation of a foreign enterprise that has established its commercial presence in Vietnam;

– The duration in the written approval of the use of foreign workers, except for the cases in which the report on the need to use foreign workers is not required, as prescribed at Point b, Clause 1, Article 4 of this Decree.

Thus, compared with the provisions of Decree No.11/2016/ND-CP detailing a number of articles of the labor code regarding foreign workers working in Vietnam, the work permit in Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP has replaced The duration stated in the certificate of the foreign non-governmental organization or international organization that has been granted with operating license in accordance with the Vietnam lawbecomes “The duration has been determined in the operation license of the agency, organization or enterprise”. And Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP also adds the basis for granting work permits duration is the duration in the written approval of the use of foreign workers, except for the cases in which the report on the need to use foreign workers is not required, as prescribed at Point b, Clause 1, Article 4 of this Decree.

The order of issuing work permits is regulated in Article 11 of Decree No.152/2020/ND-CP. 

In addition, Decree No.152/2020/ND-CP also adds provisions on the extension of work permits. Accordingly, the foreign worker wishing to renew a work permit must satisfy the conditions regulated in Article 16 of Decree No.152/2020/ND-CP, specifically: 

– The work permit issued is valid for at least 05 days but not exceeding 45 days. 

– Having the approval of the foreign worker demand by a competent agency as prescribed in Article 4 or Article 5 of this Decree. 

– Documents proving that the foreign worker continues to work for the employer according to the contents of the work permit issued.

Clause 2, Article 16 of Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP stipulates that the work permit is valid for not more than 2 years, when it expires, the enterprise shall apply for re-issuance according to the provisions of law. 

Hence when the work permit expires, at present, the procedure can be renewed many times (similar to the re-issue procedure). 

However, according to Decree 152/2020/ND-CP, the term of the work permit is extended according to the term of one of the cases specified in Article 10 of this Decree but only once with a maximum term of 02 years. 

Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP will take effect from February 15, 2021.

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