Foreigners need to apply for a work permit from the local labour authorities of the province or city where their employer is located before signing an employment contract.
A work permit should be obtained within three months of arrival in Vietnam. It is also possible to apply for a work permit in advance of arrival in the country. The employer usually helps organise the application on the employee’s behalf.
Note: All documents provided by overseas agencies should be notarised by an overseas Vietnamese Embassy or Vietnam-based overseas Embassy.
The local Department of Labour and Social Welfare usually responds to work permit applications within 15 days on receipt of the completed documents.
As of 1 May 2013, the new Labour Code - No. 10/2012/QH13 has resulted in a reduction in the maximum length of a Vietnamese work permit from three years to two years. If no suitable Vietnamese employee can be found at the end of this time the permit may be extended for a further two years. In certain circumstances a second extension to the work permit may be allowed, subject to approval by the Chairman of the provincial level People's Committee.
To extend a work permit the following documents should be sent to the local Department of Labour and Social Welfare at least 30 days before the permit expires:
The work permit extension is usually issued within 10 days.
To apply for a replacement work permit due to loss or damage, the following documents are required:
The work permit replacement is usually issued within three days.
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