Nowadays, Vietnam has become a rising star in the South East Asia region. Accordingly, this country has become a favorable destination for foreign workers in other countries across the world. However, when these foreign workers come to Vietnam to work, they are surprised and confused about the complicated regulations that are required in order to work in Vietnam. So, what are the requirements for foreign workers to work in Vietnam?

Necessary and sufficient conditions for foreign workers to work in Vietnam

The necessary and sufficient conditions for foreign workers to work in Vietnam are: 

  • Being 18 years or older and have full legal capacity;
  • Having professional qualifications, techniques, skills, and working experience;
  • Having enough health and strength as prescribed by the Minister of Health;
  • Not being a person who is currently serving a penalty or has not yet had his/her criminal record cleared or is being examined for penal liability in accordance with foreign or Vietnamese laws.
  • Having a work permit issued by a competent Vietnamese agency, except for cases in which a work permit is not required.

If the above conditions are met, foreign workers are allowed to work in Vietnam.

Requirements for employment of foreigners in Vietnam

Article 152 of the Labor Code 2019 regarding the requirements for employment of foreigners in Vietnam stipulates that:

  • Enterprises, organizations, individuals, and contractors shall only employ foreigners to hold positions of managers, executive directors, specialists, and technical workers the professional requirements for which cannot be met by Vietnamese workers.
  • Recruitment of foreign employees in Vietnam shall be explained and subject to written approval by competent authorities. 
  • Before recruiting foreign employees in Vietnam, a contractor shall list the positions, necessary qualifications, skills, experience, and employment period of the contract, and obtain written approval from a competent authority.

The forms that foreign workers are allowed to work in Vietnam

According to the guidance in Clause 1, Article 2 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP, foreign workers are allowed to work in Vietnam in the following forms:

  • Performing employment contracts;
  • Performing intra-company transfer program;
  • Performing contracts or agreements on business, trade, finance, banking, insurance, science and technology, culture, sports, education, vocational training, and health;
  • Providing services under contracts;
  • Offering services;
  • Working for foreign non-governmental organizations or international organizations in Vietnam that have been granted operating licenses under 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.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.