How to avoid confusion when determining job assignment and working form for applying a work permit in Vietnam?

Writer: Phuong Nguyen

Work permit (“WP”) is a required document for a foreign worker working in Vietnam. The legal basis for obtaining a WP includes Labor Code 2012 and Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP (“Decree 11”) with clear guidance. However, many expats often find difficult with the most common matter as determination of job assignment and working form in the WP application. So, how to understand them and do the right?

By this article, BLawyers Vietnam’s employment experts would provide some notes for your consideration.

How to avoid confusion when determining job assignment and working form for WP

What is job assignment and working form?

Job assignment and working form are two contents that the expats must write in the form of explaining the Vietnam-based enterprise’s demand on using foreign workers (at Step 1) and the request for granting a WP (at Step 2).

According to labor law, enterprises can employ expats for 4 job assignments requiring professional skills that local employees cannot meet. Working form expresses a way that an expat works for a Vietnam-based enterprise such as performing labor contract, internal re-assignment, providing services under a services contract, etc.

Per Decree 11, the expat will work as one of following job assignments: (1) manager; (2) executive; (3) expert; or (4) technical worker. However, 11 working forms prescribed in this Decree also including the 4 working forms of manager/ executive/ expert/ technical worker. Then, the matter is two completely different issues called by the same way leading the confusion or misunderstanding in the application.

The most important thing to write the job assignment and working form is based on supporting documents between enterprises and expats. Those are not as same for each job assignment and working form.

Way to write job assignments

The secret is checking expat’s documents. Let’s see:

  • One of requirements for a manager or an executive is documents showing his/her management experience. This document may be from a foreign organization if the employee used to work outside of Vietnam. If he/she used to work in Vietnam, then a WP with the job assignment is manager or executive is good enough.
  • For an expert, documents are: (i) confirmation on expertise by a foreign organization; or (ii) University degree or higher or equivalent and at least 03 years of professional work experience on the job assignment to be worked in Vietnam.
  • For a technical worker, documents are (i) certification of an overseas organization showing his/ her training courses for at least 01 year; and (ii) confirmation on at least 03 years of professional working experience. Of note, those documents are about the job assignment to work in Vietnam.

Ways to write working forms as manager, executive, expert or technical worker

According to Decree 11, for the above-mentioned forms, expats participating in management of a foreign enterprise which had a subsidiary in Vietnam must submit a document proofing for his/her participation in that enterprise’s management. Here is a confusion: only offshore businesses need to provide the above document. In fact, licensing authorities shall refuse to grant a WP under those working forms if failing to show the supporting document. It means the above 4 working forms are for Vietnamese-based subsidiaries only.

An easier attempting is that expats should register the form of performing labor contracts. This form does not require any supporting documents. Vietnamese-based enterprises just need to send a copy of labor contract to licensing authorities after obtaining the WP.

See more some notes for entering labor contract from 01 January 2021.

Granting of WPs in the current situation

As the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, now licensing authorities will grant WPs for expats who are present in Vietnam or can enter Vietnam. For those who is outside of Vietnam, they must get a special permit to enter Vietnam first. A Vietnam-based enterprise must apply this permit. In addition, it is under control of multi-competent authorities. Licensing authorities ask applicants to show original passports with the date of Vietnam entry when submitting dossier for obtaining WP.

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