Under the provisions of Decree No. 34 issued by the Government in 2008 (later amended and supplemented by Decree No. 46, 2011), employers can start hiring foreign workers and foreigners can work in Vietnam once they have obtained work permits. However, there are the cases in which a foreign worker is exempt from applying for a work permit:
The regulation on exemptions from work permit shows flexibility in the management of labor relations of Vietnamese law.
However, after the 2012 Labor Code took effect, Decree No. 34 has been annulled. Instead, Decree No. 102 (2013) replacing Decree No. 34 added administrative procedures for the application and issuance of work permits to foreign citizens that work in Vietnam.
Decree No. 102 states that employers that wish to hire foreign employees must apply for a written approval by the President of the provincial People’s Committee before proceeding with the application for work permits.
Meanwhile, those who do not need to apply for a work permit still have to follow procedures to apply for the certification of exemption from work permit.
Therefore, since November 1st, 2013, which is when Decree No. 102 took effect, foreign workers in any cases wishing to work in Vietnam must ask for permission from employment authorities.
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