Question 152: Upon expiry of any work permit, may Employers continue LCs with foreign Employees based on their visas instead of applying for re-issuance of their work permits?

Pursuant to the labour law, Employers and Employees may not continue LCs based on Employees’ visas instead of applying for re-issuance of their work permits. There is a distinction between a work permit and a visa. Accordingly, a visa[1] is the document issued by a competent Vietnamese authority to a foreigner to grant his/her entry into Vietnam. Meanwhile, a work permit[2] is the document permitting foreign Employees to duly work in Vietnam, except for the cases where foreign Employees are not subject to the grant of any work permit pursuant to Article 172 of the Labor Code and Article 7.2 of Decree 11/2016/NĐ-CP. If Employers desire to continue the labour relationship with foreign Employees, they are obliged to submit the application files for re-issuance of work permits for foreign Employees within at least 05 days but not sooner than 45 days before the expiry date of the work permit[3]. Based on the re-issued work permit, the two parties shall sign LCs before the date of commencing the work. Otherwise, Employers may be fined up to VND150,000,000[4] for using foreign Employees without work permits and such foreign Employees will be deported from Vietnam[5].

Therefore, Employers must apply for re-issuance of the work permit within the said statutory timeline instead of using any visa as a replacement if they wish to continue LCs with foreign Employees.

[1]Article 3.11 Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam

[2]Article 169.1 (d) Labor Code

[3]Article 13.2 and Article 15.1 Decree 11/2016/ND-CP dated 03/02/2016

[4]Articles 3.1 and 22.2 Decree 95/2013/NĐ-CP dated 22/08/2013 as amended and supplemented by Decree 88/2015/NĐ-CP dated 07/10/2015

[5]Article 171.2 Labor Code