The Vietnamese Government issued Decree 11/2016/ND-CP (“Decree 11”) on 3 February 2016 introducing important changes to work permit regulations and for foreigners working in Vietnam. This new Decree comes into effect on 1 April 2016. Key highlights from Decree 11 are detailed below.


Criminal Background (Police) Checks
Foreign individuals residing in Vietnam will no longer be required to obtain both a foreign and local Criminal Background Check when applying for a work permit, and instead applications will only require a local (Vietnamese) Criminal Background Check. The Decree is not clear, though, on what specific length of time someone is required to have resided in Vietnam to avail themselves to this option.

Health Certificates
Health Certificates for work permit purposes are no longer restricted to local hospitals/clinics, with the Decree now permitting foreign health care providers abroad to issue Health Certificates for work permits. The Decree does not provide specific guidance, though, on what process a foreign health care provider must follow for the purpose of issuing a valid Health Certificate for Vietnamese work permit purposes. Health Certificates are also now valid for 12 months from their issue date, where previously they would be only accepted for 6 months.

Application Process
The application process has been further streamlined, with shorter approval times (down to 7 days from 10 days), longer windows for work permit renewal applications (45 days before expiry, compared to the previous 15 days), and simplified process for applications where the applicants have previously held a valid Vietnam work permit.

The definitions of foreign experts, executives, managers and technicians have been further clarified and somewhat simplified in order for individuals to meet the requirements. For example, where foreign experts who held a bachelors degree or higher were previously required to have 5 years relevant work experience, this has been reduced to 3 years relevant work experience.

Click  Vietnam Work Permit Changes – February 2016 for more information.


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