Enterprises should review their compliance with work permit requirements and the use of foreign employees in general, and be well prepared for possible government audits in this regard.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need assistance in responding to a government inquiry or audit on the matter, as well as strategies to maximize the success rates of upcoming work permit applications and to maintain your foreign labor workforce.
In more detail
Decree No. 152, which was introduced in December 2020 and took effect on 15 February 2021, replaced the previous Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP governing the same matter. While some provisions of the previous Decree and the overall work permit steps remain largely the same, Decree No. 152 was introduced to primarily reform the work permit process and limit the flexibility that existed under the governance of the previous Decree. In particular, together with the issuance and enforcement of Decree No. 152, local labor authorities have turned their focus primarily to protecting and prioritizing job opportunities for the Vietnamese labor force over foreign nationals. This has led to a tightening of the rules on the implementation of Decree No. 152, presenting massive difficulties for companies to justify the recruitment of foreigners instead of Vietnamese workers and obtain approvals for the use of foreign employees, as well as for foreign nationals to qualify for work permit requirements.
Against this context, we have seen local labor authorities conducting reviews and inspections against companies using foreign employees to check that, among others, these companies plan to recruit and train Vietnamese workers for the intended job positions, and that the work permit requirements are properly met and compliant with Decree No. 152.
Officials of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs have said that they will conduct various public consultations on the amendments to Decree No. 152 and aim to provide the finalized draft amendment for adoption in or around the third quarter of 2023.