Ho Chi Minh City Cracks Down on Work Permits

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HCMC – The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs has announced that foreign workers in the city will have to apply for new work licenses when their work permits expire. They will not be able to get an extension.

The new regulation is expected to cause significant inconvenience for many businesses and foreign workers, some of whom may have to return to their home countries in order to obtain their criminal records. This is because the law requires that the criminal records be issued to the government within six months of the foreign worker submitting their application for a work permit.   

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The city government explained its decision by saying that it was simply trying to bring itself in line with a government decree issued in November of last year.  This decree stipulated that, in order to apply for a work permit, foreign workers must submit:

  • Certificates of expertise;
  • Criminal records issued by their home authorities; and
  • Criminal records issued by Vietnamese agencies.

RELATED: Vietnam’s Visa and Work Permit Procedures

Once the work permit is issued it will be valid for two years.

It has been reported that provinces neighboring HCMC, such as Dong Nai and Binh Duong, will continue extending work permits for foreigners.

This change comes on the heels of a recent move by the Vietnamese government to tighten the regulations for foreign workers seeking to come to Vietnam and to be considered for a work permit. To learn more about the government’s Circular 03/2014, please see our report here.

The number of foreign laborers coming to Vietnam has steadily increased in recent years, surging to over 88,000 workers at the end of 2012. The large majority of foreign workers that come to Vietnam are employees of foreign contractors, working for, or establishing, foreign direct investment (FDI) projects.

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