November 27, 2013

In our Global Brief of September 25, 2013 we reported on the then upcoming implementation of a new decree 102, which defines the new Vietnamese Labor Code released in June 2013 as it relates to foreign nationals working in Vietnam. This new decree has come into effect on November 1, 2013; however, the guiding circular which is supposed to explain how the new decree needs to be implemented is still in a draft stage, and is currently expected to be released within the next few weeks.

In the meanwhile, the delay in the publication of this guiding circular is causing disruptions to the processing of work permit applications and work permit renewals at various locations. This is mainly caused by the new requirement of having to obtain approval to hire foreign nationals from the People’s Committee of the province/city where the company’s head office is located. Although the understanding is that the demand for foreign nationals needs to be lodged at the Labor Department, who in turn will need to forward the letter to the People’s Committee for approval, there is no information yet available on the expected processing time by the People’s Committee.

Pro-Link GLOBAL has been able to confirm the current status at the provincial Labor Departments where our clients are located:

HANOI – New Work Permit applications which include the newly required demand for foreign employers are accepted as normal, and the demand is forwarded by the Labor Department to the People’s Committee. A receipt is issued at time of submission, however, this does not include an expected date of issuance of the approval letter from the People’s Committee, and there is no information available yet how long the processing of the application is expected to take. Work Permit Renewal applications are on hold until the circular is issued.

HO CHI MINH CITY – The Labor Department in Ho Chi Minh City has suspended the processing of work permit and work permit renewal applications completely, and it is expected that the suspension will only be lifted once the circular has been issued. Additional delays are expected once the processing commences again, due to the backlog of applications that has developed during the suspension.

Pro-Link GLOBAL continues to monitor the situation closely and will issue further notices as they become available.