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 Question: I am intending to work in Vietnam as chief of a representative office of a foreign construction company in Hanoi. I know that foreigners working in Vietnam must have work permit issued by competent authority, however work permit are exempted in some cases. Could you tell me about the conditions for a foreigner working in Vietnam? Shall I have to get work permit from the competent authority?


According to Decree 34/2008/ND-CP of the Government providing for the recruitment and management of foreigners working in Vietnam, foreigners working in Vietnam must fully meet the following conditions:

- Being full 18 years of age or older;

- Being physically fit to work requirements;

- Being a manager, executive or specialist;

- Not having previous conviction for infringement of national security; not facing examination of penal liability and not serving a criminal penalty as prescribed by Vietnamese or foreign law;

- Possessing a work permit granted by a competent Vietnamese state agency except the following cases:

+ entering Vietnam to work for a period of less than three months;

+ being members of limited liability companies with two or more members;

+ being owners of one-member limited liability companies;

+ being members of Boards of Directors of joint stock companies;

+ entering Vietnam to work as service salespersons; entering Vietnam to deal with urgent circumstances, such as complicated technical and technological incidents and problems that affect or threaten to affect production and business but fall beyond the handling capacity of Vietnamese specialists and foreign specialists who are currently present in Vietnam. If they have to work for more than three months in Vietnam, at the end of a three-month period, they shall carry out procedures of registration for the grant of work permits;

+ Foreign lawyers who possess licenses to practice law in Vietnam which are granted by the Ministry of Justice in accordance with law.

Based on the foregoing, you shall have to get work permit in case that you work as chief of the representative office for more than three months. The work permit shall have validity duration of no more than thirty-six months.


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