VIETNAM: Work Permit Exemptions and 30-Day e-Visa

Work Permit Exemptions for Intra-Company Transfers

From 1st February 2017, new rules have been implemented relating to intra-company transfers to Vietnam.

Specifically, Operating Offices (“Văn phòng điều hành”) operating in one of the 11 sectors specified by Vietnam’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments are now eligible to apply for a work permit exemption (WPE) instead of a work permit for intra-company transferees.

The foreign enterprise must meet the following requirements to apply for the WPE for their foreign national workers:

  • The company must be operating in one of the 11 sectors specified in Vietnam’s WTO commitment and has in the company’s Vietnam business license one of the designated appropriate central Product Classification “CPC” code for their business sector. If a company does not have the appropriate CPC code in their business license, they do not qualify for WPE and can apply for work permits only.
  • The foreign transferee must hold a managerial position, or be an expert (specialist) or technician.
  • The foreign transferee must have been working for the foreign company which owns shares in the Vietnamese registered entity for at least 12 months prior to being seconded to the Vietnam based entity.
  • All other aspects of the law pertaining to work permit exemption for intracompany transfers remain unchanged.

All other aspects of the law pertaining to work permit exemption for intracompany transfers remain unchanged.

30-Day e-Visa Introduced for 40 Countries

A new single-entry 30-day e-visa was introduced by Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security on 1st February, which is available to nationals from 40 countries and aims to attract more tourism to Vietnam. The e-visa can be applied via an online application, and costs $25 USD. It is reportedly issued within three days of the application, and is valid for both tourist and business visits of up to 30 days, with the option of extending in-country for a further 30 days.

The 40 eligible countries include the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe and South America. As the e-visa has been initially rolled out as a pilot programme, it is anticipated that more countries will become eligible in the coming months, notably Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, which are all currently not on the list.

Vietnam has made vast improvements to its tourist and business visa scheme over the past year, including a new one-year multiple-entry visa for U.S. nationals. This new e-visa is now possible because of the multi-million-dollar investment by the Vietnamese government in new technology modernising its immigration system.

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