Permits compulsory for foreign workers

Foreigners who work in Viet Nam without a work permit will be deported and work permits issued to foreign workers in Viet Nam should be effective for no longer than two years, according to a new decree on the employment of foreign workers.

Vietnamese and foreign teachers at a Hanoi-based English Center prepare their lesson plans. According to a new decree on the hiring of overseas employees, foreign workers without work permits in Viet Nam will be deported (Photo: VNS )

Decree 102, which will take effect since November 1 this year, encompasses provisions on the granting of work permits to foreign workers in Viet Nam and deportation of those without work permits.

The decree offers detailed guidelines for the implementation of a number of articles from the 2012 Labour Code on employment of foreign workers in Viet Nam.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the decree specifies four new types of workers who are eligible to work in Viet Nam: volunteers, those responsible for forming a commercial presence in a foreign organisation in Viet Nam, those who work as managers, executives, specialists, technical workers for companies, and people participating in projects based in Viet Nam.

The decree also states that employers in Viet Nam are not allowed to employ foreign employees for tasks that Vietnamese workers are able to perform, especially unskilled labour.

According to the decree, annually, employers (except contractors) must determine the demand for overseas labour for the positions that local employees are unable to perform and report to the People's Committee of the city or province where the employer is headquartered.

The Chairman of the People's Committee will then consider the report and approve the recruitment of foreign workers where relevant.

The decree was issued last week following relevant State agencies' growing concerns over the situation of workers coming to Viet Nam to live and work illegally over the past few years.

Earlier, at a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Tuesday, Bui Van Nam, Deputy Minister of Public Security said many foreign visitors have taken advantage of Viet Nam's Ordinance on exit, entry and residency for foreigners.

Under the ordinance, foreigners are allowed to change their entry purposes after entering the country.

Many foreigners, therefore, have entered Viet Nam as tourists but then change their registered purposes to stay in the country to work. Some even worked illegally, or were involved in criminal acts, causing concerns for local authorities.

In response to the situation, a new draft Law on exit, entry and residency of foreigners has been developed to replace the existing ordinance.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the total number of foreign workers in Viet Nam has so far reached over 71,000 people. Of which, nearly 24,000 people (37 per cent) were not granted work permits.

The Ministry also announced a breakdown in the figures on foreign workers, from over 60 countries, of which roughly 58 per cent are from Asia (mostly mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan-China) and 28.5 per cent from Europe. Men make up nearly 90 per cent of all foreign workers and 86 per cent of workers are over 30 years old.


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