Penalties on Working Without Work Permit in Vietnam

Vietnam has become an attractive destination for foreigner investors due to the impressive development of socio – economic in recent years. This is such a good opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to get cooperation in business with foreign partners.

To take advantage of the opportunities to be the pioneer and market share, many of them have demand in employees with good skills and qualifications. To meet these requirements, more and more companies hire foreign workers for specific positions which might lack of human resources within Vietnam territory.

According to Labor Code 2019, the employer wishing to recruit the foreign workers has to explain their labor demand to the People’s Committee of provinces and obtain written approval from this agency. Pursuant to this written approval, the employer shall submit the application for the work permit to the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of the province where the planned working place of such foreign workers is located.

A foreign employee means a person who has a foreign nationality and:

  • Is at last 18 years of age and has full legal capacity;
  • Has qualifications, occupational skills, practical experience and adequate health as prescribed by the Minister of Health;
  • Is not serving a sentence; does not have an unspent conviction; is not undergoing criminal prosecution under his/her home country’s law or Vietnam’s law;
  • Possessing a work permit granted by a competent Vietnamese state agency, except the cases specified in Labor Code.

Therefore, based on regulations of the Labor Code of Vietnam, except for the foreign employees exempted from work permit i.e. investor of company established in Vietnam, all of cases the foreign employees wishing to work in Vietnam shall be subject to work permit application. A foreign employee shall produce his/her work permit in Vietnam when carrying out immigration procedures or upon request of a competent state agency.

In case foreign employees who do not belong to work permit exemption being found working in Vietnam without work permit, that person shall be considered violation of the law of Vietnam. In addition, the employer that uses the violated employee without work permit shall be punished accordingly.

According to Decree No. 28/2020/ND-CP dated March 1, 2020 on administrative penalties for violations arising from labor, social insurance and sending Vietnamese workers abroad under contracts.

  1. i) Foreign employee that working without work permits, except for the cases in which the work permit is exempt shall be expelled.
  2. ii) Employers who employ foreign workers in Vietnam without work permits or written confirmations of their exemption from work permit requirements, or employs foreign workers holding expired work permits or written confirmations of exemption from work permit requirements shall be implied:
  3. A fine from VND 30,000,000 to VND 45,000,000 if the violation involves 01 – 10 workers;
  4. A fine From VND 45,000,000 to VND 60,000,000 if the violation involves 11 – 20 workers;
  5. A fine From VND 60,000,000 to VND 75,000,000 if the violation involves 21 or more workers.

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Penalties on Working Without Work Permit in Vietnam
Article Name
Penalties on Working Without Work Permit in Vietnam
Decree No. 95/2013/ND-CP amendments to the government's Decree No. 95/2013/ND-CP dated August 22, 2013 on Penalties for administrative violations against regulations on employment, social insurance, social insurance, and Vietnamese guest workers

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