ICTs may apply for exemptions from work permits
22 Dec 14
IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Certain highly skilled intra-company transfers (ICTs) are now able to apply for exemptions from work permits.
What does the change mean? Foreigners who hold managerial positions or are experts, specialists or technicians in their field may apply for the exemptions, provided they work in one of 11 specified service sectors and have worked at a related foreign company for one year before secondment to Vietnam.
- Implementation timeframe: Dec. 22.
- Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
- Who is affected: Certain highly skilled foreign nationals applying for intra-company transfers to work in Vietnam.
- Impact on processing times: Vietnamese authorities have not set standards for processing times for the exemptions; however, longer processing times should be expected in the first few months of implementation. The required time will likely decrease as the process becomes more streamlined.
- Business impact: The change should make it easier for companies to transfer certain employees to Vietnam.
- Next steps: Applications can be filed beginning Dec. 22.
Background: Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade issued Circular 41/2014/TT-BCT on Nov. 5, spelling out the requirements for work-permit exemptions for intra-company transfers. The exemptions are available to foreigners who hold managerial positions or are experts, specialists or technicians in their field. In order to be eligible, the applicant must have worked at a related foreign company for one year before secondment to Vietnam. The Vietnam-based company also must be in one of 11 service sectors specified in Vietnam’s World Trade Organization commitment. The 11 sectors cover services in business; communications; construction and engineering; distribution; education; the environment; finances; health and social work; tourism and travel; recreation, culture and sport; and transportation.
While some delays should be expected as the program is implemented, the change should ultimately make it easier for companies to transfer highly skilled employees to Vietnam.
The new rules also ease documentation requirements. Consular legalization is not required (as it is for work permits), but any document issued in a foreign language must still be notarized and translated into Vietnamese. Applications can be filed at provincial offices of the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. If the department rejects an application, appeals can be filed at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Requests for appeals will receive a response within five working days.
BAL Analysis: Those planning an intra-company transfer to Vietnam should consider applying for the work-permit exemption. They should be prepared for possible delays, however, especially in the early stages of the program.
This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Vietnam. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.
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