Question 180. Upon expiry of a work permit, may an Employer continue the LC with a foreign Employee based on his or her valid visa instead of applying for re-issuance of work permit?


Pursuant to the labour law, an Employer and an Employee may not continue the LC based on the Employee’ visa instead of applying for re-issuance of the work permit. There is a distinction between a work permit and a visa. Accordingly, a visa[1] is a document issued by a competent Vietnamese authority to a foreigner to grant his or her entry into Vietnam. Meanwhile, a work permit[2] is a document permitting a foreign Employee to duly work in Vietnam, except for the cases where the foreign Employee is not subject to the grant of any work permit pursuant to Article 154 of the Labour Code and Article 7 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP. If the Employer desires to continue labour relationship with the foreign Employee, the Employer is obliged to submit the application file for re-issuance of work permit for the foreign Employee within at least 05 days but not sooner than 45 days before the expiry date of the work permit[3]. Based on the re-issued work permit, the two parties shall sign a new LC before the commencement date of the assigned work. Otherwise, the Employer may be fined up to VND150,000,000[4] for using foreign Employees without work permit and the foreign Employee will be deported from Vietnam[5].

Therefore, the Employer must apply for re-issuance of the work permit within the said statutory timeline instead of using any visa as a replacement if the Employer wishes to continue the LC with the said foreign Employee.

[1]Article 3.11 Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam

[2] Article 151.1(d) of the Labour Code

[3] Article 16.1, 18.1, and 17 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP of the Government dated 30/12/2020

[4] Article 5.1 and 31.4 of Decree 28/2020/ND-CP of the Government dated 01/03/2020

[5] Article 153.2 of the Labour Code