Question 189. Is a foreign Employee required to participate in compulsory HI in Vietnam when he or she is appointed to work in Vietnam, has work permit but with or without arising salary in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese law stipulates the subjects participating in compulsory HI, including any Employee working under an indefinite-term or a definite-term LC of 3 months or more; any Employee as a paid manager of an enterprise[1]. This provision applies to both Vietnamese Employees and foreign ones currently working in Vietnam. Accordingly, any foreign Employee paid in Vietnam under the LC or appointment letter shall pay the compulsory HI. In contrast, if any foreign Employee working in Vietnam does not receive any salary as in case of appointment and is paid by the foreign side, he or she will not be subject to the compulsory HI.

For example: Is the chief of a representative office working in Vietnam under an appointment letter subject to compulsory HI, SI when he or she does not sign a LC but has a work permit and earns income in Vietnam?

Answer: Because the chief of the representative office works in Vietnam under the appointment letter, it should be understood that the foreign Employee is a manager working in Vietnam in the form of intra-company mobility[2].Considering the case referred to herein, the foreign Employee as a corporate manager with the earned income in Vietnam is subject to the compulsory HI. [3]

In addition, as of 01/01/2018, any Employee as a foreign citizen working in Vietnam under a work permit or a practising certificate or a practising license issued by a competent Vietnamese authority will also participate in the compulsory SI[4]. Since the chief of a representative office has a work permit and earns arising income from Vietnam, he or she as a foreign Employee in this case is also required to participate in the compulsory SI since 01 January 2018 onwards.

[1]Article 12.1 of Law on HI

[2] Article 2.1(b), Article 3.4, and Article 3.5 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP of Government dated 30 December 2020

[3] Article 12.1 of Law on HI

[4]Articles 2.2 and 124.1 of Law on SI