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Decree 34.2008_154

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© Allens Arthur Robinson - Vietnam Laws Online Database on www.vietnamlaws.com 

 
 
 

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GOVERNMENT 

SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM 

 

Independence - Freedom - Happiness 

No. 34-2008-ND-CP 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

   Hanoi, 25 March 2008 

 
 

DECREE 

ON 

EMPLOYMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 

OF FOREIGNERS WORKING 

IN VIETNAM 

 

 

The Government 

 
Pursuant to the Law on Organization of the Government dated 25 December 2001; 
 
Pursuant to the Labour Code dated 23 June 1994 and the Law on Amendment of and Addition to the 
Labour Code
 dated 2 April 2002; 
 
Pursuant to the Law on Investment dated 29 November 2005; 
 
On the proposal of the Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs ["Minister of Labour"]; 
 
 

Decrees: 

 
Article 1 

Governing scope and applicable entities  

 
This Decree regulates the employment and administration of foreigners working in Vietnam; the order and 
procedures for issuance of work permits and the use of work permits; and the responsibilities of foreigners, 
employers and State bodies in the employment and administration of foreigners working in Vietnam. 
 
This Decree applies to foreigners working in Vietnam and to enterprises and organizations in Vietnam 
which employ foreign employees, specifically as follows: 
 
1. 

Foreigners working in Vietnam in the following forms: 

 
 

(a) 

Pursuant to a labour contract; 

 
 

(b) 

Internal transfer within an enterprise which has a commercial presence in Vietnam; 

 
 

(c) 

Performance of any of the following types of contract, namely economic, commercial, financial, 
banking, insurance, scientific and technical, cultural, sporting, educational or medical health 
contracts; 

 

(d) 

Service providers pursuant to a contract; 

 
(dd)  People offering services; 
 
(e) 

Foreigners representing a foreign non-Governmental organization which is permitted to 
operate pursuant to the law of Vietnam. 

 

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2. 

Enterprises and organizations employing foreign employees, comprising: 

 

(a) 

Enterprises operating pursuant to the Law on Enterprises [and/or] the Law on Investment

 
(b) 

Foreign contractors (head contractors and sub-contractors) awarded with a contract in 
Vietnam; 

 
(c) 

Representative offices and branches of economic, commercial, financial, banking, insurance, 
scientific and technical, cultural, sporting, educational, and medical health organizations; 

 
(d) 

Socio-political, social, socio-occupational and socio-occupational-political organizations; and 
non-Governmental organizations; 

 
(dd)  State professional units; 
 
(e) 

Medical health, cultural, educational and sporting establishments permitted to be established 
by the competent body; 

 
(g) 

Offices of foreign or international projects in Vietnam; 

 
(h) 

Operating offices of foreign partners pursuant to business co-operation contracts in Vietnam; 

 
(i) 

Organizations practising law in Vietnam in accordance with the law of Vietnam; 

 
(k) 

Co-operatives and co-operative groups established and operating pursuant to the Law on Co-
operatives. 

 
The above enterprises and organizations are all referred to as employers.  
 
Article 2 

Interpretation of terms 

 
In this Decree, the following terms shall be construed as follows: 
 
1. 

Foreigner means a person without Vietnamese nationality in accordance with the Law on 
Vietnamese Nationality

 
2. 

Manager [or] executive director means a foreigner directly managing a foreign enterprise which has 
established a commercial presence in Vietnam, and who is only subject to general supervision or 
direction by the board of management or shareholders of the enterprise or equivalent level. 
Management of an enterprise comprises instructing such enterprise or any office, section or 
subsidiary unit of the commercial presence; supervising and controlling the work of specialized staff, 
managers or other supervisors; having the right to hire and dismiss or to recommend the hiring and 
dismissal of or [managing the] activities of other staff.  Managers [and] executive directors shall not 
directly carry out work related to provision of services by the commercial presence. 

 
3. 

Expert means a foreigner with specialist and highly technical qualifications regarding services; and 
regarding research, technical knowledge or management of equipment (and includes engineers or 
people with qualifications equivalent to the level of engineer or higher; and includes artisans in 
traditional occupations and trades) and [means] people with considerable experience in an 
occupation or trade, in operating production and business and in managerial work. 

 
4. 

Foreigner internally transferring within an enterprise comprises any of the above-mentioned 
managers, executive directors and experts of a foreign enterprise which has already established a 

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3

commercial presence within the territory of Vietnam who temporarily transfer within the enterprise to 
the commercial presence within the territory of Vietnam and who have been employed by the foreign 
enterprise for at least twelve (12) months prior to such transfer. 

 
5. 

Foreigner offering services means a person who does not live in Vietnam and who does not receive 
remuneration from any source in Vietnam, and who participates in activities relating to representation 
of a service supplier in order to negotiate the sale [or consumption] of services of such supplier, on 
condition that he or she does not directly sell such services to the public and does not directly 
participate in the provision of services. 

 
6. 

Service provider pursuant to a contract means a foreigner working in a foreign enterprise which does 
not have a commercial presence in Vietnam. Such person must have worked for the foreign 
enterprise without a commercial presence in Vietnam for at least two (2) years, and must satisfy the 
same conditions which apply to experts as stipulated in clause 3 of this article. 

 
7. 

Vietnamese party comprises: 

 

(a) 

The legal representative of an enterprise or organization in Vietnam which has a contract with 
a foreign party for the foreign party to provide services, to offer services and to perform any 
type of contract being an economic, commercial, financial, banking, insurance, scientific and 
technical, cultural, sporting, educational or medical health contract. 

 
(b) 

The representative of a foreign enterprise or organization which has already established a 
commercial presence within the territory of Vietnam in accordance with the law of Vietnam. 

 
8. 

Commercial presence means a service provider bearing the nationality of any one country who goes 
to a second country and establishes a legal entity within and provides services in such second 
country.  For example, a commercial bank opens a branch overseas. 

 

 

CHAPTER II 

 

Recruitment and Administration of Foreign Employees Working in Vietnam 

 
Article 3 

Foreigners must satisfy all of the following conditions in order to work in Vietnam: 

 
1. 

Must be eighteen (18) years of age or older. 

 
2. 

Must be in good health as necessary to satisfy the job requirements. 

 
3. 

Must be a manager, executive director or an expert as stipulated in clauses 2 and 3 of article 2 of this 
Decree. 

 
 

Foreigners applying to work in a private medical or pharmaceutical practice or to directly carry out 
medical examination and treatment in Vietnam, or to work in the educational and occupational 
training sectors must satisfy all conditions stipulated by the law of Vietnam in relation to private 
medical or pharmaceutical practice, or education and occupational training. 

 
4. 

Must not have a criminal record for a national security offence; and must not currently be subject to 
criminal prosecution or any criminal sentence in accordance with the law of Vietnam and foreign 
laws. 

 

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