Foreign workers need to obtain a work permit (WP) - is a legal document that allows a foreign worker to work in Vietnam. The work permit must clearly state information about the employee, including: full name, passport number, date of birth, nationality, name and address of the working organization, and working position. So during working in Vietnam, does foreign employee need to re-apply for WP when changing job?

1.  The work permit needs to be re-issued when:

 Pursuant to Article 12 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP stipulating some cases of re-issuance of work permits, including:

  • The valid work permit is lost.
  • The valid work permit is damaged.
  • Change of full name, nationality, passport number, working organization stated in the valid work permit.

According to the above regulations, when foreign workers change their working organization, they must apply for a new work permit.

Procedures for re-apply for WP:

- Documents included:

  • The employer's request in written for re-issuance of a work permit, Form No. 11/PLI, Appendix I issued together with Decree 152/2020/ND-CP.
  • 02 photos (size 4 cm x 6 cm, white background, straight face, bare head, not wearing colored glasses), photos taken within 06 months from the date of application.
  • The valid work permit has been granted, in case of changes in the content written on the work permit, supporting documents must be provided.
  • Written approval of the need to hire foreign workers, except for cases that this approval letter is not required.

Note: The above documents must be originals or notarized copies, except for the case of WP get lost. If it's from a foreign country, it must be consular legalized and translated into Vietnamese, unless it is exempt from consular legalization under an international treaty between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the country concerned.

Within 03 working days from the date of receipt of a complete application for reissuance of a work permit, the Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs will re-issue the work permit. In case the work permit is not re-issued, a written stating the reason will be issued instead.

- Term of reissued work permit

The term of the re-issued work permit is equal to the duration of the previous work permit minus the time the foreign worker has worked up to the time of application for reissuance of the work permit.

2. Penalties for not re-applying WP

 Pursuant to Article 153 of the Labor Code 2019 stipulating the responsibilities of employers and foreign employees:

  • Foreign employee must present the work permit when required by the State.
  • Foreign employee working in Vietnam without WP will be forced to exit or deported according to the provisions of the law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam.
  • Employers who hire foreign employees to work for them without a work permit will be fined according to the provisions of law.

 According to the above regulations, in case of changing the workplace but not applying for a new work permit, the form of administrative sanction according to Article 31 of Decree 28/2020/ND-CP will be applied as follows:

“Article 31. Violations against regulations on foreigners working in Vietnam

2. A fine of from VND 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 shall be imposed on each employee, but not exceeding VND 75,000,000 for the employer who commits acts of using foreign workers not in accordance with the content written on the work permit or the written confirmation that the work permit is not eligible.”

 Pursuant to the provisions at Point b, Clause 3, Article 5 of Decree 28/2020/ND-CP:

“3. Organizations that are fined twice the fine level imposed on individuals in this Decree include:

b) Enterprises established and operating under Vietnamese law; branches, representative offices of foreign enterprises operating in Vietnam…”

Thus, the enterprise may be fined from 5,000,000 VND to 10,000,000 VND for the act of using a foreign worker that is not in accordance with the content written on the work permit.

  Legal grounds: 

  • Labor law 2019
  • Decree 28/2020/NĐ-CP
  • Decree 152/2020/NĐ-CP


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