August 18, 2023

EuroCham recommends improvements to work permit and visa procedures in letter to Prime Minister on revising Decree 152

To address the continuing difficulties EuroCham members face regarding work permits and visas, we have sent a formal letter to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh containing recommendations on improving proposed amendments to Decree 152.

 

The latest draft amendment to the decree, released on 2 August, aims to ease administrative burdens for foreign businesses. However, we highlighted certain parts of the draft that could unintentionally make current problems worse.

 

Foremost among the feedback provided by EuroCham is the call for a simplified approach to reporting and approving foreign labor demand. Draft Decree 152 introduced an additional prerequisite – mandating employers to publish recruitment postings on the national employment portal no less than 15 days before submitting the foreign labor demand report. EuroCham contends this additional red tape could hamper efficiency, defeating the decree’s purpose.

 

Further ambiguities exist around decision-making power divided between the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and provincial Departments of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA). Delineating clear authority over key areas would minimize confusion for both bureaucrats and businesses.

 

EuroCham also spotlighted proposed rules on temporarily reassigning foreign staff across provinces as overly restrictive for companies operating in multiple locations. More flexible regulations would facilitate smoother business operations.

 

With Vietnam eager to access global expertise in advanced sectors, EuroCham stressed the urgency of removing barriers for highly-skilled foreign professionals. Correcting issues identified in the decree review is critical for those aims.

 

Advocating actively for our members, EuroCham has held and attended a series of meetings over recent months with officials at all levels of government to press this issue. This includes a meeting on 19 July 19 2023 with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh during a Steering Committee for Administrative Reform meeting, and many months of proactive outreach by EuroCham representatives to provincial Departments of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISAs); the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA); and other key national and local authorities.

 

As the voice of European business in Vietnam, EuroCham reaffirms our readiness to work closely with all levels of government to enable entry and engagement of specialized foreign talent for mutual economic benefit. With pragmatic policy changes, Vietnam can unleash its potential as a rising Asian hub for innovation and technology.

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