34/ND-CP on recruitment and management of foreign laborers working in Vietnam, expelling those without working licenses.
The draft decree stipulates that the Government will refuse the issuance of a visa and temporary residence permit at the same time as expelling illegal foreign laborers, who work in Vietnam for more than three months without applying for working licenses.
Six months after the effective date of the new decree, all illegal foreign workers will be expelled if they still do not acquire the licenses.
Foreign workers - who specialize in production operation and management, and do not hold any professional certificates, but want to continue working in Vietnam - must acquire written papers issued by Vietnamese investors certifying that they have at least five years of working experience.
Mr. Le Quang Trung, deputy director of the Employment Department under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said that Decree 34/ND-CP only covers conditions for foreign laborers to apply for working licenses. It does not draw any penalty for non-licensed foreign workers.
The new decree, however, will empower appropriate agencies to legally expel non-compliant foreign laborers, the Director continued.
Moreover, project contractors and investors will have to present reports on their employment of foreign laborers to local authorities.
The new decree will be effective on July 1, 2010.
I am not questioning the right of a country to expel illegal workers. I am not questioning the need of a work permit. But I am questioning the obstacles of getting one. For most foreigners it's not only a month long process, it is sometimes not possible, since the requested qualifications are often not clear. Just to notarize certificates is just a pain, and nobody in Vietnam can estimates what the certificate really means. But there is such an bureaucratic process in place, that I really think it's on purpose. At least it's not made for an easy way to attract foreign workers.
Every country needs foreign workers, for several reasons. One might is certain language skills, like Japanese people in a company on Vietnam that exports mainly to Japan. But it's also just important to get people with more knowledge in this country, because you can simply learn from them. It doesn't seem that this is really what the new regulations are targeting.
Vietnam is not a the easiest place to make business for foreign companies. High personal income tax, too many regulations and no real path of how to walk through this jungle, corruption, and visa regulations are on top of the list. Yes, you can make (fast) money in Vietnam, but this system will not last for long.