According to the provisions of Clause 2, Article 151 of the 2019 Labor Code:
“2. The duration of a foreign employee’s employment contract must not exceed that of the work permit. When a foreign employee in Vietnam is recruited, both parties may negotiate conclusion of multiple fixed-term labor contracts.“
The duration of the employment contract with foreign workers must not exceed the duration of the work permit.
Furthermore, according to the regulations in Article 155 of the 2019 Labor Code and Article 10 of Decree 152/2020/NĐ-CP, the maximum duration of a work permit is 2 years and can be extended once, not exceeding 2 years.
Therefore, employers and foreign workers will not be allowed to sign indefinite-term labor contracts.
II. Can a foreign worker without a work permit sign an indefinite-term contract?
There are certain cases in which foreign workers do not require a work permit to work in Vietnam, as regulated in Article 154 of the 2019 Labor Code:
“1. Is the owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a capital contribution value conformable with regulations of the Government.
2. Is the Chairperson or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company a capital contribution value conformable with regulations of the Government.
4. Enters Vietnam for a period of less than 03 months to do marketing of a service.
5. Enters Vietnam for a period of less than 03 months to a resolve complicated technical or technological issue which (i) affects or threatens to affect business operation and (ii) cannot be resolved by Vietnamese experts or any other foreign experts currently in Vietnam.
6. Is a foreign lawyer who has been granted a lawyer’s practicing certificate in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyers.
7. In one of the cases specified in an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory.
8. Gets married with a Vietnamese citizen and wishes to reside in Vietnam.
9. Other circumstances specified by the Government.”
If a foreign worker falls into one of the above-mentioned cases, they can work in Vietnam without requiring a work permit.
However, according to Article 8 of Decree 152/2020/NĐ-CP, these individuals still need to be confirmed by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs located where the foreign worker is expected to work. This confirmation is valid for a period of 2 years, and the reissuance of the confirmation is limited to a maximum of 2 years.
Therefore, even though foreign workers that are not required to obtain a work permit, they still cannot sign indefinite-term labor contracts.
To save time on researching procedures, filling out forms, notarizing documents, and waiting for submission, you can contact HT for consultation and assistance with labor contract matters.
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