Do Heads of Representative Offices have to apply for Work Permits?

by DungTran

Do Heads of Representative Offices have to apply for Work Permits? Regulations of law on the head of a representative office concurrently holding the position of director at the parent company. Let us learn about this topic with LSX law firm as follow:

Legal situation: Apply for a Work Permit for a Foreigner who is the Chief Representative of the Office in Vietnam

My company has its head office in France, now wants to open a representative office in Da Nang. After opening a Representative Office; the Director who is also the legal representative (French nationality) of the company in France will return to Vietnam to take the position of Head of the representative office in Vietnam. So, can I ask if the head of the representative office in Vietnam is also the director of the parent company? When taking the position of Head of Representative Office, do I have to apply for a work permit? Because as far as I know, some cases are exempt from this procedure. If not, what is the work permit application process

Regulations of law on the heads of representative offices concurrently holding the position of director at the parent companies.

Pursuant to Clause 6, Article 33 of Decree No. 07/2016/ND-CP detailing the Commercial Law on representative offices and branches of foreign traders in Vietnam, the head of a representative office of Foreign traders may not concurrently hold the following positions:

a) Head of a branch of the same foreign trader;

b) Heads of branches of other foreign traders;

c) The legal representative of such foreign trader or other foreign traders;

d) The legal representative of an economic organization established in accordance with the laws of Vietnam.”

Therefore, when the Director of your company is the head of the Representative Office; he cannot concurrently hold the positions as mentioned above. 

Do foreigners who are Heads of Representative Offices in Vietnam have to apply for Work Permits?

To know if a foreigner is required to apply for a Work Permit or not; it is important to understand Cases in which foreigners are exempt from work permits in Vietnam

On the other hand, in Clause 2, Article 7 of Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP detailing the implementation of several articles of the Labor Code regarding foreign workers working in Vietnam; it also stipulates cases in which the employee is not allowed to work. Other foreign workers are not eligible for work permits.

Thus, from the data and information provided by you and based on the current regulations of Vietnam; the case where the Director of your company assumes the position of Head of the Representative Office in Vietnam; is not subject to exemption from a work permit. Therefore, after opening a representative office; you need to carry out the procedures for applying for a work permit by the law. 

Procedures for applying for work permits for Heads of Representative Offices

First, you must prepare all the required documents in the application for a work permit. How to get a Work permit for foreigners in Vietnam?

Under Article 12 of Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP on the order of granting work permits as follows:

– At least 15 working days before the date the foreign worker is expected to start working for the employer; then the employer must submit an application for a work permit to the Department of Labor.

– Invalids and Social Affairs where the foreign worker is expected to work.

– Within 05 working days from the date of receiving a complete application for a work permit, the Department of Labor Invalids and Social Affairs issue work permits to foreign workers according to the form prescribed and uniformly issued by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, under and Social Affairs. In case of refusal to issue a work permit, a written reply shall be given stating the reason (Clause 7, Article 11 of Decree 140/2018/ND-CP).

– For foreign workers who are expected to start working and after the foreign worker is granted a work permit; then the employer and the foreign worker must sign a written labor contract per the Vietnamese labor law before the expected date of employment for the employer.

Within 05 working days from the date of signing the labor contract; the employer must send a copy of the signed labor contract to the Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs that has issued the work permit. 

Thus, when opening a representative office in Vietnam; the head of the representative office must carry out procedures to apply for a work permit in Vietnam according to the provisions of law. 

Contact us

Finally, hope this article about Do Heads of Representative Offices have to apply for Work Permits? is helpful for you!

If you have any questions; please contact Lawyer X for quick and best legal services: +84846175333 or email: hoangson@lsx.vn.

Related questions

What should applicants pay attention to?

You must have documents in 02 copies (01 original, 01 true copy). Documents in English must be in Vietnamese. Documents must be legalized according to regulations, except for cases where they are exempted. 

Cases in which foreigners must have re-issuance work permits in Vietnam

Firstly, the valid work permit is lost, damaged, or the contents stated in the work permit are changed; except for the cases specified in Clause 8 Article 10 of Decree 11/2016 ND-CP
Besides, the work permit is valid for at least 5 days but not more than 45 days. 

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