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Draft decree tightens foreign worker management

Foreign workers staying in Vietnam for longer than three months will be denied visas or even forced to leave the country if they do not have work permit or if their permit is expired.
This is a new regulation stipulated in an amended draft decree on the management and recruitment of foreign workers in the country. The draft decree prepared by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) will be submitted to the government and if it is approved it will come into effect as of July 1.

The draft decree also says that all illegal workers in Vietnam will be forced to leave the country six months after the decree is in effect if they do not apply for a work permit.

In addition, the draft decree requires Vietnamese employers to report their recruitment, use and management of foreign workers to local departments of labour, war invalids and social affairs.

Also, foreign enterprises and organisations have to report their plans to use foreign workers when submitting bidding records to Vietnam’s authorised agencies, says the decree.

The draft decree will be a legal foundation for competent agencies to expel illegal workers and create favourable conditions for local authorities to manage them, said Le Quang Trung, Deputy Director of MoLISA’s Department of Employment, adding that the current decree fails to recommend any punishments for violations of the law by foreign workers.

According to MoLISA, more than 50,000 workers from over 40 countries and territories, mostly in Asia, are working in Vietnam, of which only 70 percent have registered and received working permits. The rest are illegal workers, coming into Vietnam as tourists.

Poor conformity to Vietnam’s laws by a number of foreign workers and insufficient management regulations have resulted in instances of social disorder in the past, said the Ministry.

The number of legal violations by foreign workers is reportedly going up in the country, mostly acts of public disorder, theft of property and causing intentional harm to others.

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