Representatives of South Korean, European and American businesses in Vietnam are complaining that they’re struggling to obtain work permits for their foreign employees due to inconsistent and vague regulations.
Hong Sun, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam (KOCHAM), told the Vietnam Business Forum 2023 on Sunday that many South Korean businesses find that it usually takes two to three months to acquire work permits for their foreign staff.
And in some cases, the process can take up to six months as additional paperwork is sometimes required, he added.
KOCHAM proposed that the authorities provide businesses with a consistent and precise guideline on requesting work permits. The chamber also suggested that the Vietnamese government give graduates of the one-year K-Move School program expert work permits.
Sun added that the K-Move School program is run by the South Korean government and that its graduates are highly qualified. He said that they can be considered experts and are even qualified to be the CEO of a business, and therefore they should be able to receive expert work permits in Vietnam.
Gabor Fluit, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), also said that the administrative procedures relating to work permits need to be simplified so Vietnam can attract and attain talents.
It is unreasonable for foreigners who have lived, worked and invested in Vietnam for many years to be denied a work permit extension just because of some small administrative issue, he added.
Greg Testerman, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam), said that there are unclear points in regulations on work permit issuance and that they should be simplified. And he added that Vietnam should not require foreign workers to have a college degree in their area of expertise that they seek work permits for in the country.
Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said that the government is working on simplifying the labor law, and that foreign experts and managers will be among the top priorities in drawing up new regulations governing work permit issuances.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said that the visa policy is being modified to create the most favorable conditions for foreigners.
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