New Labor Rules for Foreigners Working in Vietnam

Vietnam has been an attractive destination for foreign workers in recent years. According to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, a state authority managing labor-related matters, 91,200 foreigners worked in Vietnam at the end of July 2019. By March 18, 2020, the number increased to 94,000. Although these numbers are still low if compared with some other ASEAN countries, they show the growing trend of foreigners moving to Vietnam for work and living. Further, as a result of the trade conflict between the U.S. and China and Vietnam’s success during the COVID-19 pandemic, many foreign investors have shifted or intend to move their investments into Vietnam. This rise in investment will bring about a further increase in the number of foreign workers.


In line with the new 2019 Labor Code, which replaced the 2012 Labor Code on January 1, 2021, the government of Vietnam issued Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP dated December 30, 2020, providing guidance concerning foreigners working in Vietnam (Decree 152). Decree 152 will replace the current applicable regulations on the same matter under Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP, as amended by Decree No. 140/2018/ND-CP (together, Decree 11), on February 15, 2021.

Foreign investors and expatriates should be aware of the notable new points of Decree 152 detailed here.