• Guidelines on Online Submission of Work Permit Applications Released
  • October 5, 2017
  • The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has released Circular 23 providing further guidelines for filing Work Permit applications online. This follows the pilot of the online portal in Hanoi and a few other provinces last June. The guidelines are expected to be implemented nationwide on October 2, 2017.

    The Circular indicates that e-submission is optional and companies may still manually submit their Work Permit applications at the local office of the Labor Department. However, employers are advised to create their online account and set up an e-signature to prevent possible delays in case the Labor Department implements a mandatory e-submission policy nationwide without advance notice.

    More Flexible Filing Periods, Slightly Faster Processing Times

    The Circular states that employers can use the online system to file online applications sooner than they could file manual applications. The allowable filing periods are as follows using the online system:

    • Foreign Labor Demand (Position Approval) Applications can be submitted at least twenty business days prior to the employee's start date;
    • Work Permit applications can be submitted at least seven business days prior to the employee's start date;
    • Work Permit Exemption Applications can be submitted at least five business days prior to the employee's start date; and
    • Reissuance or Renewal Applications can be submitted at least five business days prior to the expiry date.

    Slightly faster processing times are also expected for online filing (after offsetting one to two days of physically submitting hard copies of the application to the local Labor Department).

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    The online work authorization system is likely to be an option for employers and foreign nationals who seek a more efficient way to process their applications. It provides more flexible timeframes for filing documents with similar processing times to the manual process.

    As with many new online systems, however, users should still expect technical issues and service disruptions during the early stages after the guidelines are implemented nationwide. Fragomen is monitoring the situation and will provide further updates once available.