Insurance, work permit guidance for foreigners in Vietnam

A feature image of an article about work permit guidance for foreigners in Vietnam and Social Insurance

Vietnam’s official guidance on compulsory social insurance for foreigners started on 1 December 2018.

The long-awaited decree No. 143 (2018) providing detailed guidance on compulsory social insurance applicable to foreign employees working in Vietnam was finally issued on 15 October 2018, and took effect on 1 December 2018. Contribution and entitlement of each benefit regime will come into effect on different dates as summarized below.

Scope of application

Foreign employees who satisfy both following conditions will be subject to compulsory social insurance:

  • Working in Vietnam under indefinite term labour contracts, or definite term labour contracts with a term of at least one full year with employers based in Vietnam; and
  • Having been granted either (i) a work permit, (ii) practising certificate, or (iii) practising licence.
  • Notwithstanding the above, the following foreign employees are not subject to compulsory social insurance:
  • Intra-corporate transferees in accordance with article 3.1 of decree No. 11 (2016) detailing regulations of the Labour Code for foreign employees working in Vietnam; and
  • Employees who have reached the statutory retirement age, as prescribed under article 187.1 of the Labour Code, which is 60 for males and 55 for females.

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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by emailing Danian Zhang at