Connecticut, US

Mar 11 2019

Work Permit Cancellation Requirement Reimplemented


The situation

The Vietnamese government has reimplemented the requirement for employers to cancel Work Permits if a foreign national’s assignment is terminated or ends earlier than the Work Permit expiration date.

A closer look

The rule is effective immediately, though actual implementation may be delayed in some provinces depending on the time it takes local labor authorities to adopt these changes into their current practice.


  • Written notification required. To cancel a Work Permit, employers must now notify the Department of Labor Invalids and Social Affairs (DeLISA) in writing when an employee’s assignment/ employment is terminated or ends earlier than their Work Permit expiration date.
  • Long-term impact. When a Work Permit is cancelled, it prevents foreign employees from working in Vietnam illegally using the unexpired Work Permit, which can result in penalties for the employer.
  • Work Permit return/maintenance.
    • Depending on the location, employers may also need to return the original Work Permit card to DeLISA when the assignment ends. For example, this is required in Hanoi. For other location-specific rules, contact your immigration professional.
    • Vietnamese labour authorities advise employers to keep their employees’ original Work Permits after the end of the assignment if they are not required to return the them to DeLISA.



In October 2018, the Ministry of Labor Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) – the administrative government branch in Vietnam that issues labor rules applicable to local and foreign workers – issued a decree eliminating the need for employers to cancel work permits at the end of an assignment. The cancellation process has been reimplemented for cases with early termination of assignment/ employment.

Looking ahead

The reimplementation of the Work Permit cancellation for early termination of assignment/ employment demonstrates the government’s intention to track foreign nationals and their activities more strictly.  This is in line with a January 2018 rule that requires foreign nationals with Temporary Residence Cards issued in Hanoi City and Dong Nai province to cancel their card prior to permanently exiting Vietnam. As the number of foreign workers in Vietnam continues to increase, the government will likely continue to expand its tracking mechanisms to prevent potential misuse of the Work Permit.

Fragomen will monitor the situation and work closely with clients to ensure compliance at every step of the application process.

We worked closely with Resident Vietnam in Vietnam to prepare this alert. It is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to