This has been going around the English news over the last week. Vietnam could expel up to 30,000 undocumented foreign workers, meaning those without work permits, after their current 3 month visa expires. This is definitely an interesting since the Vietnamese government also made the same statement last year which forced many of us to get our work permits in a hurry (I got mine last May).
The previous year, many African and Chinese laborers were affected by the work permit requirements, I have not heard of any other Expats being expelled from Vietnam. Several Expats have been able to stay in Vietnam with B3 visas they obtained at the Vietnam Embassy in Phnom Penh. Rumor mills says that the 6 month B3 visas may return due to the hassles of the work permit process. Many foreign companies have complained that the work permit procedures do not make since for foreign staff or contractors staying in Vietnam for less than a year. Obtaining the necessary documents for the work permit may take longer then they actually stay in Vietnam. The B3 business visas would be perfect for this group.
Furthermore, English and international schools that do abide by the work permit rules may themselves be breaking current Vietnamese laws. Only a certain percentage of teachers employed can be foreigners, the large majority must be Vietnamese. Normally a teacher would need to obtain a C2 visa to work in schools, many have gotten by with just B3 visas. To abide by one regulation (work permits) means schools can be fined for failing to abide another Vietnamese regulation (percentage foreign staff per Vietnamese staff).
Hence, a large number of undocumented foreign workers will be in limbo which may result in more frequent border runs or even forcing many to leave Vietnam permanently.
Times like this I am glad that my school follows both regulations in Vietnam. 🙂
- Vietnam to crack down on undocumented foreign workers – Vietnam Business News