Recently, due to many provisions regulating the participation of foreign employees in the compulsory social insurance (the “CSI“) program, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (“MOLISA“) has received many inquiries from various enterprises asking which particular foreign workers are subject to the CSI program in Vietnam under Decree No.143/2018/ND-CP dated October 15, 2018 of the Government on guidelines for the Law on Social Insurance and the Law on Occupational Safety and Health (“Decree 143“) and other relevant regulations.

To clarify, on March 18, 2019, MOLISA enacted Official Letter No. 1064/LDTBXH-BHXH to clearly specify the group of foreign workers who are subject to the CSI, as follows:

In line with Articles 2.1, 2.2 of Decree 143 and Article 3.1 of Decree No.11/2016/ND-CP dated February 03, 2016 of the Government providing for the implementation of a number of Articles of the Labor Code regarding foreign employees working in Vietnam (“Decree 11“), foreign employees are required to participate in the CSI program if they meet all of the following conditions:

  • Obtaining work permits or practising certificates or practising licenses issued by competent authorities in Vietnam;

(ii) Entering labor contracts with an indefinite term or with a term of one year or more with employers in Vietnam;

(iii) Being under 60 years old for men and under 55 for women; and

(iv) Not subject to intra-corporate transferees as stipulated in Article 3.1 of Decree 11, including employees who are managers, executives, experts and technical workers working at foreign enterprises who have been recruited for at least 12 months and sent to work in the commercial presence of such foreign enterprises in Vietnam.

Following such interpretation of MOLISA, Vietnam enterprises which recruit foreign workers should pay attention in order to comply with the laws and to avoid many deficiencies in paying CSI fees.


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