I’m an overseas Vietnamese technology expert. Now I wish to come back home to participate in scientific activities but I still wonder about the Vietnamese State’s policies applicable to overseas Vietnamese experts and intellectuals working in the country. Could you please inform me of the preferential treatment may I be entitled to when working in Vietnam?
Under Articles 20 and 21 of the 2013 Law on Science and Technology on rights and obligations of individuals engaged in scientific and technological activities, as an overseas Vietnamese expert working in Vietnam, you will have the same rights and obligations and be entitled to the same policies and regimes as Vietnam-based employees under the 2019 Labor Code, and may be covered by social, health and unemployment insurance.
You may also enjoy the preferential treatment provided in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consolidated Document 3896/VBHN-BNG dated November 9, 2020, specifically as follows:
Entry, exit and residence
You and your family members (parents, spouse, and under-18 children) will be granted multiple-entry visas or temporary residence cards of the maximum validity duration in accordance with the law on entry, exit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam.
If having been conferred a medal or state honorary title by the Vietnamese State or currently temporarily residing in Vietnam, you may be considered for grant of a permanent residence card in accordance with the law on entry, exit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam.
Employment, working and learning activities
While working in Vietnam, you may be recruited as leader of a public science and technology institution, assigned to take charge of a state budget-funded science and technology task, or considered for recognition of, or appointment to, a science and technology title in accordance with the Law on Science and Technology.
You may also be granted a work permit according to the fast-track procedure.
Your family members (parents, spouse, and under-18 children) will enjoy favorable conditions and be supported with formalities when seeking employment or enrollment into Vietnam-based education and training institutions.
While performing a science and technology task in the country, you will enjoy a salary agreed upon with your employer. Such an agreed salary level will be determined on the basis of (i) the nature, scale and scope of influence of the science and technology task; (ii) your qualifications, capability and expected contributions; and (iii) the salary level of equivalent working positions in foreign institutions or wholly foreign-invested enterprises.
Access to information
Before participating in scientific and technological activities in Vietnam, you will be provided with information and consultancy on science and technology orientations and fields prioritized for development in the country as well as science and technology institutions that have cooperation demand and potential.
During the process of performing a science and technology task in the country, you will be provided by your employer with necessary information relating to your professional activities.
As per Vietnam’s law, domestic agencies and organizations are required to fully and specifically publicize and disseminate information on science and technology programs, projects and tasks that call for cooperation and participation of overseas Vietnamese and foreign experts (detailed information on cooperation tasks; requirements on overseas Vietnamese and foreign experts when participating in the cooperation; benefits and obligations; commitments to creating favorable conditions for the cooperation, and other necessary information).
Commendation, reward and bestowment of honorary awards
You may be considered by the Vietnamese State for conferment of honorary titles and medals of the science and technology sector as well as other honorary awards and rewards for your contributions to Vietnam’s science and technology development in accordance with law.
Other preferential policies
You may be provided by your employer with accommodations or financial support for renting a residence during the period of participating in scientific and technological activities in Vietnam.
You may enjoy the highest tax incentives as provided by law and remit your lawful earnings abroad in accordance with Vietnam’s regulations on foreign exchange management and relevant regulations. If having Vietnam-dong incomes, you may convert them into foreign currencies for remittance abroad.
Your employers are obliged to provide you with sufficient working space, equipment, supplies, laboratories and other necessary conditions for performing science and technology tasks in the country and convenient access to professional documents, books, magazines, newspapers and Internet services for your professional activities.
If participating in state budget-funded national scientific and technological tasks, you may use free of charge national key laboratories and other key laboratories to carry out activities in service of such tasks.
During the period of participating in scientific and technological tasks in the country, you will be entitled to financial support, once a year, for attending international scientific conferences and seminars about matters related to such scientific and technological tasks or for holding science and technology seminars in your field of expertise in Vietnam or for publishing your research outcomes on prestigious international science magazines or for registering for protection of intellectual property rights to inventions or plant varieties being outcomes of your cooperation with Vietnamese science and technology agencies, units and institutions. Such financial support may come from the National Science and Technology Development Fund or other lawful funding sources (if any);
In addition, you may take part in programs and schemes on promotion of cooperation with, or attraction of, overseas Vietnamese and foreign experts to participate in scientific and technological activities in Vietnam.-