Establishing a representative office of a foreign university

The Government of Vietnam allows foreign universities to set up their representative offices in Vietnam in order to enhance and develop the cooperation and the investment in education according to Decree 86/2018/ND-CP stipulating on foreign cooperation and investment in the field of education.

A. Foreign universities should pay attention to the following issues when intending to establish representative offices in Vietnam:

1. Conditions of establishment

A foreign university is allowed to establish a representative office in Vietnam when it meets the following conditions:

(a) Having legal entity.

(b) Having at least 5 years of educational activity in its country; being accredited for educational quality or being recognized for education quality by a competent authority.

(c) Having evident charters, principles, and operational purposes.

(d) Having regulations on the organization and the operation of the representative office to be established in Vietnam in accordance with the provisions of Vietnamese law.

(e) Having a legal representative office’s office location which is capable for security, order, occupational safety, and health as prescribed by law.

2. Dossier on the establishment

A dossier on the establishment of a foreign university’s representative office  in Vietnam includes:

(a) An application for permitting to establish a representative office;

(b) A document proving the legal status of the university; a certified copy or a copy enclosed with the original for comparing with the university’s charter; a certificate of educational quality accreditation of the university or a document recognizing the quality of education of a competent authority; report summarizing the formation and development of the university;

(c) A draft regulation on organization and operation of foreign education representative offices in Vietnam;

(d) A document introducing the person to be the head of the representative office of foreign education in Vietnam and the personal profile of this person.

It should be noted that the written certification issued by a foreign authority must be legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam or a diplomatic mission, consular office or an agency authorized to perform the consular function of Vietnam’s relations abroad, unless otherwise regulated in an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory.

3. Competence related to the establishment and operation of a representative office and procedures for permitting the establishment of the representative office

The Minister of Education and Training issues a decision on permitting the establishment of a foreign university’s representative office in Vietnam.

If the dossier is adequate as prescribed by law, the Ministry of Education and Training shall organize to consider and decide to allow the establishment of a representative office within 30 working days from the date of receipt of an adequate dossier according to regulations.

If the dossier is inadequate as prescribed by law, the Ministry of Education and Training shall notify in writing within 05 working days from the date of receipt of the dossier.

In case the establishment is not permitted, the application-receiving agency shall reply in writing, distinctly stating the reason.

4. Term of operation

The operation term of a representative office shall not exceed 5 years from the date of the issuance of the decision and may be extended, each extension shall not exceed 5 years.

B. The scope of services of LMP Lawyers, the risks that a client may incur when doing it themselves, the advantages in the case it is supported by LMP Lawyers

1. Scope of services

LMP Lawyers will perform the following tasks when appointed by the client to perform the work:

(a) Advising the client on legal issues arising for obtaining a license in accordance with Vietnamese law;

(b) Providing a checklist of documents to be prepared, the number of documents to be prepared, the manner of preparing the documents to meet the legal requirements and the requirements of the licensing authority;

(c) On behalf of the client submitting the documents to the licensing authority;

(d) Monitoring the status of the application, promptly discussing with the processing specialist when there are additional adjustment requirements.

(e) Receiving results on behalf of the client and delivering the results to the client.

2. Risks that customers may incur when doing it themselves

In the process of providing services, we realize that customers may face the following risks when they do it themselves:

(a) Legal documents are not evident, refer to many places in the documents, this makes it difficult for the client to identify the legal issues that they are facing. From here, the client may be unable to make a  precise decision for the business.

(b) Due to the lack of detailed guidance in the legal documents, when the client prepare their own documents, the documents are incomplete or inconsistent with the law. As a result, when they submit self-prepared documents to the licensing agency, the application is required to be adjusted and supplemented in many times. This makes client take a lot of time to process documents, thereby slowing down the implementation progress of client’s business plans.

(c) The client misidentifies the competent authority to receive the application.

(d) The client does not closely monitor the application processing situation, leading to the inability to promptly handle the adjustment and supplement of the dossier upon request from the licensing authority.

(e) The license result may be wrong in some information, but the customer does not detect it in time.

3. Advantages in the case clients are supported by LMP Lawyers

When clients are supported by LMP Lawyers, clients will receive the following advantages compared to implementing it by themselves:

(a) Saving a lot of time in the licensing process, clients only need to provide initial information and documents according to our detailed instructions, from then on, clients have almost gotten no extra time for the procedure.

(b) Eliminating the risks mentioned above, focus only time and human resources on business activities of the enterprise.

(c) Receiving enthusiastic advice and support from the professional staff of LMP Lawyers.

Note: The content presented above is for reference only. The content may no longer be relevant depending on the time and audience. For any detailed consultation requests, please contact LMP Lawyers.

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