Who are eligible for Vietnam Work Permit Exemption ?

Most foreigners who engage in employment in Vietnam must comply with Vietnamese labor laws. In case it is necessary to employ foreign employees, employer must apply for a work permit in accordance with regulations. A work permit is a mandatory legal condition for foreigners to work in Vietnam.

However, in certain circumstances, foreign employees do not have to apply for a work permit, also known as Work Permit Exemption. Work Permit Exemption Certificate is also a confirmation, allowing foreign employees to legally work in Vietnam as well as serving as basis to apply for a temporary residence card for long-term settlement in Vietnam. Cases of work permit exemption do not have to be applied for a work permit, but another procedure to apply for a work permit exemption certificate is required.

Pursuant to Article 154 of the Labor Code 45/2019/QH14 and Article 7 Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP, if the foreigners are included in one of the scenarios listed below, they may be eligible for work permit exemption in Vietnam:

1. Foreigners being Heads of representative offices, projects, or persons otherwise taking main responsibility for the operation of international organizations or foreign non-governmental organizations in Vietnam.

2. Foreigners entering Vietnam for less than 03 months to offer services.

3. Foreigners entering Vietnam for less than 03 months to deal with complicated technical or technological problems that adversely impact or are likely to have adverse impacts on production and business operations and cannot be fixed by Vietnamese and foreign experts who are currently in Vietnam.

4. Foreign lawyers holding a professional practice license in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyers.

5. Foreigners subject to cases included in the International Treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory.

6. Foreigners who get married with Vietnamese citizens and wish to reside in Vietnam.

7. Foreigners being owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a capital contribution of at least VND 3 billion.

8. Foreigners being chairperson or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company with a capital contribution of at least VND 3 billion.

9. Foreign workers who are internally reassigned in the companies which engage in 11 service industries in the Vietnam’s commitments on services with WTO, including: business, communication, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, culture, entertainment, and transportation.

10. Foreign workers entering Vietnam to provide professional and technical advisory services or perform other tasks serving the research, construction, appraisal, assessment, management and execution of programs and projects funded by ODA according to the International Treaties on ODA between the competent authorities of Vietnam and other countries.

11. Foreign workers issued with the licenses for the practice of communications or journalism in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

12. Foreign workers appointed by foreign authorized agencies or organizations to teach or do research in international schools managed by foreign diplomatic missions or the United Nations; offices or organizations established according to the agreements executed or participated in by Vietnam.

13. Foreign volunteers entering Vietnam to work without any remuneration in accordance with international treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory and getting certified by a foreign diplomatic mission or international organization in Vietnam.

14. Foreigners entering Vietnam to hold the positions of experts, managers, chief executive officers or technicians for a period of less than 30 days and 03 visits to Vietnam per year at maximum.

15. Foreigners entering Vietnam to implement international agreements to which central or provincial agencies and organizations are signatories in accordance with the law.

16. Students who are currently studying at schools or training institutions overseas and have an agreement for practical training at an agency, organization or enterprises in Vietnam; or overseas students performing practical training on Vietnamese vessels.

17. Relatives of members of a foreign diplomatic mission in Vietnam who are permitted to work according to an international treaty to which Vietnam is a signatory.

18. Foreigners holding official passports and entering Vietnam to work in state agencies, political organizations or sociopolitical organizations.

19. Foreigners in charge of establishing commercial presence.

20. Foreigners certified by the Ministry of Education and Training as entering Vietnam to carry out teaching and research.

*** Sequence:

Step 1: Appy for approval of demand on using foreign employees

  • The employer shall prepare:
  • Enterprise registration certificate (certified copy);
  • Registration form for demand on using foreign employees (Form No.01) or Form No.02 in case of changes of demand on using foreign employees.
  • At least 30 days before the expected date of work of the foreign employee, the employer shall submit the aforesaid dossier to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the People’s Committee of the province or municipality where the foreign employee expects to work to apply for a written approval.
  • Within 10 working days from the date of submission of complete and valid dossier, the employer shall then receive a written approval. In case of refusal of granting, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Provincial People’s Committee shall provide a written explanation.

Step 2: Apply for working permit exemption for foreign employees

  • The foreign employee and the employer prepare a dossier to apply for WORKING PERMIT EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE, including:
  • Request form for confirming the foreign employee is eligible for work permit exemption (Form 09);
  • A health check issued within 12 months;
  • Written approval of demand on using foreign employees, except for cases where such demand is not required;
  • Certified copy of valid passport;
  • Papers or documents as a proof of eligibility for work permit exemption of foreign employees.

(Note: Documents issued in Vietnam must be originals or notarized copies; Ones issued in foreign countries must be consular legalized (except for exemption of consular legalization), then translated into Vietnamese and notarized).

  • At least 10 days prior to the date when the foreign employee start his/her work, the employer shall submit the prepared documents to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs in the province where the foreigner is expected to work.
  • Within 05 working days from the date of submission of complete and valid dossier, the employer shall receive a confirmation of work permit exemption for the foreign employee (work permit exemption certificate) according to Form 10. If it fails to confirm, the employer shall receive a written reply with specific reason.

NOTES:

Decree 152/2020/ND-CP stipulates that the following cases are exempted from step of applying for a written approval of demand on using foreign employees and/or step of applying for working permit exemption.

A. Cases that are exempted from applying for a written approval of demand on using foreign employees (but an application for working permit exemption is required):

  • Foreigners being Heads of representative offices, projects, or persons otherwise taking main responsibility for the operation of international organizations or foreign non-governmental organizations in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam for less than 03 months to deal with complicated technical or technological problems that adversely impact or are likely to have adverse impacts on production and business operations and cannot be fixed by Vietnamese and foreign experts who are currently in Vietnam.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam to implement international agreements to which central or provincial agencies and organizations are signatories in accordance with the law.
  • Students who are currently studying at schools or training institutions overseas and have an agreement for practical training at an agency, organization or enterprises in Vietnam; or overseas students performing practical training on Vietnamese vessels.
  • Foreigners holding Official Passports and entering Vietnam to work in state agencies, political organizations or sociopolitical organizations.
  • Foreigners in charge of establishing commercial presence.

B. Cases that are exempted from procedures for application of work permit exemption (but an application for a written approval of demand on using foreign employees is required):

  • Foreign lawyers holding a professional practice license in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyers.
  • Foreigners who get married with Vietnamese citizens and wish to reside in Vietnam.

C. Cases that are exempted from applying for a written approval of demand on using foreign employees and application of work permit exemption:

  • Foreigners entering Vietnam and staying in the country for less than 03 months to offer services.
  • Foreigners being owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a capital contribution of at least VND 3 billion.
  • Foreigners being chairperson or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company with a capital contribution of at least VND 3 billion.
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam to hold the positions of experts, managers, chief executive officers or technicians for a period of less than 30 days and 03 visits to Vietnam per year at maximum.
  • Relatives of members of a foreign diplomatic mission in Vietnam who are permitted to work according to an international treaty to which Vietnam is a member.

*** The employer shall, in both cases of B and C given, at least 03 days prior to the expected date of work started by the foreigner, report to the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs in province where the foreigner is expected to work, specify: full name, age, nationality, passport number of the foreigner and name of the employer, commencement date and termination date of work.

*** Valid term of work permit exemption certificate

  • Similar to the term of the Work Permit Certificate, the Work Permit Exemption Certificate shall be valid up to 02 years.
  • In case of re-issuance of work permit exemption certificate, the re-issued work permit exemption certificate is also valid 02 years at maximum.
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