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Who is eligible for Vietnam Work Permit exemption?

According to Decree No.11/2016/ND-CP and Labour Code No.10/2012/QH13, cases NOT subject to work permit are supplemented:

1. Foreign workers specified in the Labor Code, including:

a. As a capital contributing member or owner of a limited liability company.

b. As a member of the Board of Directors of a joint stock company;

c. As a head of a representative office or a Project director of international organizations or of non-governmental organizations in Vietnam;

d. Coming to Vietnam for duration of less than 03 months to undertake marketing for a service;

e. Coming to Vietnam for a duration of less than 03 months to resolve complicated technical or technological problems which pose risks of affecting production and business activities, and which cannot be resolved by Vietnamese experts and foreign experts currently in Vietnam;

f. As a foreign lawyer who is granted with a professional certificate in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyer;

g. Under the provisions of international agreement in which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member.

h. As foreign students who are studying and working in Vietnam, but the employer must notify the labour management authority at provincial level 07 days in advance.

This is regulated in the Labour Code No.10/2012/QH13 date June 18, 2012 (Download)

2. Other cases of foreign workers exempt from work permits, including:

a) The workers are internally reassigned in the companies which engage in 11 service industries in the Vietnam’s WTO commitments on services, including: business, communication, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, culture, entertainment and transportation;

b) The workers enter 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;

c) The workers are issued with the licenses for the practice of communications or journalism in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

d) The workers are appointed by foreign agencies or organizations to teach or do research in international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam or the workers are permitted to teach or do research in educational and training institutions in Vietnam by the Ministry of Education and Training;

dd) The workers are volunteers who have obtained the certification of the foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam;

e) The workers enter Vietnam to hold the positions of experts, managers, chief executive officers or technicians for a period of under 30 days and an accumulated working period of under 90 days per year;

g) The workers enter Vietnam to implement international agreements to which central or provincial agencies and organizations are signatories in accordance with the law;

h) Students who are studying in schools or training institutions in foreign countries execute their practicum at agencies, organizations or companies in Vietnam upon agreements;

i) Relatives of members who are executing their functions in foreign missions in Vietnam upon the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, unless otherwise stated in the International Treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory;

k) Workers are holders of Official Passports for working in state agencies, political organizations or sociopolitical organizations;

l) Other cases decided by the Prime Minister at the request of the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs.

Regarding cases not subject to work permit granting, foreign nationals still need a certificate issued by the Department of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs.

This is regulated in the Decree No.11/2016/ND-CP date February 3, 2016 (Download)

How to apply for work permit exemption certificate?

Department of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs is duly authorized to issue work permit exemption certificate.
The employer shall apply for certification by Department of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs at least 7 days prior to the start of applicable employment.  The duration of said certificate shall not exceed 02 years and complies with the term of certain situations.

Required documents and procedures

  1. A request to confirm a foreign worker is eligible for work permit exemption;
  2. Detailed information about the employee, including name, age, gender, nationality, passport number, term on employment and job description;
  3. Copies of papers to prove the employee is eligible for a work permit exemption must be translated into Vietnamese. In cases where copies of the above papers are submitted, such copies must be notarized or there must be the originals thereof for comparison.

Within three days, the department will confirm a work permit exemption or state the reasons why the employee is ineligible.

What if foreign employees work in Vietnam without a work permit?

Expats working in Vietnam without work permits (except where they are exempted by the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs) will be expelled from the country.

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