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Cases that are subject to exempt from work permits in Vietnam

Legal basis

  • Law on Labor 2019 takes effect on January 1, 2021;
  • Decree No 152/2020/ND-CP on foreign workers working in Vietnam and recruitment and management of Vietnamese workers working for foreign employers in Vietnam.

Cases that are subject to exempt from work permits in Vietnam

Who are the cases that are subject to exempt from work permits?

According to Article 7 of the Decree No 152/2020/ND-CP on foreign workers working in Vietnam, they are not eligible for work permits including:

  • Is the owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a capital contribution value of at least 3 billion VND;
  • Is the Chairperson or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company with a capital contribution value of at least 3 billion dong;
  • Is an intra-company transferee within 11 sectors in the schedule of commitments in services between Vietnam and WTO, including: business services, communication services, construction services, distribution services, educational services, environmental services, financial services, health services, tourism services, recreational and cultural services, and transport services;
  • Enters Vietnam to provide professional and engineering consulting services or perform other tasks intended for research, formulation, appraisal, supervision, evaluation, management and execution of programs and projects using official development assistance (ODA) in accordance with regulations or agreement in international treaties on ODA signed between the competent authorities of Vietnam and foreign countries;
  • Is granted a communication and journalism practicing certificate in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as per the law;
  • Is sent by a foreign competent authority or organization to Vietnam to teach and study at an international school under management of a foreign diplomatic mission or the United Nations; or of a facility established under an agreement to which Vietnam is a signatory;
  • Is a volunteer as specified in clause 2 Article 3 of this Decree;
  • Enters Vietnam to hold the position of a manager, executive, expert or technical worker for a period of work of less than 30 days and up to 3 times a year;
  • Enters Vietnam to implement an international agreement to which a central or provincial authority is a signatory as per the law;
  • Is a student studying at a foreign school or training institution which has a probation agreement with an agency, organization or enterprise in Vietnam; or a probationer or apprentice on a Vietnam sea-going ship;
  • Is a relative of a member of foreign representative body in Vietnam as specified in point l clause 1 Article 2 hereof;
  • Obtains an official passport to work for a regulatory agency, political organization, or socio-political organization;
  • Takes charge of establishing a commercial presence;
  • Is certified by the Ministry of Education and Training as a foreign worker entering Vietnam for teaching and research purpose;
  • Is the manager of a representative office, project or the person in charge of the operation of an international organizations or a foreign non-governmental organization in Vietnam;
  • Enters Vietnam for a period of less than 03 months to do marketing of a service;
  • Enters Vietnam for a period of less than 03 months to a resolve complicated technical or technological issue which (i) affects or threatens to affect business operation and (ii) cannot be resolved by Vietnamese experts or any other foreign experts currently in Vietnam;
  • Is a foreign lawyer who has been granted a lawyer’s practicing certificate in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyers;
  • In one of the cases specified in an international treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory;
  • Gets married with a Vietnamese citizen and wishes to reside in Vietnam.

Certification of exemption from work permits

According to Article 8 the Decree No 152/2020/ND-CP, certification of exemption from work permits includes:

  • The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or Departments of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs are authorized to grant certification of exemption from work permit;
  • The employer shall request the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of the province where the foreign worker is expected to work to certify that such foreign worker is eligible for exemption from a work permit at least 10 working days before he/she starts to work. The validity period of a certification of exemption from work permit is up to 2 years and coincides with the validity period of any case as prescribed in Article 10 below. If a certification of exemption from work permit is re-issued, the corresponding validity period is up to 2 years.

Required documents in an application for exemption from work permits

According to Clause 3 Article 8 the Decree No 152/2020/ND-CP:

  • An application form for certification of exemption from work permit;
  • A fitness to work certificate in accordance with the provisions;
  • An acceptance of demand for foreign workers, unless it is not required;
  • A valid certified true copy of passport as per the law;
  • Documents justifying that the foreign worker is exempt from work permit.

Within 5 working days after receiving a duly completed application, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs or Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs shall issue a certification of exemption from work permit. If the application is rejected, a written explanation is required.

Services of applying for certification of exemption from work permits of Viet An Law

  • Consult on employees who are exemption from work permits;
  • Draft application requesting certification of exemption from work permits;
  • Submit the application at a competent agency.

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