June 29, 2020

Big Question: Can A Foreigner Work in Vietnam Without A Work Permit?

A work permit is an official license for non-native workers to begin their career in Vietnam. However, it’s not necessary for all employee to apply for a Vietnam work permit. Indeed, the current national Labor Code of Vietnam has listed out up to 20 cases where foreigners can get work permit exemption. Without further ado, let’s see if you are exempted from a Vietnam work permit!

Am I exempted from Vietnam Work Permit?

If you are included in one of the following scenarios, don’t submit your application for a work permit in Vietnam. Congratulations, you are eligible for a work permit exemption certificate, of which the process is much faster and far less expensive.

Category 1: Foreigners working at Vietnamese enterprises

  • Being capital contributing members or owners of limited liabilities companies in Vietnam
  • Being members of the Board of Directors of joint-stock companies in Vietnam
  • Entering and staying in Vietnam for less than 03 months to establish a commercial presence
  • Entering and staying in Vietnam for less than 03 months to deal with incidents, complicated technical and technological issues affecting or potentially affecting production and business operations. Those issues can’t be fixed by domestic and foreign experts currently in Vietnam
  • Internal reassignment of 11 service sectors: business, communication, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, culture, entertainment and transportation
  • Entering and staying in Vietnam to work as a specialist, manager, executive director or technical worker for less than 30 days and an accumulated working period of fewer than 90 days per year

Category 2: Foreigners working at Vietnamese agencies and organizations

  • Being the Head of representative offices, director of projects of international organizations, non-governmental organizations in Vietnam
  • Being a foreign lawyer who has been licensed to practice law in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyers
  • Other cases subject to International Treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory;
  • Entering and staying in Vietnam to provide professional, technical or other consultancy services or perform other tasks for research, construction, appraisal, assessment, management and execution of programs and projects financed by ODA and in accordance with the International Treaties on ODA between the competent authorities of Vietnam and other countries
  • Being licensed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct communications or journalism activities in Vietnam
  • Being volunteers who are certified with foreign diplomatic missions or by international organizations in Vietnam
  • Entering and staying in Vietnam to implement an international agreement signed by a central or provincial agency or organization in accordance with the law
  • Being relatives of members who are performing a function in foreign missions in Vietnam upon the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, unless otherwise stated in the International Treaties to which Vietnam is a member
  • Having Official Passports to enter Vietnam and work for State agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations

Category 3: Research and training

  • Being a foreign student or a foreigner worker with the condition that their employer shall notify their employment status to the provincial-level state management agency of labour 7 days in advance
  • Being a student of a school or a training institution in foreign countries, entering Vietnam to do their internship at enterprises, agencies, organizations in Vietnam upon agreements
  • Being appointed by foreign agencies or organizations to Vietnam to teach and do research at international schools under the management of international organizations or foreign diplomatic missions in Vietnam, or being certified to teach and research at educational and training institutions by the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training
  • Other cases decided by the Prime Minister at the request of the Ministry of Labor

How Can I Get Work Permit Exemption Certificate in Vietnam?

Where to submit my application: Provincial Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs where the foreigner is expected to work of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Welfare

At which time to submit my application: at least 07 days prior to the expected date to begin the job

Checklist of documents to be submitted:

  • A request to confirm the eligibility of a foreign employee for a work permit exemption (Form 10 issued together with the Circular No. 03/2014/TT-BLĐTBXH)
  • Employee profile including detailed information about his/her full name, age, gender, nationality, passport number, term on employment, job placement
  • Copies of papers (translated into Vietnamese) to prove eligible status for a work permit exemption. 01 copy attached with the original for comparison or 01 notarized copy in accordance with regulations of Vietnam

Processing time: 3 working days of receiving full valid documents

The validity of work permit exemption certificate: 02 years with a one-time renewal

If you are still unclear about whether your profile needs a work permit to work in Vietnam, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will also help you with the application for work permit exemption as well as the conventional work permit in Vietnam.

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