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In What Cases Are Foreigners Exempt From Work Permits in Vietnam? Vietnamese Work Permit Exemption Certificate

According to current regulations, foreigners entering Vietnam with working purpose must have a work permit. However, in some cases, foreigners will be exempt from work permit when working in Vietnam. What cases are exempt from work permit? And what is the procedure for applying a Vietnam work permit exemption?

Work permit or work permit exemption certificate is the legal basis for foreigners to work legally in Vietnam. There are a total of 14 cases which foreign workers are exempt from work permit specified in Article 7 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP.

1/ Cases of exemption from Vietnamese work permits for foreigners

Work permit exemption is another word to express the cases not subject to work permit. Cases which foreign workers are exempt from work permits by law include:

1- Being the owner or capital contributing member of a limited liability company with a capital contribution value of 3 billion VND or more.

2- Being the Chairman of the Board of Directors or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company with a capital contribution value of 3 billion VND or more.

3- Intra-company transfer within 11 service industries in the list of service commitments of Vietnam to the World Trade Organization, including: Trade, information, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, culture, entertainment and transport.

4- Entering Vietnam to provide professional and technical consulting services, or perform other tasks for research, construction, appraisal, monitoring, evaluation, management and implementation of programs and projects using official development assistance (ODA) according to regulations or agreements in international treaties on ODA signed between competent Vietnamese and foreign agencies.

5- Being granted license to operate information and press by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vietnam in accordance with law.

6- Being sent to Vietnam by a competent foreign agency or organization to teach or conduct research at an international school under the management of foreign diplomatic mission or the United Nations; or facilities and organizations established under agreements that Vietnam has signed or joined.

7- Volunteers specified in Clause 2, Article 3 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP.

8- Entering Vietnam to work as a manager, executive director, expert or technical worker with a working period of less than 30 days and no more than 3 times a year.

9- Entering Vietnam to implement international agreements signed by central and provincial agencies and organizations in accordance with law.

10- Students who are studying at overseas schools and training institutions that have an internship agreement in agencies, organizations and enterprises in Vietnam. Trainees do internships on Vietnamese cruises.

11- Relatives of members of foreign representative missions in Vietnam. Regulations at point l, clause 1, Article 2 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP.

12- Having an official passport to work for state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations.

13- Person responsible for establishing a commercial presence.

14- Being certified by the Ministry of Education and Training that the foreign worker to enter Vietnam for teaching and research purposes.

2/ Documents to apply Vietnam work permit exemption for foreigners

Procedures for applying a work permit exemption for foreigners are specified in Article 8 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP, including:

  • A request form to confirm that the foreign worker is not eligible for the work permit, according to Form No. 09/PLI, Appendix I.
  • Health certificate or medical examination paper, according to the provisions of Clause 2, Article 9 of this Decree;
  • Written approval of the need to employ foreign workers. Except for cases which it is not necessary to determine the need to use foreign workers;
  • Certified copy of valid passport as prescribed by law;
  • Documents to prove that the foreign worker is not eligible for granting work permit cases;

For more detailed information on the procedures for applying work permit for foreigners, please contact us via email

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