Work permit exemption certificate in Vietnam
As a foreign national, before you can work in Vietnam, you must first find a Vietnamese company who is willing to hire you. Afterward, your employer has to apply for a Vietnam work permit on your behalf.
However, in specific cases (listed in Clause 1 of Article 8 Decree No.145/2020/ND-CP), a foreigner may work in Vietnam without a working permit, but with a work permit exemption certificate. This certificate is equivalent to the work permit, could be valid for up to 2 years and also could be used to apply for a long term visa.
Who are required to get a Vietnam work permit exemption certificate?
The Decree No. 145/2020/ND-CP establishes a number of cases where foreign workers do not have to apply for work permits. They rather must apply for a Work Permit Exemption certificate in order to work legally in Vietnam.
Article 154. Work permit exemption for foreign employees in Vietnam
Those who are exempt from applying for work permits in Vietnam and must apply for work permit exemption certificate:
- Is the owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a capital contribution value conformable with regulations of the Government.
- Is the Chairperson or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company a capital contribution value conformable with regulations of the Government.
- 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 practising 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.
- Other circumstances specified by the Government.
Click here for more information in the Decree No. 145/2020/ND-CP.
What are the consequences if you work without Vietnamese government permission?
Vietnamese government can deport any foreigner who is working in Vietnam without a permission (even an expired one). A fine, ranging from 5,000,000 VND to 75,000,000 VND will occur if Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs doesn’t receive any report about employment of foreigners in Vietnam.
Business owner could also be suspended from operating for up to three months.
How to Obtain a Vietnam Work Permit Exemption Certificate?
The Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs is the administration authorized to certify foreign workers exempt from work permits. The application for work permit exemption certificate for foreigners eligible for it should be submitted by the employer to the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs at least 07 working days prior to the date when the foreigner is expected to start working.
What documents are required for a Work Permit Exemption Certificate?
1- The written request for certification that the foreign worker is exempt from a work permit
2- Notarized copy of documents proving that the foreign worker is exempt from a work permit
3- Notarized copy of passport and visa of foreigner
4- Company stamp and signature of the legal representative have to appear in work permit exemption forms
Processing time: 10-15 working days after receiving all documents required.
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