When a foreign worker in Vietnam is exempt from work permit?

Under Vietnam's Labor Code and Government Decree 152/2020/ND-CP dated December 30, 2020 on management of foreign workers in Vietnam and recruitment and management of Vietnamese workers for Vietnam-based foreign entities and individuals, a foreign worker may be exempt from Vietnam’s work permit if falling in one of the following cases:

1. Being a chief representative or director of a project, or being in charge of operation of a Vietnam-based international organization or foreign non-governmental organization.
2. Entering and staying in Vietnam for under three months to offer services.
3. Entering Vietnam for a period of under three months to solve complicated technical or technological incidents that adversely impact or are likely to adversely impact production or business activities and cannot be solved by Vietnamese experts and foreign experts currently in Vietnam.
4. Being a foreign lawyer who has been licensed to practice law in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyers.
5. Falling into one of the cases specified in treaties to which Vietnam is a contracting party.
6. Having married a Vietnamese and is currently residing in Vietnam’s territory.

(DECREE NO. 152/2020/ND-CP)
7. Being the owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a contributed capital value of at least VND 3 billion.
8. Being the chairperson or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint-stock company with a contributed capital value of at least VND 3 billion.
9. Being an intra-corporate transferee in one of the 11 sectors specified in the Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services between Vietnam and the WTO, including business, communication, construction and engineering, distribution, education, environment, financial, health, tourism and travel, recreation, cultural, and sporting, and transport.
10. Entering Vietnam to provide professional and engineering consultancy services or perform other tasks to serve research, formulation, appraisal, supervision, evaluation, management and implementation of programs and projects using official development assistance (ODA) in accordance with regulations or agreements in treaties on ODA signed between competent authorities of Vietnam and foreign countries.
11. Having been granted a certificate of communication and journalism practice in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with law.
12. Being sent by a foreign competent authority to Vietnam to teach or do research at an international school managed by a foreign representative mission or the United Nations; or at a facility or an organization established under an agreement to which Vietnam is a contracting party.
13. Voluntarily working in Vietnam without pay to implement a treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party as certified by a Vietnam-based foreign representative mission or international organization.
14. Entering Vietnam to work as a manager, chief executive officer, expert or technical worker for a period of under 30 days and for no more than three times a year.
15. Entering Vietnam to implement an international agreement to which a central- or provincial-level authority is a signatory in accordance with law.
16. Studying at a foreign school or training institution that has a probation agreement with an agency, organization or enterprise in Vietnam; or a probationer or apprentice working on board a Vietnamese seagoing vessel.
17. Being a relative of a staff member of a Vietnam-based foreign representative mission who is permitted to work in Vietnam in accordance with a treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.
18. Possessing an official-duty passport to work for a state agency, political organization or socio-political organization.
19. Being responsible for establishing a commercial presence.
20. Being certified by the Ministry of Education and Training as a foreign worker entering Vietnam for teaching or research purpose.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs or provincial-level Departments of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs is/are competent to certify foreign workers who are exempt from work permit.

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