Vietnam Work Permit: Who can be Exempted and Who Needs it?

When it comes to work permit application in Vietnam, some foreigners may be eligible for exemption. Find out if you can be exempted.

Effective from April 1, 2016, the regulations and requirements on foreigner’s work permit in Vietnam have been updated by the government. So what are the regulations and how do they affect foreigners who are working or plan to work in Vietnam?

This article serves as a guide to tell you things you need to know about the work permit in Vietnam based on the implemented regulation.

Find out About Cekindo’s Immigration Services in Vietnam

Foreigners Who Are Exempt from needing Work Permit in Vietnam

A foreigner must meet the following criteria set out in the new regulations in order to be exempted from work permit application in Vietnam:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree
  • Have at least three years of experience in a related field
  • Must be in Vietnam for no more than 30 days at a time; and no more than a total of 90 days in 12 months
  • For employees transferred to Vietnam by their companies from abroad, the companies must be in one of the following sectors: information technology, business, distribution, construction, environment, education, tourism, health, finance, transportation and entertainment
  • Foreigners working for local schools with permission from the Ministry of Education
  • Teachers working for international schools under the supervision of international organizations or foreign embassies
  • Foreign students working as an intern
  • Foreign experts supporting and implementing Official Development Assistance projects
  • Approved volunteers from international organisations

How to Get an Exemption in Vietnam

Employers should help get a work permit exemption for their employees at least seven days before they start working, by submitting all required documents to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Welfare. A work permit exemption is only valid for two years.

Documents required for the work permit exemption application are:

  • A request for the foreigner’s eligibility to be exempted from work permit
  • Employee’s information such as name, gender, age, nationality, passport number, job description and employment term
  • Documents of evidence translated into Vietnamese and notarised for the employee’s eligibility to be exempted from work permit

The Ministry of Labor will approve or reject the application within three days. Reasons will be given if the application is rejected.

RELATED: Expanding in Vietnam using an Investor Visa

How to Secure a Work Permit in Vietnam

Every foreigner who intends to work in Vietnam but is not eligible for the work permit exemption must apply for a work permit.

Below is a list of documents you need to prepare to apply for a work permit. You need to submit all these documents to the Ministry of Labor at least 15 days before the employee starts working:

  • A request from the employer for employee’s work permit application
  • Criminal record from the employee’s country of origin; criminal record from Vietnamese authorities if the employee has been residing in Vietnam
  • Proof of employment from foreign companies
  • Medical certificate issued by local or foreign authorized parties with at least 12-month validity
  • Two recent photos in color (no more than 6 months)
  • A notarized passport copy
  • Support letters for qualifications

These documents can be replaced by the following ones for certain cases:

  • Traditional craft certificate
  • Soccer player’s qualification of experience
  • Aircraft license for foreign pilots
  • Aircraft maintenance license for foreign aircraft maintenance technicians

The Ministry of Labor will approve or reject the application within seven days. Reasons will be given if the application is rejected. A work permit is valid for two years.

Consequences if You Don’t Have a Work Permit

If you are not eligible for a work permit exemption, but you still work in Vietnam without a work permit, you will be deported.

How Cekindo can Assist

Cekindo has extensive expertise in the field of work permit and other visa applications in Vietnam. We can assist you prepare and submit your application, as well as provide you with expert legal representation through the process.

At Cekindo, we will make sure that our legal specialists give you all the required and invaluable advice, so that you’ll have the best possible chance of success in order for you to work and stay in Vietnam.

Put simply, we will streamline the application process and make it as simple as possible for you. Cekindo acts in the interests of you and your business – let us help make it happen for you.

Contact Our Consultant

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Tomas Svoboda - Cekindo - Vietnam Country Manager

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Ing. Tomas Svoboda

Tomas is the co-founder & Chief Business Development Officer responsible for Vietnam. His role is to define the key potential of the Vietnamese market and to ensure that Incorp's branch in Vietnam provides its clients with smooth and hassle-free market entry solutions.