Mozambique: Government approves changes to work permit regulations

The Cabinet of the Mozambican Government has approved amended work permit regulations that govern the hiring of foreign labor in all industry sectors other than petroleum and mining.

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What does the change mean? The revised work permit regulations have yet to be published, but are expected to include several changes, detailed below, including longer processing times, increased government filing fees and greater compliance enforcement.

  • Implementation time frame: Imminent.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits in all industry sectors other than petroleum and mining.
  • Who is affected: Individuals applying to work in sectors other than petroleum and mining; organizations sponsoring foreign nationals for work permits in those sectors.
  • Business impact: If the work permit regulations are revised in line with expectations, employers and individuals should anticipate a longer end-to-end work permit application process, higher government application fees and enhanced compliance activity undertaken by the relevant authorities.
  • Next steps: The revised work permit regulations will be implemented as soon as they are published in the Mozambican Official Government Gazette.

Details: The purpose of the revised work permit rules is to promote the employment of foreign skilled labor where required and to ensure that the Mozambican workforce is properly valued, according to a statement last week by Mozambican Cabinet spokesperson and Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Ana Comuana.

The revised rules are expected to include the following changes:

  • Short-term work permits will be valid for 90 days initially (instead of the current validity of 30 days initially with possibility of two 30-day renewals).
  • The Directorate of Labor will have a longer time frame in which to process short-term work permits and quota work permits.
  • Government processing fees will be increased for short-term work permits and quota work permits.
  • Additional personal documents will be required for quota work permit applicants.
  • Employers face enhanced sanctions for noncompliance.
  • Employers who terminate the employment of a Mozambican national must match it by terminating a foreign national employee.

BAL Analysis: Given the potential impact of the expected key changes to the work permit regulations, employers should anticipate significant changes in the medium term, both in terms of end-to-end process times and budgeting for work permit application government fees.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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