Mozambique: Implementation of new work permit regulations coming soon

What is the change? Mozambique is scheduled to implement changes to work permit regulations at the end of November.

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What does the change mean? The changes apply to all employers except oil, gas and mining companies. The regulations will bar employment agencies from sponsoring foreign nationals working at third-party client sites, increase government application fees for short-term permits, introduce longer processing time frames and impose enhanced sanctions for noncompliance, and place new limits on employers terminating a local employee, among other changes.

  • Implementation time frame: Nov. 29.
  • Visas/permits affected: Short-term work permits; quota work permits.
  • Who is affected: Mozambican employers in all industries except oil and gas.
  • Impact on processing times: The statutory processing times will be lengthened for short-term work permits and quota work permits.
  • Business impact: Businesses should prepare for longer overall processing times and enhanced enforcement activities by relevant authorities.

Background: As first reported by BAL Sept. 16, the regulations were published several weeks ago with an effective date of Nov. 29. They include the following key changes:

  • Employment agencies will no longer be allowed to sponsor work permits for foreign nationals who are to be placed at third-party client sites.
  • Short-term work permits will be valid for longer periods– 90 days initially (instead of the current validity of 30 days initially with the possibility of two 30-day renewals) – but government processing fees will be introduced.
  • The Directorate of Labor will have a longer legislated time frame in which to process short-term work permits and quota work permits.
  • Additional personal documents and an additional process step 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: Mozambican employers should begin preparing now for these changes and anticipate potential delays in all application processes immediately following implementation. In particular, employers who currently use an employment agency to apply for work permits on their behalves should anticipate that they will no longer be able to do so and will need to apply directly for work permits for any foreign employees or contract workers.

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

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