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Immigration changes in Angola, Mozambique and South Africa

MOZAMIBIQUE | DIRE Residency Document No Longer Required for New Foreign Hires
Effective immediately, foreign nationals entering Mozambique with a work visa will no longer be required to obtain an Identification and Residency Document for Foreigners (DIRE). Instead, their work visas will be extended up to one year based on the length their employment contracts.

This change only affects new hires going forward. Current DIRE holders will continue to use their DIRE until their current work visa expires. Also note that this change only applies to the work visa holder, and dependent family members of work visa holders are still required to obtain a DIRE.

 

SOUTH AFRICA & ANGOLA | New Reciprocal Visa Waiver
Effective December 1, the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will implement a reciprocal visa waiver for Angolan citizens for stays of up to 30, to a maximum of 90 days per year. Angolan passport holders will no longer require Port of Entry Visas in advance of travel to South Africa for the purposes of general business, tourism, or family visits and will be issued a 30-day Visitor’s Visa at the Port of Entry upon arrival in South Africa. Reciprocally, Angolan authorities are expected to no longer require visas for South African citizens to enter Angola for the same purposes and periods of stay.

Note, however, that this visa waiver does not include visits for the purposes of work, study, or self-employment. Angolan nationals who are conducting short-term work in South Africa are still required to obtain a Port of Entry Visa with authorization to conduct work under Section 11(2) of the Immigration Act prior to travel. These may be applied for at the VFS Visa Application Centers of the South African Embassy in Angola or at the appropriate South African overseas diplomatic missions for Angolan citizens residing abroad.

 

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Challenges of an African education

In addition to immigration complexities, security issues and cultural considerations, families relocating to Africa face the challenge of choosing a suitable education pathway. We look at the options.

Assignees moving to Africa often find the process uniquely challenging, owing to immigration complexities, security issues and cultural considerations. Those with school-age children face the added challenge of choosing a suitable education pathway. We look at the availability of international schooling in the region, and offer advice to help parents choose a school.With significant economic growth and one African country forming the ‘N’ in MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey), the countries expected to become economic powerhouses of the future, the continent of Africa is coming into sharper focus in the world of global mobility as organisations across the world, in search of growth, look to it for new opportunities.The latest reports bear this out. EY’s 2016 Africa Attractiveness survey, Navigating Africa’s Current Uncertainties, found that, despite current uncertainties, the longer-term outlook for economic growth and investment in Africa remained positive.“The next few years will be tough – partly, even largely, as a result of a fragile global economy – but many African economies remain resilient, with two-thirds of sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries still growing at rates above the global average,” said the report.Even though growth across the region is uneven and likely to remain slower in coming years, SSA will continue for the foreseeable future to be the world’s second-fastest-growing region, after emerging Asia. Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ivory Coast are among 17 economies in the region that are forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to have grown in 2016.Larger SSA countries, such as Nigeria and Angola, have been particularly affected by lower oil prices, and growth in South Africa remains slow.Foreign direct investment (FDI) projects increased by 7 per cent year on year, from 722 in 2014 to 771 in 2015. Africa is one of only two regions in the world to have seen growth in the number of FDI projects over the past year.

School choice

Luckily, international schooling has also seen something of a boom in the region. According to the latest figures from the International School Consultancy (ISC) Group, there are currently 792 English-medium international schools throughout Africa, between them teaching more than 339,000 students. ISC Research predicts that there will be more than 1,500 such schools by 2025.

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Guide to visa requirements for work in Africa

Given the growth in Africa, employers are regularly seconding their employees to businesses in other jurisdictions.

Algeria

In Algeria, work permits are only available for posts, which cannot be undertaken by Algerian nationals. Further, foreign employees may not be hired unless they have a minimum of a ‘technical level of qualification’.

An employer must make a declaration to the competent authorities within 48 hours of hiring a foreign national and present any documents, which give that employer the right to hire foreigners. On termination of the employee’s contract, the employer must again inform the authorities.

There is no official English translation of the Algerian laws and consulates appear to apply the regulations with slight modifications. For this reason, those wishing to start businesses or send employees to Algeria should consult their nearest consulate or embassy.

Angola

In Angola, a foreign national seeking employment requires a work visa. The work visa allows its holder multiple entries into Angola and the holder can remain in Angola until the work contract expires.

The work visa must be used within 60 days of the date of its concession. It allows the holder to work in Angola for a period of 12 months, which can be prolonged for equal periods, up until the termination of the work contract.

Once a foreign worker has worked in Angola for a minimum of five years and wishes to relocate permanently to Angola, he or she will be entitled to apply for a residence visa. The residence visa entitles its holder to carry on a paid job.

Botswana

In Botswana, a foreign national issued with a work permit does not automatically qualify for a residence permit. As such, the foreign national must make two separate applications, one for a residence permit and another for a work permit. It is common for both applications to be submitted simultaneously.

There are no special permits for individuals who possess scarce skills but individuals possessing scarce skills obtain more points in the visa evaluation process.

Burundi

In Burundi, a foreigner is able to enter the country for a limited period of three months (for business or touristic purposes) by obtaining an ordinary visa, also called an entry visa (le visa d’entrée). Once in the country, a foreigner wishing to live and work in Burundi will have to apply for a visa d’etablissement.

A foreign worker wishing to work in Burundi is required to obtain an invitation authenticated by the Immigration Office in Burundi or by the Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation, which forms part of the visa application.

In terms of the Règlementation de l’emploi des étrangers au Burundi, foreign labourers should not exceed 20% of the Burundian company’s employees.

Egypt

To work in Egypt, a foreign employee requires an entry visa, a residence permit and a work permit. An employer who wishes to hire a foreign employee must submit a comprehensive formal request to the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration.

Foreigners are prohibited from working as tour guides, exporters, importers and customer officers. Furthermore, certain professions require a specific authorisation from the relevant authority.

The maximum percentage of foreigners that may be employed by corporate entities in Egypt is 10%. However, the competent Minister can vary this percentage upon approval.

Ghana

A foreign national issued with a work permit or an immigration quota permit in Ghana does not automatically qualify for a residence permit. A foreigner that has been granted a work permit or immigrant quota cannot start working immediately in Ghana unless the Director of Immigration grants that person residence permit. A foreign national, must therefore make two separate applications, one for a residence permit and another for a work permit.

One month before the expiry of a work permit, a foreign national may apply to the Immigrant Quota Committee for the renewal of his permit, which is treated as if it were a fresh application.

A foreign national granted a work permit or immigrant quota work permit must also submit an annual return, which must be completed prior to 14th of January in each year.

Kenya

To engage in employment in Kenya, foreign nationals are required to obtain work permits, and people who intend remaining in Kenya for work or business purposes for a short period of time can obtain a special pass. It is issued to a person who intends to engage in any form of employment (whether paid or unpaid) or in any other income generating activity. The special pass is valid for a period not exceeding three months.

Mozambique

In Mozambique, the labour laws provide for two different work permits for long-term secondments, namely a work permit within the quota or labour communication; and a work permit above the quota or work authorisation. The Mozambican labour regime restricts the admission of expatriates working for Mozambican companies or branches: 5% if a large company or branch (with more than 100 employees); 8% if a medium-sized company or branch (between 10 and 100 employees); and 10% if a small company or branch (fewer than 10 employees).

However, a Mozambican company may apply for a work permit above the quota for a foreign national, if it can prove that individual possesses certain skills and knowledge that cannot be found in any other potential Mozambican candidate.

Further, in terms of the Labour Law (23/2007), investment projects approved by the Government which contemplate the employment foreign nationals in a smaller or greater percentage than foreseen above, do not require work permits and notice must be given to the Minister of Labour within fifteen days after the foreign national enters Mozambique.

A Mozambican company that wishes to employ a foreign employee must apply for a work permit before the employee enters Mozambique. There is a three-step process, which is to be followed before a foreign employee can start working and legally living in Mozambique. Short-term work permits are available for occasional and specific services not exceeding 90 days in a calendar year. It may be worthwhile considering the cost and time implications of a short-term work permit versus an ordinary work permit if an employee is rendering services not exceeding 90 days in a calendar year.

Nigeria

Individuals travelling to Nigeria on short-term assignments require either a Temporary Work Permit or a Business Visitor’s Visa. The provisions in the Immigration Act, 2015 pertaining to foreign nationals requiring visas, work permit and residence permits do not apply to nationals of member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECWAS). ECWAS nationals are exempted from requiring entry visas and can work, reside and undertake commercial and industrial activities within Nigeria.

Long-term assignments are linked to specific job designations, meaning that the visa is connected to both the entity and the position in which the foreign national employee will be assigned. There is a specific process, which the employer is required to follow before the employee can apply for their work visa.

South Africa

A foreign national who wishes to work in South Africa needs to obtain the appropriate temporary residence visa. The Immigration Act 2002 and its regulations provide for different types of work visas, depending on the circumstances surrounding the applicant’s entry into South Africa.

The General Work Visa is issued to applicants who do not have skills and/or expertise listed on the critical skills list. One of the key issues in obtaining a general work visa is that the employer must be able to demonstrate that there are no South African citizens or permanent residents with qualifications or skills and experience equivalent to those of the foreign applicant.

The Critical Skills Work Visa is issued to applicants in possession of skills or qualifications that are considered critical. The employer does not have to demonstrate that it was unable to find a suitable citizen or permanent resident for the relevant position.

The Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa is issued in circumstances where multi-national companies may decide to transfer an existing employee in a key position from a foreign branch to a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate of that company in South Africa.

Tanzania

A foreign national desirous of working in Tanzania needs to obtain both a residence and a work permit.

An individual issued with a work permit does not automatically qualify for a residence permit. Thus, the foreign nation must make two separate applications – one to the Labour Commissioner and the other to the Immigration Services Department.

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Angola immigration changes – companies may pay foreign employees in foreign currency & offer agreed benefit packages

ANGOLA | Companies May Pay Foreign Employees in Foreign Currency and Offer Agreed Benefit Packages
In March, Pro-Link GLOBAL reported on Angolan Presidential Decree (No. 43/17) which required foreign workers in the country to be paid only in kwanzas (the local currency), capped benefit packages at 50 percent of base salary, and placed a maximum length on foreign employment contracts of 36 months. See our Immigration Dispatch of March 20 for more details. At that time, we believed the policy to be misguided and likely detrimental to business activity in Angola by making it more difficult to recruit the needed skilled foreign labor. Apparently, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos now agrees and, on April 24, the President signed a new decree (No. 78/17) repealing the earlier decree.

The net result of the two decrees is that we are now back to the prior rule that companies and their foreign employees are free to contract for whatever salary, in whatever currency, with whatever benefits package, for however long, they agree. While employment-based immigration in Angola will continue to be a somewhat challenging and opaque affair, this is at least a positive “about face” after previously heading in the wrong direction.

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Business Etiquette 101: 10 Tips For Business travelers in Angola

Angola, a former Portuguese colony and member state of both the African Union and Latin Union, has rich, dynamic culture and a business community that is just as diverse.

Ask about the family: Angolans practice ancestor worship, so it is especially important here, when meeting someone, to inquire about their family before diving into business matters. Building relationships is important. Don’t be surprised if at your first meeting with someone, business is not even discussed. They just want to get to know you.

Eye contact with women: In some rural parts of Angola, women do not make eye contact. However, in more urban areas and among younger generations, Angolan women might look you in the eye. If you are a woman visiting the country, you should try to avoid eye contact during the initial greeting process.

More on eye contact: When speaking to someone who holds a similar position to yours or is your “equal,” making eye contact is a sign of sincerity. Meanwhile, when speaking to someone who is older than you or has more seniority, refraining from eye contact shows respect.

Greetings: Bow to anyone who is obviously older than you are, or who has seniority over you. With anyone else, a handshake is customary.

Gift giving: If you are invited to a business associate’s home in an urban area, fruit, flowers or chocolate are acceptable gifts. It’s also normal to bring small gifts for the children of your associates.

Dress: Even if your business meeting is taking place at a restaurant, café or somebody’s home, dress as you would in an office. Dressing professionally is considered a sign of respect.

When addressing government officials: If there are any government officials present at your meeting, they may be addressed as “Excellency” (male) or “Excelencia” (female), without including their names.

Business cards: You’ll find many Angolans do not carry business cards, however they expect visitors doing business there to present them with business cards.

‘Yes’ doesn’t always mean yes: As in other African cultures, agreeing with someone is a sign of respect. When Angolans aim to please they may avoid saying anything that would come off as negative, even if they do not agree with the terms you are presenting. For this reason, be sure to go over specifics rather than accept vague statements, and write up detailed contracts.

Never interrupt: Interrupting is considered rude, especially interrupting elders. If you want to let someone know you approve of or disagree with what they’re saying, you may make hand or arm gestures while they’re speaking.

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