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From The Hippo’s Ears: Egypt

Facts you may not have know about Egypt:

Egypt ( مِصر‎ Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip (Palestine) and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Egypt is a unitary semi-presidential republic, and gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1922.

1.  When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?

Handshakes are the customary greeting. First names tend not to be used unless one has been invited to do so. The common form of address is the use of titles (e.g. Mr, Mrs, Dr, etc.) along with one’s first name or surname depending on the relationship. A common phrase that accompanies a greeting is ‘salaam aleikum’ (‘may peace be with you’), which should be replied to with ‘waaleikum us salam’ (‘may peace be with you also’). However, the exact phrase varies by town/city and dialect. For example, in some areas it is more common to say ‘Sbaa’ el Kher’ (good morning) and ‘Masaa’ el Kher’ (good evening).

2. What languages are spoken in the country?

The official language of the Republic is Arabic. The spoken languages are: Egyptian Arabic (68%), Sa’idi Arabic (29%), Eastern Egyptian Bedawi Arabic (1.6%), Sudanese Arabic (0.6%), Domari (0.3%), Nobiin (0.3%), Beja (0.1%), Siwi and others. Additionally, Greek, Armenian and Italian, and more recently, African languages like Amharic and Tigrigna are the main languages of immigrants.

The main foreign languages taught in schools, by order of popularity, are English, French, German and Italian.

Historically Egyptian was spoken, of which the latest stage is Coptic Egyptian. Spoken Coptic was mostly extinct by the 17th century but may have survived in isolated pockets in Upper Egypt as late as the 19th century.

3. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?

We use a 24-hour system.

4. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in the country?

We drive on the right side of road.

5. How important is punctuality?

Punctuality for meetings is important, however, meetings often begin late due to those in attendance initially catching up on a personal level.

6. Which types of music are popular? Who are some of the most popular musicians?

Egyptian music is a rich mixture of indigenous, Mediterranean, African and Western elements. It has been an integral part of Egyptian culture since antiquity. Contemporary Egyptian music traces its beginnings to the creative work of people such as Abdu al-Hamuli, Almaz and Mahmoud Osman, who influenced the later work of Sayed Darwish, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Abdel Halim Hafez whose age is considered the golden age of music in Egypt and the whole Arab world. Prominent contemporary Egyptian pop singers include Amr Diab and Mohamed Mounir.

As early as 4000 BC, ancient Egyptians were playing harps and flutes, as well as two indigenous instruments: the ney and the oud. However, there is a little notation of Egyptian music before the 7th century AD, when Egypt became part of the Muslim world. Percussion and vocal music became important at this time and has remained an important part of Egyptian music today. From the 1970s onwards, Egyptian pop music has become increasingly important in Egyptian culture, particularly among the large youth population of Egypt. Egyptian folk music is also popular, played during weddings and other festivities. In the last quarter of the 20th century, Egyptian music was a way to communicate social and class issues. The most popular Egyptian pop singers are Amr Diab, Tamer Hosny, Mohamed Mounir and Ali El Haggar. One of the most respected early electronic music composers, Halim El-Dabh, is an Egyptian.

For a taste of Egyptian pop music, listen to Mohamed Mounir.

7. Are there any Traditional Dances?

Folkloric dance in Egypt is divided regionally into the dance from the Delta (fellahi), the Upper Delta (Saidi), the coastal area (Sawahili), Sinai (Bedouin), and the Nubian area. These dances not only survive locally but are also preserved by the Reda Group for Folkloric Dance, which was established by Mahmoud Reda and Farida Fahmy in the 1960s, and the National Troupe for Folkloric Arts, which performs these dances nationally and internationally.

Egypt also has a longstanding tradition of belly dancing. Believed to have originated as a fertility dance performed by priestesses in Pharaonic times, it exists today in two main forms, as a folk dance (raqs baladi), performed by women at parties and weddings, and as a form of entertainment by professional dancers (raqs sharqi).

With the advent of cinema, in the early 20th century, the film industry made icons of belly dancers. The late Tahiya Karioka and Samia Gamal and the now retired Soheir Zaki and Nagwa Fouad are probably the most celebrated belly dancers of Egypt. Other more recently famous belly dancers are Fifi Abdou and Lucy, both now retired as well. The ruling queen of Egyptian belly dance is Dina Talaat.

Watch traditional Egyptian belly dancing here.

8.  What traditional Festivals are celebrated in the country?

Abu Simbel Sun Festival

Abu Simbel is one of the premier antiquities in all of Egypt, and twice a year (this festival is also held on 22 October) you can see the sun god statues of the inner sanctuary, normally shrouded in darkness, illuminated by a beam of sunlight. Locals celebrate with traditional Nubian dance, street food (save stomach space for some fresh koshari) and live music outside the temple.

Ramadan

This Islamic holy month of daytime fasting (and evening feasting) is observed throughout Egypt. If you travel during this period, the dates of which change every year, you’ll find locals more subdued and streets quiet during the daytime when folks are fasting. It’s also possible that some historical sites will operate on limited hours. Travellers are not expected to observe the fast, but drinking, smoking and scoffing down street food in public during the daylight hours is frowned upon. Whether or not you enjoy travelling in Egypt during Ramadan will depend on your reasons for travel. If you’re interested in local customs and traditions, then you may find it enriching. If you would rather be able to see things as quickly and efficiently as possible, this may not be the best month for you to travel to Egypt.

Sandbox Music Festival

For three days in June (dates change annually), Egypt’s young and hip descend on El Gouna for an outdoor music festival that takes place right on the beach. House, techno and dance music DJs draw revellers that party well into the night. Travellers who want to immerse themselves in young and contemporary Egyptian culture (or just love dancing) will get a kick out of this beachside fest.

9. What is the weather like?

Egypt has an unusually hot, sunny and dry climate. Average high temperatures are high in the north but very to extremely high in the rest of the country during summer. The cooler Mediterranean winds consistently blow over the northern sea coast, which helps to get more moderated temperatures, especially at the height of the summertime. The Khamaseen is a hot, dry wind that originates from the vast deserts in the south and blows in the spring or in the early summer. It brings scorching sand and dust particles, and usually brings daytime temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F) and sometimes over 50 °C (122 °F) in the interior, while the relative humidity can drop to 5% or even less. The absolute highest temperatures in Egypt occur when the Khamaseen blows.

Most of Egypt’s rain falls in the winter months. South of Cairo, rainfall averages only around 2 to 5 mm (0.1 to 0.2 in) per year and at intervals of many years. On a very thin strip of the northern coast the rainfall can be as high as 410 mm (16.1 in), mostly between October and March. Snow falls on Sinai’s mountains and some of the north coastal cities such as Damietta, Baltim and Sidi Barrani, and rarely in Alexandria. A very small amount of snow fell on Cairo on 13 December 2013, the first time in many decades.

10. What are some interesting facts about the President?

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the sixth and current President of Egypt (since 2014), former Director of Military Intelligence, former Minister of Defence, and former General. Starting 10 February 2019, Sisi also began serving a one-year term as Chairperson of the African Union, which concluded in 2020.

Sisi was born in Cairo and after joining the military, held a post in Saudi Arabia before enrolling in the Egyptian Army’s Command and Staff College. As Minister of Defence, and ultimately Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Sisi was involved in the military coup that removed Morsi from office on 3 July 2013, in response to June 2013 Egyptian protests, called a revolution by its proponents. He dissolved the Egyptian Constitution of 2012 and proposed, along with leading opposition and religious figures, a new political road map, which included the voting for a new constitution, and new parliamentary and presidential elections.

He is married to Entissar Amer and has 4 children.

11. What are the country’s major industries?

Egypt’s economy depends mainly on agriculture, media, petroleum imports, natural gas, and tourism. Egypt has received United States foreign aid since 1979 (an average of $2.2 billion per year) and is the third-largest recipient of such funds from the United States.

Egypt has a developed energy market based on coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro power. Substantial coal deposits in the northeast Sinai are mined at the rate of about 600,000 tonnes (590,000 long tons; 660,000 short tons) per year. Oil and gas are produced in the western desert regions, the Gulf of Suez, and the Nile Delta. Egypt has huge reserves of gas, estimated at 2,180 cubic kilometres (520 cu mi), and LNG up to 2012 exported to many countries.

The Egyptian tourism industry is one of the most important sectors in the economy, in terms of high employment and incoming foreign currency. It has many constituents of tourism, mainly historical attractions especially in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, but also beach and other sea activities. The government actively promotes foreign tourism since it is a major source of currency and investment.

12. What are some of the things visitors can look forward to experiencing?

Major tourist attractions include visiting Giza Necropolis (the Great Pyramids and Sphinx); Valley of the Kings; the Egyptian Museum; Karnak ruins; Luxor Temple; Abu Simbel Temples; and Khan el-Khalili bazaar.

13. What is a popular local drink?

Tea (شاى, shai) is the national drink in Egypt, followed only distantly by coffee, prepared using the Turkish method. Egyptian tea is uniformly black and sour and is generally served in a glass, sometimes with milk. Tea packed and sold in Egypt is almost exclusively imported from Kenya and Sri Lanka. Egyptian tea comes in two varieties, kushari and sa‘idi.

Kushari tea (شاى كشرى), popular in Lower Egypt, is prepared using the traditional method of steeping black tea in boiled water and letting it sit for a few minutes. It is almost always sweetened with cane sugar and often flavored with fresh mint leaves. Kushari tea is usually light in color and flavor, with less than a half teaspoonful of tea per cup considered to be near the high end.

Sa‘idi tea (شاى صعيدى) is common in Upper Egypt. It is prepared by boiling black tea with water for as long as five minutes over a strong flame. Sa‘idi tea is extremely strong and dark (“heavy” in Egyptian parlance), with two teaspoonfuls of tea per cup being the norm. It is sweetened with copious amounts of cane sugar (a necessity since the formula and method yield a very bitter tea). Sa‘idi tea is often black even in liquid form.

14. What is a popular local dish?

Egyptian cuisine is notably conducive to vegetarian diets, as it relies heavily on legume and vegetable dishes. Although food in Alexandria and the coast of Egypt tends to use a great deal of fish and other seafood, for the most part Egyptian cuisine is based on foods that grow out of the ground. Meat has been very expensive for most Egyptians throughout history, so a great number of vegetarian dishes have been developed.

Some consider kushari (a mixture of rice, lentils, and macaroni) to be the national dish. Fried onions can be also added to kushari. In addition, ful medames (mashed fava beans) is one of the most popular dishes. Fava bean is also used in making falafel (also known as “ta‘miya”), which may have originated in Egypt and spread to other parts of the Middle East. Garlic fried with coriander is added to molokhiya, a popular green soup made from finely chopped jute leaves, sometimes with chicken.

15. What do you pay, on average, for the following?

Egypt uses the Egyptian Pound (EGP). (1 USD = approximately 16 EGP).

3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant: 150  EGP
Cappuccino: 27  EGP
Water (350 ml): 3.50  EGP
Milk (1 l): 14  EGP
Loaf of white bread: 9 EGP
Apples (1 kg): 24 EGP

16. Any general safety tips?

  • Travel to the Governorate of North Sinai is advised against.
  • All but essential travel to the Governorate of South Sinai, except the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq is advised against. The same applies to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh (as shown on the map).
  • Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt. There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against certain foreign nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. There remains a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation in Egypt.
  • You should follow the advice of Egyptian authorities, remaining particularly vigilant and maintaining a high level of security awareness in crowded places and at large gatherings.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.

17. In conclusion, famous (and sometimes infamous) people from the country include:

  • Tutankhamun. The Egyptian Pharaoh owned all of Egypt’s wealth. His elaborate tomb displayed an array of riches, including his coffin being lined with sheet gold. The gold weighed 110.4 kg.
  • Rameses II. Known as Ramesses the Great, he is considered the greatest Egyptian Pharoah of the New Kingdom. He reigned for over 30 years, building cities, temples, and monuments and then expanding the control of Egypt into Canaan and Nubia.
  • Cleopatra. The last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra sought to defend Egypt from the expanding Roman Empire. In doing so, she formed relationships with two of Rome’s most powerful leaders, Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar.
  • Gamal Abdel Nasser. Second President of Egypt (1956). Nasser’s Presidency had a significant influence on Egypt and world politics. He renationalised the Suez canal and was popular throughout the Arab world.
  • Omar Shariff. An Egyptian actor who began his career in Egypt before becoming a star on the global stage. He starred in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965) He won three Golden Globe Awards.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]. Image sources: [1], [2], [3].

Egyptian e-Commerce Startup MaxAB Secures $6.2m Seed Funding

Egyptian B2B e-commerce marketplace MaxAB has secured seed funding of $6.2 million, one of the largest ever seed rounds raised by a MENA startup. The round was co-led by Beco Capital, 4DX Ventures and Endure Capital, with participation from 500 Startups, Outlierz Ventures and other local investors.

MaxAB connects informal food and grocery retailers with suppliers in Egypt’s under-served areas via an easy-to-use app. With this new injection of capital, the company expects to reach 50% of Egypt’s population within the next two years before expanding across different markets.

Led by Egyptian and Libyan entrepreneurs Belal El-Megharbel (previously at Careem) and Mohamed Ben Halim (Previously at Aramex), the 270-strong MaxAB team has built a stock list of over 600 products, including groceries, beverages, dairy, confectionery and non-food products.

Simplifying Egypt’s FMCG market

Using technology to close the gap between traditional retailers – over 400,000 in Egypt – and FMCGs, the Cairo based startup leverages technology to connect brands to retailers via its Android app. It is working to automate and simplify Egypt’s $45bn FMCG food retail market and has recorded 50% month-on-month growth, with 9,000 activated retailers on the platform already.

Brands using MaxAB have access to real-time demand monitoring and business intelligence tools, which improve end-to-end supply chain control, and better forecasting. Retailers in remote and under-served areas will have access to a wide variety of products, the convenience of ordering stock online in addition to second-day deliveries not to mention the added benefit of access to credit facilities.

Belal El-Megharbel, co-founder and CEO at MaxAB, says: “Nobody has addressed the underserved retailers before; retailers are faced with a limited assortment of products, the hassle of dealing with multiple wholesalers and restricted access to credit facilities. At the other end of the supply chain, the FMCGs have limited visibility on market trends, demand patterns and retailers’ business needs – leading to losing potential revenue opportunities.

“We are using data and analytics to understand purchasing and retail behaviours, as well as make the end-to-end process of brands seamless and convenient. This will enable FMCGs to make informed decisions about their purchasing, which will ultimately have a positive effect on their bottom line and catalyse one of the biggest markets in Egypt. This investment round will allow us to accelerate our growth plans and develop new products and services throughout North Africa using the first of its kind B2B e-commerce platform.”

Redefining the grocery supply chain

Yousef Hammad, managing partner at Beco Capital, says: “‘This is Sparta’ was the first impression I got when I met this team of warriors, battling one of the biggest inefficiencies on the country’s balance sheets. By leveraging technology, MaxAB is redefining the grocery supply chain in Egypt to fit the requirements of the micro retailers who make up 90% of the grocery market. The metrics they have recorded in such a short period are impressive, and we expect to continue to see double-digit growth as they scale.”

Peter Orth, co-founder and managing partner at 4DX Ventures, says: “We’ve been consistently impressed with how Belal and the rest of the team have executed, and achieved significant traction in a very short period of time. We believe that their B2B e-commerce model is the right way to serve this significant market, and we’re really excited to partner with the team to drive the next phase of growth.”

To learn more about MaxAB, and what they’re doing in the Egyptian FMCG industry, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

New African Wealth Report Reveals The Richest Cities on the Continent

New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank have published the latest African Wealth Report, showing the levels of wealth of various African nations at the end of 2018.

According to the report, South Africa is still the richest country in Africa, with the high net worth (HNWI) population of 39,200 people holding the most wealth at $649 billion.

This is double that of the second wealthiest African nation, Egypt, where the HNWI population of 16,700 people holds $303 billion.

Egypt is followed by Nigeria ($225 billion), Morocco ($114 billion) and Kenya ($93 billion).

Total wealth held on the continent amounts to US$2.2 trillion. Around US$920 billion (42%) of this is held by HNWIs, New World Wealth said.

While South Africa ranks at the top of the list, on a per capita basis ($11,450), it is only the second wealthiest nation – following behind Mauritius, where wealth per capita sits at $31,000.

Africa’s richest cities

South African cities ranks as the top richest cities on the continent, with Johannesburg and Cape Town holding the most HNWI wealth among the major cities covered, taking the first and second spots, respectively.

Total wealth held in Johannesburg amounts to US$248 billion, while total wealth held by Cape Town amounting to US$133 billion.

Most of Johannesburg’s wealth is concentrated in Sandton, New World Wealth said, which is home to the JSE (the largest stock market in Africa) and to the head offices of most of Africa’s largest banks and corporates.

Cape Town, meanwhile, is home to Africa’s most exclusive and expensive suburbs such as Clifton, Bishopscourt, Camps Bay and Bantry Bay. It is also a hotspot for wealthy second home owners from around the world. Major sectors there include: real estate, financial services (fund management), retail and tourism.

Also in the top five from South Africa is Durban and Umhlanga (combined), which holds total HNWI wealth of US$54 billion.

This figure includes wealth held in Durban, Umhlanga, La Lucia and Ballito. Notably, Umhlanga and Ballito are two of the fastest growing areas in SA, in terms of wealth growth over the past 10 years, the group said.

Among other African countries, Cairo (Egypt), Lagos (Nigeria) and Nairobi (Kenya) stand out as wealthy cities, sitting on par with South Africa’s popular HNWI areas.

Total wealth held in Cairo amounts to US$129 billion – and the city is home to more billionaires than any other African city (four billionaires live there, compared to just two in Johannesburg).

In Lagos, total wealth held in the city amounts to US$96 billion. This is the largest city in Africa, in terms of population and GDP (but not in terms of wealth).

The richest cities in Africa.

The richest areas in South Africa.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Immigration changes in Nigeria and Egypt

NIGERIA road sign

Africa’s largest economy is slowly coming out of its worst recession in 30 years, and the Nigerian government continues to modernize its employment-based immigration system in an effort to attract international business. Earlier this year, Nigeria finally adopted the administrative regulations to implement its Immigration Act of 2015, which was the country’s first significant amendment of their immigration law in over 50 years. This year, the Immigration Regulations 2017 made broad changes to the full spectrum of business visas, visas-on-arrival, work and residence permits, entry procedures, identification and registration rules, and administrative processes.


egypt

EGYPT | Visa-Free Privileges Suspended for Qatari Citizens, and Updated List of Foreign Nationals Required to Register In-Country Within Seven-Days of Entry
Effective July 20, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs began denying visa-free entry to Qatari citizens. This is the latest salvo in the ongoing diplomatic and trade war by 16 Middle Eastern countries against the nation of Qatar. Egyptian officials have publicly indicated that exemptions to the visa-free suspension will be considered on a case-by-case basis for Qatari nationals with Egyptian spouses or mothers; however, it is unclear thus far how applicants would exercise that option.

While Qatari nationals are still eligible to apply for visas to enter Egypt, these applications have been subject to heightened scrutiny and high rates of rejection even prior to the current escalated tensions. With the Egyptian diplomatic missions in Qatar having been withdrawn in June, applications will likely need to be lodged at the Egyptian diplomatic posts in Kuwait or Oman, which have thus far elected to remain neutral in the current dispute. Even clearing that hurdle, applications by Qatari citizens will still face greater rejection levels absent close connections to individuals or companies in Egypt.

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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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