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Immigration & Work Permits

Work Permits

Foreign nationals wishing to work in Mozambique are required to obtain a work permit. However, work permits are generally only granted in instances where the employer can prove that the position cannot be filled by any suitable Mozambican applicants. Foreign nationals can mainly either be employed under the ‘quota’ or outside the ‘quota’ system.

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Using your own company


A foreign company that wishes to get a work permit for one of its employees must first set up its Mozambican subsidiary/branch/representative office. This Mozambican entity may then apply for the work permit.

Under these general rules for hiring foreigners issued by the Ministry of Labour, foreign nationals may be hired under one of the following systems: hiring under the quota system; hiring under investment projects approved by the Government, short-duration hiring; or hiring with authorisation (outside the quota).

Step 1: Obtain a certificate of equivalence

Before a work authorisation can be granted, a certificate of equivalence must be obtained from the Mozambique Ministry of Education. The applicant will be required to submit proof of his or her relevant educational qualifications i.e. diplomas and certificates – duly translated, if they were issued in a language other than Portuguese.

Time: 2 weeks to 3 months from date of submission

Step 2: Work authorisation application

For work permits within the prescribed quota (Comunicação de trabalho no âmbito da quota) the following documents are required to be submittedto the Mozambique embassy / consulate in their country of residence::

  • Two application forms, duly filled in (originals).
  • Three copies of contract of employment (originals).
  • Certified copy of the list of employees for the preceding year (relação nominal), indicating the number of employees (including citizenship) and their corresponding positions and salaries.
  • Declaration issued by the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) stating that the company is not in breach of its duty to pay any social security contributions.
  • Declaration issued by the tax authority stating that the company is not in breach of its duty to pay any taxes.
  • Proof of payment of the applicable fee, equivalent to three minimum (monthly) salaries for the applicant’s sector of activity.
  • Investment project authorisation, if applicable.
  • Operating licence.
  • Passport copy or copy of residence permit.
    A work permit outside of the prescribed quota (Autorização de Trabalho) requires most of the above items as well as:

    • Opinion from the Labor Union Committee (which must expressly refer to the appropriateness of the request for the admission of the foreign employee).
    • Certificate of equivalence.
    • Academic or professional qualification certificate and a further document confirming the employee’s professional experience.
    • Proof of payment of a fee equivalent to ten minimum (monthly) salaries for the applicant’s sector of activity (to be paid before submitting the application to the Ministry of Labour).

For submissions of communications to the minister of labour (‘out of quota’), the process is infinitely easier and does not depend substantially on whether or not there are Mozambicans available for that post (or skilled staff). Instead, it depends upon whether or not the company has exhausted its foreign employee quota.

The applicant for a work permit can only start working when the work permit is issued, except for some cases provided by law in special regimes such as for industrial trade zones.

For the oil and mining sectors, the employer may employ foreign citizens within 15 days after admission in accordance with the quota regime by means of communication with the minister of labour.

If the company intends to hire foreign employees for short-term employment (not exceeding 30 consecutive or interpolated days), no ministerial authorisation is required apart from legally-required elements to the proper provincial entity. This initial term may be extended, provided that relevant authorisation is obtained and its total duration does not exceed 90 days.

Foreign nationals who are self-employed individuals, shareholders or representatives of shareholders in Mozambique are required to obtain a work authorisation in their personal capacity.

Time: 1-5 business days (within the quota), 15 days (outside the quota)

Step 3: Obtain a residence permit

Precarious Residence Permits are granted to foreign nationals who intend to remain in Mozambique for more than 90 days. This authorisation is renewable annually. 
Temporary residence permits are valid for a maximum period of one year and renewable for one-year periods. They are granted to foreigners who have had precarious residence for at least five years and to foreigners who enter the country for residence purposes.

The following documents must be submitted with the application for residence permit  (Autorização de Residência precária) for work:

  • Application letter.
  • Letter of acceptance of liability.
  • Notarised copy of work permit, issued by the Ministry of Labour, and employment contract.
  • Police report (criminal record), duly legalised.
  • Notarised copy of passport with work visa/residence visa.
  • Proof of payment of the last tax paid to the tax authorities.
  • Application forms, duly filled in (the application forms are provided by the Migration Services).
  • Operating licence.
  • Work visa.
  • Payment of fees.
  • Passport, which must be valid for more than six months.

Entry visas and residence permits are granted automatically to family members of a foreign national who holds a valid work authorisation or permit. However, an expatriate’s spouse who is an employee must file an application for a residence permit through his or her employer.

Use the Shield GEO Employer of Record Solution

Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hands, coordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.

Types of visas in Mozambique

Category Description of Visa
Business Visa Business visas are granted to individuals 'who comes to the country in connection with an activity which he/she undertakes'. As such, while the purpose and permissibility of the business visa is unclear, holders are not entitled to work in Mozambique.

Time: 3-6 months
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