Work permits are very difficult to obtain in Macau and therefore the regulations regarding this matter have become increasingly important.

Under Law 21/2009, the hiring process of non-resident workers must observe a specific criteria and is subject to prior approval by the Human Resources Bureau, which provides employers with a quota to hire workers.

Non-resident work can be qualified as:

  1. Skilled and non-skilled workers; and
  2. Occasional workers

1. Skilled and non-skilled workers

Skilled workers have academic qualifications, specific technical skills and relevant professional experience. The employer must prove that the worker has special qualifications for a specific position and that it is impossible to hire locally a person with such qualifications. 

For non-skilled workers, the employer obtains a quota for a particular position to be fulfilled by a non-resident worker who is not specifically identified. The approval of quotas takes into consideration the good standing of the employer, the working conditions granted to the non-resident worker, the market insufficiencies and the number of local workers hired by the employer.

2. Occasional workers:

Under Administrative Regulation 17/2004 there is an exception which states that a non-resident may work in Macau without work permit. It applies if a local company enters into an agreement with an overseas company to provide occasional and certain services: management, technical and supervision position. Such exception is limited to a maximum of 45 days - alternate or consecutive - during 6 months. The overseas company must be registered in the Macau Tax Bureau and a log where the days in which the services are rendered must be kept as a record.