The situation

Employment contracts for foreign workers in Senegal can no longer have a projected start date that takes effect prior to the issuance of the work permit, according to directive issued by the Directorate of Labor in Senegal.

Background

Previously, work permit applicants could start working immediately after obtaining their medical report in Senegal (one of the first steps of the work authorization process).

Impact

Generally, this directive affects the following aspects of a foreign worker's stay in Senegal:

  • Work activities restriction. Foreign nationals taking up long-term employment in Senegal must now wait until their work permit is issued to start work. Since work permit applicants enter Senegal under a business visa, they can no longer perform hands-on work or other work activities until their work permit is issued, which can take up to four weeks.
  • Projected employment contract start date. Employment contracts must now contain a projected start date instead of an actual start date, since the start date will depend on when the work permit is approved.

Looking ahead

Senegalese immigration authorities plan to introduce a short-term work permit to further prevent foreign nationals under a business visa in Senegal from performing work activities.