IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Liberia is preparing for an Oct. 10 general election, and the campaign season is expected to cause some amount of disruption to immigration services.

What does the change mean? Employers and foreign nationals should prepare for work permit and visa processing delays. Those in need of timely immigration services should submit applications as early as possible.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. Delays should be anticipated both before and after the Oct. 10 vote.
  • Visas/permit affected: All visas, permits and other immigration-related government services.
  • Who is affected: Anyone in need of immigration services in Liberia.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing may take longer than usual, especially if the election is contentious.

Background: Liberians will cast votes to elect a House of Representatives and to choose a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female head of state, whose second term is coming to an end. Sirleaf was elected to the presidency in 2005, after the end of Liberia’s second civil war. She was re-elected in a controversial election in 2011. Her pending departure has left a crowded field of candidates vying to replace her. Some fear Liberia’s fractious politics could lead to a contentious election which could exacerbate delays in immigration and other services.

BAL Analysis: Businesses may have to rearrange travel schedules or start dates if delays become serious.