IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Angola has abolished a rule capping the validity period of work permits at three years.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, employers and foreign nationals may apply for work permits that are valid for the duration of an employee’s work contract, no matter whether the contract is valid for more or less than three years.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing foreign nationals in Angola.
  • Business impact: The change is the latest attempt by Angola to ease restrictions on businesses that recruit and hire foreign nationals.

Background: Earlier this spring, Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos issued a decree easing pay and contract requirements for companies that employ foreign nationals. Among the decree’s provisions was a rule allowing employers to negotiate contracts with foreign national employees for any length of time. At that time, however, the work permit validity period was capped at three years, even if the contract extended beyond that period. The most recent change lifts the three-year cap and allows authorities to issue work permits that are valid for the full length of foreign national employees’ contracts.

BAL Analysis: The change, especially in conjunction with others adopted in May, will give employers additional flexibility when recruiting, negotiating with and employing foreign nationals in Angola. However, it should be noted that work permits can still only be renewed twice and, as such, BAL recommends that employers review expatriate and local hiring polices to maximize the benefit of the abolishment of the three-year work permit cap.