What is the change? Mozambican officials have intensified audits of employers across the country in an effort to find violations of immigration and labor laws.

What does the change mean? Employers face fines, deportation, suspension of activities and rejection or revocation of work permits if they are found to be violating the law.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing foreign nationals.
  • Business impact: Businesses risk serious consequences if they are found to be violating work permit regulations.
  • Next steps: Employers should review procedures to make sure they are in compliance with the law and are prepared for an audit by authorities.

Background: The Mozambican National Migration Service (SENAMI) has intensified employer audits across the country to identify and repatriate foreign citizens working in Mozambique illegally. The audits may be scheduled or unannounced.

Over the last fortnight, SENAMI undertook 64 audits, and of the 734 foreign nationals questioned, 145 were found to be in the country illegally. The greatest number of offenses were uncovered in Maputo and Tete with Chinese, Nigerian and Portuguese citizens being the most common nationalities with illegal status.

Employers may be fined for employing a worker without a work permit where one is required, and repeat offenders may have their facilities closed. Fines are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the type of violation involved. In addition, the government will publish the details of noncompliant companies and foreign workers in the local media. Foreign nationals working without a work permit may be fined and are frequently deported.

BAL Analysis: The recently publicized enforcement indicates that the government is continuing to crack down on abuse of the work permit system.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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