High Priority

What is the immigration news? Labor authorities in Equatorial Guinea are conducting a nationwide work permit audit that nullifies all existing work permits and requires companies to file for new work permits for all foreign employees. Companies employing foreign workers must submit new work permit applications to the Ministry of Labor by Dec. 14. Additionally, new procedures are in place that require companies to pay all government filing fees directly to the State Treasury.

  • Effective date:  The deadline for applying for new work permits is Dec. 14.
  • Visas affected: All work permits.
  • Impact on business: Employers who fail to file for new work permits for their foreign employees by the deadline will be considered in violation of laws prohibiting the hiring of workers without proper documentation. Foreign workers who do not complete the application procedures will be fined and the Ministry may request that the employer terminate their employment until they obtain the proper work authorization.
  • Next steps: Employers should file new work permit applications for all foreign employees as early as possible and no later than Dec. 14. Employers must go to a local bank to pay all government fees directly into the State Treasury, then take the bank receipt to the Treasury to be stamped.

Background: The Ministry of Labor is conducting the work permit exercise to ensure that all foreign workers have proper documentation and because of concerns about fraudulent work permits. The new procedure requiring direct payment of government fees is intended to prevent corruption.

BAL Analysis: Companies in Equatorial Guinea should plan to submit new work permit applications for all existing foreign employees as soon as possible, even if the work permit is not due to expire before the deadline. Employers should also factor in the additional steps of paying government fees at a bank and obtaining a stamp from the State Treasury, which will take one or two business days. Foreign employees without a new work permit after Dec. 14 will be subject to fines and/or termination.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider Centurion Law Group in Equatorial Guinea. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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