What is the change? Permanencia Visa and Resident Permit applications in Equatorial Guinea have been significantly delayed by the government’s recent introduction of a requirement that Vice Presidential authorization be secured before the relevant Ministry’s Secretary of State can approve applications. The oil and gas sector has been exempted from the requirement.

What does the change mean? The introduction of the additional step has caused significant disruptions for foreign nationals applying for Permanencia Visas and Resident Permits, as end-to-end processing times have at least doubled. Because the oil and gas sector is exempt, foreign nationals working in that industry have not been affected.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanencia Visa and Residence Permit applications in all industries except oil and gas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for Permanencia Visas and Residence Permits in Equatorial Guinea.
  • Impact on processing times: The introduction of the additional step has extended the overall time frame of Permanencia Visa applications from one month to three months and Resident Permit applications from three months to six months.
  • Business impact: Employers and foreign nationals should anticipate significant delays in the Permanencia Visa and Resident Permit application process.

Background: The Equatoguinean government introduced the new requirement recently, significantly increasing end-to-end processing times for the applications listed above. The oil and gas industry was exempted in recognition of its importance to the national economy.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals in Equatorial Guinea should anticipate much longer Permanencia Visa and Resident Permit application processing times and, as a result, should submit their applications much earlier than would ordinarily be required. BAL will monitor events in Equatorial Guinea and provide notice to clients if there is any additional change in the near future.

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

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