What is the change? Namibian immigration authorities have restricted the use of short-term work visas to 90 days per year.

What does the change mean? Companies and employees that rely on short-term visas beyond 90 days should be prepared to apply for long-term work permits, a lengthier process that requires local advertising, labor market testing and proof that local candidates were considered.

  • Implementation time frame: The change was implemented in August.
  • Visas/permits affected: Short-term work visas.
  • Business impact: Companies and employees should factor in the additional time and processing if they are required to apply for long-term work permits.
  • Next steps: Employers should be aware that since July 1, certain prerequisites must be met before an application for a new or renewal long-term work permit may be submitted. These include advertising the job with a copy of the advertisement as proof, CVs of Namibian candidates who were rejected and reasons why they were not hired. 

Background: The limitation on short-term work visas was quietly implemented in August along with the more widely publicized across-the board increases in visa fees. Short-term visas were previously easy to obtain and to extend in-country, but because their validities are generally 90 days, they are now effectively limited to one per year.

Analysis & Comments: Namibia is joining a trend among countries increasing enforcement of localization policies that encourage companies to hire resident labor in efforts to reduce local unemployment. In general, employers should no longer rely on short-term visas as a substitute for long-term work permits and prepare to undergo the lengthier processes that are required for long-term work permits. In practice, however, the issuance of short-term work visas remains at the discretion of individual adjudicators and the new rule has not been consistently enforced thus far.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.