It was recently published in the Official Gazette No 105, Series I, of 31 December 2014, Decree No. 108/2014 of 31 December 2014, adopting the Regulation of Law No. 5/93, 28 December, which lays down the legal arrangements and rules of foreign citizens with regard to the entry, residence and exiting of Mozambique and also with regard to such citizens’ rights and guarantees.
Introduced in the new arrangements were some important elements that were not in the previous Decree and that, given its importance, is considered hereunder:
Visa for investment activities
The aforementioned Decree introduced a visa for investment activities, which is granted to an investor, his representative or an investing company’s attorney for the implementation of investment projects approved by the Council of Ministers and which is equal to or higher than 50 (fifty) million dollars.
In terms of the Decree No. 108/2014 of 31 December 2014 (as in the previous arrangements) a work visa is granted to foreign citizens by Diplomatic and Consular missions in the Republic of Mozambique and is intended to allow entry throughout the national territory to the holder thereof for the purpose of pursuing a temporary job.
Additional conditions and requirements were set out for the granting of a work visa, these are:
- the term of use of the visa was increased from 30 to 60 days;
- granting the holder thereof multiple entries and residency in Mozambique until the expiry of the employment contract;
- it has also been clarified that the issue of a work permit is to enable the holder to devote himself exclusively to his employer.
The following are additional conditions, which have been added, for the granting of a work permit:
- there is a need to submit a work permit if the applicant seeks to exercise professional activity;
- documentary evidence indicating that the individual can perform the profession for which he is authorized to;
- a medical certificate;
- evidence indicating accommodation arrangements in Mozambique;
- a guarantee for possible repatriation of foreign citizens, as well as the household thereof, translated into a cash value corresponding to the price of return ticket to the country of origin and deposited in the name of the Immigration Service. This guarantee is returned at the end of the employment relationship, and such refund should be requested within thirty days prior to leaving the country;
- the visa at the border is granted only to those citizens from countries that do not have diplomatic or consular representation in Mozambique;
- the visa at the border does not allow the holder to obtain residence or a work permit;
- foreign spouses and minor children of the foreign citizen who holds a work visa are granted a temporary stay visa which is valid for one year and which is renewable on the same grounds on which is was granted;
- the validity of a criminal record certificate to be provided, when required, shall be 1 year, opposed to 6 months as per the previous arrangements.
There is also a specific condition for foreign employees intending to provide activity within the mining industry, namely that before submitting the visa application to the diplomatic missions, an application addressed to the Minister who oversees Immigration must be made, together with the work permit and the opinion of the Minister of Mineral Resources.
Temporary Stay Visa
The Decree No. 108/2014 of 31 December 2014 introduces a temporary stay visa for the foreign spouse and minor children of the foreign citizen who holds a work permit.
The above decree sets out that the temporary stay visa shall be issued by diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Mozambique and must be used within sixty days following the date on which it is granted. It allows the holder thereof multiple entries and stay for a maximum period of one year however it can be renewed on the same grounds on which it was granted.
This new arrangement repeals the previous one which provided the need for foreign spouses and minor children of the foreign citizen holding a work visa to obtain a residence permit that allows his/her stay in the country. With the grant of a temporary stay visa the holder may stay in the Mozambican territory for a period of one year, which period can be renewed on the grounds on which the visa was granted.
Article written by: Dimple Dias – Trainee Lawyer at our Mozambican member firm Couto, Graca & Associados (CGA)