Lesotho is landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa. It is crisscrossed by a network of rivers and mountain ranges. The capital is Maseru and the total population is estimated to be over 2.074 million. Some attractions in Lesotho are the Katse Dam, Ts’ehlanyane National Park and The Maletsunyane Falls amongst others.

 

Visitors’ visa

The Lesotho tourist visa can be issued at the Lesotho boarder or at the Embassies if the passport holder is visa restricted.

Single Entry visa and multi-entry visa are two types of visas offered for visitors travelling Lesotho.
Visitors can only enter the country once. If they go across the border the visa expires. The duration of single entry visa is 3 months.

With multi-entry visa, one may enter Lesotho several times for a period of six months.

For foreigners who did not apply for a visa prior to visiting Lesotho, they may be issued with a 72 hour stamp upon arrival at the port of entry into Lesotho.

As many other countries would classify a tourist and a business visa as two different activities, Lesotho does not. On a Tourist visa, business activities can be conducted eg. Meetings, conferences the only limitation is employment (physical work) and study.

Yes, the Labour Commissioner can be approached in Lesotho, in writing requesting to grant permission to perform the said duties. This request must be accompanied by a motivational letter and the passport details of the foreign applicant.

The Labour Commissioner will respond to the request within 1 week and shall grant permission or reject the request via email.

The Maximum validity of this ‘short term work visa for Lesotho’ is 1 week under a visitor stamp and cannot be renewed as this ultimately does not exist.

Family cannot accompany on short term work, however they may enter as a tourist.

Short term work permit for Lesotho are not included in Lesotho’s immigration regulations. However, work authorization is the sole discretion of the Department of Labour in Lesotho. Home Affairs office is only involved with the local registration / residence permit. Exceptional motivation needed and the discretion of the issuance of the permit lies with the department of labour.

An employment certificate is issued by the department of labour and only required if the foreigner works in the private sector.

Applications for Work Authorization can only be submitted on Tuesday at the Department of Labour.
There is no special list /critical skills list that Lesotho offers.

FYI The textile industry provides majority of the employment to the people. In this sector a specific percentage is supposedly in place, not certain of specifics. This however concerns manual labour anyway so would not easily require foreign expertise.

Yes, the processing time is 2-4 weeks. There is no need for local advertisement however it does make the application stronger and proves that measures were taken to find a local candidate. This permit is usually issued for up to two years at a time.

Yes, when the holder of the work permit wishes to leave his employ, the company must obtain the employment certificate gain from the applicant. The certificate must be submitted back to the Department of labour. If this is not done and the company wishes to employ a new foreigner in the place of the place of the one who left, the application will be rejected.

Yes, based on the relationship and all minors under the age of 21 years old are allowed to accompany the holder who is in possession of an employment certificate. If you require to bring the nanny for example, Lesotho allows this.

No, life partnerships are not recognized in Lesotho. Only heterosexual marriage certificates are allowed. Lesotho does not recognize same sex unions.

No, the work is for the working purposes and then the right to reside legally in Lesotho must be obtained separately. This is needed for all applicants who do not hold a tourist visa. Processing time can take up to 30 working days. A police clearance is required from the country of origin or from Lesotho if the applicant has been residing in the country for three months or longer.

In order to reside in Lesotho legally, foreigners must be in possession of valid residence permits. The application for a residence permit is approved by the Minister of Home Affairs in Lesotho. The duration of the permit is 2 years. An extensions may be applied for.

No, only required for foreigners who wish to study at tertiary level in Lesotho. Study visas can be renewed for the study period is extendable. Study visas are valid according to the enrolment and acceptance letter of the institution in Lesotho. One cannot conduct work of any sort whilst on a study permit. The residence permit will be required for study permits respectively.

Children of primary and high school level need not apply for a study visa. Only the residence permit is required.

No, permanent residence does not exist in Lesotho. If one intends to remain in Lesotho on a permanent basis, it is recommended to apply for Lesotho citizenship. Citizenship applications can process for up to three months.

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