Africa Immigration Series (AIS) is a series of articles to be published on our blog frequently. Each article will explore the Africa’s expat mobility landscape and a brief overview of the current economic situation and investment opportunities.

Our third country article focuses on Mozambique.



Capital: Maputo

Currency: Mozambican metical

Official language: Portuguese

Government: Republic, Presidential system

President: Filipe Nyusi

GDP: 11,01 billion USD (2016)

Country Overview

Mozambique is located in Southeast Africa with a coast on the Indian Ocean. About 70% of its population of 28 million (2016) live and work in rural areas. It is endowed with ample arable land, water, energy, as well as mineral resources and newly discovered natural gas offshore; three deep seaports; and a relatively large potential pool of labor. It is also strategically located, with four of the six countries it borders landlocked and hence dependent on it as a conduit to global markets. Mozambique’s strong ties to the region’s economic engine, South Africa, underscore the importance of its economic, political, and social development to the stability and growth of Southern Africa as a whole.

The country continues to suffer with debt crisis, currency devaluation, inflation and, at the same time, expectation of a great future. The current economic situation in Mozambique is marked by a period of instability, which is a consequence of the drop in the international commodity prices, stricter fiscal policies, severe droughts that has hampered agricultural production and the economic slowdown of some of Mozambique’s main trading partners. On the other hand, the country is facing great growth expectations, especially for the first half of 2020, due to the enormous potential of the Natural Gas sector.

The discovery of large natural gas reserves in the Rovuma Basin has positioned Mozambique as an exciting investment opportunity in Africa. Natural resource discoveries are attracting major investment and demanding a qualified workforce, although the large majority of Mozambique’s workforce does not possess the necessary skills. Nevertheless, Mozambique’s socioeconomic prospects heavily depend on how effectively government will manage new windfalls going forward as natural gas projects come online post 2020.


Mozambique, as well as being a privileged tourist destination, is also a booming economy. Mainly for the mining, oil and gas sector. Mozambique is considered an alternative market for companies seeking new business opportunities and for professionals looking for new job opportunities.

  1. Work Permits

Foreign nationals wishing to work in Mozambique are required to obtain a work permit. The hiring company, locally registered in Mozambique, must prepare an application addressed to the Minister of Labor (except in case of a possible regime) requiring authorization or permission to work for the foreign citizens the company intends to hire. Sure application must be submitted to the Provincial and Maputo City Delegations or to the Employment Centers of the National Institute of Employment and Vocational Training of the place where the company is located, which will notify the same of the decision within a maximum period of 15 days.


A short term work permit is valid for 90 days initially with the possibility of two 30 days renewal, which are to the discretion of the Ministry to approve.

For companies in the energy and mining sector, a short term work permit is valid for 180 days per calendar year (30 days at a time).

Applications are submitted in Mozambique at the province where the work will be conducted.

After the work permit is granted, applicants must apply for an entry visa at the Mozambique mission at the country of residence. The entry visa will be valid according to the work permit. Most commonly issued for 30 days only.


If the company hiring the foreign national is a registered Mozambique entity, the work permit documents must be signed by the company in Mozambique.

If the company is a foreign entity subcontracted by a Mozambique registered company, the work permit documents must signed by the company in country.

Work permits are generally only granted in instances where the employer can prove that the position cannot be filled by any suitable Mozambican applicants. Foreign nationals can mainly either be employed under the ‘quota’ or outside the ‘quota’ system.

The quota system essentially grants a company to employ a certain number of foreigners. Quotas are awarded depending on the number of nationals employed:

1-10 local employees – granted a quota of 10% foreign staff

10-100 local employees – granted a quota of 8%

100+ employees – granted a quota of 5%

If the company has exhausted it’s quota, the company may apply for “out of quota” authorization with the ministry of labor.

The applicant for a work permit can only start working after the work permit is granted. Except for companies with special agreement with the government, provided by law in special regimes such as for industrial trade zones.

Work permit applications are submitted in Mozambique at the province where work will be conducted. Work permits are valid for an initial period of up to 2 years and is renewable if the applicant meet the requirements. Processing times tends to be lengthy, 3 – 6 months.

Foreign nationals who are self-employed individuals, shareholders or representatives of shareholders in Mozambique are required to obtain a work authorisation in their personal capacity.

  1. Business Visa

Business visas are granted to foreign nations who comes to the country in connection with business activities, meaning business meetings, conferences and business prospecting. As such, while the purpose and permissibility of the business visa is unclear, business visa holders are strictly not entitled to work in Mozambique. Applications are submitted at the Mozambique embassy in the country of residence.

  1. Residence permit

Residence Permits are granted to foreign nationals who intend to remain in Mozambique for more than 90 – 180 days. This authorization is renewable annually. Residence permits are also granted for spousal and dependents of the holder of a work permit.

See here our INTRODUCING MAURITIUS article.

Our very first AIS article:

See here our introducing Kenya country article.

Stay tuned for our upcoming articles on the Africa Immigration Series (AIS).

Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice regarding immigration & visa, setting up business, property transfer & investment.

by Fernanda Braz







The world Bank, Mozambique
Deloitte, Mozambique country report 2017