WELCOME TO BOTSWANA
Botswana is a land-locked country situated in southern Africa, bordering Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia. In an attempt to diversify the economy through tourism, Botswana focuses on the conservation and the development of its extensive nature preserves. Botswana is the world’s third-biggest diamond producer, behind Russia and Canada. Botswana’s economy has been diversifying, largely because of foreign investment attracted by low taxes, political stability, and an educated workforce.
Facts about the Botswana:
- Country name: Botswana
- Capital: Gaborone
- Population: 2.021 million (2013 census)
- Language: English & Tswana
- Dialling code: +267
- Currency: Pula
If you are from a country that is not visa exempt (you can find more information here), then you must apply for a business visa prior to your arrival.
A Business visa for Botswana does not allow for work activities to be conducted. Attending conferences, seminars, training and meetings are the only form of activity allowed on this visa. The applicant can choose between a single or multiple entry visa which is valid for up to 90 days and can be extended.
No. But if you have a contractual agreement with a company registered in Botswana then your contractor must do the “sponsoring” of the work permit application.
Short Term Work permit is applicable to individuals who wish to work in Botswana for a short period. This visa is valid for 3 months and renewable to a maximum of 6 months per year. No residency permit is required for less than 3 months.
Botswana’s immigration system is very strict, even for short term work permit it is important to motivate strongly why no Botswanan national was fit to perform the work. Relevant Ministry may also get involved (e.g. Ministry of Mines). Place of submission: Relevant authorities in Gaborone.
Long term work permits allow the applicant to work in Botswana for up to 2 years consecutively and are often issued to applicants with a local employer. Long term work permits are extendable up to 10 years. A points system is used to grade the application. It focuses on the applicant’s skills, qualifications as well as the employer’s motivation to employ a foreign national as opposed to a local Botswana citizen. If the applicant scores more than 60% the application could be deemed successful.
It is important to ensure that the work permit application is started as early as possible as requirements and procedures are likely to change at times and can affect the applicant’s work start date.
- Certified copy of a data page of a valid passport
- Copy of birth certificate certified by issuing office
- Copies of relevant educational certificates certified by issuing office (all certificates should be translated into English and authorised by the issuing authority)
- Copies of supporting documents from relevant professional and/or regulatory bodies certified by issuing office
- Three recent passport-size
- Proof of advertisement (qualifications, experience, employer’s address and telephone number and closing date must be clearly indicated; the advertisement should have circulated for 14 days)
- Appointment letter/contract letter inclusive of physical address and contact numbers of an employer (for farm workers, herd boys/girls: proof of ownership of livestock, branding certificate and copy of Omang of employer)
- Letter of application for work
- Physical address/location of the company
Yes, work permits can be extended in country. For short term work permits, the applicant is advised to apply at least 2 weeks before expiry, for long term, at least 3 months before the expiry of the permit.
As in some other countries in Africa, Botswana differentiates between work and residence for foreigners. Residence permits allow the applicants to legally reside in Botswana whilst working. If you are in the country for long term work or exceeding a period of 3 months you are legally required to obtain a residence permit.
Residence permits are obtained at the Ministry of Home Affairs once the applicant is in Botswana and are valid for the validity of the main applicant’s work permit. Upon expiry of the work permit, the residence permit also expires.
Dependents to a work permit holder are allowed to accompany their spouse or parent whilst they are working in Botswana. Dependents would apply for a Residence Permit. This permit does not authorize the spouse to conduct any work and if this is required, he/she has to apply for work in his/her own right. Life-partners and homosexual marriages are not recognized in Botswana; therefore, spousal dependents are only for heterosexuals.
Residence permits will be issued for the same validity as the main applicants work permit. Upon expiry of the main applicants work permit the dependents residence permit will also expire.
Dependents who will be attending school, including Kindergarten will be allowed to do so on a residence permit.
Once the student reaches tertiary level education, he/she needs to apply for a study permit.
We provide a full range of immigration services for Botswana. With our professional and trusted network of partners, we have the pulse on policy issues and the practical reality, which governs immigration rules & regulations.
We will first do a consultation, on which visa or permit would be the right one for you. We advise on the required documentation and compile the complete application on your behalf. We will help you save time gathering the required documents to finalize your application.
There is great advantage in having a reliable local representative who will submit the application in Botswana, and also collect the resulting documents for you.