The Department of Immigration of Zambia has introduced new directives as of May 26, 2017, for employment permit applicants.

These directives echo the Zambianization policy of the Employment Act and its Amendment Bill, which aims to have foreign nationals fulfil only those positions that cannot be filed by Zambian nationals in the first place.

Prospective employees for more than six months in Zambia and their employers must now abide by the following, summarized as follows:

Applicants must file their applications at the Immigration upfront to their arrival in the country, for instance via a local provider.

Companies wishing to hire expatriates are encouraged to use human resource staff or registered immigration consultants. Registered immigration consultant must produce a letter from the company officiating the mandate.

The maximum duration of the prospective employment must be clearly outlined in the application, though the Department will have the last right of regard on this duration and encourages professional bodies in Zambia to provide guidance on this matter. In some cases, the permit can be valid for up to two years, depending on the “size, levels of investment and stage of development” of the company.

This was already a matter of fact in the past, but is now decided on the base on the circumstances of the singular case.

Companies hiring foreign workers must know of the inspection mechanism of the Immigration Permits Committee (IPC), to assess the development of the company. In the case of mining companies, the IPC may request information directly to the Ministry of Mines. The IPC shall also conduct quarterly audits in partnership with the Ministry of Labour for statistical purposes.

Companies with foreign sub-contractors shall provide the organisational structures of all levels to the Immigration and Labour Ministries. This is for instance also demanded by South African immigration authorities regarding a so called Intra Company Transfer Visa and not limited only to sub-contractors.

Appeals of the decisions to the Honourable Minister of Home Affairs will be introduced only in the face of credible petitions.

Employees of inter-governmental contracts must file the contract and prospective foreign workers list to the Engineering Institution of Zambia.

Furthermore, the list of required documents for the application has been amended. From now onwards, applicants need to submit a ‘copy of Employer’s succession plan which shall include an understudy training program to be conducted by the foreign national to transfer knowledge and / or skills to the Zambian worker’, applications must bear evidence of a succession plan after the departure of the foreign worker.

Additionally, ‘evidence of two (2) advertisement of the job opportunity in A5 size in leading Zambian newspapers with a full copy of the dated page of the newspaper, along with a summary of the recruitment efforts made to hire a Zambian national’ has to be submitted.

These two requirements are also required in the application process in other African countries. For instance, South Africa and Botswana require advertisements in local newspapers when it comes to Work Visas. South Africa also requires a transfer of skills plan for the application regarding a Intra Company Transfer Visa, which is issued for up to four years.

The original statement of the Zambian Department of Immigration can be found following HERE

An overview about the Zambian immigration landscape can be found HERE


by Andreas Krensel