Benin is a West African country that’s well-known as the birthplace of the Vodun, or Voodoo, religion. It’s also a great country to expand to if you’re looking to create ties to other African countries or cater to a new market. Unfortunately, many employers don’t understand how to get a work visa in Benin for each foreign employee, which can lead to compliance issues.
Types of Benin Work Visas for Foreigners
A Benin visa is an official document from the government authorizing someone to enter the country. It comes as either a stamp or a sticker in a passport that foreigners must obtain from an embassy or consulate.
Benin has three overarching types of visas:
The requirements differ between types, but most of your employees will need to obtain a business visa and work permit to stay compliant. Most visas are valid for either 30 or 90 days. Foreigners must apply before entering Benin, as they cannot obtain visas upon arrival.
What You Need to Obtain a Work Visa in Benin
The requirements to obtain a working visa in Benin depend on the type of visa employees need and whether they want a single- or multi-entry option. Some of the documents they must provide include:
- A passport-style photo
- A scanned copy of the passport
- A copy of their flight itinerary
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination
- A business letter from your company
- A completed visa application form
The letter from you, as the employer or sponsoring company, must be on your company’s letterhead. You’ll need to introduce the applicant and include their name, date of birth, passport number, employment status, and purpose for visiting Benin. It’s important for you to claim financial responsibility for the applicant and provide detailed contact information about how to reach you in Benin.
After submitting these documents to the embassy or consulate in the employee’s home country, you’ll need to wait about two to 15 days for the visa to process. However, you may be able to request rush or emergency service for an additional fee if you need the employee to come to Benin for work immediately.
Steps to Get a Benin Work Permit
Once your employees obtain work visas, they’ll need to also get work permits. As an employer, you will handle the application process on behalf of employees. Keep in mind that it can take up to 90 days to get a work permit, so it’s best to start the process early by applying for:
- An expatriate quota approval
- A Subject to Regularization (STR)
- A Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card (CERPAC)
For step two, you’ll need copies of your company’s expatriate quota grant, the employment offer, the employee’s letter of acceptance, and the applicant’s CV. When you apply for the CERPAC, you must have a letter of appointment, acceptance of the employment offer or appointment, a copy of the applicant’s passport, and a package containing the STR documentation from the Nigerian embassy.
It’s important to remember that you cannot obtain work permits for employees until you have a registered entity in Benin. This process can take weeks or even months, which delays the entire hiring process. Globalization Partners can eliminate these challenges, however, as we’ll allow you to use our existing infrastructure in the country.
Other Considerations During a Global Expansion
Another option is for your employees to obtain an eVisa through Benin’s web-based visa issuance system. The eVisa proves that the government has given your employees electronic authorization to enter Benin even though there is no stamp or label in the individual’s passport. Eligible travelers must:
- Have a passport that’s valid for at least six months after entry
- Have one blank visa page in the passport
- Have proof of sufficient funds
- Show proof of return travel
- Comply with all requirements on the application
Contact Globalization Partners for Help
Globalization Partners is the team you want to work with during an expansion. Contact us for more information about our solution and how it can help your company.