Applying for an employment pass in Brunei can be a quick process with all the right documents. However, employers and international applicants need to receive the proper clearances before work can begin, which can feel overwhelming.
Types of Work Visas
Brunei offers a range of work permits and visas for various purposes. The Business Visitor Visa (BVV) is a short-term pass for conducting business matters within the country. Non-citizens can use the BVV for an assortment of business activities, such as meetings, contract negotiations, and buying and selling goods.
Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) who have an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) endorsed for Brunei may enter the country for business without a visitor visa.
For long-term work and more extensive projects, individuals need a foreign worker license — Lesen Pekerja Asing (LPA) — and an employment pass. People typically require employment passes for longer jobs, such as technical work, project planning, and marketing. If an individual plans on holding an employment pass for three months or more, they must also apply for a Green Identity Card.
If a noncitizen intends to work in the oil, construction, or IT industries for less than a year, they must apply for a non-renewable Special Authorization Work Pass (SAWP).
What You Need to Obtain a Work Visa
Applicants need various legal documents and forms of identification to obtain a work visa, including:
- A valid passport and identity card.
- Necessary documents for the application process.
- An application letter from you, the employer.
- A copy of your labor license.
If your employees plan to obtain LPAs, you must secure approvals from certain government departments before employees can apply. The LPA is then required for the employment pass application.
How to Get a Work Visa in Brunei
The work visa application process, which includes the LPA, employment pass, and potentially an identity card, is extensive. Applicants will start with the approvals for an LPA. You are responsible for getting confirmation from JobCentre Brunei (JCB) and receiving an endorsement from Tabung Amanah Pekerja (TAP).
As an employer, you should register with the Registry of Companies and Business Names and follow all guidelines for hiring noncitizens. Then, your employees will be responsible for providing documents such as a valid passport, approval letters from appropriate government agencies, and a certificate of qualifications.
Either you or the employee will pay a security deposit and receive the LPA within two weeks. Once the process is complete, your international worker can apply for their employment pass. They must receive a medical examination, outlined by the Ministry of Health, and file the appropriate documentation for the work application.
Employment pass processing takes about five days. Once the applicant receives their pass, it remains valid for two years, and they can renew as needed. If workers plan on working for longer than three months, they’ll need to register with the national identity card system.
Other Visa and Permit Considerations
The visa process for international workers in the country has a much shorter application time than many other visas, and it can be fairly easy to receive approval. However, it’s vital to remember renewal periods and apply for an identity card, as the Department of Labor, Ministry of Home Affairs will perform an inspection after the initial approval.
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