Gabon’s economy is focused on oil, but the government has recently announced its intention to focus on other factors, such as tourism and agriculture. Expanding your company to Gabon right now is a great way to enter these new markets and demonstrate a global presence. However, you’ll still need to face the challenges of hiring a global workforce and making sure every foreign employee has the right Gabon working visas and permits.
Types of Work Visas in Gabon
Gabon offers several different visa types, including:
These visas also come in e-visa types that your employees can pay for and receive when they arrive in Gabon. Keep in mind that employees with an e-visa should not travel until the arrival date on the registration, or they will face fines or penalties.
Your employees must apply for all visas at the Gabon foreign ministry or find a Gabon embassy in their country of residence. The most common route people take is to apply for a business visa, then fill out the special pass form upon arrival. Your employees will then need to apply for a temporary work visa and make all the necessary payments.
Requirements to Obtain Gabon Work Visas
There are numerous requirements to obtain a work visa in Gabon. Your employees must attach certain documents to their application, such as:
- A letter of invitation from your company
- A letter of motivation for moving to and working in Gabon
- Payment slips
- A passport that’s valid for six months
- Three recent photographs
- A certified copy of the original employment contract
- An itinerary and accommodation confirmation
- Proof of vaccination
After submitting all the documents to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, your employees should go to the ministry about two weeks later and pay for their special pass. They can pick up their passport, special pass, and work permit later.
All foreign employees need a work permit in addition to other necessary documents. It’s easier for you, as the employer, to apply for the work permit on behalf of employees since you will act as the sponsor. First, submit documents to the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources showing that you will sponsor the worker. Then, apply for the work permit with the Work Department in the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources along with a copy of the applicant’s passport, a company invitation letter, and the necessary fees.
The Work Department will then approve or deny the application and send a copy to the Department of Documentation and Immigration. That department will prepare the work visa and send a copy to the Gabon embassy in the applicant’s home country. There, the applicant can get their work permit, pay the appropriate fees, and begin working in the country.
Other Important Considerations
Keep in mind that local workers have the priority in Gabon — you can employ a foreigner only after proving that you couldn’t find any suitable Gabonese workers. It can also take a few months for employees to receive their work permits, so we recommend starting the application process early.
After your foreign employee works in the country for more than three months, they can achieve the status of “resident worker,” which will allow them to work in Gabon for two years. This status requires authorization from the Labor Ministry and a residency permit. However, all expats planning to move to Gabon for a long period will need to obtain a residency permit.
Foreign individuals working for the government can get a free permit, while others will need to pay a fee. Both types of permits are valid for two years with the option to renew.
Partner With Globalization Partners
Globalization Partners is a global PEO with years of experience helping companies like yours expand. We’ll act as an extension of your team, working quickly and ensuring that you meet all the country’s laws and regulations. Contact us today to learn more about our solution and how it can help you expand.