Malawi is a landlocked country known for Lake Malawi and its beautiful highlands. If you’re planning on expanding business operations to this country, you can also take advantage of top industries such as food processing, consumer goods, fertilizer, and furniture production. However, you’ll need to know how to get a work visa in Malawi for every foreign employee before you can start working.
Most companies don’t know the different laws and regulations in Malawi before choosing to expand. That’s where Globalization Partners comes in. We’re a global PEO with entities around the world that we can use to help you expand quickly and easily. When you work with our team, you can feel confident that we’ll handle compliance while you handle your company.
What Types of Malawi Work Visas Are There?
Malawi requires all foreigners to have a passport valid for at least six months beyond their intended departure when entering the country. Not all passport-holders will need a visa, as citizens of certain countries, such as the US and Japan, do not need a visa to enter Malawi for tourism purposes.
Individuals who do need a visa can apply for one at the Embassy of the Republic of Malawi on arrival. The country processes most visa applications within three working days. Foreigners also need a visitor’s permit (VP) or business visit (BV) that allows for short stays of 30 days or less — these documents include an option to extend the permit for up to 60 days.
Requirements to Obtain a Work Visa and Permit in Malawi
When applying for a Malawi visa, your employees will need their completed application and valid passport along with:
- Two passport photos
- A detailed cover letter
- Airplane tickets/itinerary
- Confirmed hotel booking
- Bank statements from the last three months
- Proof of yellow fever vaccine if coming from a country at risk
After securing a visa, your employees will need a temporary employment permit (TEP) that you apply for as the employer. This is only valid for foreigners who have been offered employment by a registered organization in Malawi.
The required documents for this Malawi work permit include:
- Completed application form
- Employment contract
- Valid passport
- Advertisement for the job vacancy
- Academic qualifications
What to Expect From the Application Process
When you apply for an employee’s TEP, you will need to follow the application process outlined in the “Policy Statement and New Guidelines for The Issuance and Renewal of [Expatriate] Employment Permits.” After completing the application form, you will send it and the supporting documents to the Regional Immigration Office for processing. Then, the application goes to the TEP Approval Committee for consideration and the minister for a final decision.
You will also need to pay the applicable visa fees. These differ based on your company and organization. For example, religious institutions, non-governmental organizations, and others owe MK 120,000, while reverends, pastors, or priests personally owe MK 30,000.
You should receive a formal notification on whether the application was approved or denied. If approved, you must pay the appropriate work permit fees within 30 days of getting the notification. Keep in mind that all foreigners must wait outside of Malawi until the permit is approved, so it may be a significant amount of time before a foreigner is legally allowed to work for you.
Other Important Considerations Related to Working Visas in Malawi
Work permits in Malawi are valid for at least six months and up to two years on the first issuance. However, employees can renew their TEP twice by submitting the TEP renewal application forms and all the supporting documents to the Regional Immigration Office. They must submit this form at least three months before the permit expires.
Partner With Globalization Partners
If your company is undertaking an international expansion to Malawi, Globalization Partners can help. Contact us today to learn more about our solution.