The Kingdom of Eswatini, also commonly referred to by its former name — Swaziland — is a popular destination for expatriates from around the globe. Swaziland is known for its vibrant culture, varied landscape, and diverse economy. If you’re thinking of expanding your business into Swaziland, you’ll want to make sure your team has the proper documentation to live and work in this South African country.
Types of Work Visas in Swaziland
In Eswatini, there’s a clear distinction between visas and permits. Entry visas are granted only to short-term visitors, such as volunteers, tourists, business visitors, and interns. Any foreign national wishing to remain in Swaziland to study or work will need to apply for a temporary residence permit instead.
Likewise, there’s no “working visa” in Swaziland. The proper documentation is referred to only as a work permit. Furthermore, a work permit is a type of temporary residence permit in the country. Employees will need to apply for only one.
Requirements to Obtain Eswatini Work Visas
To obtain the proper documentation to live and work in the Kingdom of Eswatini, the applicant will need to produce the following documents:
- A duly completed application form
- An original certificate of police clearance from the applicant’s country of origin
- Two passport photographs
- A medical certificate
- A cover letter from the employer in Swaziland
- Copies of the applicant’s certificates of qualification for the position, such as a diploma
- Proof that the position was advertised in Swaziland
- A certificate of incorporation for the company
In the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Immigration Department is responsible for the issuance of permits for foreign nationals who wish to enter or reside in the country. All work permits, dependent passes, and other temporary residence permits are issued by approval from a committee within the department. The committee decides whether to grant each permit on the basis of merit as per the stipulated requirements.
All foreign nationals should apply for a Swaziland work permit from their country of residence, where they will wait for the Immigration Department’s approval of the permit before traveling to Swaziland.
As you begin the process of international expansion, it’s crucial for your company and your employees to plan ahead when it comes to applying for a work permit. It may take up to two months to prepare the application, as employees will need to obtain police clearances. Your company must also allow sufficient time for applicants to view the advertisement for the job opening.
A Swaziland work permit is issued for a period of two years and must be kept valid at all times throughout the employee’s stay in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
Other Important Considerations
Employees should be aware that work permits in Eswatini cannot be transferred. Should the employee accept another position within your company or seek employment elsewhere, the work permit will no longer be valid, and they will need to apply for a new permit.
It’s likely that some of your employees will wish to travel with family members. Your company should be aware of the process for spouses and dependents, who will also be residing in Eswatini. They’ll need to apply for temporary residence permits along with the employee, and any individual who plans to work in Swaziland will need their own work permit.
Partner With G-P
If your company is new to the process of expanding internationally, it can seem a bit overwhelming. Even if you’ve done it before, you’ll find that there’s a new process to learn for every country. Take the stress out of your move to Swaziland by working with G-P. To learn more about how we can help, reach out to us today.