Your international team will likely include plenty of local hires, but you may consider sending current employees overseas to support your company’s development in Vanuatu. In these instances, you’ll need the correct documentation for legal, noncitizen employment.
Work Visa Types
Vanuatu offers three different work permit types:
- Long-term: This permit lasts for one year, and you can extend it for up to four years.
- Temporary: Apply for this permit for employment lasting four months or less.
- Exempted: This permit only applies for short-term employment lasting one month or less.
The country also offers a permit for work with a religious institution, and this type of permit lasts for one year. The application fees are the same for each permit type, though the annual tax for these documents changes according to the length of validity.
What Do You Need to Obtain a Vanuatu Work Visa?
While some countries require individuals to file for their work permits, the employer is responsible for applying for this documentation in Vanuatu. You’ll need to ensure you have all the necessary materials to submit to the Department of Labor and Employment Services. You will need:
- A copy of your employee’s passport.
- A passport-sized photo.
- An explanation for hiring a noncitizen.
- A copy of the job advertisement.
- Applications received in response to the ad.
- A completed work permit application.
If you’re applying for an employee’s temporary or exempted permit, you’ll also need a copy of their flight itinerary. Long-term permit applications also require a copy of the employment contract.
A complete application requires a signature from the noncitizen employee you’re hiring, so it may be in your best interest to review the application with your potential hire while discussing the employment contract.
How to Get a Work Visa in Vanuatu
The application procedure is simple, but it may take some time to process your submission. When you apply, you want to ensure you have all the necessary documents. You’ll submit them to the Department of Labor and Employment Services.
While Vanuatu encourages investment from noncitizens, the country also wants to promote hiring residents. As a result, the permit process involves the Commissioner of Labor looking at your circumstances and deciding if hiring a noncitizen is necessary. They will:
- Examine the extent of your advertising.
- Decide whether there are qualified citizens available for your position.
- Look at your employment records.
- Consider local and national interests.
- Inspect the qualifications of your noncitizen applicant.
- Evaluate training programs for citizens once the permit expires.
If the Commissioner determines you have an acceptable reason for hiring a noncitizen, they will grant you a work permit. If you attach an employment contract, they can offer a three-year validity period.
As an employer of international workers, you’ll need to keep a registry of all work permits. This documentation should include work permit numbers, nationalities, and the validity period of the licenses. You’ll also be responsible for paying a work permit tax every year for each employee that holds a permit.
You should also note that work permits do not extend to legal residence. While you are responsible for work permit applications as an employer, employees must apply for residence permits to stay in the country for more than 12 months.
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