Introduction 

The Republic of Angola is bordered by Namibia, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo and its capital city is Luanda. Angola enjoys moderate temperatures all year round, with an annual average temperature of around 24 degrees Celsius. The local people speak mostly Portuguese (the official language), a variety of African languages and some English. If you are interested in learning Portuguese to truly immerse yourself in Angolan culture, we highly recommend BiCortex Languages, a leading online cultural and language portal. 

In 2020, the population of Angola was estimated at just under 33 million people. While the agricultural and gems sectors are thriving, when foreign nationals come to Angola for work, it is usually in their Oil and Gas sector, which drives their main exports and their economy overall. 

At IBN Immigration Solutions, we are a proud member of the South African Oil and Gas Alliance, which prioritises introducing skilled foreign professionals into Africa’s Oil and Gas sectors, therefore stimulating Africa’s economic growth and levelling the playing field with international competitors. 

Angola’s Immigration Framework 

Since the adoption of a new constitution in 2010, Angolan politics are conducted within a framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President of Angola is both head of state and head of government. The Immigration Act No 2/07 has been in effect since 2007.  

Have you been looking to immigrate to this exquisite country for work? If so, keep reading below about the visa requirements and documentation you’ll need to work in Angola.  

Work Visa Requirements 

The immigration journey to obtaining any work permit for Angola is divided into two distinct steps.  

There are two main authorities involved in administering and enforcing immigration laws, namely the Immigration Services (SME) and the National Private Investment Agency (ANIP). 

Step 1: An application must be submitted to the relevant authority governing the sector to obtain a favourable opinion regarding the hiring of a foreigner. The employer MUST apply on behalf of the applicant. An important document for such an application is the company registration certificate. The authority must check that the signatory of the application letter has the appropriate company authority to request a favourable opinion.

The Ministry of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas (“MIREMPET”) is a regulatory body governing the employment of foreign nationals in this sector and to acquire this visa, this body will determine whether the applicant’s skills are indeed needed. 

Step 2: The Work Visa applicant must submit the actual application to the Angolan mission in his or her country of residence or citizenship. The application will then be processed, and the outcome will be issued by the same mission. The opinion obtained in step one forms part of the application in step two.  

Assignees must also apply for a temporary residence permit depending on how long they will reside in-country consecutively.

Who may apply for an Angolan Work Visa? 

To qualify for an Angolan work visa, the applicant must hold corporate, technical or scientific skills that cannot be sourced from the local workforce in Angola. Work quotas are well-enforced, with only 30% of jobs going to foreign nationals. Only once foreign nationals looking to work in Angola meet the conditions below, will they be granted a work permit from the Ministry of Public Administration, Employment, and Social Security, the body that issues all work and residence permits.  

To qualify for a work permit, you must provide:  

  • A declaration stating that you will abide by Angola’s laws 
  • Proof of employment by submitting the employment contract 
  • Medical and Radiological certification showing you are in good health from an official health institution in the country of residence 
  • Academic and professional certificates 
  • A curriculum vitae 
  • Proof of your company’s legal status in Angola 

All documentation must be translated into Portuguese. Fortunately, at IBN Immigration Solutions, we also provide document procurement, legalisation and translation services. Read more about this here. 

Which Angolan Work Visa should I be applying for? 

In Angola, the governing legal framework is such that the permits are strongly sector-specific: 

Foreign nationals looking to work for an institution or public company may apply for a Type A Work Visa. 

If you are going to be working for yourself as an independent contractor, as a service provider, or to perform activities related to sport or culture, the Type B Work Visa applies. 

Foreign nationals in the Oil and Gas industry, mining or civil construction should apply for a Type C Work Visa. 

Applicants looking to enter the commercial, aeronautical, industrial, or fishing sectors need to apply for a Type D Work Visa. 

The Type E Work Visa applies to foreign nationals working integrated on cooperation agreements. 

If you don’t see your sector listed above, you will most likely fall into the Type F Work Visa category. 

If you need to work in Angola urgently but only for a short period, a Short-term Visa with permission to perform work-related activities applies. If you need to perform sector-specific work activities in Angola for a short period, you must obtain work authorisation from the relevant legal body in Angola. The list indicating which sectors are applicable changes constantly, so again, we urge our applicants and global mobility managers to check with us before beginning the process in earnest. 

How long will my Work Visa be valid? 

Short-term Visas can be issued in two working days. This visa is valid for seven days and is a single-entry visa. Short-term Visas cannot be renewed. A brand-new application for another Short-Term Visa must be processed.  

Long-term Work Visas are valid for multiple entries. In July of 2017, Angola abolished the law specifying that Work Visas are only valid for a maximum duration of 3 years. Work Visas may now be issued for the full duration of the employment contract. Renewals are possible but are not easily granted. Angolan law states that Work Visas should be issued within 15 days, but processing can often take between two to three months. 

Are my children and spouse allowed to join me in Angola on a work permit?  

The spouse of a foreign main applicant, as well as the minor children, may apply for a Temporary Stay Visa based on the status of the Work Visa holder.  

The usual personal documents are required, as well as an undertaking from the main applicant to sustain the accompanying family members. A birth certificate with the parents’ details or a marriage certificate to establish the relationship between the main applicant and accompanying applicant is required.  

If you are thinking of working in Angola, we must caution you immediately that applying for and receiving an Angolan work permit can be a long, complex and inconsistent process. We strongly encourage applicants, global mobility experts and HR Managers to work with one of our friendly immigration consultants, who have had extensive experience dealing with immigration authorities and our local, in-country partners to expedite work permit applications. 

Written by: Andreas Krensel and Lauren Daniels  

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