Living and Working

This information sheet aims to assist foreigners who are either living or wanting to live in Mozambique. The information below is general and not intended to cover every aspect of work and residence authorisation in Mozambique.

How can a foreigner work in Mozambique?

Any foreign person wishing to work in Mozambique has to obtain a work permit and a residence permit. The residence permit is called a DIRE (identification document of a foreign resident).

A foreigner has to first apply for a work permit and only once that has been granted can an application for a DIRE be made.

The law differentiates between a work permit and authorisation of a work contract.

What is the difference between a work permit and authorisation of a work contract?

A work permit is granted to people who are shareholders in a company and who therefore do not need to submit an employment contract. Work permits are issued for a period of two years that may be renewed. Authorisation of a work contract is for those foreigners who are employed in Mozambique. The authorisation of a work contract is cannot be granted for a period exceeding two years, but can be granted for a period equal to the contract period.

What are the requirements for a work permit?

In the event of a person being a shareholder in a company, that person may request a work permit by virtue of the fact that he/she is the company's representative and mandated as such by the other shareholders. The work permit is granted for a period of two years.

The company representative will require the following in order to obtain permission to work:-

1. A Power of Attorney from all other shareholders mandating the person to represent them in Mozambique;
2. The company's articles of association;
3. The business license (alvará);
4. The company's VAT certificate if already registered;
5. The company's Commercial Registration certificate;
6. Copy of passport

Authorisation of contract

All employment contracts (including tenders awarded) with foreign employees have to be authorised by the Ministry of Labour. However, as a result of decentralisation, the provincial labour departments have the authority to process the applications. The application has to be made in the province where the employee will be physically working most of the time.

The following are requirements for the granting of authorisation of contract:-

1. The original and two copies of the employment contract which the employee has entered into with the relevant Mozambican entity. If the contract is in English, it will need to be officially translated into Portuguese.
2. Identification of the foreign worker, the category and function that he/she will be taking up, the remuneration agreed on and the duration of the contract;
3. Justification for the request of authorisation of the work contract;
4. Certificates of educational and technical professional qualifications of each employee as well as documentary proof of professional experience (a CV with references should suffice);
5. A program and schedule for professional training, conversion or improvement, regarding foreigners in positions of management. A company can have in the first two years 60 per cent foreign management and then it ought to be reduced to 40 per cent from second to fifth year; 20 per cent from sixth to tenth year and 10 per cent from the tenth year onwards.
6. A declaration from the relevant Employment Centres confirming the efforts made by the employer to employ Mozambican nationals and advertisements published in one of the major national newspapers;
7. Opinion of the state office that supervises the area of activity of the applicant that the position is necessary
8. Opinion of the Union Committee of the Company.

Getting residency in Mozambique

A DIRE (residency permit) will only be granted to those people who have a work permit or who have their employment contracts authorised.

A formal application has to be made on a form available from the Ministry of Immigration. The following have to be attached to the application:

1. A residence visa which can be obtained at any of the Mozambican consulates abroad;
2. Police clearance form which is obtained from the country of origin and cannot be more than 3 months old;
3. Work authorisation or work permission;
4. Photocopy of passport
5. If the applicant is the shareholder of a company then the company’s business license, articles of association, Commercial Registration certificate and registration with the Ministry of Finance;
6. Three passport sized photographs.

The costs involved:

1. Stamps to the value of 1,220 MZM;
2. Payment of 432,000 MZM. If the application is urgent then the payment is 756,000 MZM.

What about spouses and children?

Spouses and children can obtain residency if the person who has permission to work or authorisation of contract makes a declaration stating that the spouse and children are financially dependent on him / her.

Can foreigners do short term work in Mozambique?

Yes, but the time spent working in the country cannot exceed 30 days. In cases such as these the contract does not need to be submitted to the Ministry of Labour. However, the employer must inform the Ministry of Labour that it has a foreigner who is providing a service to them and submit proof that the foreigner has a visa to enter and stay in the country for the required period.

Do you need to pay tax on money earned in Mozambique during a short-term contract?

A foreigner who is doing short term work in Mozambique is considered to be a non-resident employee and therefore a withholding tax of 20% is payable.

What are the tax implications of working in Mozambique?

All people who are working in Mozambique have to pay the following taxes:-

1. Imposto de Rendimento de Trabalho (IRT)

This is a form of "income tax" and the amount you pay is determined by the amount of money you receive monthly.

Income (in meticais)
From Up to Tax rate Rebate
Up to 700 000.00   0% 0
700 001.00 2 800 000.00 10% 70 000.00
2 800 001.00 11 200 000.00 15% 210 000.00
Over 11 200 001.00   20% 770 000.00

An example how to work out what tax is payable:

Net income 3 000 000.00 x 15% = 450 000.00 - 210 000.00 = 240 000.00

IRT payable: 240 000 MZM

2. Imposto de Reconstrução Nacional (IRN)

This tax is for national reconstruction and is payable at each city or town ‘council’ each year before the end of February. The Council of Ministers decrees the amount each year and it varies from town to town. For 2002 the amount was 30 000 MT per employee in Maputo.

3. INSS -Social Security

This is a social security deduction that all employers have to make from their employees’ salaries. The employer has to contribute 4% of the employee’s net salary whilst the employee has to contribute 3% of his/her net salary, to the Institute of National Social Security.

Foreigners can be exempt from paying these amounts, but only after they have shown satisfactory proof that they are contributing in their country of origin.