Work Permits: The Requirements

How do I apply for a work permit?

The general manager is the chief executive of the technical and administrative affairs of the Company.

The General Manager and Deputy General Manager

Therefore, the owner of the company (in the case of a sole proprietorship) or the general meeting of shareholders/ board of directors (in the case of PLCs and Share companies) are the only ones who can replace or overrule them.

The deputy general manager assists the general manager and takes on their role in their absence.

Hence, if you want to hire a general manager, deputy general manager, or take on the role yourself; there are a few requirements you should fulfill.

What are the document requirements?

  • Duly filled application form (4 copies)
  • 5 photos of the applicant
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (original + 1 copy) (for PLC and SCs)
  • A minute of shareholders if the general manager is being replacement. (original + 2 copies)
  • Passport (Original + 3 copies)
  • Passport page of most recent Work / Business VISA (original + 2 copies)
  • A copy of renewed Investment permit / business License
  • Power of Attorney of the general manager and Identification Card/ passport (if an agent is processing, original + 1 copy)
  • 2000 ETB

Expatriates in other positions

As previously mentioned, the positions that a company can hire expatriates are limited. In addition, the employees must either be:

  • Experts that work in positions that are too technical for local professionals or,
  • In positions that are supervisory and managerial.

Unlike investors and general managers, other expatriates to be employed in private enterprises within Ethiopia must come into the country with a work VISA (WV), or a private employee VISA (PE) if they’re being hired by a company owned by Ethiopians.

What are the document requirements?

  • Duly filled application form (4 copies)
  • 5 pictures of the applicant
  • Passport (Original + 3 copies)
  • Passport page of most recent Work / Business VISA (original + 2 copies)
  • An authenticated education certificate (Diploma and above) (original + 2 copies)
  • An experience letter written from the expatriates’ previous workplace (original + 2 copies)
  • A copy of the new or renewed Investment permit / business License
  • Power of Attorney of the general manager and Identification Card/ passport (if an agent is processing, original + 1 copy)
  • 2000 ETB

Expatriates coming to work in industrial park enterprises will not have to present both their education certificates and work experience letters. Instead, they can only provide one of the two to obtain the work permits.

What are some grounds for refusal of work permits despite fulfilling the above requirements?

Taking all the circumstances into consideration, companies might be refused work permits for their expatriate employees if:

  • The expatriates’ educational background, work experience, and the position they are currently applying for do not match.
  • The documents are forged.
  • The company has already hired a high number of expatriates in comparison to the number of Ethiopians.
  • Ethiopians can easily cover the position.

What happens if I lose my work permit?

In the event that you lose your work permit, you will have to notify a police station near you in order to get a note confirming it.

And afterward, you can head to the authority which issued the permit, to get a replacement.

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