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Mozambique improves immigration processes for the Oil and Gas Sector

Mozambique improves immigration processes for the Oil and Gas Sector

By Tarissa Wareley

Immigration specialist at Xpatweb.

The discovery of natural gas along the shores of one of the poorest countries in Africa has paved the way for Mozambique to become the next major supplier of liquified natural gas.

The expected influx of expatriates and investments into the exploration of LNG has forced government departments to implement various measures to monitor as well as facilitate entry into Mozambique.

The Rovuma Basin Decree 2/2014, although approved about six years ago, its various measures and concessions for immigration-related matters were not implemented until recently.

This has been timeous in the booming projects in the oil and gas sector in Pemba, Coral Sul, and others.

From an immigration perspective, this decree relaxes requirements, improves processing times, and removes layered processes.

Sub-contractors and companies in the Mozambique LNG Project are expected to benefit greatly from its measures.

These companies and their approved sub-contractors, together with a plan of development approved by the Government of Mozambique, will receive access to an online portal for submissions and processing of applications.

The Ministry of Labour introduced this online portal to process applications related to the Rovuma Basin and for adjudication of any expatriate skillset that is required as part of the approved projects for the region.

Overall Improvements to Mozambique’s Visa System

Since access to the online portal is exclusive to companies and sub-contractors related to the approved projects in the Rovuma Basin, all other companies must continue to follow standard processing and requirements.

Quicker processing times were included in the implementation of these measures.

Short-term work permits can be expected to be processed in about 3 to 5 working days as opposed to the standard processing time of 3 to 4 weeks for companies in the non-oil gas sector.

Additionally, companies, as part of their approved plan of development, receive a number of quotas allocated to them facilitating the long-term work permit process.

Long-term work permits applied through available quota positions are also processed through the online portal in shorter timeframes of approximately 5 to 7 working days.

Standard processing for such applications has generally been 3 to 4 weeks.

Allowing for online processing of the applications streamlines the application for a long-term work permit avoiding additional bureaucratic tasks as part of the application process.

Certain requirements such as Certificate of Equivalences issued by the Ministry of Education, similar to the South African SAQA evaluation, have been removed, which usually results in an additional 4 weeks to the end-to-end processing of long-term work permit processes.

Gateway to Residency in Mozambique

Candidates with approved work permits under the online system may qualify to obtain a residence permit upon arrival instead of previously obtaining a work visa at a Mozambican High Commission abroad and an additional residence permit at the immigration department in the province they are expecting to work.

Although this may be beneficial to all expatriates arriving into Mozambique for the LNG project, it is a process exclusive to companies with an approved plan of development with the Government of Mozambique.


About The Author

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.