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Working in Lebanon?

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Living in Lebanon, from Sweden

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Lebanon at a Glance

Working in Lebanon

There's more to Lebanon than summer resorts and sunny beaches. Expats around the world are also attracted to this small Mediterranean nation by its thriving banking sector, urban development, and many others. Here you'll find an overview of Lebanon's economy, tax system and work permits.

Economic Overview

Lebanon is a developing economy, which has a GDP of more than 44 million USD. The private sector is the most important to the economy, contributing about three-fourths of the country’s total aggregate demand. Alongside the private sector, there is also a large banking sector and an important tourist industry, which provide lots of jobs to those working in Lebanon, and help the economy to further grow. Some of Lebanon’s major industries include agriculture, banking, transport equipment, chemicals, and metal products.

The tourism industry accounts for around 10% of Lebanon’s total GDP. Between 2008 and 2012, the numbers of tourists visiting the country grew steadily, increasing by almost 40% year on year. However, war in nearby Syria, which began in 2012, has caused a drop in the tourist trade in Lebanon in recent years, and tourism dropped almost 37% in the first year of the conflict.

There are lots of small to medium sized businesses in evidence in Lebanon, and the growth of these has helped a great deal with the economic recovery of Lebanon after the 1975-1990 civil war. The country’s reliance on both tourism and banking does, however, leave the economy a vulnerable to political instability.

Work Permits for Lebanon

There are a number of different types of visas available for Lebanon: residency visa, student visa, tourism visa, collective visa, and a work visa. As with many other countries, if your employer is looking for you to get a work visa for Lebanon, they will need to supply an application to the General Security after getting approval from the Labor Ministry that the job they are hiring you for can only be done by you and not a Lebanese person.

If your employer cannot prove that your work is crucial to their business then you will not be granted a work permit. In practice, it has been reported that as long as one has the right paperwork and has paid the fee, this rule will be relaxed to allow access to the country.

Once you have obtained your work permit, you can then make an application for a residency visa, which will allow you to stay in the country for a year. A residency visa can also be applied to allow your spouse and children to live with you in Lebanon, although your work and residency visa will not allow your spouse to work in Lebanon.

Taxation in Lebanon

Singe income tax is charged in Lebanon at the following rates:

Non-resident tax is charged for all taxpayers who are not resident in Lebanon, and this is charged at 7% for service income, and 2.2% for everything else.

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