Moving to Namibia?

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Moving to Namibia

Will you soon be packing your bags and moving to Namibia? Do you still have questions about visas and work permits, or maybe about this African country’s culture, languages, climate, and geography? Our expat guide is full of useful information to help you during your move to Namibia.
The green, blue, & red colors of Namibia’s flag represent the Ovambo people, while the sun stands for energy and life.
  • Namibia has 14 regions, which are further subdivided into 121 constituencies.
  • Though Namibia is still a developing country, all modern technologies and amenities can be found in its large cities and towns.
  • While Namibia is known as one of the sunniest places on earth, flooding and droughts remain an issue in parts of the country.
  • Successful work permit applicants must have qualifications that cannot be easily found among the local population.


Citizens of 49 countries do not require a visa to enter Namibia for tourism or business purposes for a period of less than three months. If you are moving to Namibia to work or live there for a longer period of time or if you are not a citizen of one of the countries exempt from these visa regulations, then you will need to apply for a visa or work permit before your departure. It is possible to obtain a tourism or business visa at your port of entry, but it is advisable to apply for one in advance to avoid unnecessary delays.

You will need the following items when applying for a business or tourism visa:

  • a completed application form
  • a valid passport with three blank pages and a remaining validity of at least six months a
  • two passport photos
  • an application fee

For a business visa, you will also need to supply:

  • a motivation letter stating the nature of the business that will be conducted
  • a letter of invitation or contact details of your business contacts
  • the company's proof of registration

the company’s proof of registration When entering the country, you must be able to produce a return ticket or at least prove that you have adequate funds for the duration of your stay and to get you back home. Alternatively, you can provide proof that you will be supported by a Namibian citizen or permanent resident. If you will be passing through an area of Africa where yellow fever is endemic en route to Namibia, you will have to prove that you have had a yellow fever vaccination that is at least ten days old.

You should submit your visa application at least 60 days before your planned date of departure.

Work Permits

As unemployment is high (see our article on working in Namibia for more information), the Namibian government takes strict measures to ensure that all possible jobs are filled with Namibian citizens or permanent residents. Thus, if you are planning on moving to Namibia, it’s important to remember that it can be quite difficult to obtain a work permit. Successful applicants must be able to show that they have expertise in a certain area that cannot be found among the local population. Even in these cases, your Namibian employer must prove that they are taking steps to help train local citizens for the position.

The following documents must be submitted when applying for a temporary work permit:

  • a completed application form
  • a copy of your passport and two passport photos
  • certified copies of your training and experience, university degrees, and trade qualifications
  • registration with a Namibian professional association, if required by your profession (e.g. doctors, engineers)
  • a record of your employment history for the past five years
  • a description of the last job you held
  • a medical certificate
  • a radiological report proving that you don’t have TB
  • a police clearance certificate from your country of origin and your last country of residence

In addition, your prospective employer must submit various documents, including company registration documents and proof of why you are the best candidate for the job. Your temporary work permit will usually be issued for a period of two years, after which it can be renewed. If you change employer after moving to Namibia, you must apply for a new work permit.

All documents for temporary work permits and visas must be in English or translated into English by a sworn translator. Be sure to apply for your permit well in advance of when you plan on moving to Namibia, as it can be a lengthy process. For more information, please visit the homepage of the Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.



We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Francis White

"Having all this information and a built-in network of expats before moving to Windhoek reassured me to have made the right decision."

Amelie Barreau

"The active network of expats in Windhoek provided me with instant friends and connections."

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