Namibia at a Glance
Moving to Namibia
Citizens of 52 countries do not require a visa to enter Namibia for tourism or business purposes for a period of less than 3 months. If you are moving to Namibia to work or live there for a longer period of time or 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 if possible, 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 (includes a list of diplomatic missions from which you can obtain a visa)
- a valid passport with at least 6 month’s remaining validity and 3 blank pages
- 2 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 details of your business contacts
- 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 by any means other than air, you will have to prove that you have an at least 10-day-old yellow fever inoculation.
You should submit your visa application at least 60 days before your planned date of departure.
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 2 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 5 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 last country of residence
In addition, your prospective employer must submit various documents, including company registration documents and proof of why you were the best candidate for the job. Your temporary work permit will usually be issued for a period of 2 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.
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