Working in Senegal?

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Working in Senegal

If you intend to work in Senegal, you should be aware of the legal requirements and the makeup of the local job market. Read up in the InterNations Expat Guide some useful information and expat advice about work permits, income taxation and much more!

Economic Overview

As Senegal is mainly a rural nation with little or no natural resources, its economy is built on processing and export, mainly of fish, nuts, and phosphates, over a quarter of which is exported to India. Its industrial and agricultural sectors make up 24% and 16% of the GDP respectively.

It also has a growing service sector at about 60% of GDP and has large tourism economy, which is one the biggest in Africa. Senegal´s GDP per capita stood at 2,300 USD in 2014, with an official exchange rate of 15.88 billion USD and a purchasing power parity of 33.68 billion USD. In 2014, Senegal's economy registered an estimated real growth rate of 4.5%.

Work Permits for Senegal

As an expatriate looking to work in Senegal, you will need to apply for a work permit separately from your visa. You will find obtaining your work permit much easier if you are sponsored by your prospective employer — this means that the government is guaranteed that you will be earning for the entirety of your stay in the country. To apply for a permit to work in Senegal, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Contact the Direction du Travail et de la Sécurité Sociale or the Ministry of Interior to find out which documents you will need
  2. Prepare the documents in French, or in another language with a translated copy signed by an authorized translator
  3. Send these documents and your cover letter, with a letter of sponsorship from your prospective employer, to Direction du Travail et de la Sécurité Sociale or the Ministry of Interior

You must also apply for a residence permit if you wish to stay for an extended period of time whilst working in Senegal. Expatriates are required to go through two six month residency visas before applying for a residency permit — you can apply by contacting the Ministry of the Interior directly by letter. Be aware that there is also an application fee of 150,000 XOF (245 USD).

Taxation in Senegal

For those living and working in Senegal, the fiscal year runs from the 1st January to the 31st December, and you will be required to pay income tax on your earnings. The amount of tax you have to pay depends on the level of your income, with a progressive rate between 0% and 40% in 2014.

Like in many other countries, income tax is taken from individuals at source through PAYE. In addition to the general income tax, employers are also required to deduct an extra 6% on income earned by foreign workers and expatriates on top of any income tax you will pay.

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