Foreign nationals are no longer able to apply for Short-Term Work Permits (STWP) in Botswana, following the government’s release of a temporary moratorium on the issuance of these permits. The moratorium follows allegations of abuse of the STWP program.
The moratorium will remain in place until immigration officials release new STWP processing guidelines that address the alleged abuse. Until that time, all foreign nationals seeking to work in Botswana, even if for a period shorter than 90 days, will be required to obtain long-term work permits prior to travel.
Short-Term Work Permits
Prior to the moratorium, STWPs were issued to foreign nationals seeking to enter Botswana to work on an urgent basis if there were no local workers who could perform the work. STWPs were valid for up to 90 days and could be renewed for an additional 90 days. STWPs were exempt from standard labour market test requirements if the foreign worker signed a local labour contract and was placed on local payroll.
What This Means for Employers
In order to avoid delays, employers will need to prepare earlier in advance when seeking to send employees to Botswana for work-related purposes until new STWP guidelines are released and the moratorium is lifted.