Sao Tome & Principe Work Permit and Visa 2024 – Cost, Eligibility, Application, Processing time, etc

São Tomé and Príncipe, an enchanting archipelago in the Gulf of Guinea, is gaining attention as a destination for individuals seeking professional opportunities, business ventures, or a unique island lifestyle. Understanding Sao Tome and Principe work permit and visa process is essential for those looking to contribute to its developing economy, invest in its potential, or simply immerse themselves in its natural beauty. In this article, we will guide you through the steps necessary to obtain legal permission to work and reside in this African island nation.

However, for those who are not from the visa-exempt countries, Sao Tome and Principe offers a visa on arrival for normal passport holders of China, Hong Kong, and Macau, valid for 15 days from the issuance date. Alternatively, individuals can apply for a visa through the e-Visa System, which has a processing time of seven working days. The application process involves selecting the visa type, filling in the visa application form, finishing the applicable visa fee payment, and submitting the application form.

Overall, for those planning to work or stay longer in the country, a work permit or a resident visa is necessary. Companies can assist their employees in obtaining visas and work permits, which includes identifying the most suitable type of visa or permit for each employee, preparing and submitting the necessary applications and supporting documents, and tracking the application’s progress until completion. Compliance with local immigration regulations is critical, and companies must ensure that they and their employees comply with these regulations.

Types of Work Permits and Visas in Sao Tome and Principe

São Tomé and Príncipe provide various types of permits and visas tailored to different purposes and durations:

  1. Work Permit: The Work Permit is a primary requirement for foreign nationals seeking employment in São Tomé and Príncipe. It is typically linked to a specific job and employer.
  2. Business Visa: The Business Visa is suitable for individuals intending to visit São Tomé and Príncipe for business-related activities, such as meetings, negotiations, or exploring potential business opportunities.
  3. Residence Permit: São Tomé and Príncipe offer a Residence Permit for individuals planning to stay in the country on a long-term basis.

Sao Tome and Principe Visa Application Process

  1. Job Offer or Business Engagement: To apply for a Work Permit or Business Visa, securing a job offer from a São Toméan employer or establishing a business engagement is a crucial initial step.
  2. Legal Representation: Foreign nationals often engage the services of a legal representative in São Tomé and Príncipe, such as a lawyer or a designated individual, to assist with the application process.
  3. Gather Required Documents: Commonly required documents for work permits and visas in São Tomé and Príncipe include a valid passport, proof of financial means, a job offer letter or business plan, health records, and a police clearance certificate.
  4. Permit or Visa Application: Submit your permit or visa application, along with all necessary documents, to the São Toméan embassy or consulate in your home country. Alternatively, your employer or business partners in São Tomé and Príncipe may assist with the application process.
  5. Preliminary Approval: São Toméan authorities will review your application, considering factors such as your qualifications, the job market, and the economic impact of your presence in the country.
  6. Medical Examination: Depending on the type of permit and your circumstances, you may be required to undergo a medical examination in São Tomé and Príncipe.
  7. Wait for Approval: Processing times can vary, so it’s crucial to be patient while waiting for final approval from São Toméan authorities.
  8. Travel to São Tomé and Príncipe: Once your permit or visa is approved, you can travel to São Tomé and Príncipe and commence your work, business, or other activities. Additionally,  registration and immigration procedures will be necessary upon arrival.
  9. Renew or Extend: Be aware of the expiration date on your permit or visa and be prepared to renew or extend it if necessary to continue your legal stay in São Tomé and Príncipe.

How long does it take to get a Sao Tome work permit?

The processing time for a Sao Tome and Principe visa is seven working days. However, the processing time for a work permit is not explicitly stated in the sources. Also, it’s recommended to contact the relevant authorities or the embassy for the most accurate information. Please note that processing times can vary depending on individual circumstances and the time of application.


Can I extend my stay in Sao Tome and Principe?

The e-Visa for Sao Tome and Principe is valid for 30 days from the date that it is issued. However, it cannot be extended. If you wish to stay longer in Sao Tome and Principe, you must exit the country and re-apply for an e-Visa or a long-term visa outside the country. Please ensure that you exit Sao Tome and Principe before your visa expires to avoid fines. Also, for the most accurate information, it’s recommended to contact the relevant authorities or the embassy.

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