Virginia, US

Jan 28 2015

Grace Period, Registration Requirements Implemented for U.S. Contractors

Afghanistan

The Afghan government released further details on the December 2014 bilateral security agreement, including a grace period for immigration status applications, a corporate registration requirement for U.S. contractors and new entry requirements for NATO-contracted workers. 

Grace Period for Visa/Permit Applications 

U.S. contractors executing military or government work have been granted until June 1, 2015 to obtain the requisite work authorization under the bilateral security agreement. 

Corporate Licensing Requirements 

Although a detailed implementation plan has not yet been released, the bilateral security agreement requires U.S. contractors operating in Afghanistan to register for corporate sponsorship with the immigration authorities. Contractors in some industries who have completed the registration process and obtained an Afghanistan Investment Support Agency license may be exempt from the registration requirement. 

Primary contractors may be able to register subcontractors, so subcontractors may not need to establish their own local legal entities. 

NATO Contractors 

Until a more detailed implementation plan is released, NATO-contracted workers may enter the country with a valid passport and a NATO-issued contractor certificate. Prior to the rule change, NATO-contracted workers could enter Afghanistan without a visa or passport. 

The Afghan authorities are expected to implement an expedited work authorization and entry visa process for NATO contractors. 

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals 

U.S. contractors operating in Afghanistan and employers intending to sponsor U.S. contractors should make note of the corporate registration requirements and exemptions, and should expect further guidelines as implementation details of the bilateral security agreement are finalized. 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to mideast@fragomen.com

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