Virginia, US

Apr 09 2018

Local-Worker-Focused Oil and Gas Industry Guidelines to be Implemented


At a Glance

The Ghana Petroleum Commission will implement the following new rules to promote the hiring and training of local workers in the oil and gas industry:

  • Stricter labor market testing procedures that will prolong the work permit process;
  • A bar on foreign workers from applying for certain junior and mid-level positions in the oil and gas industry.

The situation

Effective June 2, 2018, new work permit-related guidelines will be implemented which will give preference to qualified Ghanaian workers in oil and gas sector.

A closer look

  • New hiring process. In order to encourage employers to hire local employees in the oil and gas industry, the Ghana Petroleum Commission will require employers hiring foreign workers to follow the below new steps during the work permit process:
    • Submit the job description, qualifications and certification requirements for the vacant position to the Petroleum Commission three months before the intended start date of the recruitment process;
    • Advertise the position in two national newspapers with nationwide circulation for one week;
    • Submit local workers’ resumes and interview transcripts to the Commission if a suitable local candidate is not found;
    • Upon the Commission’s approval to hire a foreign national for the position, inform the Commission of any interviews it seeks to conduct with foreign nationals;
    • Submit the application for the foreign national to work in the oil and gas sector in writing to the Commission at least three months before the foreign national commences work; and
    • Submit a succession plan and training program to the Commission to ensure the foreign worker’s skills are passed on to local workers.


  • Closed positions. The Commission will also bar foreign workers from applying for junior and mid-level positions, including foreman supervisor or equivalent positions.


Impact on foreign nationals

Foreign nationals may find it more difficult to obtain positions in the oil and gas industry due to the strong preference in the new guidelines for the hiring of local workers.

Impact on employers

Employers seeking to employ foreign nationals may experience the below impacts:

  • Delays in the processing of new and renewal applications for work permits, because of the implementation of the new guidelines and also due to the longer, more time-consuming hiring process. 
  • Refused work permit applications if they fail to show the Commission that they sufficiently trained local workers or if they apply for closed positions.



Previously, employers were required to notify the authorities of open positions in the oil and gas sector; however the requirement was never enforced.

Looking ahead

Fragomen will provide further information on the topic as it becomes available.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to