Connecticut, US

Jun 28 2019

New Law to Streamline Access for Tourists and Investors

Angola

At a Glance

A new law effective July 23, 2019, is expected to streamline processing and ease access for tourists and investors in Angola. Key changes include:

  • The Ordinary Visa, used for business purposes in Angola, will be replaced with a Tourism Visa, which will cover family and business visits.
  • The Short-Term Visa, used for emergency work, will be issued for up to 10 days, whereas it is currently only issued for seven days.
  • The Investor Visa will replace the Privileged Visa, and applicants will need to apply for the Visa in Angola, whereas currently they can apply at Angolan consular posts.
  • Employers allowing foreign nationals to work illegally in Angola, and foreign nationals working illegally in Angola, will face stricter and tougher penalties, including imprisonment.

The situation

In an effort to ensure that Angola’s immigration system is effective and investor friendly, the government has enacted a new law aimed at regulating entry, exit, stay and residence of foreign nationals. The new law is expected to streamline processing and ease access for tourism and investment.

A closer look

The law will introduce the following amendments on July 23, 2019:

  • Ordinary Visa. Foreign nationals seeking to enter Angola for business will no longer be able to do so under the Ordinary Visa. The Ordinary Visa will be replaced with the Tourism Visa which will be granted for family reasons, to prospect for business, participate in scientific and technological activities or for those on a recreational, sporting or cultural visit (the same activities allowed under the Ordinary Visa). It will be issued for 120 days, will allow multiple entries, and will be extendable twice for 30 days. Currently, the Ordinary Visa is issued for 90 days.
    • Impact. Employers/foreign nationals will be able to apply for a longer initial stay in Angola under the Tourism Visa. Grouping business with tourism should streamline visa processing.
  • Short-Term Visa. The Short-Term visa, used for emergency travel for foreign nationals in the oil and gas sector, will be issued for a maximum of 10 days, with a possible extension of another 10 days, up from the current seven-day limit.
    • Impact. Short-term travelers will have more time to complete their emergency work.
  • Investor Visa. The Investor Visa will replace the Privileged Visa, and applicants will need to apply for the visa in Angola, whereas currently they can apply at Angolan consular posts. This visa allows multiple entries and a stay of up to two years, extendable for the same period as the original visa duration. Foreign nationals with three years of uninterrupted stay in Angola under an Investor Visa can become eligible for a temporary residence permit. While the investment amount for the Privileged Visa ranges from USD 5,000 to USD 15 million, the amount required for the Investor Visa has not yet been disclosed.
    • Impact. This new visa provides a path to temporary residence in Angola and offers a multiple-entry option, which is not available under all visas in Angola.
  • Penalties. While penalties for illegal work previously existed, the new law specifies the terms of the penalties, indicating that employers found guilty of allowing an employee to illegally train or work in Angola could face imprisonment of up to 12 years. Foreign nationals found working illegally in Angola could face imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine of up to 250 days of the foreign worker’s daily salary.
    • Impact. Employers and foreign nationals will see stricter enforcement of immigration laws and tougher related penalties.

 

Background

  • Simplification of visa processes. The Angolan government is attempting to boost trade and tourism by streamlining visa processes. In the past year, the Angolan government has attempted to ease travel to Angola by simplifying immigration processes and by entering into several reciprocal agreements with other African countries.
  • Cross-regional pattern. The inclusion of the Investor Visa follows a similar trend in other countries (such as Antigua, Cyprus, Malta and Moldova) that attempt to boost the local market through foreign investment. See the map below for a depiction of the various investor programs worldwide and their minimum investment amounts:

These programs often include a requirement to maintain local employees as well as provide a platform for development of skills. While there are benefits to investor programs, concerns do arise, such as the limitation of lower-skilled jobs, pushback from local entrepreneurs and the lack of regulation for such programs. The Investor Visa for Angola is unlike many other investment-based programs, as it focuses on short-term investment opportunities as opposed to long-term, high-value investments. 

 

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects that the next step in Angola will be the modernization of the immigration system by digitizing some consular and in-country visa processes. Furthermore, Angola is expected to continue ensuring that employers and foreign workers adhere to immigration laws through ongoing immigration enforcement and stricter compliance efforts, with more serious consequences for breach of the laws.

Fragomen will report on developments with the Investor Visa, as the government has not yet published the investment amounts and other relevant details.

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 africainfo@fragomen.com.