Some employers in Zambia may find it necessary to recruit and employ temporary workers overseas for the purpose of filling particular positions that cannot be met from within Zambia. The following are the guidelines in question and answer for.


 1.    How do I go about employing an overseas worker?

Zambian employers may apply to the Chief Immigration Officer at immigration officer to employ a foreign worker (s) as long as they are able to establish that there are no Zambians suitably qualified by training or experience available to perform the job.


2. What documents does an applicant submit to the immigration Department?

  • Certified certificates showing the qualifications attained
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of offer of employment by the Zambian company
  • Covering letter from the prospective employer
  • Details about the prospective employer
  • Filled in application form for employment permit to be obtained from Immigration Department link to the form

3. Who (foreigners) is exempted from a work permit application?

 Prohibited immigrants                   


4. How long may this employee work for me?

Depending on the nature of the job, the initial maximum period that is granted for an employment permit is two years and according to the Law, the period of validity of this permit in any case shall be such period from the date of its issue as the Chief Immigration Officer, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, thinks fit, and shall be capable of extension for a further period or periods to a maximum of five years from the date of its issue.           

5. How long does the application take?

According to the new service charter, the application is supposed to take a maximum of 10 days depending on whether the committee is availed with all relevant information and documentation.


6. What types of jobs cannot be given to foreigners?

 Human Resource positions


7. How do I renew my work permit

The employer writes to the Chief Immigration Officer giving reasons why the work permit must be extended. However, if there was a condition attached to the granting of that work permit, it is very unlikely that it will be extended. By attaching a condition, it means that if the employer was advised that the expatriate should work with an understudy for the purpose of transferring skills, at the end of the period, the expatriate should leave the country and the understudy should take over


8. How do you ensure that the work permit guidelines are adhered to by permit holders? What happens if a permit holder is not doing the work approved in the permit?

The Immigration Department through its monitoring system monitors the foreigners and if a permit holder is found not to be doing the job specified on the permit, they are usually fined and sometimes permits are revoked.


9. What is the role of the work permit guide

The role of the work permit committee is to scrutinize all the applications presented before it (entry, self employment and work permit applications) and determine whether those particular applicants are deserving of the permits. In scrutinizing the different permits, the committee checks whether the applicant meets the requirements stipulated by the Immigration Department such as adequate investment funds for self employment permits, continuous stay in Zambia for entry permits and adequate qualifications and experience for employment permit applicants. The specific role of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is to ensure that jobs which should be given to Zambians are not given to foreigners.

Our Core Functions

Social Security Department

The Social Security Department is headed by a Director and has two functional Sections, each supervised by a Principal Social Security Officer.  

Read More

Labour Department

The Department of Labour is headed by a Labour Commissioner with three (3) functional Sections namely; Employment, Industrial Relations and Inspections.
Read More

Planning Department

The Planning and Research Unit is headed by a Chief Planner and has two functional Sections, each supervised by a Principal Planner.
Read More


Occpational Health and Safety

As Zambia seeks to improve the well-being of its people through development,    there are however hazards that come about and affect the health of workers, the community and the general environment. 
Read More


Human Resource Department

The Department of HRA is headed by a Director and has two functional Sections and a Unit, namely: Human Resources and Administration, and Accounts Unit.
Read More


National Productivity Development

The Department is headed by a Director and has three Sections, namely: Productivity and Quality Improvement, Occupational Assessment, and Productivity Measurement and Monitoring
Read More





Contact Us

Our Contact Info

Ministry of Labour and Social Security, New Government Complex, Independence Avenue, P.O. Box 32186, Lusaka, Zambia. Tel: +260-211-221432, Fax: +260-211-225169, Web-Site:, E-Mail:

Our Partner's Links



Statutory Instrument (SI) - The Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act. Click below to view detailed SI documentation.