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Visas and work permits Brunei

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Joined: 2-Jun-04
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As Brunei Darussalam’s small population currently cannot provide the manpower needed to implement all of its development projects, we continue to open our doors to skilled as well as unskilled foreign workers for work particularly in the construction and service-related sector.

As most of the citizens are employed in the public sector, the Government continues to promote more local employment in the private sector. The push towards diversification and the promotion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is seen as the answer to the problem of over-dependence on public service employment. This will also drive entrepreneurial development and create job opportunities.

Foreign workers have helped to ease the labour shortage and currently make up over a third of the workforce. Regulations and procedures on recruitment of foreign workers are straight-forward and the Government’s assistance is readily available in securing approval for foreign workers ranging from labourers to executive managers.

Expatriate employment is controlled by a Labour Quota system from the Labour Department and the issuance of employment passes, by the Immigration Department. Each work permit issued to an expatriate is valid for a period of 2 years.

Health screening comprising a blood test and chest x-ray are mandatory as part of the application process for a work permit.

Working conditions are at par with international standards governed by the local labour ordinance. Average wage rates per month for private sector employees vary from B$450-500 for unskilled labour to B$1,000 for qualified secretaries.

Entry to Brunei Darussalam for Short Term Business Visit

Visit Visa Requirements
As required by the Brunei Passport Act, all foreign nationals need a valid visa to enter Brunei Darussalam. However, nationals of the following countries are exempted from visa requirement for social, business or professional visits for certain periods:

Canada, Indonesia, Japan, The Philippines, Thailand, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Republic of Maldives, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Italy and Peru 14 DAYS

Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Germany, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of Korea and New Zealand 30 DAYS

United States of America 90 DAYS

Visas are required for nationals of these countries if they intend to stay longer than the period specified above.

A transit visa, for a stay of within 72 hours, can be applied for and will be issued upon arrival at the Brunei International Airport, provided the applicant has confirmed tickets to a third destination country and meets specified conditions.

An Australian national can apply for a visa on arrival (multiple entry visa valid for 1 month) upon entry at any Immigration Control Post throughout Brunei Darussalam.

A visa, transit visa or a visa exemption does not guarantee admission. The final decision rests with the competent authority at the point of entry. On being granted admission, a visit pass is issued. Under the rules and regulations set out in the Immigration Act, the visit pass is classified as social, business or professional.

Documentation Required:
• Passport or other internationally recognised travel document endorsed for travel to Brunei Darussalam, with assured returnability to the country of origin or domicile, and valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry into Brunei Darussalam. If the application is made through a local sponsor in Brunei Darussalam. Photocopies of the relevant pages of the passport may be submitted in place of the original documents.

• Introductory or sponsorship letters from associated companies, business representatives, government agencies or other authority

• Two photographs

• Return tickets

Method of Lodgment
Visa application can be made at the nearest Brunei Darussalam overseas mission or through a local sponsor in Brunei Darussalam to the Department of Immigration and National Registration. A formal interview may also be required.

Processing Time
1-3 working days (at the Department of Immigration and National Registration)

Multiple Entry Visas
Multiple entry visas are issued on application.

A visa to business people is valid up to a maximum of 1 year.
Extension of stay can be applied for at any Immigration Office in Brunei Darussalam by submitting Form 8 with particulars of a sponsor. Processing is immediate.

Cost of Visa Application
Single Entry - B$15.00.
Multiple Entry (3 months) - B$20.00.
Multiple Entry (1 year) - B$30.00.
(Fees are payable in cash)

Regulations Relating to Accompanying Dependants
Family members are permitted to accompany a businessperson under a social visit visa.

Entry To Brunei Darussalam For Employment
Employment Visa/Pass

Foreign nationals are required to obtain an Employment Visa to take up employment in Brunei Darussalam. The Department of Immigration and National Registration, Brunei Darussalam will issue an Employment Pass, which enables foreign nationals to work in Brunei Darussalam.

Documentation Required:
• Application letter from the sponsor or employer
• Employment Pass application form
• Visa application form
• Photocopy of passport or equivalent travel document
• Employer's Labour License and
• Labour Department's Form 500

Method of Lodgment
The application for an Employment Visa may be lodged either by the sponsor or employer to the Department of Immigration and National Registration in Brunei Darussalam.

Processing Time
5 days

Length of Validity and Stay
An Employment Pass is valid for up to 2-3 years, depending on requirement.

Application Fee
The Cost of a Single Entry Employment Visa is B$15.00. However, endorsement of an Employment Pass is free of charge.

An Employment Pass can be extended for up to 2-3 years for each extension. The applicant is required to return to the country of origin before resuming a new employment contract in Brunei Darussalam. An application for the extension of an Employment Pass must be made by the sponsor/employer in Brunei Darussalam. The extension of an Employment Pass is free of charge.

Rules Relating to Accompanying Dependants
Family members (spouse and children) may accompany the holder of an Employment Pass and will be issued with a Dependent Pass.

Source: BEDB (Brunei Economic Development Board)


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