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Immigration - Work Permit in Lebanon

Work permits for overseas nationals working for an international company based in Lebanon are easy to get. When applying for work in a Lebanese institution, the labour law appears to impose many restrictions, but in practice the Ministry of Labour is relatively lax. The country’s labour law, like many others around the world, stipulates that jobs should go, whenever possible, to a Lebanese national. To hire a foreigner, the employer must convince the ministry that there is no one locally available who is equally qualified to perform the work.

There are certain professions and positions that foreigners are forbidden to work in but the rule is loosely interpreted. This list includes, but is not limited to, areas such as banking, laboratories, pharmacies and jewellery. Likewise, there are several sectors in which the employer must be a Lebanese national. They include, but are not limited to, banking, architecture, engineering, shoe-making, furniture manufacturing, printing and accounting sectors. Notwithstanding, many banks employ foreign staff as very senior levels.

The Ministry of Labour reserves the right to cancel any work permit at any time. Should the ministry discover that any of the documentation used to obtain the permit was falsified or incorrect, the permit will be immediately revoked.

A proprietor who wants to get a work permit must provide details about the company’s business activity and a copy of a bank statement showing an operating capital of at least LL100 million. A foreign national must have at least one local partner holding the majority share.

Managers, branch managers or chief accountants of an overseas company registered in Lebanon need the local company’s commercial registration, which is issued by the Ministry of Trade and Economy. They also need a certified copy of the company by laws from company headquarters, as well as a letter of appointment certified by the embassy in the country of origin and then by the Lebanese Ministry of Interior.

Once a foreign individual has a work permit, he/she may apply for residency. More documents are required for the application and it takes about 10 working days to complete this phase. Like the work permit, residency is granted on an annual basis.

Your spouse does not have the right to work in Lebanon on your work permit. Spouses can get only non-work residence visas.





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