How to Get a Macau Work Visa: A Guide for Business Professionals

The Macau Special Administrative Region (Macau) under the ambit of the People’s Republic of China is currently working to develop its economy through sustainable diversification. This essentially means that Macau is opening its doors to foreign investors and workers to come and do business in the region – all of whom will require a Macau work visa.

The two most prominent business sectors in Macau are gaming and tourism. Foreign investors are attracted to Macau due to factors like economic freedom, friendly tax policies, and ease of conducting business. There nonetheless remains a requirement for foreigners to obtain a Macau visa to work there, though.

If you are planning to reap the benefits of doing business in Macau by expanding into this region, then you need to be aware of the various policies regarding obtaining a Macau work visa for your employees. This article discusses the different types of Macau visa and the procedures for obtaining them. Read on to find out more.

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What types of Macau work visa are there?

Macau visa and work permits are specifically used for hiring non-resident workers and are of the following two types:

  1. Visa for skilled and non-skilled workers.
  2. Visa for occasional workers.

Obtaining a Macau work visa

The process of obtaining a work permit or a visa in Macau can be quite difficult due to the stringent rules and regulations that are in place. Law 21/2009 lays down the guidelines for hiring non-residents for various services in Macau. According to this law, all hiring is subject to the approval by the Human Resources Bureau. This body also restricts each employer to specific quota for hiring workers.

As mentioned, non-resident workers can be given visas under two categories: the skilled/non-skilled workers visa and the occasional worker visa. In the following section, these two categories are explained.

1. Skilled and non-skilled workers

As defined in most other places across the globe, skilled workers refer to people who have specific academic qualifications, possess a certain technical skillset, and have relevant and extensive professional experience in the field. To obtain a Macau work visa for foreign personnel or a non-resident in the skilled category, the employer has to reasonably prove that a person has the required qualifications for a particular position. In addition to that, the employer has to show that they are not able to hire a suitably qualified person locally for the advertised position.

For hiring non-skilled workers on a Macau work visa, employers are given a particular quota per position that needs to be filled with non-resident workers. These workers are not specifically identified in the quota assigned. This quota is decided by the Human Resources Bureau by taking into account a number of factors, such as the employer’s good standing, the working conditions arranged for the non-resident workers, the amount of local hiring done by the employer, and any insufficiencies existing in the applicable market.

2. Occasional workers

Per the Administrative Regulation 17/2004, an exception is made for certain cases where a non-resident can work in Macau without obtaining a specific Macau work visa or work permit. When a local company from Macau enters into an international agreement with a company from overseas to provide periodic and specific services related to managerial, supervision, or technical positions, this condition is applicable. However, this exception is subject to a maximum working time limit of 45 days (consecutive or alternate during a period of six months). To get this benefit, the overseas company needs to be registered with the Macau Tax Bureau and have a log that maintains the record of the days when the agreed services have been rendered.

Thinking of doing business in Macau?

Macau may be a relatively under-explored market outside of gaming and tourism, but interest in the region is certainly growing. While the region is becoming more and more friendly to foreign investment overall, it remains the case that foreign companies must navigate quite complex visa processes to bring workers into Macau. In this case, securing a Macau work visa with the appropriate permissions is paramount.

As a Macau PEO & Employer of Record, our company can assist your business growth in Macau by taking care of processes like recruiting, onboarding, payroll, management of employees on your behalf. In addition to arranging visas and immigration requirements, we ensure that all processes are compliant with local Macau labor and employment laws, and are able to spare your team from the administrative and legal hassles that get in the way of your operations. For specific advice on your situation, contact the team at Horizons today.

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