Work Permit in Papua New Guinea

Why is Work Permit Needed?

According to the Employment of Non-Citizens Act (2007) of Papua New Guinea, non-citizens cannot gain legal employment or take up any paid or unpaid work without the express permission of the government. Therefore, a Papua New Guinea Work Visa is a mandatory document if an applicant wants to move to and work in the country. A work visa is only possible after all the necessary work permits have been acquired by the applicant. 

Job Market in Papua New Guinea

Number of Expats

Anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000

Popular Industries for Expats

Mining, Hospitality, Automation, Accountancy, Financial Services

Expat Job Websites

PNG Job Seek, Job Gate, PNG Workforce, LinkedIn

The Papua New Guinea government has categorized certain jobs which are to be reserved for citizens only. A detailed list of all occupations, reserved and unreserved, can be found in this report.

Types of Papua New Guinea Work Visa

Papua New Guinea Work Visa is categorized as follows:

Business Visa

The Business Visa grants entry into and permission to the visa holder to conduct business-related activities in the country. Activities such as business meetings, negotiations, board meetings, and conferences are allowed. The Papua New Guinea government strictly prohibits employment for the holders of this Visa. 

Restricted Employment Visa

This visa category is intended for non-nationals with specialized or technical talents which are not available in the country. This visa is only valid for temporary positions. Visa holders are only allowed to stay for thirty days or fewer at a given time and can only visit the nation four times in a twelve-month period.

Working Resident Visa

Individuals who wish to find legal employment in the country must apply for a Working Resident Visa. Consultants, Specialists, and Investors will also have to apply for this Visa to gain entry into Papua New Guinea. The validity period of this visa ranges from one year to a maximum of a three-year term. 

The Papua New Guinea Work Permit is administered by the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations. 

Work Permit

The Work Permit is a letter sent to an employer certifying that a non-citizen employee has been awarded a work permit in Papua New Guinea. The work permit must be kept by the employer and produced upon request to an Authorised Officer. The Work Visa process can be undertaken only after you, as the employer, have acquired the necessary work permits and sent them to your employee. The work permits, as a rule, are non-transferrable, either from one employee to another or from one employer to another. 

Long Term Work Permit

A Long Term Work Permit is issued for one-year, two-years, and three-year periods. While three-year is the maximum length of a work permit at a time, in exceptional cases, Good Corporate Citizens are issued a work permit for a five-year term. 

Short Term Work Permit

A Short Term Work Permit is granted for a maximum of six months. This work permit is non-renewable, and in case the employee has to stay in Papua New Guinea beyond six months, the employer has to apply for a Long Term Work Permit.  

Bridging Work Permit

Granted for a short period, with a validity of sixty days from the day the permit is issued. The permit authorizes foreigners' right to stay in the country if their current work permit is about to expire while their new work permit application is being processed. Applicants can also apply for this permit if they’re changing their employer or occupation and are waiting for a new work permit to be issued to them.  

Work Permit Card

The Work Permit Card is given to every non-citizen who is granted a work permit. The Work Permit Card includes the non-citizen employee's photograph, thumbprint, and other information. The employee must keep the work permit card handy (much like a driver's license) and show it to an Authorised Officer upon request.

APEC Business Travel Card

Holders of the APEC Business Travel Card can participate in business meetings and negotiations but cannot hold employment positions in Papua New Guinea.

Requirements of a Papua New Guinea Work Visa

To apply for an Employment Visa, applicants have to produce the following documents at the Consulate:

  • ~A completed Application for Entry Permit form
  • ~A passport with validity for six months extending beyond the visa period; the passport should also have two blank pages for visa stamps. 
  • ~A copy of the candidate’s passport containing the biodata pages
  • ~A letter of employment from the employer
  • ~A Papua New Guinea Work Permit 
  • ~A police verification report; there should be no criminal charges registered against the candidate.
  • ~A recent medical report and Doctor’s certificate
  • ~A copy of the candidate’s educational qualifications and CV
  • ~Incorporation Certificate of the company where the employee will be working
  • ~A copy of the Maintenance Guarantee Bond paid by the candidate
  • ~An IPA certificate that permits a foreign business organization to conduct work in Papua New Guinea (required only in a select few cases)

Application Processing Time for a Papua New Guinea Work Visa

The application processing time differs depending on your employee’s country and visa and work permit type. Papua New Guinea has only a select few Embassies/Consulates around the globe.


An applicant can avail of the Visa services from the Papua New Guinea Embassies if your employee resides in the following countries, the list for which is provided here

The nearest Australian Embassy will process the Visa application in the applicant’s respective countries for all the other countries.

Cost of Papua New Guinea Work Visa

The cost for different work visas is charged according to USD conversions and is as follow:

Visa Type Fee
Business Visa - Short Term Single Entry 190 USD
Business Visa - Short Term Multiple Entry 350 USD
Restricted Employment Visa 350 USD
Working Resident (Employment) 380 USD
Working Resident (Consultant) 380 USD
Working Resident (Investor) 380 USD

A complete updated list of the different visa costs can be found here

The cost for different work permits, to be acquired by the employer, is as follows:

Permit Type Fee*
General Work Permit** 1000 PGK/per year
Bridging Work Permit 100 PGK
General Short Term Work Permit 500 PGK
Renewal of General Work Permit 1000 PGK/one-year extension
Duplicate Work Permit 100 PGK/per copy
Duplicate Work Permit Card 100 PGK/per copy

*All application fees for Papua New Guinea Work Permit are non-transferable as well as non-refundable. Therefore, if an application for a work permit is rejected, the fee paid will not be reverted to the applicant. 

**The different Papua New Guinea Work Permit fees must be paid via cheque to the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations

This Is How Multiplier Can Help With The Papua New Guinea Work Visa

We are a Global EOR firm with experience handling and supplying HR solutions, with a local presence in 150+ countries. For Multinational Corporate Companies that seek effective personnel management, our team of professionals can handle the process of onboarding and managing the staff. 

The work permits for a Papua New Guinea Work Visa are varied, and the application process for the same is a multi-step and tedious process. Partnering with Multiplier and its in-house specialists can provide you with a one-stop solution to this entire process. Furthermore, we will take care of the applications and permits from the beginning and keep you updated on their developments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change my job if I am already working in Papua New Guinea?

Papua New Guinea does not allow the transfer of work permits. Therefore, if an employee is changing their job or their employer, they will have to re-apply for a work permit for that specific position at the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations. This is because work permits in the country are non-transferable.


Are tertiary educational certificates mandatory for a work visa?

Papua New Guinea issues Visa for highly skilled workers. As such, the country expects all non-citizen applicants to possess higher education degrees or other tertiary certificates. If an applicant does not possess the same, relevant work experience will serve as the qualifier for the visa application. 

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