Human Resource – HR and Marketing Positions are the only areas or jobs that are restricted to Zambians, says Ministry of home affairs Department of Immigration. The department further stated that Employment Permits in Zambia for these two roles are not issued on a quarter system but are only considered on a case to case basis bearing in mind all the requirements.
In an exclusive interview with the Zambian Business Times- ZBT, Namati Nshinka who is immigration of Zambia’s Public Relation Officer said that the Department of Immigration is committed to providing efficient, transparent and professional services.
The Zambia Department of Immigration aims to effectively and efficiently facilitate and regulate the entry and exit of persons and control the stay of immigrants and visitors in the country in order to contribute to internal security and sustainable socio-economic development.
Increased cases of lost passports by visitors
When asked on why the country has continued to record an increased number of reports of lost passports by foreign nationals visiting Zambia which has been used to perpetuate suspected illegal entry and stay in zambia, Nshinka stated that when a foreigner comes to Zambia and loses their passport, the process is not dissimilar to that of a Zambian who losses a passport.
“Firstly, the loss must be reported to the Police, who will issue a police report confirming the loss. The Foreigner can then use the police report to access consular services from their embassy or consulate in Zambia, who will facilitate the issuance of either a new passport or an Emergency Travel Document and where there is no embassy or consulate for the foreigner, the department does facilitate through a letter of support, for the issuance of a Zambian one way travel document to enable the foreigner to leave the country”, said Nshinka.
The Immigration public relations officer said that in most cases, when a foreign national enters the country illegally and later claim to have lost their passport, it is a clear indication that they are attempting to evade punishment for having entered the country illegally and their illegal entry can be verified by the port of entry which they claim to have used to enter the country. If the information received from the port of entry proves the claim to be false, the foreign national as well as those aiding the unlawful entry will be prosecuted.
When asked concerning the issuing of work permits even for jobs that Zambians can do giving the example of telco market leader MTN whose staff members have written complaints to media houses, Nshinka said that an Immigrant to Zambia must have a contribution to make in form of skills, profession or capital.They should not deprive a Zambian of employment and an Immigrant should not be in charge of the State and these are principles that the department is guided by when offering various services including issuance of employment permits.
“As the immigration in Zambia, we have a responsibility towards Zambian citizens, and we aim to achieve high levels of employment for locals in our country and the permits Committee conducts a ‘labour market test’ before granting an Employment permit”, Nshinka said. Meanwhile, Nshinka emphasized that Certified photocopies of academic and professional certificates and a Curriculum Vitae are the key requirements and this is to ensure that only expatriates who are qualified or possess vast experience and have rare skills stay in Zambia.
He said Employers are required to make genuine attempts to recruit Zambians. Only once it has been established that no Zambian can be found to fill a position, that when that specific job may be offered to a foreigner and this is why it is a requirement to attach extracts of job advert in a national newspaper and other documentary evidence to show the attempts by the employer to find a Zambian to fill the position.
Employers are also required to submit a succession plan, police clearance from country of previous residence, letter of offer of employment/contract, prescribed fee and Clearance from professional Bodies. So all these parties have a role to play. All in all, the Department of Immigration aims to effectively and efficiently facilitate and regulate the entry and exit of persons and control the stay of immigrants and visitors in the country in order to contribute to internal security and sustainable socio-economic development.