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Work Permits for Papua New Guinea

Staff Reporter 1/30/2013 |
There are three types of Work Permit.
  •  A General Work Permit
  • A Volunteer Work Permit
  •  A BridgingWork Permit 

General Work Permit

 A General Work Permit will be granted where the employment contract between the employer and 
employee is for work of a commercial nature.  The law defines commercial work as employment 
performed entirely or mostly for financial (i.e. money) reward.  

"For instance, Mr. Brown has been offered a position working with Able Communication Company as the Operations Manager.  Mr. Brown is to be paid a full market salary and will receive other entitlements such as accommodation and car allowance.  In this case, Mr. Brown will be undertaking work of a commercial nature and must make application for a General Work Permit." 

Volunteer Work Permit

A Volunteer Work Permit will be granted where the employment contract between the employer 
and employee is for work of a voluntary nature.  The law defines voluntary work as employment 
performed entirely or mostly for reasons other than financial reward.  
A decision as to whether an employee qualifies for a Volunteer Work Permit requires careful 
consideration of factors such as: (1) salary, (2) allowances, (3) nature of the activities engaged in, 
and (4) the history of the organisation in PNG.  

"For instances, Ms. Lee has been offered a position with a community organisation as a Bible translator.  Ms. Lee will receive a subsistence allowance and the organisation will provide basic accommodation whilst she is in PNG.  In this case, Ms. Lee will be undertaking work of a voluntary nature and must make application for a Volunteer Work Permit. Government recognizes the important contribution made by volunteer organisations in PNG.  For this reason, the fee for a Volunteer Work Permit is significantly less than the fee for a General Work Permit (see discussion on Fees).  Non-citizens who are granted Volunteer Work Permits may not engage in work which is of a  commercial nature while they are in PNG.

Duration of Work Permits

In accordance with Section 9 of the Employment of Non-citizens Act 2007 a work permit may be: 
A Short Term Work Permit - valid for up to six months from the date it is granted 
A Long Term Work Permit - valid from one year up to three years from the date it is granted 
(or 5 years for Good Corporate Citizens) 
A Bridging Work Permit - valid for sixty days from the date it is granted. 
  The employer must indicate the duration or term for which the work permit is sought at the time 
of application.  
A Short Term Work Permit will only be granted for a period of 6 months.  Short Term Work Permits 
will not be renewed.  If the employer wishes to retain a non-citizen after the expiration of the 
Short Term Work Permit they must apply for a Long Term Work Permit.    
A Long Term Work Permit may be granted for 1 year, 2 years or 3 years depending on the period of 
engagement.  The employer may choose the duration of the work permit to suit their particular 
business needs.  Only Good Corporate Citizens may be granted a Long Term Work Permit for
5 years.  
  A signed contract must be submitted at the time of application as evidence of the term of 
employment

Download Applications Form on the links below.



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