Labour ministry turns back on workers in Angola
  • | VietNamNet, TP, | May 17, 2013 05:49 AM
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While a large number of Vietnamese workers have been working in Angola, the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs (MoLISA) has yet to grant the labour export companies that sent them to Angola official operational licenses.


Little time to relax for Vietnamese workers in Angola

According to the Angolan Department of Immigration and Foreign Citizens, over 45,000 Vietnamese people are living and working in Angola, where they can earn an average income of USD1,000-1,500 per month.

All of them are regarded as illegal workers, however, as they have yet to receive work permits from MoLISA.

Vietnamese workers were first attracted to the construction industry in Angola in 2009. At that time, hundreds of Vietnamese people arrived in Angola daily using work visas. Some people who wanted to go quickly used a tourist visa.

The trend has been popular in several localities in central Vietnam. The number of young people in Ha Tinh and Nghe An Province applying to work in Angola has been on the rise. Most families there has at least one or two members working in Angola.

The director of a company in Hanoi that provides visa services to Angola said that it costs from USD6,000-USD7,000 for a Vietnamese person to complete the procedures, adding that most of his clients are quite young, between 18 to 35.


Luxury homes in a poor district of Ha Tinh Province built with remittances from Angola

Nguyen Kiem, the former deputy chief of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Office, said the statement by MoLISA leaders about the lack of work permits could be used by Angolan authorities to apply stricter measures to drive Vietnamese workers out of their country, which could cause great difficulties for the workers.

An unnamed director of a company that provides travel services to Angola said as MoLISA considers Vietnamese people who work in Angola as illegal workers, adding that although there have been several companies from Angola and Vietnam who wanted to send Vietnamese workers there, they have yet to get approval from the ministry. As a result, he said, they are compelled to ask for help from mediators to meet their labour targets.

Several companies have sprouted up that help Vietnamese people obtain work visas in Angola, but they do not provide job placement services.

Since the Angolan government focuses only on granting work visas to Vietnamese citizens involved in the construction industry, those interested in working in other fields often live there on a false visa. These people are in constant danger of being expelled from the country if they are discovered. 


An electronics shop in Angola owned by Nguyen Luong Huy Hoang, a Vietnamese citizen

Vietnamese workers in Angola are required to renew their work visas one year after their arrival. Labour service companies often will help with the renewal, but at a price of USD1,000-2,000 per person.

While all Vietnamese workers in Angola are at risk of being deported, MoLISA shows no signs of providing support or plans to grant labour licenses. 

The situation has drawn public criticism about the management of labour in Vietnam, as even though there have been no labour licenses granted by MoLISA, many people still manage to complete procedures to work in Angola.

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