Welcome to my blog and thank you for reading. As we kick off the month of August, (Can anyone believe that it is already August? I am struggling to come to terms with the fact that the year is almost over), I would like to highlight some of the changes for work cards in the DRC.
The work card, also known as the labour card or Carte du Travail, is issued to expats as part of the 4 step Work permit procedure. (The work card is stage 4). The DRC authorities are implementing a biometric system and require all current expats to switch out the current work cards for a new biometric one.
Expats need to make a personal appearance at the Ministry of labour office where their biometrical fingerprints and facial image taken. A fee of 20 USD is payable at the Ministry of Labour on the day of applying for the new card.
As note of caution, it is imperative that each contractor change the card to the new format, as authorities are expected to begin auditing companies later to see if all expat worker are compliant.
The process is to be implemented with immediate effect and will affect all work card holders and their employers. All companies who employ foreigners, should therefore, prepare for the anticipated audits and ensure that all expat workers have taken the necessary steps to obtain a biometric work card. It is not clear as to what the penalties or fines will be for employers and employees who do not comply. Most African countries have steep penalties and are known to deport or jail immigrants for breaking immigration rules.
It is therefore advised that you take precaution and please advise your workers to go the Ministry of labour as soon as possible. The anticipated waiting time for the issuance of the new work cards may exceed 21 days.
It would be wise to anticipate a longer waiting time as in my experience, there are very few countries on the continent that stick to their processing time frames. This could mean that there is a possibility that compliance checks by the authorities, would begin before some workers have the chance to receive their new cards.
I assume that they will issue an acknowledgement of receipt as proof of application, however, nothing has been mentioned in this regard. It is therefore advised that expat workers insist on some form of proof of application to avoid any issues with the authorities during the proposed audits.
If you require any further information on the process, or have any concerns, please contact us at
Have a great week ahead.