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Visa for Macau

The Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) is one of the most open economies in the world, based largely on tourism and gaming. Visa regulations in Macau SAR differ to China PRC, therefore if you are planning to do business or work in Macau SAR, you must be aware of the various visa policies that exist and secure the appropriate visa depending on the nature of your visit. Read our guide below covering the types of Macau visa available.

Do I need a Visa for Macau?

Foreign nations from certain countries are exempt from obtaining a visa in Macau for a certain period when visiting on a short term basis for tourism or business purposes. Otherwise, a Macau visa can be obtained through the embassies or consulates of the People’s Republic of China before travelling or can be obtained on arrival depending on eligibility. For more information, please visit the Public Security Forces Affairs Bureau website here.

Work permit for Macau

Under Macau Employment Law 21/2009, the long-term non-resident worker hiring process must meet specific criteria and approval by the Human Resources Bureau, which outlines the quota to hire workers. This varies based on scope of work and employment contract length.

Non-resident work can be classified as:

  1. Skilled and non-skilled workers; and
  2. Occasional workers.

To hire both these types of workers as defined by Macau employment law, an employer must be:

  • A Macau resident;
  • A company incorporated in Macau SAR or other locally registered entity; or
  • A non-resident with commercial activity registered in Macau SAR.

Skilled and non-skilled workers

Skilled workers wishing to obtain the Macau work visa should have academic qualifications, technical skills and relevant professional experience. The employer must prove that the non-resident worker has special qualifications or skills for a position and thus it is impossible to hire a local resident. Approval under the quota system is carried out on a case by case basis.

The process for hiring non-skilled workers differs in that it requires a subsidiary application and does not take into account the worker’s competence. Moreover, the quota is non-specific in that it relates to a position to be fulfilled by a non-resident worker who is not specifically identified. In such cases, the approval and allocation of quotas for the company takes into account aspects such as good standing of the employer, market insufficiencies, proposed working conditions and number of local workers hired by the employer.

Occasional workers

According to Administrative Regulation 17/2004, an exception to the law exists whereby a non-resident may work in Macau SAR without a work permit. This is applicable when a local Macau company enters into an agreement with an international company to provide occasional services including: management, technical and supervision work in the region. Occasional workers are limited to working no more than 45 days in one 6-month period. To be eligible, the company located overseas much be registered with the Macau Tax Bureau and log the days in which such services are provided.

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