Best Employment and Immigration Law Firm In Cameroon.

August 25, 2021

Employment and immigration laws in Cameroon are applied correlatively when it comes to foreigners immigrating into Cameroon for work purposes.

Contract of Employment endorsed by the Minister responsible for Labour (employment) is a

prerequisite obtaining a long-stay visa into Cameroon. An employment contract may be recorded in any form convenient.

The maximum probation period is 6 months, except for managerial staff for whom the period may be extended to 8 months.

Applicable Laws

  • Law N°92/007 of 14TH August 1992 relating to Labour and Employment of the Republic of Cameroon.
  • Decree N°2008/052 of 2008 modifying and supplementing certain provisions of Decree N° 2007/255 of September 04,2007 fixing the modalities of application of Law N° 97/012 of January 10 1997 relating to the conditions of entry, stay and exit of foreigners in Cameroon

Ministry of Labour and social security Cameroon

Definition of terms

  • Foreigner in Cameroon shall be a person who does not have a Cameroonian nationality, who has a foreign nationality or who has no nationality.
  • Temporary visitor shall be a person whose stay in Cameroon is for a short period of less than 3 months.
  • Private visitors shall be foreigners who have chosen to stay in Cameroon for their pleasure and are accommodated either by their family or friends.
  • Tourists are people of foreign origin who undertake a pleasure trip, either individually or an organized or package trip in an accommodation establishment.
  • Persons on mission are foreigners who come to Cameroon in an official capacity within the framework of their professional capacity.
  • Businessmen are individuals exercising in a personal capacity, a profit-making professional activity.
  • Guests or participants in an event organized on the national territory are people who come to Cameroon, provided with an individual or collective invitation to take part,
    personally or as a delegation in an event of particularly economic nature, scientific, technical, artistic, pastoral, cultural or sporting.
  • Contract workers shall be foreign employees of the private sector working in Cameroon, working in the public or Para public sector, bound by an employment contract and technical assistance personnel.

Contract of Employment

Any contract of employment to be performed in Cameroon, shall be negotiated freely.

Hence, irrespective of the place where the contract of employment is made and the place of residence of either party, every contract of employment which is to be performed in Cameroon

shall be governed by the provisions of Law N°92/007 of 14TH August 1992 of the Republic of Cameroon.

Where the contract of employment is partial in performance in Cameroon of a contract initially made under other legislation for foreigners.

It shall not apply, however, to a worker who is sent on secondment for a period not exceeding 6 (six) months.

Notably, written employment contracts in Cameroon are being exempted from all stamp and registration fees.

Forms of contracts

  • A contract for an unspecified duration.
  • A fixed term contract limited to a maximum term of two years and

Termination / Dismissal

  • An employment contract of unspecified duration may be terminated at any time by the will of either party subject to the condition that previous written notice was given to the other party setting out the reason for the termination. Such notice shall not be set off against the worker's leave period.
  • Whenever an employment contract of unspecified duration is terminated without notice or without the full period of notice being observed, the responsible party shall pay the other party compensation equal to the remuneration with the inclusion of any bonuses and allowances which the worker would have received for the period of notice not served; provided that the contract may be terminated without notice in cases of serious misconduct (subject to the findings of the court regarding the gravity of the misconduct).
  • Employment contracts of specified duration may not be terminated prior to its expiry save in the case of gross misconduct, force majeure or by the written consent of both parties.
  • Any wrongful termination of the contract may entail damages. In all cases of dismissal, it shall be up to the employer to show that the grounds for dismissal alleged by him are well founded.
  • Unless otherwise agreed, the provisions regarding notice and termination shall not apply to probationary hiring contracts which shall be terminable without notice and without either party claiming compensation.

Importantly, in the event of any change in the legal statutes of the employers, in particular through succession, acquisition, merger, financial reorganization, or transformation into a partnership or company, all contracts of employment in force on the date of the change shall subsist between the new organization and the personnel of the undertaking.

They shall be terminable only in the manner and subject to the conditions laid down by the law.

Conditions of Employment in Cameroon

Statutory hours of work in all public and private non-agricultural establishments in Cameroon may not exceed forty hours per week.

Whereas in all agricultural and allied undertakings, the hours of work shall be based on a total of two thousand four hundred hours per year, within the maximum limits of forty-eight hours per week.

This shall apply to all workers, irrespective of age, sex and mode of payment.

Employment of Young Persons and Children in Cameroon

Children in Cameroon shall not be employed in a corporate entity, enterprise or organization be it governmental or non-governmental and even as an apprentice before the age of 14 (fourteen) years, except as otherwise authorized by order of a competent authority.

Employment of Foreigners in Cameroon

A corporate entity or organization be it governmental or non-governmental seeking to hire foreign employees must obtain approval from the Ministry of Labour.

Such approval of a foreign employee to work in Cameroon is subject to an application for endorsement.

Where the contract of employment of a foreign worker is of a specified duration 3 months and above, upon expiry shall be renewed only after endorsement by the minister in charge of labour.

The immigration laws of Cameroon provide many options for employers of foreign nationals. Requirements, processing times, employment eligibility, and benefits for accompanying family members vary by visa classification.

All foreign nationals traveling on business to Cameroon require either a Temporary Visa, valid for three months, or a Long-Stay Visa, valid for six months, both with single or multiple entries.

Business visitors who want to extend their stay are advised to apply for a new visa;

• Foreign nationals who require a Work Permit for their activities in Cameroon are required to secure a Long-Stay Visa for up to six months before they enter the country.

• ​Those who are employed by a Cameroonian entity are also required to apply for a work permit once they enter Cameroon on the Long-Stay Visa. Work permits are granted for a period of two years, renewable once.

• Foreign nationals are required to obtain a work permit and a resident permit (i.e., have their employment contracts endorsed by the minister in charge of employment) before the commencement of work.

Procedural Obligations Obtaining a Residence Permit in Cameroon.

  1. Residence Permit

It is an identification document issued to foreigners over the age of 18 years admitted to regularly stay in Cameroon.

The identification document is valid for a period of two years’ renewable. Moreover, the residence permit is computerized and personal bearing information in French

and English such as the names, date and place of birth, profession, address, gender, photography, date of issue and expiration etc

Issuance of the Residence Permit shall include a submission of:

  • A certified true photocopy of valid passport not less than 3 months
  • A certificate of residence, issued by the administrative authority or a competent police commissioner.
  • A special criminal record extract.
  • Payment of the stamp.

  1. Resident Card

It is issued to foreigners who can justify an uninterrupted residence of at least 6 years in Cameroon.

Hence the validity period of a resident card is ten years. Circumstances where the Resident permit is issued as of right.

  • For foreigners staying or admitted as a resident having stay 6 undisrupted years in Cameroon.
  • For members of religious congregations duly recognized and have provided an act of recognition to that effect.
  • For the spouse of a person of Cameroonian nationality, who have provided a certified photocopy of the marriage certificate not less than 3 months.

Types of Entry Visas and conditions of Issuances

There are 4 types of entry visas into Cameroon that are transit visa, tourist visa, temporary visa and long stay visa.

  • Transit Visa

It is a visa with multiple entries and exits which may be granted to a foreigner on transit. Its validity is less than 5 days.

Its issuance is subject to a production of a valid passport, a visa and international vaccination certificate.

  • Tourist Visa

Its validity cannot exceed 30 days and its valid for one or more entries and exists. Granted to temporary visitor who travel for tourist reasons.

  • Temporary Visa

Granted to foreigners whose stay in Cameroon does not exceed 3 months.

The issuance shall include a valid passport, plane ticket, international vaccination card and proof of purpose of visit.

  • Long Stay Visa

Obtaining a long stay visa in Cameroon is subject to the production of:

  • A passport valid for six months,
  • A plane ticket valid in Cameroon,
  • International vaccination certificate,
  • Repatriation guarantee,
  • An employment contract approved by the Minister of Labor for foreigners,
  • An authorization to exercise a liberal profession. etc

Employment contracts are a prerequisite for foreigners intending to work in Cameroon. This is especially for obtaining a long stay visa in Cameroon.

The Minister in charge of Labour and Social Security in this regard shall endorse the employment contract of the foreigner who intends to work in Cameroon.

This is most especially with foreign institutions and national institutions who have employees of foreign nationalities.

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