How to find a job in Malawi: everything foreigners need to know



How to find a job in Malawi: everything foreigners need to know

Malawi is a small country known as the 'warm heart of Africa', located in the southeast of the continent, and bordering Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Foreigners are welcomed by a welcoming population, a favorable climate, and nature with amazing landscapes. But in Malawi a promising destination to work abroad? To find the answer to this and other relevant questions, keep reading our article.

Labor market

Despite recent economic improvements, Malawi is still considered one of the least developed countries in the world. The political climate is more stable than in the past, but riots and demonstrations still occur regularly.

The tourism sector is a small sector of the economy. Agriculture accounts for a third of Malawi's GDP and 90% of its exports. The main agricultural products are tobacco, sugar cane, cotton, tea, maize, potatoes, sorghum, cattle, and goats. The country relies heavily on tobacco exports, and as the international community seeks to impose restrictions on production, this part of the economy is under pressure.

Job search

Even graduates from local universities find it difficult to find work. One reason is probably that the labor market is too small to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for labor. The government is the largest source of employment in Malawi. However, the government rarely releases vacancies for foreigners.

Work visa

Short-term work permits can be obtained upon arrival in Malawi; they are valid for up to 30 days and can be extended to 60 days for an additional fee. For expatriates planning to move permanently, an application must be made to the Malawi Immigration Department before arriving in the country.

Long-term permits are valid for at least six months and up to two years from the date of initial issuance. However, it is possible to extend the permit twice by sending an extension application with all necessary documents to the Provincial Migration Office. The form must be submitted at least three months before the expiry date.

Requirements for obtaining a work visa

When applying for a visa, a completed application form and a valid passport are required, as well as:

Two passport photos;

A detailed cover letter;

Airline tickets;

Confirmed hotel booking;

Bank statements for the last three months;

Proof of yellow fever vaccine (for nationals of countries at risk).

After obtaining a visa, a temporary work permit is required and must be applied for by the potential employer. For this you need:

A completed application form;

An employment contract;

A valid passport;


Job advertisements;

Academic qualifications.


Corporate tax is 30% for registered employees, except for telecommunications companies, which are taxed at 33%. Dividends paid by Malawian companies are taxed at a rate of 10% unless covered by a tax treaty. Interest payments to a non-resident are subject to income tax at a rate of 15% or 20% for residents as an advance payment of tax. Royalty payments to non-residents are taxed at 15% or 20% for residents as advance tax.

Other taxes include stamp duty at 0.75% and payroll tax at 1% of non-taxable employment tax. Both residents and non-residents pay withholding tax on income in Malawi. A tax resident is considered to be an individual who resides in the country for a total of 183 days per year.