This website has been developed to provide useful information to clients and stakeholders about the Work Permit System in Papua New Guinea.

The Department of Labour and Industrial Relations is very sympathetic to the needs of the business community and those seeking to invest in our country. Quite simply, business is the engine-room of our economy. For this reason, it is the Department’s objective to ensure that employers have no difficulty in recruiting qualified, skilled and experienced non-citizen workers where these skills cannot be found locally.

On the other hand, the Department has an obligation to ensure that the work permit system looks after the interests of Papua New Guineans. Unfortunately, our country has significant unemployment challenges and many of our citizens do not have access to employment opportunities.

As a general rule, all managerial, professional and highly skilled jobs within our labour market are open to non-citizen employees. Certain other occupations must be advertised in the local press first before a non-citizen worker can be engaged. Occupations which do not require a particular qualification or skill are generally reserved for citizen workers.

These requirements have been a part of our Work Permit System since 1972. They have been developed in close consultation with our stakeholders, particularly the business community, to ensure a fair outcome. Indeed, it is all about finding the right balance.

The Department has developed specific ‘Work Permit Guidelines’ to assist clients and stakeholders. These Guidelines are presented in a user-friendly style and ‘helpful hints’ are included to explain potentially confusing rules or requirements. The Guidelines may be downloaded free of charge from this website.

This website also provides free access to the various application forms which must be used to apply for a work permit for a non-citizen worker.

I encourage employers, non-citizen employees, agents and any other persons to use this website as a source of information when dealing with the Department.

David K.G. Tibu, LLB