work permit visa in Bangladesh

Work Permit VISA is mandatory for every foreign national seeking employment in Bangladesh. Three government authorities issue a work permit in Bangladesh.

  1. For private sector industrial enterprise, branch office and liaison office, outside of Export Processing Zone (EPZ) – Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
  2. For employment of foreign national in the EPZ– Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA).
  3. For employment of foreign national in any NGO – NGO Affairs Bureau.

Private sector industrial enterprises, branch office, liaison/representative office desiring to employ foreign nationals are required to apply to BIDA in their prescribed form. While issuing a work permit, BIDA usually follows the following guidelines:

  1. Only nationals of countries recognized by Bangladesh are considered for employment.
  2. Employment of expatriate personnel is considered only in industrial/commercial establishments which are sanctioned/registered by the appropriate authority.
  3. Employment of foreign nationals is normally considered for the job for which local experts/technicians are not available.
  4. Persons below 18 years of age are not eligible for employment.
  5. A decision of the board of directors of the concerned company for new employment/employment extension is to be furnished in each case.
  6. The number of foreign employees should not exceed 5% in the industrial sector and 20% in the commercial sector of the total employees, including top management personnel.
  7. Initially, employment of any foreign national is considered for a term of one year, which may be extended on the basis of merit of the case.
  8. Security clearance will be required from the Ministry of Home Affairs.


FIRST STEP: PUBLICATION OF NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT. The employer is required to publish a newspaper advertisement or online advertisement for recruitment. This requirement is not always mandatory. SECOND STEP: APPLICATION FOR ISSUANCE OF E VISA RECOMMENDATION. Local sponsor (Liaison/Branch Office or local company) will apply to BIDA online for issuance of E visa recommendation in favor of the desired foreign national. The following documents are usually required for this application:

  • Copy of permission letter for branch/liaison/representative office or Memorandum of articles of association and certificate of incorporation in case of a locally incorporated company.
  • Board Resolution for the employment of foreign nation(s) mentioning Expatriate Name, Nationality & Passport Number.
  • Photograph of the Expatriate.
  • Copy of passport of the Expatriate/Investor/Employee (Whole of the used part).
  • Appointment Letter/transfer order/service contract or agreement for expatriate/investors.
  • Certificate of all academic qualification & professional experience for the employees.
  • Paperclipping showing advertisement made for recruitment of local personal prior to the appointment of the expatriate(s).
  • Specific activities of the company.
  • Statement of manpower showing a list of local and expatriate personal employed with the designation, salary break-up, nationality, and date of the first appointment. (Latest Copy).
  • Encashment certificate of inward remittance of minimum US $50,000.00 as initial establishment cost for branch/liaison/representative office and locally incorporated/ joint venture and 100% foreign ownership companies.
  • Up-to-date Income tax clearance certificate (Organization).
  • Attachment of company’s comments as per remarks (if any)

NB: All documents shall have to be attested by the Chairman/ CEO / Managing director/ Country Manager/ Chief executive of the Company/ firms. THIRD STEP: APPLICATION FOR E VISA IN THE RESPECTIVE BANGLADESH EMBASSY OR HIGH COMMISSION Once BIDA issue the E visa recommendation, the foreign national should apply for an E visa in the respective Bangladesh Embassy or High Commission. Once the E visa is issued, the foreign national should enter Bangladesh with the E visa. FOURTH STEP: APPLICATION FOR WORK PERMIT IN BANGLADESH. Within 15 days from the date of arrival of the foreign national, application for a work permit should be submitted to BIDA. A fee of BDT 5,000 is applicable in this regard.

The following papers/documents are required for a new work permit:

  • All documents stated in the second step.
  • Attested photocopy of passport with arrival stamp ‘E’ type visa for the employee.

FIFTH STEP: SECURITY CLEARANCE. Once a work permit is issued by BIDA, a copy of the work permit would then sent a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs for security clearance by BIDA. After some scrutiny, security clearance will be issued. PI VISA PI is applicable for investors whose name is on the shareholder’s list. The process of PI visa and work permit is almost similar to E visa and work permit. When a foreigner enters Bangladesh, he enters with specific visas as set by the requirements of the land. Procuring a work permit and visas in Bangladesh could be a hurdle some process at times. If a foreign expat wants to enter Bangladesh, he needs to apply and obtain work permit from the Board of Investment in Bangladesh. Obtaining visa and work permit was previously very difficult but since the Government of Bangladesh is encouraging more foreign investments within the country, the sector of providing visa and work permit has flourished and the system has been now dealt on an online basis, for convenience. In the following we have discussed the procedure of obtaining some important visas, you may also look into the short description of our Immigration services here, which are often applied by the foreign expats, to enter Bangladesh:

Top Priority-based

A3 visa

Applicable to Experts/advisers / officials / staff members / labors working in any project under the bilateral / multilateral agreement between Bangladesh government and development partner agencies. The visa is issued upon submitting all the required documents to the respective Bangladeshi Embassy along with the recommendation of the Embassy or relevant ministry/ Economic Relation Department/ relevant Government Agency. The length of the visa given is for the period of the employment or five years, whichever is shorter, depending upon the desecration of the visa issuing authority (respective Bangladeshi embassy). Upon expiry of the visa, the expatriate can apply for the extension of the visa to the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP). The DIP upon receiving the recommendation of the concerned Ministry / Economic Relation Department of the Ministry of Finance / relevant government agency of Bangladesh, Security Clearance and taking into account the conditions of the agreement between the Government and the development partner can extend the visa for the full employment period or up to five years, whichever is shorter.  

B visa

Applicable to businessmen/business representatives. The visa is issued by the respective Bangladeshi Embassy upon receiving all the required documents along with the recommendation of recognized chambers of commerce OR recommendation of the local sponsor in Bangladesh. Embassy issues a maximum of six-month visa. Upon expiry of the visa, the expatriate can apply for the extension of the visa to the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP). The DIP upon receiving security clearance and the recommendation of the local sponsor can extend the visa for a maximum of three months.

E visa

Applicable to Experts / advisers / employees / individuals appointed in government / semi-government/ autonomous bodies / projects and equivalent organizations, OR individuals employed in local/ foreign government / semi-government/ liaison / Industrial / commercial organizations or other equivalent organizations OR individuals appointed under local / foreign government / semi-government contractor ship and in equivalent organizations. Embassy upon receiving all the required documents along with the recommendation from the concerned Ministry in Bangladesh / Bangladesh Board of Investment (BOI) / Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) issue the visa for a maximum of three months. Upon expiry of the visa, the expatriate can apply for the extension of the visa to the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP). The DIP upon receiving the security clearance and the work permit can extend the visa for the full employment period or a maximum of three years, whichever is shorter.  

Other Information

Foreign citizens/nationals of India, Pakistan, and South Korea traveling to Bangladesh by air with a valid visa for 90 days or more are required to REGISTER at the airport. In case of entry through the land port, such registration should be completed at the nearest District Special Branch (DSB) / City Special Branch (CSB). Application for extension of visa should be submitted before the expiration of the existing visa. Penalty for over-stay will be imposed if the application for extension of visa is submitted after the date of the expiry of the visa. If the overstay is less than a month, fine can be paid to the customs authority while departing from Bangladesh. However, if the overstay is more than one month, then DIP needs to be informed and they shall inform the visa holder about the required procedure to be followed. If the overstay is less than 15 days then the fine is BDT 200 to 300 per day and if the overstay is for than 15 days then the fine is BDT 1000.

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