Job Seeker Visa for Brunei: An Expats Guide

Searching for a job in Brunei? Don’t pack your bags just yet!

First, let’s navigate the labyrinth of obtaining a Job Seeker Visa.

This guide will be your GPS through every twist and turn.

Job Hunting In Brunei

Given the nature of its economy, it is likely that as an expatriate, you will have a good chance of finding work. Thanks to the country’s preference for English as a business language, you are unlikely to encounter a language barrier at work.

Many options exist for job seekers, with online job searches being an excellent way to find work and many expat and international job search portals existing to aid in finding jobs abroad.

Using sites like LinkedIn can also be a massive help and a brilliant way to build a social base once you arrive in the country.

Many opportunities also exist for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

It is a job that is fairly easy to qualify for (particularly for native speakers) and that, once qualified, is always going to be in demand in a country like Brunei, where English is relied upon so heavily as a secondary working language.

Of course, there are always more traditional job search methods, and word of mouth can be as valuable as anything else if you know people already located in the country. Searching as much as possible is, as always, the best way to find a job abroad that is going to suit you.

In any case, it is best to move to Brunei with an understanding of where you would like to be working and a practiced hand when it comes to interviewing and applying.

The best way to find and get any job in any location is to put yourself forward in a way that appeals to potential employers.

Understand your business, fine-tune your CV, and exploit any experiences and knowledge you have to make you stand out as the perfect candidate for a job in Brunei.

Is There A Job Seeking Visa In Brunei?

Applying for an employment pass in Brunei can be quick with all the proper documents. However, employers and international applicants must receive the proper clearances before work begins, which can feel overwhelming.

Every foreigner who intends to work in Brunei Darussalam must have a valid Employment Visa authorized by the Department of Immigration and National Registration and issued at the Brunei Embassy.

For official employment in Brunei, a foreigner must obtain a work permit. This process may take a long time. A work permit will also be required if a person is self-employed and starts his own business.

He needs to submit his business plan. Priority is given to non-residents who provide jobs for the local workforce.

Some foreigners achieve a work permit in another way. At first, they enter the country with a different type of visa, and then they look for work and receive a permit.

In addition, Brunei’s mutual visa agreements with some countries (such as the USA, Great Britain, and Australia) allow citizens of these states to enter the country without a visa. Usually, it is a 90-day period. However, the entry of citizens of Israel is prohibited.

Types Of Work Visas In Brunei

Brunei offers a range of work permits and visas for various purposes. The Business Visitor Visa (BVV) is a short-term pass for conducting business matters within the country.

Non-citizens can use the BVV for an assortment of business activities, such as meetings, contract negotiations, and buying and selling goods.

Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) who have an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) endorsed for Brunei may enter the country for business without a visitor visa.

Individuals need a foreign worker license — Lesen Pekerja Asing (LPA) — and an employment pass for long-term work and more extensive projects.

People typically require employment passes for longer jobs, such as technical work, project planning, and marketing.

If an individual plans on holding an employment pass for three months or more, they must also apply for a Green Identity Card.

If a noncitizen intends to work in the oil, construction, or IT industries for less than a year, they must apply for a non-renewable Special Authorization Work Pass (SAWP).

Requirements To Obtain Brunei Work Visas

Every foreigner who wants to work in Brunei needs a valid Employment Visa issued by their respective country’s High Commission of Brunei Darussalam. This visa will be authorized by the Immigration and National Registration Department of Brunei.

For those applicants who will be applying for an Employment Visa in Brunei, the following documents are required by the Brunei Consul:

  • A completed Visa Application form
  • A passport, which will be valid for the next six months, along with six unmarked pages
  • A copy of the passport
  • A copy of the immigration approval letter
  • Two recent passport photographs, no longer than 6 months old, on a white background
  • A copy of the flight ticket (one way) to Brunei, with the flight itinerary
  • A medical checkup form and results

For those applicants who will be applying for Lesen Pekerja Asing (LPA) in Brunei, the following documents are required by the authorities:

  • Two completed applications of the Foreign Worker Form.
  • A copy of the passport and the original will be valid for the next six months; the passport should have six blank pages.
  • A copy of the employee’s identity card.
  • A copy of the verification document of mandatory registration issued by the Job Centre Brunei.
  • A copy of the employer’s Company Registration Form (Section 16 and 17, Form X).
  • A copy of a letter of approval from relevant government agencies (only if applicable on a case-to-case basis).
  • A copy of your employee’s qualifications for the post they’ll be taking up in Brunei (depends on a case-to-case basis)
  • If the applicant will undertake work in the construction sector during their stay in Brunei, a copy of upcoming and ongoing projects.

Application Process For A Job Seeker Visa In Brunei

The work visa application process, which includes the LPA, employment pass, and potentially an identity card, is extensive.

Applicants will start with the approvals for an LPA. You are responsible for getting confirmation from JobCentre Brunei (JCB) and receiving an endorsement from Tabung Amanah Pekerja (TAP).

As an employer, you should register with the Registry of Companies and Business Names and follow all guidelines for hiring noncitizens.

Then, your employees will be responsible for providing documents such as a valid passport, approval letters from appropriate government agencies, and a certificate of qualifications.

You or the employee will pay a security deposit and receive the LPA within two weeks. Once complete, your international worker can apply for an employment pass.

They must receive a medical examination, outlined by the Ministry of Health, and file the appropriate documentation for the work application.

Employment pass processing takes about five days. Once the applicant receives their pass, it remains valid for two years, and they can renew as needed.

If workers plan on working for longer than three months, they’ll need to register with the national identity card system.

Cost Of Brunei Work Permit

The Brunei Work Visa application fee information will be available to the applicant by the High Commission of Brunei Darussalam, their country. Brunei Embassies around the world provide the visa fee details in the domestic currency of that respective country.

As a result, certain price variations may occur due to fluctuating currencies.

Can Your Family Visit You On A Work Visa In Brunei?

You can not take your family with you on a work visa. However, your family can apply for a Dependent visa in Brunei, which allows spouses or family to visit or live with you in Brunei.

The following documents are required for a dependent visa (visa issued to spouse and children under eighteen (18) years of age whose husband is working in Brunei Darussalam) application process:

  • Follow requirements No. 1 – 4 for Social Visit Visa;
  • Copy of Dependent Pass from the Immigration Office in Brunei Darussalam;
  • CHF 15 (single entry).

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Working In Brunei

Although the salaries are not particularly high, it is possible to save money in Brunei while maintaining a high standard of living due to a relatively low cost of living. Fuel is particularly inexpensive due to government subsidies – petrol is cheaper than water!

Brunei is politically stable and is very safe; violence is virtually unheard of. Hence, it is considered a perfect environment for a family.

Since the population density is very low, there is little traffic congestion and almost no environmental pollution. However, the choice of schools is limited.

One major disadvantage of working in Brunei is the need for career progression in seniority and knowledge. Sometimes, local doctors are shown favoritism, and one may find a junior local becoming a departmental head.

Moreover, there needs to be more control over one’s assigned duties; it is quite possible that a doctor will be posted in a different region without prior consultation. However, this is more likely in primary care and tends not to be the norm.

Most doctors enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, but the flip side is that doctors may become deskilled after many years of working in Brunei. In Brunei, patients are generally pleasant, and employers at least treat doctors with respect.

Bruneian Malays have a social hierarchy based on kinship with the Royal Family, which foreigners often find challenging to understand.

VIP patients tend to be the minority since the well-to-do will often seek medical care in either Brunei’s only private hospital or Singapore.

Brunei is also notorious for its bureaucracy. For this reason, housing allocation is usually delayed for an average of three to six months and, in some cases, a year or longer. Initially, temporary accommodation is provided in hotels with basic facilities.

Finally, it must be kept in mind that while it is perfectly possible to live and work in Brunei for many years (indeed, there are many doctors who have been in Brunei for twenty-odd years), there is virtually no possibility of acquiring citizenship there.

How To Find A Job In Brunei?

Brunei is an appealing prospect for many expats: located in SE Asia, this tiny nation is one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a high standard of living and some commensurately high salaries, too.

You will find a range of jobs available, from education to banking, tourism, and the oil and gas sector.

Skilled professionals are in demand: finding casual work could be a problem. However, there are lower-paid openings in the hospitality industry, but we will look at some of your best options below.

You will need an Employment Permit if you want to work in Brunei, but it is possible to enter the country on another type of visa and then seek employment.

Some countries – Australia, the UK, and the USA – have reciprocal visa arrangements with Brunei, and you can enter the country without a visa for allocated periods of time (90 days in the case of the UK/USA).

Overseas employment is controlled via a quota system based on skills shortages. Your employment permit will, therefore, be for a specific amount of time and must be renewed after this point (it is illegal to work without one).

Any company which hires foreign nationals must pay a security deposit to the government.

You will also need to have a series of medical tests proving that you are fit to work (diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C will rule this out, for example, and so will pregnancy).

Expats in Brunei report that local bureaucracy can run slowly, and it can take up to a year to obtain your employment permit. Some expat workers wait until the permit is sorted out before relocating to the country.

Brunei operates on a quota system designed to fill any skills gaps.

Skilled professionals for upper management in the finance industry are in demand, along with qualified teachers for private schools, although some expats have noted that local employers tend to prefer to employ Bruneians.

The oil and gas sector, consisting of several international companies, hires the highest percentage of expat workers. Brunei Shell Petroleum, for instance, operates in conjunction with Royal Dutch Shell.

The construction industry also takes on a large number of overseas personnel.

The national airline (Royal Brunei Airlines) and national telecom (Telekom Brunei) also offer jobs to overseas nationals.

 A number of pilots in the RBA are foreign nationals. There are a large number of workers in the hospitality industry, for instance, in hotels and restaurants, but this sort of work tends to be lower paid and is usually not staffed by Westerners.

Is Language A Problem If You Want To Find Work In Brunei?

You do not need to be fluent in Malay to do business or work in Brunei, as English is widely spoken.

Most Bruneians speak English fluently, as the language is taught from primary school and is one of the main languages of instruction at secondary and university schools.

Conclusion

So there you have it: your GPS-guided walkthrough of securing a Job Seeker Visa for Brunei. With the right documents and some patience, you’ll be sipping ‘Teh Tarik’ at a local ‘kopitiam’ (coffee shop) in no time.

Happy job finding!

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