INVESTORS / ENTREPRENEURS PERMITS
Points are awarded to investors and entrepreneurs that contribute to Botswana’s economic and social objectives which aims at promoting economic diversification and export-led growth, increasing investment, creating employment and attracting capital inflows (FDI). An investor or entrepreneur who offers one of more of these should be rewarded with points towards immigration approval.
Applications are evaluated against the following criteria:
- Job creation for Botswana citizens
- The company’s training plans for Botswana citizens
- The company’s plans to localize non-citizen positions
- Botswana citizen participation in company management
- Amount of equity held by Botswana citizens in the company
- The location of the proposed investment
- The project’s effect on stimulation of other economic activities
- The project’s effect on reducing local consumer prices
Relevant attributes include:
- Financial investment in a new or existing business (to help increase the rate of investment)
- Employment creation (to help address unemployment and build skills)
- Establishment of a business in a new or important activity (to help diversify the economy)
- Establishment of a business that has a significant export component (to help promote export-led growth)
With regard to financial investment, it is also important to recognize that it is not necessary for finance to flow into the country from outside. Botswana has high levels of excess liquidity in the financial system, and a wide range of financial institutions (such as banks, pension funds, venture capital companies) seeking investment opportunities. Excess liquidity has to be absorbed, at great expense, by the Bank of Botswana. Hence it is attractive and beneficial for the country if a foreign investor or entrepreneur undertakes an investment using locally-sourced finance. The key point is that the investment takes place, not the source of finance. The desirable attributes can be divided into those that are characteristics of the business and those that are characteristics of the individual investor/entrepreneur.
- Business Activity: investment in a business activity that is not a reserved activity for citizens; additional points are achieved for investment in designated “high priority” business activities (e.g., those associated with the six Hubs, or considered particularly important in terms of diversification potential, such as commercial agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, finance and business services, transport & logistics services, computer and related services, environmental services, management consultancy etc.)
- Export focus: a business planning to export 50% or more of its output (as measured by sales to non-residents or revenues in currencies other than pula) will gain points.
- Financial Investment: the level of investment in the business matters. This is structured to give preference to capital brought in from outside of Botswana, and to equity rather than loan capital. There could also be an absolute minimum of equity investment in the business from the entrepreneur (e.g. US$50,000). However, this should not be excessively high, so as not to deter investment in services.
- Employment of Batswana: the proportion of Batswana in the firm’s labor force will give more points.
Categories and criteria for assessment – The pass mark for renewals is 60%
- Investors Tier 1 – Sponsored Investors – Investors whose projects are sponsored by a recognized government institution
- Investors Tier 2 – Production Sector – Applicable to the following sectors: Agriculture, Mining, Manufacturing, Water & Electricity and Construction.
- Investors Tier 3 – Services Sector – Applicable to the following sectors: Tourism, Trade, Transport, Communications, Finance and Business Services, Social and Personal Services, and Information Technology.
Standard criteria for assessment of work & residence permit renewal applications – The pass mark for renewals is 50% and will be considered following submission of:
- Tax clearance
- Valid license
- Labor clearance letter
- Up-to-date annual returns for non-exempted companies
- Localization progress update