More and more expats are choosing to live and work in the little Middle Eastern country of Jordan. There are a few hoops to jump through first though, and expats intending to take up employment in Jordan will need to obtain a work permit in addition to the relevant visa.

Applying for a work permit in Jordan

Expats must have secured a job before applying for a work permit as the application requires the participation of the employer.

The first step is that the employer must obtain approval from the Ministry of Labour by proving one of two things: either that workers with the required experience and qualifications for the role cannot be found in Jordan; or that the number of such workers available does not fulfil the employer’s needs. This is often a difficult step; the high percentage of unemployment in Jordan means there is stiff competition for jobs and they are often snapped up right away.

Employers are required to pay a fee for each foreigner employed. This fee is lower for Arabs. The laws relating to work permits also state that preference must be given to Arab experts, technicians and workers.

Once a work permit has been granted, it is valid for one year, at which point it can be renewed.

Closed professions in Jordan

Expats should also be aware that there is a list of closed professions in the country. By law, only Jordanians may work in these occupations, which include jobs in medicine, engineering, administration, sales and others. We'd advise that prospective expats consult this list before commencing a job hunt.

* Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.