Timor-Leste Residence Permit 
Home » Guide on how to apply for a Timor-Leste Residence Permit 

Guide on how to apply for a Timor-Leste Residence Permit 

If you are relocating to Timor-Leste for an extended period and wish to live in the country permanently, you will need to apply for a Timor-Leste Residence Permit. This document will allow you to Live legally in the country, and it is essential to do everything possible to get it.

The beautiful thing is that with this permit, You can access many of the country’s tourist destinations and enjoy its unique culture. Also, you can work in the country legally and keep your earnings.

Generally, applying for a residence permit can be a little daunting at first, but with the correct information, it can be easier than you think. This guide will help you apply for a permit and provide important information about the process.

About Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste is a small country in Southeast Asia. However, the country was invaded by Indonesia in 1975 and became an Indonesian province. In 2002, Timor-Leste declared independence from Indonesia and had been an independent nation. Meanwhile, the country is still recovering from the years of Indonesian occupation and the struggle for independence. However, the people of Timor-Leste are building a future free from violence and poverty.

What is a Timor-Leste Residence Permit?

Timor-Leste Residence Permit is an identification document that allows foreigners residing in the country to work and live without needing a visa. Meanwhile, the permit is issued by the Immigration Department and can be obtained after paying a fee. Also, undergoing a background check. Applicants must also provide documentation that proves they have ties to Timor-Leste. Such as a valid passport or residency card from their home country.

Who can apply for a Timor-Leste Residence Permit?

Anyone who needs a residence permit in Timor-Leste can apply. Though you do not need a visa to visit Timor-Leste, you will need a residence permit if you plan to stay more than 180 days.

You must also have a valid passport and visa for your home country.

However, you must go to the Immigration Department in Dili to apply for a residence permit.

Also, you can apply online using the government’s website.

Types of a Timor-Leste Residence Permit?

There are two types of Timor-Leste Residence Permit which include:

Temporary Resident Permit and Permanent Residence Permit

#1. Timor-Leste Temporary Residence Permit

A Temporary Resident Card may be valid for two consecutive years and extended for one additional year if necessary. However, it can be issued to foreigners for the following purposes:

  • To engage in professional activities.
  • To the foreign citizen living in Timor-Leste for less than two additional years and hitched for at least another five years,
  • A Timorese citizen may request to enter the RDTL.
  • To reunite families, the reason for family reunification is taken into account.
  • Victims of human trafficking or victims of the efforts of people smuggling networks.
  • For other reasons than these.

Conditions for granting of Timor-Leste Temporary Residence Permit

These conditions include that the applicant(s) should:

  • Demonstrate their valid intention to carry out residence within the national territory.
  • Give travel documentation proving residence. Also, means of subsistence will satisfy your visa requirements for the permissible length of your trip.
  • Have a visa, so he remains legally in the country.

How much is Timor-Leste Temporary Residence Permit?

Timor-Leste Temporary Residence Permit is a document that allows foreigners who are not citizens of Timor-Leste to stay in the country for a period of up to 3 months. However, the permit is from the Immigration Department. Also, you can obtain it from any police station.

The permit generally costs 1,500 DONG, and you can extend it for an additional three months for a fee of 1,500 DONG per month.

#2. Timor-Leste Permanent Residence Permit

According to Article 63 of Migration and Asylum Law, this residence permit doesn’t have an expiration date. However, any changes going to the registry will automatically invalidate it.

Requirements necessary for granting the permanent residence permits

Qualifications needed to qualify for the grant of a permanent dwelling include:

  • In any case, without regard to the Nationality Act, a permanent residence permit may be necessary for foreigners. Especially who have lived continuously in the country for at least ten years consecutively.
  • Foreign nationals who marry a Timorese citizen for more than five years or are temporary residence permit holders for six years.
  • While residing at that residence in the preceding paragraph, neither the person in residence nor the household members have been convicted of intentionally committing a crime that carries a penalty of one year or longer in an effective prison.
  • The purpose of obtaining permanent residence does not conflict with the documents—also, statements made in the application.
  • Following its stay in East Timor, East Timor positively influenced the economy and the country’s welfare.

Some Documents necessary for the application for a Timor-Leste Residence Permit

An applicant for a Timor-Leste residence permit must provide documents to prove their identity and residency. Also, legal status in Timor-Leste. The following documents are necessary:

  1. Proof of identity (passport or national ID card)
  2. Proof of residency (residential registration card, lease, utility bill)
  3. Proof of legal status (marriage certificate, divorce decree, birth certificate)
  4. A visa for the country of residence
  5. A return air ticket
  6. Two recent photographs, one in which the applicant is wearing a complete dress and the other in which he or she is wearing normal clothing
  7. A written statement from the applicant’s employer guarantees that they will remain under his employment.

How to apply for a Timor-Leste Residence Permit

If you are planning to visit Timor-Leste, you need a residence permit. First, however, Here is how to apply:

  1. Find out if you need a visa. If you don’t, you can apply for a residence permit at the port of entry.
  2. Fill out the application form and submit it with the required documents.
  3. Pay the necessary fees.
  4. Wait for a decision from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Benefits of Living in Timor-Leste

The benefits of living in Timor-Leste include:

  1. Cheap housing – homes in Timor-Leste are often much cheaper than in other countries due to the low cost of construction and the lack of luxury items.
  2. Insecurity – while there is still some crime and violence in Timor-Leste, it is generally much lower than in many other countries.
  3. Friendliness – the people of Timor-Leste are generally amiable and welcoming, making it an easy place to live and work.
  4. Access to education and health care – both education and health care are cheap to access in Timor-Leste, making it a great place to start a business or raise a family.

Also ReadTimor-Leste Visa on Arrival – Application and Duration

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cost of a Residence Permit in Timor-Leste?

The cost of a Residence Permit in Timor-Leste can vary depending on the necessary type of permit. A standard permit application costs around $50, while an expedited application costs $80. In addition, there is a $5 processing fee for each permit application. Generally, the total cost of a residence permit for a single person is usually around $140.

What is the Validity of a Timor-Leste Residence Permit?

As a visitor to Timor-Leste, you have the right to a temporary residence permit for your stay. Meanwhile, this permit is generally valid for ninety days from the date of issuance. However, depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit, obtaining a longer or shorter permit may be necessary.

Does it take time to process a Residence Permit in Timor-Leste?

Timor-Leste is still processing residence permits for foreigners. However, Some ex-pats have been waiting more than two years to get their permits. Nevertheless, the process is slow and frustrating, but it’s worth it in the end. First, foreigners must apply for a residency permit through the Ministry of Home Affairs. Then, once they have their permit, they need to go to the Immigration Office to process their residency card. The card will generally allow them to live and work in Timor-Leste.

Is it expensive to live in Timor-Leste?

Timor-Leste is one of the poorest countries in the world, and living there costs a lot of money. The average Timorese person earns just $1.90 a day, and the cost of living is high. To put it into perspective, the average American earns about $50 daily. However, that means it would take an American over 54 years to earn what a Timorese person makes in one year.

How strong is Timor-Leste Visa?

Timor-Leste Visa is not as strong as other visa options. However, Timor-Leste Visa holders can still visit many countries without a problem. Timor-Leste Visa holders must also meet specific requirements, such as having a valid passport. Also, proving they will not become a burden to the country they visit.


In conclusion, if you are planning on traveling to Timor-Leste, follow the necessary steps to apply for a residence permit. Remember that there are many requirements and that you must speak with an immigration lawyer if you have any questions or doubts about your application. Finally, remember that it can take up to six months to make a decision, so be patient and keep your fingers crossed!

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