São Tomé and Príncipe: relocation guide

Parent Category: ROOT Published: Tuesday, 20 September 2022 Print
Flag of São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe - relocation guide 

Located in the Gulf of Guinea, on the western coast of Central Africa, the country is comprised of two islands. Just occupying 1000 sq. km of land and with a population of approximately 200,000, Sao Tome and Principe (STP) is an independent, democratic republic.

The country is a popular ex-pat destination among those who seek unique and solitary experiences close to nature and breathtaking beaches. The population of the country consists of mixed origins and many languages are spoken and understood across the islands: Portuguese, Forro, Algolar, Principense, etc. The capital and largest city of the country is Santo Antonio.

 

Economic overview

STP's principal produce and industry used to be cocoa, and cocoa-related products, and it was one of the major exporters of cocoa products in the world. Another product for which the country was known was sugar and its derivatives. However, since its independence from Portugal in 1975, the country has experienced many economic setbacks and infrastructural devastations.

The country is in rehabilitation mode at the moment and presents enormous opportunities for nature travel and tourism. Especially, the smaller island of Principe, with only 7000 people offers a true "Lost World" experience!

Life & Work

The living conditions of STP are becoming better as the country pushes its way into diversifying its economy. Basic utilities such as electricity are accessible mostly in Urban areas, whereas in rural areas only 22 percent of the household have access to electricity.

 

aerial view of brown ship on body of water

 

Visa & work permits

Luckily, the STP government has lifted the visa requirements for US, EU, and Canadian citizens. Also, a person having a valid US or Schengen visa can enter the country and travel within 15 days. An E-visa can also be applied through the official immigration website of STP.

Similarly, more than 45 countries in the world don't require a visa to stay and work in STP. Having said that, very few jobs are available as no sizeable FDI is present in the country. However, for investors, the country promises lots of opportunities.

 

Health & Education

Being a rainforest and a remote Island country, STP is often a victim of seasonal viruses and diseases. Malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and HIV are the most rampant among others. Since STP is a developing nation where a large population lives with a mere $3 per day income, many international humanitarian organizations work with the government to fight and curtail the diseases.

Currently, there are more than 50 health facilities operational in STP, most of them run by NGOs and foreign doctors.

 

Reasons to move to STP

The place is remote, in letter and spirit. It is a perfect escape for people who love being close to nature. Pristine beaches, lush green jungles, warm climate, and primitive living is a huge attractions for those who crave adventure and nature.

Other than this, if you are looking for urban amenities and facilities, city life, education, or healthcare, then STP is probably not the place for you for long stay. A short vacation might be sufficient to satisfy your taste buds.

 

Culture

Sao Tome and Principe have a mixed culture from two nations, Africa and Portuguese. The influence of both is very apparent in day-to-day life. While the people in Sao Tome enjoy Ussua and Socope (musical forms), the Principe’s folks enjoy Dexa beats.

The cultural cuisine is a fusion of tropical fruits like coconut, avocado, banana, pineapple, etc., and seafood. Food is usually accentuated with heavy spices and seasonings. The use of fish, prawns, and shrimps is rampant in the country.

A pile of passports with visa stamps.

Businessman standing in the airport, waiting for hif flight.

Backpacker looking at a sunrise from the mountain.

Sunny beach on a tropical island.