Obtaining visas for Tanzania

There are a number of different types of visa available for foreign nationals intending on visiting Tanzania. The type of visa one should apply for will depend on nationality, length of the visit as well as the purpose of one’s visit to Tanzania.
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While it is possible for nationals of certain listed countries to obtain a three- or six-month visa at the port of entry in Tanzania, it is best to obtain a visa ahead of time at a Tanzanian embassy or consulate abroad as queues at the airport are often long.

Those wishing to take up employment in Tanzania will need to obtain a work permit through the Tanzanian embassy or consulate in their home country prior to relocation.

There are three main types of work permit for Tanzania, namely Class A, B and C. The Class A work permit is for people who are self-employed, entrepreneurs and investors. Class C is reserved for missionaries and students who may be entitled to take up part-time work.

Most expats, however, will need to apply for a Class B work permit. This visa entitles the holder to be employed by a company in Tanzania. Class B visas are actually granted by the Labour Department as opposed to the Director of Immigration Services, who handles the vast majority of visa applications.

In addition, once a foreigner has received their work permit they will need to apply for a residence permit through the Department of Immigration. The process can be quite complex and time-consuming so it is best to start as soon as possible and enlist the services of an immigration consultant where possible.

Any foreigner wishing to reside in Tanzania for a period longer than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit. In most cases, these residence permits are tied to the type of work permit a foreigner has obtained.

Class A residence permits are granted to those that are self-employed and Class B is reserved for expats that are employed by a company in Tanzania. Class C covers a broad range of categories including students who may be permitted to take up part-time employment, researchers, retired people, missionaries and volunteers.

The required documents and processing times vary according to the type of residence permit a foreigner is applying for.

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