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Securing your Work Permit and Resident Permits for Tanzania

By David Leonce Ndika

Whether your company is sending employees to a specific country or expanding to destinations around the world – we are here to help. Our services cater to all aspects of Tanzanian immigration including:

  • Strategic Immigration Planning for Start-up Companies in Tanzania
  • Advising on Short-term Assignment Planning, Business Visit Visas, temporary work and residence permits, Entry Clearance/Visas and Passports
  • Assessing Corporate Immigration Processes and Risk, formulating Immigration Risk Reports and solutions for Tanzanian entities
  • Temporary Workers
  • Notary Services

For a non-citizen to live and work in the United Republic of Tanzania, one must have a valid work permit and residence permit. Work permit applications are regulated by:

  1. Non-Citizens (Employment Regulation) Act, 2015;
  2. Non-Citizens (Employment Regulation) Regulations, 2016 (GN.331 of 2016);
  3. Immigration Act, Cap 54 R.E 2016; and
  4. Immigration Regulations, 1997.

Step 1: Work Permit

The law outlines 5 classes of permits available under Section 13 of the 2015 Act:

  1. Class A- issued to a foreign investor or self-employed foreigner.
  2. Class B- issued to a non-citizen with a prescribed profession, that is, a Medical and health professional, expert in oil and gas, a teacher and a lecturer in science and mathematics.
  3. Class C- issued to non-citizens in possession of other professions.
  4. Class D- issued to non-citizens employed or engaged in registered religious or charitable activities
  5. Class E- issued to refugees.

The application process is as follows:

The applicant’s must ensure to have paid the requisite fees upon lodging the documents at the Ministry:

A foreign investor or self-employed foreigner USD 1,000
B a non-citizen with a prescribed profession USD 500
C non-citizens in possession of other professions USD 1,000
D non-citizens employed or engaged in registered religious or charitable activities USD 500
E Refugees  No fee

Points to note:

  • Proper justification must be given as to why a non-citizen has been preferred over a citizen. If not given, it may lead to rejection of the application.
  •  After filling the application online, the form must be submitted to the Labour Commissioner in Dodoma, either by authorized persons or through courier services.
  • A succession plan must be prepared by a prospective employer and it shall articulately set out succession of the non-citizen’s knowledge or expertise during the non-citizen’s employment tenure and provide any other information as may be directed by the Labour Commissioner. In addition, a prospective employer must establish an effective training programme to produce local employees to undertake duties of the non-citizen. (Section 7(1) and (2) of the Act)

Step 2: Residence Permit

The classification of resident permits is outlined under Section 32(1) of the Immigration Act as follows:

  • Class A permit issued to a person who intends to engage in trade, business, profession, agriculture, animal husbandry, prospecting of minerals or manufacture.
  • Class B permit issued to a person offered a specified employment in Tanzania and has satisfied the Commissioner General that he has the necessary qualifications for the employment.
  • Class C permit issued to a person not granted Class A or B permit such as a missionary, a researcher, and a student.

The application process is as follows:

  • Applications for any type of residence permit are made online through https://immigration.go.tz/index.php/en/services/residence-permits. The applicant is advised first to go through the Residence Permit Guidelines available in order to understand the types of Residence Permits, general and specific requirements for Residence Permits.
  • The applicant must then create an account, fill the application form, attach documents where necessary and make an application. Once an application has been approved and an applicant has been notified of the approval of the same, he/she is required to pay the prescribed fee within sixty (60) days or the application will cease to have effect as per Regulation 29 of the Immigration Regulations, 1997.
  • After payment of the requisite fees (see below table), the applicant will receive a Residence Permit Enrolment Notification, which requires the applicant to report to the nearest Immigration Office for fingerprint and photo capture (enrollment process). Once the enrolment process is done the applicant will wait for his/ her Residence Permit processing and issuance within a week.

A Large capital investors in Companies, Industries, Fishing, Minerals and Transportation USD 2,000
A Peasants USD 50
B Employees in industries, Private Companies, Public Corporation, Fishing, Mines, Transportation and Music bands. USD 1,500
C Missionaries, researchers and students USD 500

Points to consider:

  •  Class B & C applications must be made while the applicant is outside Tanzania. 
  • Applications Class A and C permits should be forwarded directly to the Director of Immigration Services while applications for Class B permits should be forwarded to the Director of Immigration Services through the Labour Commissioner.


  • International NGO: Representing and coordinating work permit applications for several professionals and senior management
  • Mining Companies: Representing and coordinating the immigration process for work permit applications for directors and senior management
  • Construction: Advising on their ability to have employees to a subsidiary of the company.

This iResolve™ Legal Guide has been prepared for information purposes only, and it does not constitute professional legal advice. Do not act upon the information contained in this guide without obtaining specific professional legal advice. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy of the information in this guide, and, to the extent permitted by law, iResolve, its members, employees and agents do not accept any liability or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this guide or for any decision based on it.

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