Work in Tanzania – The Tanzania Work Permit Guide

To obtain a work permit in Tanzania, one must understand the various steps to be undertaken. Without this knowledge, Tanzania immigration can be daunting. Therefore, IBN Immigration Solutions is here to give you a basic guide on work permits.

As an employer, whether abroad or in Tanzania, these four simple steps are the lifeline of the immigration process most applicable to your expat.

Step 1: Foreign Awards Assessment System (FAAS) process

The FAAS process is like that of the SAQA process in South Africa. This is a recently introduced process whereby the foreign assignee’s university qualifications are evaluated by Tanzania Commission for Universities to examine and determine the equivalence to that of Tanzanian Universities.

This process doesn’t not typically influence the granting of the work permit; however it is a mandatory step in order to obtain the work permit.

Step 2: Work permit

Permits in Tanzania are determined by class and each class has specific requirements allowing the applicant to qualify to obtain such permit.

For the purpose of work, there are two options, namely, Class B and Class C permits.

Class B Is issued to non-citizen employees who are prescribed professionals including medical and health professionals, experts in oil and gas and certain professionals in the finance sector, i.e. Chartered Accountants.

Most commonly, a Class C work permit is obtained as it issued to expat employees who are professionals apart from those in Class B. Employers need to be mindful when assigning a designation under this category as there may already be sufficient locals who are able to fulfill the role in Tanzania.

A local employment contract or assignment contract is often a requirement, however, this depends on the nature of work being conducted in Tanzania and if there are any special agreements with government.

In some cases, companies with large projects or those who are assigned to conduct work gainful to the Tanzania government, may find that there is an alternative to the above permits. This alternative is known as an Exemption Certificate.

The Exemption certificate is a form of work permit which has waived requirements dependent on the agreement between an entity in Tanzania and the government.

Qualifying criteria and requirements, again, is often agreement specific, however there are typical factors which remain the same, i.e. quicker processing times, no payment of government fees etc.

Both work and exemption permits are issued for a period of two years, in practice, however, the Tanzania Immigration Act stipulates that a work permit could be issued for up to three years initially and renewed for a further two years.

Once your work permit has been issued, a residence must be obtained as Tanzania differentiates between an activity being carried out in the country and the right to reside or travel.

Step 3: Residence Permit

As with work permits, the residence permits are also categorised by class. The most common are again the Class B and C.

The Residence Permit allows the expat to enter Tanzania and legally reside in country whilst commencing work activity on their respective work permit.

The Residence Permit clearly stipulates place of residence and place of work and therefore, should either of the above change, an application for variation of status must be applied for.

It must also be noted that the permit is issued to a specific employer, therefore the expat may only conduct work for said employer.

Residence Permits are issued for a period of two years and are renewable for like period give that the work permit is valid.

Step 4: Non-citizen I.D.

Finally, obtaining a Non-Citizen I.D. is the final step to legal immigration status for the purpose of work in Tanzania. Much like its neighbouring country, Kenya, Tanzania also makes use of an I.D. card which is used to identify foreigners.

The National Identification Authority (NIDA) is responsible for the registration and issuance of Non-Citizen I.D. cards. Legal residents are eligible for a NIDA card if they are in possession of valid resident permit and valid passport that are not less than six months.

Of course, if you require a more in depth consultation, have a few questions or simply want to enquire about beginning your work permit process for Tanzania, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Written by:  Melissa Moses


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