What are the main work and business permit categories used by companies to transfer skilled staff?
These are work and residence permits.
For short-term employment of between three and six months, a six-month short-term work permit is issued.
For long assignments of between six months and two years, the following permits are available:
- work permit Class B for non-citizens in possession of prescribed professional qualifications, such as medical and healthcare professionals, teachers in science and mathematics subjects and university professors;
- work permit Class C for any other profession;
- work permit Class D for non-citizens engaged in registered religious and charitable activities; and
- residence permit Class B.
What are the procedures for obtaining these permissions? At what stage can work begin?
An applicant must first apply for a work permit from the Commissioner, whose role is to evaluate the application to ensure that a non-citizen who will be employed in Tanzania holds qualifications, knowledge and skills required for the performance of the job for which the permit is being applied and, further, that such skills are rare or unavailable in the local labour market. The applicant will be issued with a work permit.
Upon procuring the work permit, application must be made to the Immigration Department for a residence permit. The Immigration Department will again review the application and, in the absence of any objection (mostly security-based), will issue a residence permit.
A person should apply for both work and residence permits while outside Tanzania and cannot start working in the country unless both permits have been obtained. Applications for residence permits are made through an online platform, with no need to physically visit immigration offices. Work permits applications are still done manually, although the form is filled online.Period of stay
What are the general maximum (and minimum) periods of stay granted under the main categories for company transfers?
A work permit (Class B or C) and a residence permit (Class B) are valid for 24 months, and can be renewed for up to a maximum total of 60 months. They can be extended if the investment is of ‘great value’ to the nation. However, the new Non-Citizens Regulations, which came into force in February 2017, provide an exemption that allows a work permit granted to an employer hiring a non-citizen who has been legally married to a Tanzanian for at least three years, to be extended to a period of more than 60 months.Processing time
How long does it typically take to process the main categories?
It takes up to two months after the application is lodged through the Labour Commission and the Immigration Department to obtain the permits.Staff benefits
Is it necessary to obtain any benefits or facilities for staff to secure a work permit?
Do the immigration authorities follow objective criteria, or do they exercise discretion according to subjective criteria?
The immigration authorities follow objective criteria when issuing permits, such as that the applicant holds qualifications, knowledge and skills required for the performance of the job, and that such skills are rare or unavailable in the local labour market.High net worth individuals and investors
Is there a special route for high net worth individuals or investors?
Yes. Foreigners who come to Tanzania as investors are eligible for work and residence permits Class A, which are valid for two years and can be renewed for another term of 10 years or more depending on whether the investment is of great value to the nation.
Further, TIC investors are entitled to an initial automatic immigrant quota of up to five persons on Class B or C work and residence permits during the start-up period of the investment in Tanzania.
Is there a special route (including fast track) for high net worth individuals for a residence permission route into your jurisdiction?
Foreigners who come to Tanzania as investors are eligible for work and residence permits Class A, which are valid for two years and can be renewed for another term of 10 years or more depending on whether the investment is of great value to the nation.
Further, TIC investors are entitled to an initial automatic immigrant quota of up to five persons on Class B or C work and residence permits during the start-up period of the investment in Tanzania.Highly skilled individuals
Is there a special route for highly skilled individuals?
A work permit Class B is available for non-citizens in possession of prescribed professional qualifications such as medical and healthcare professionals, teachers in science and mathematics subjects, and university professors.Ancestry and descent
Is there a special route for foreign nationals based on ancestry or descent?
Any person born outside Tanzania on or after Union Day (26 April 1964) is deemed to be a citizen of Tanzania by descent if one of his or her parents is a citizen of Tanzania by birth or naturalisation.Minimum salary
Is there a minimum salary requirement for the main categories for company transfers?
There is no minimum salary requirement in Tanzania. However, the salary should not be below the minimum monthly salary as announced by the government at that particular time for a particular sector.Resident labour market test
Is there a quota system or resident labour market test?
No. An employer must show the effort made to find a local employee in Tanzania to fill the vacant position before the foreigner is employed. The employer must submit a copy of the advertisement that was published for that particular position. However, the Act introduces bulk recruitment where an employer may employ many non-citizens in phases for execution of a specific project within a specified time. The Act further set a quota in cases of bulk recruitment (ie, work permits may be granted at a ratio of 10 local employees to one non-citizen employee). The Commissioner is now using the same quota in relation to all applications brought before him or her, whether for bulk recruitment or normal recruitment.Shortage occupations
Is there a special route for shortage occupations?
No.Other eligibility requirements
Are there any other main eligibility requirements to qualify for work permission in your jurisdiction?
The main requirement to qualify for work permission in Tanzania is that the applicant must be at least 18 years old and holds qualifications, knowledge and skills required for the performance of the job, and that such skills are rare or unavailable in the local labour market.Third-party contractors
What is the process for third-party contractors to obtain work permission?
The process for a third-party contractor is the same as for any other work and residence permit application. The third-party contractor can apply for the work permit (Class B or C) and residence permit (Class B) just like any other employee, provided that a contract between the subcontractor and an entity he or she works for in Tanzania is produced, and that the applicant will be sponsored by his or her client, which is a company incorporated or registered in Tanzania.Recognition of foreign qualifications
Is an equivalency assessment or recognition of skills and qualifications required to obtain immigration permission?
Yes, the assessment and recognition of the skills and qualifications is of paramount importance before a permit is issued. This is done when the application is lodged at the Labour Commission.