IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Tanzanian government has directed foreign nationals to report to their local immigration office to have their residence permits reviewed.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals should bring their residence permits to the nearest immigration office for review as soon as possible and no later than Nov. 4. Employers should also take note of the requirement and ensure that their foreign employees report in compliance with the Ministry of Home Affairs direction.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate. Foreign nationals should submit work and residence permits for review no later than Nov. 4.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence permits.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals holding residence permits in Tanzania, including foreign business owners, workers, students and their family members.
  • Business impact: Businesses and foreign nationals who fail to comply with the reporting requirement risk financial penalties and jail time.

Background: Samwel Magweiga, the immigration commissioner responsible for border control at the Ministry of Home Affairs, announced Oct. 5 that foreign nationals would be required to have their residence permits reviewed within a 30-day period. It marked the second time this year that Tanzania has moved to verify the immigration status of foreign nationals in the country. The government took a similar step in March when the Tanzanian Ministry of Labor ordered all foreign nationals to present their work permits for review. All foreign nationals working in Tanzania for more than 180 days per year require both a work permit and a residence permit, and press accounts indicate the government remains concerned that employers continue to hire non-Tanzanians without complete, proper documentation and that foreign nationals are not reporting changes of address to local immigration offices when they move to a different region. Magweiga was quoted saying that foreign nationals who fail to report as directed and who do not have their current residence permit reviewed will face penalties, including fines and possible jail time.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals should observe the Nov. 4 deadline for submitting their residence permits for review. Companies should be aware of the government’s continued focus on immigration enforcement and be prepared for possible inspections. Employers may wish to review their policies and procedures to confirm that they are in full compliance with Tanzanian immigration and work permit regulations.