A Work Permit is given to non-citizens who have found a job, investment, or established a business in Tanzania. The permits are issued through the Government of Tanzania under the Ministry of Labor and Employment. The person with the authority to issue the Work Permit is called the Commissioner of Labor.

Who Qualifies for the Permit?

As mentioned above, the work permit is granted to all foreigners who are employed or working for themselves in Tanzania. So, anyone who has been able to secure employment and/or invest or set up an enterprise in Tanzania can be issued the “Permit” by the Ministry of Labor and Employment of Tanzania.

What are the different categories of Work Permits?

1. Work Permit Class A

In this category, the permit is issued to a foreigner engaged in commerce, business Profession, animal husbandry, agriculture, prospecting for Minerals, or manufacturing. The permit is generally granted to a self-employed foreigner or an investor.

2. Work Permit Class B

In this class, this permit will be granted to non-citizens in a prescribed profession, like Medical and Health Care specialists and experts in oil and Gas Teachers, and Universities Professors of Science or Mathematics.

3. Work Permit Class C

Under this class, this Work permit will be issued to the non-citizen with all other occupations.

4. Work Permit Class D

Under this class, Work permits are granted to those employed by non-citizens or involved in approved charitable or religious actions.

5. Work Permit Class E

In this class, a permit to work is given to refugees.

Who Can Apply for the Permit?

Although any non-citizen who has been employed or working for themselves within Tanzania is eligible for a work permit, the individual cannot be eligible to apply for the visa. This means that only Domestic incorporated companies and foreign businesses with a certificate of compliance and a permanent place to conduct business in Tanzania or Zanzibar allow applicants to apply for the permits.

Therefore, the company can request the permit on behalf of employees and directors, after which the permit will remain the property of the business.

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What is the best way to apply for a permit?

The Permit is requested and submitted to the Commissioner for Labor of Tanzania via their online system for submitting permit applications (e-permit). The application for this permit may be filed once the employment contract is signed or if the applicant is self-employed after the company has been established and has secured the Business License from the responsible authorities.

Is the Work Permit Permanent?

The Work Permit is valid for two years if the permit is granted. Still, it will be renewed after each time, up to a maximum of eight years for those employed and, in practice, indefinitely when self-employed (Directors and shareholders from the business) for as long as the company continues to be operating in Tanzania.

At present, the person who has been granted a work permit in Tanzania must apply for a Residence Permit at the office of the Commissioner-General for Immigration.

However, there are plans for modifications to combine the two applications to ensure that, once an applicant has applied for a Work Permit, the identical application will be reviewed and scrutinized at Immigration Department for Residence Permit. Immigration Department for Residence Permit and issued an E-Permit Smart Card with the same information for the Work Permit and Residence Permit. The Immigration Department will issue the card after the applicant’s enrollment.

Shikana Group is a leading legal advisory services provider in Tanzania. We offer a full range of services related to immigration and labor law, including liaising with relevant government authorities for work permits, investor permits and related matters.

For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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