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Moving to Tunisia

A comprehensive guide to moving to Tunisia

With its scorching hot summers, cozy mild winters, welcoming locals and lively culture, it is no wonder that Tunisia is such a popular destination for expats and tourists alike. If you are planning to move to this country, read up on some useful hints in this article!

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Relocating to Tunisia

The Land and its People

Though a small nation, Tunisia houses a population of close to 11 million — about 98% of whom are Arab. Arabic is the first language in the country, though thanks to the burgeoning expat community, English speakers are easily found in the bigger cities. French is also commonly spoken.

Due to its location at the tip of North Africa, Tunisia’s history is very much a story of north meeting south and this is reflected in the culture, music, and food. French, Italian and British attempts to colonize the nation have left behind an eclectic and diverse cultural stew, with cultural cues from those imperialist countries mixed with traditional Arabic iconography and ideas. 

Visas for Tunisia

For short stays of three months or less, you should not require a visa. However, you may be subject to a security check regardless of what passport you hold. Any foreigner moving to Tunisia permanently or for over three months will require a residence permit. 

Anybody staying for four uninterrupted months or more in Tunisia must hold the Carte de Sejour, the authorized document that works as all forms of identification in the country. The application process should not be too difficult if you are working full-time there, though some expats prefer to avoid it by taking a trip abroad every couple of months or so and staying in Tunisia as a visitor. 

Getting to Tunisia

The main airline handling international flights in and out of Tunisia is Tunis Air, which flies from many European cities. British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and numerous other airlines also make the journey.

The central hub for all travel in and out of the country is, unsurprisingly, Tunis Carthage Airport, which is around four miles outside of the capital city. Alternatively, you can fly into Djerba Zarzis Airport, which is located on the island of Djerba; Enfidha Hammamet Airport, which serves Hammamet, one of the country’s most popular resorts; or Monastir-Habib Bourguiba, in Monastir. Enfidha Hammamet is particularly good for low cost airlines, as it caters to European holidaymakers looking for a cheap getaway in the summer time.

If you are already in central Europe and prefer to travel by sea when you move to Tunisia, there are numerous boating options for entering the country. Marseilles, Genoa, Livorno, Naples, and Palermo are just a few of the many major ports that send regular ferries to one of the seven Tunisian port towns: Bizerte, Sousse, Gabes, Zarzis, Sfax, Rades, and Tunis La Goulette.

Updated on: May 12, 2015
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