Moving to Tanzania?

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Moving to Tanzania

Tanzania is a fascinating country with a lot to offer for expats who take up a foreign assignment there. Our guide on moving to Tanzania has information on different types of visas, work and residence permits, and the various forms of public and private transportation available.
Tanzania is the most populous country in the East African Community.
  • There are five different types of visas for Tanzania, and knowing which one you require is key as they all vary in terms of requirements, price, and take different amounts of time to process.

  • To get a work permit for Tanzania, you firstly need to know what class of permit you require. It is advised to check with your local embassy before applying.

  • The public transportation system in Tanzania is, for the most part, quite unreliable. On top of this, road safety in Tanzania is questionable at best so take care when commuting.

Country Overview: What You Need To Know

Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is the largest and most populous country in the East African Community (EAC), which also includes Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi. A couple years after gaining independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined to create the new country of Tanzania on April 26, 1964. This day, known as Union Day, is celebrated each year as a national holiday.

After several decades of one-party rule, Tanzania has held democratic elections since 1995. The country is divided into 30 administrative divisions, with 25 on the mainland and the remaining five on the islands. Zanzibar retains its status as a semi-autonomous region and has its own parliament and president.

The capital of Tanzania has officially been Dodoma since 1973 and Tanzania’s National Assembly relocated there in 1996. Dar es Salaam remains the country’s commercial and administrative capital, however, and the executive branch of the government and all diplomatic representations are still located in this city.

Obtaining a Tanzanian Visa: Organization Is Key

Fairly early in your preparations for moving to Tanzania, you should look into whether or not you require a visa to enter the country. You can find a list of which nationalities require a visa on the website of Tanzania’s Australian Consulate. Tanzania offers a total of five visa categories:

  • Ordinary visas: for three-month stays (six months for members of EAC countries)
  • Transit visas: for a stay of up to 14 days
  • Multiple-entry visas: generally for a three-, six-, or twelve-month period. Each stay cannot exceed three months.
  • Gratis visas: for diplomatic staff
  • Referral visas: for citizens of certain countries who require special permission from the Principal Commissioner of Immigration Services before moving to Tanzania

To receive a Tanzanian visa, your passport must be valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry. For citizens of many countries (excluding those who require a referral visa) it is usually possible to obtain a visa at your point of entry (e.g. the airport) when moving to Tanzania. Despite this, it is strongly recommended that you apply for your visa at your nearest Tanzanian embassy or consulate well ahead of time, to avoid any unwanted delays upon arrival.

When you apply for a visa, you will need to submit a completed application form, five passport-size photographs, and a copy of your passport. For multiple-entry visas, you will also need to provide a security bond, documents from the company or business to be visited, and any other evidence proving that you must travel to Tanzania frequently.

At the point of entry, you will need to present a valid visa (or apply for it there), a valid passport, proof of sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of your stay in the country, and an onward ticket. If you are traveling from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you may also be asked to present proof of a yellow fever vaccination. This applies to anyone who has spent more than 12 hours in a yellow fever endemic country prior to their arrival.

For more information on the visa you will require when moving to Tanzania, please visit the website of the Tanzanian Immigration Services Department.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Gilberto Vieira

"Finding contacts among the expats in Tanzania's tourism industry wasn't half as difficult as I had feared. "

Chen Ming

"Karibu Sana, fellow expats in Dar es Salaam or 'Dar', for short! You'll probably need some tips on the 'do's & 'don't's in Tanzania."

Global Expat Guide