Obtaining Visas and Short-Term Passes in Tanzania


A visa is an official document issued by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania through the immigration department that allows an individual applicant to enter, stay, or transit within Tanzania for a specified short period and purpose. VISA application is done online through the Immigration websites, regardless, the immigration reserves the right to require physical attendance of the applicant. There are categories of VISA’s issued to foreigners in Tanzania based on the purpose for entrance in the country.   


This VISA is issued to a person who intends to visit Tanzania for tourism, holidays, family, conferences, meetings, health treatment, studies, leisure and any other activity legally recognized by the law in Tanzania. The applicant can stay in Tanzania for up to 90 days. 

Application requirements: 

Must have; a valid passport, 2 passport size photographs, return flight ticket, and provide itinerary, ticket, or tour operator package receipt. People traveling for specific reasons other than tourism must submit a letter from their organization or office. These include but not limited to volunteers, people attending meetings & conferences, studies, diplomatic, official and any other business not mentioned here. 

Visa applications for minors under 18 years traveling alone or with only one parent/legal guardians should be accompanied by a notarized letter, jointly signed by parents or legal guardians approving the minor to travel, A copy of their ID  


This is issued to a person for a multiple purpose and the entry visa is valid for 12 months. The applicant can not stay in Tanzania for 12 months continuously, they must leave Tanzania every three months. 

Application requirement 

Must have; a valid passport, a recent passport size photo, letter explaining reasons for visit from respective ministry or institution, return flight ticket, marriage certificate if the applicant returns to visit his/her spouse, Documents of the Company like TIN, VAT, Registration Certificate, Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum etc and any other evidence to prove that the applicant is bound to travel frequently into the United Republic of Tanzania. 


Issued to foreigners who want to come to Tanzania for the purpose of temporarily conducting business, trade, professional or assignment. This visa allows a foreigner to stay in Tanzania for only 90 days and it is not extendable. 

Application requirement 

Must have a valid passport at least for 6 months, a contract or document that shows the applicant comes for business issues, and a return flight ticket. 


This visa is issued to international foreign students who want to pursue studies or research in Tanzania. The applicant is only allowed to stay for 2 years. 

Application requirement 

Must have; a letter issued by the university acknowledging the purpose of entrance to be for studies and a copy of a valid passport. 


This visa is issued to an applicant who transits through Tanzania to a place of destination.  

Application requirement 

Must have; a copy of passport and biographical data, ongoing flight ticket and an entry visa or onward ticket to the intended country of destination. 


This visa is issued to diplomatic, service and official passports holders, who are on duty in Tanzania. This visa is issued on single or multiple entries. Holders of UN, SADC, AU Laissez-Passer and other International Organizations recognized by the United Republic of Tanzania are granted gratis visa, except when travelling on non-official capacity in which they are subject to pay for prescribed visa fees. 

  • NB: There are countries in which their nationals are exempted from applying for visas in Tanzania. This includes East African community states and so forth. The following countries their nationals are not required to make a Visa application; Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Ashmore & Certie Island, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Brunei, British Virgin Island, British Indian Ocean Territory, Botswana, Cyprus, Cayman Island, Channel Island, Cocoas Island, Cook Island, Christmas Island, Dominica, Falkland Island, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guernsey, Guyana, Heard Island, Hong Kong, Isle of man, Jamaica, Jersey, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Montserrat, Malaysia, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Macao, Mozambique, Nauru, Naue Island, Norfolk Island, Namibia, Papua new Guinea, Rwanda, Romania, Ross Dependency, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Swaziland, Solomon Island, St. Kitts&Navis, St. Lucia, St. Vicent, St. Helana, South African Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, Tokelan, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi. 


This is a document that entitles a foreigner to enter and reside in Tanzania for not more than 2 years, subject to the purpose for which the pass is sought. Just like visas, passes are issued by the immigration department through the Commissioner. There are various types of passes as highlighted below; 


This is issued to people of African descent from bordering countries who migrated into the United Republic of Tanzania before 1972 and continued to reside without having a passport or identification of any other country. 


This pass is categorized into two. The first one is Student Pass I which is issued to persons studying in approved training establishments. These include children of persons legally residing in the country who are above the age of majority (18 years). This class requires a candidate to submit the following during application; 

  1. Certificate of registration of institution 
  2. admission letter and joining instruction 
  3. evidence of sponsorship/scholarship and evidence of enrolment 

The next class is Student Pass II, this class is issued to children of persons legally residing in the country being below the age of majority and have not yet been endorsed in their parents’ residence permits but studying in approved training establishments including kindergarten, primary, secondary, and higher learning institutions. The application process requires an admission letter, evidence of sponsorship, parent consent if under guardian and valid resident permit of the parent.  


This is issued to prospective visitors who are foreigners and wish to enter Tanzania and do either of the following; spending holidays, traveling, appearing before a court of law, obtaining medical treatment, etc. This Pass allows a foreign individual to stay in the country for not more than 90 days. East African community members can stay up to six months. 


This is issued to a person from a country whose nationals do not require Visa to enter Tanzania. It’s issued to conduct temporary special assignments or short-term professional roles like auditing, trade, fixing machines, conducting feasibility studies, etc. The Visa is valid for 90 days and it is not extendable. 


This is issued to a foreigner who resides in Tanzania and intends to re-enter Tanzania after traveling outside. It is issued for a maximum period not exceeding the duration of the permit. 


This is issued to a foreigner living or entering the United Republic of Tanzania, to allow him to apply for and obtain a residence permit, pass, complete any immigration formality or regulate immigration status after expiry. 


This pass is issued to dependent wife, children, or near relative. A male child who is above 18 years old is not treated as a dependent person. The application process requires, a copy of the applicant’s valid passport, passport of the dependent, copy of birth certificates, security bond form, copy of marriage certificate for dependent wife. 

CONCLUSION; A non-citizen who intends to fly into Tanzania must make sure that he/she has fulfilled the required conditions to meet his/her purpose of visit. Possession of a Visa for United Republic of Tanzania does not provide automatic right of entry for the holder into the Country. The Immigration Officer at the port of entry may refuse entry to any person, if he is satisfied that such a person is unable to fulfil the immigration requirements or that such person’s presence in the United Republic of Tanzania would be contrary to national interests or security. 




This publication has been prepared for information purposes only, and it does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, Cymbell Attorneys, its partners, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it. 

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