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Tanzania: Employment law revisit on foreigners crucial, underlines ATE chief

“The law is at the risk of being labeled anti-foreign and stand to scare potential investors away; Employers would love to see more relaxed Labour, and Migration laws on foreigners working in the country,” stated Dr Aggrey Mlimuka, the Executive Director of ATE.

Dr Mlimuka was speaking during the one-day workshop that brought together all employers in the Northern Zone Regions of Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro, where it was agreed that, lack of qualified Tanzanian workers in specialized and non-specialized fields still called for inclusion of foreign workers in the country labour force and these should be handled with care lest they chose to steer clear from the country.

ATE Executive Director, Dr Aggrey Mlimuka
ATE Executive Director, Dr Aggrey Mlimuka

“At the end of the day it must not matter where the expatriate is coming from as the issue at hand is a committed workforce in general that contributes towards the development of the nation as Tanzanians tackle its education system and balances the supply and demands of the labour market in line with employers’ specific driven expectations,” he said.

The Association recently held a meeting with the Ministry responsible for Labour and Immigration and after discussion, it was decided that Business Visa be issued to all foreigners coming to Tanzania not directly employed in Tanzania, Consultants, Meetings, Conferences, Workshops and anything of the like.

Visa should also be issued at points of entry like Airports, Tanzanian Embassies abroad, Immigration Offices, Kurasini and Zanzibar at a fee of USD 250 and that the validity of this Business Visa is 90 days and cannot be extended in the country.

It was discussed that all countries that have no Visa arrangement with Tanzania, like East African member states and some of the SADC countries like South Africa will pay USD 200. The validity of this Business Pass also is 90 days and cannot be extended in the country.

However, the fee is currently being reviewed for the EAC countries. As for the Short Term Permit (STP), which is issued by the Labour Commissioner with the validity of 6 months and not renewable within the country, is to be issued to all foreigners directly employed in Tanzania for a short time and the fee is USD 500.

Regarding the normal work permits for two years, issued to foreigners employed in Tanzania and can be applied under either Class A (Investors working for their own investment, USD 500), Class B (prescribed professionals like Medical Doctors, Lecturers in Maths and Science, Oil and Gas industry, the fee is USD 500) and Class C for other professions which is USD 1,000.

Source: Daily News


  1. The work permit fees are stil at high side,this instigates influx of irregular labour migrants to our labour market,we loose both the fee and income taxes for those clandastine migrants found ingress to our labor market,we should thnk to reduce the entry fee and other beurocracy procedures to the hitherto inevitable expatriates and stick on improving on collect taxes of wht they earning

  2. The dual approach of first having to apply for a work permit, for a fee, then having to apply for a residents permit for a much higher fee, is both cumbersome and ill thought out. Whilst the labour market for needed foreign expertise is often over priced, it is clear from all concerned that there remains a critical need for foreign expert labour in the Tz market. The measures currently in place send out a message that such labour is not really wanted and/or required. There is a real danger that soon that meassage will be heeded and other shores sought. This would be a real shame!

  3. I am surprised to read from CEO that Tanzania lacks skilled and non skilled labours. It has been the claims of majority of the so called investors to bring in experts and non qualified foreign workers to work in Tanzania while the country has the best to personnel resources to offer in the country. So I am a strong proponent for what the government is doing so far. Whoever complains should first do workers skill assessments in Tanzania to justify their complaints. David Cameron has asked all foreigners in UK who earn less than £35,000 a year to leave the country. So for Tanzania this is the best move.

  4. What is the purpose of requiring work permits (Class D) for volunteers/religious workers/missionaries who are not taking away paying positions from Tanzanians. These people are willing to provide their expertise and services at no cost to the government, yet we are also making it difficult for them to continue. And what about those who are coming to volunteer short term? There is much confusion about whether they are required to have any sort of STP or will be allowed to do their work under a tourist visa. Was any of this discussed at this gathering, because I don’t see it reported on here.

  5. How can people be just say that there are no skilled personnel in Tanzania. These so called experts come to Tanzania and the natives show them how the work is done and to a large extent you find it is these natives who actually do the work while the expatriates just gets the benefit of a high pay. Okay, maybe you would like to argue that there are no specialists or experts but really even a receptionist,cashier or hair dresser we need foreigners. i am in total agreement with these reforms , the government will get its revenue and the so called unskilled labor of Tanzania will get jobs. Anyway if your employer ain’t ready to pay work permit for you, you ain’t that valuable after all. If he/she wants to save money from the permit then he has to hire someone who doesn’t need one.

  6. It is a great shame to stand up and say there are no skilled labour in Tanzania! Infact the permits could go twice as much, this has been taken advantage and forgeiners the so called expertriates come into Tanzania benefiting high end salaries while the natives benefit not even a quater of it and yet they are not trained other left in darkness, these expertriates stay on our country for more than 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, what are those skills they pass and the natives have not acquired? Somebody somewhere is doing his or her job right.

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