Work Permit Requirements and Procedure: Tanzania

What Is a Work Permit?

A Work Permit is a legal document issued by the Government of Tanzania, under the Ministry of Labour and Employment. It is granted to non-citizens who have secured employment, invested, or established a business in Tanzania. The Commissioner for Labour is responsible for issuing the Work Permit in Tanzania.

Who Qualify for The Permit?

As aforementioned, a work permit is granted to foreign nationals who have secured employment or are self-employed in Tanzania. As such, non-citizens who obtain employment, invest in, or establish a business in Tanzania are deemed eligible to receive a “Permit” from the Ministry of Labour and Employment of Tanzania.

What Are the Categories of Work Permits?

Work Permit Class A

Foreigners who engage in trade, business, profession, agriculture, animal husbandry, prospecting of minerals, or manufacturing may obtain this class of permit. Typically, the permit is granted to investors or self-employed individuals.

Work Permit Class B

Under this category, work permits are issued to non-citizens who possess specific professions, such as medical and healthcare professionals, oil and gas experts, teachers, and university lecturers in science and mathematics.

Work Permit Class C

This classification pertains to the issuance of work permits to non-citizens who possess all other required professional qualifications.

Work Permit Class D

Non-citizens engaged in approved religious or charitable activities can obtain a work permit under this category.

5. Work Permit Class E

Under this Class, a work permit is issued to the Refugees.

Who Can Apply for The Permit?

Though any non-citizen who has secured employment or is self-employed in Tanzania is eligible for a work permit, he/she personally cannot apply for the permit. As such, only the Domestic incorporated companies and Foreign companies with certificates of compliance and permanent place of business in Tanzania or Zanzibar, are allowed applicants for the permit.

Hence, the company will apply for a work permit on behalf of its directors and employees. Once issued, the work permit will remain the property of the company.

What Are the Requirements for The Permit Application?

Each Permit Category has its special requirements, which are different from the others. However, there are general requirements that apply to all the permit categories as follows:

  1. Justification Letter 
  2. Online Application Form (TFN 901)
  3. Recent two (2) passport-size photographs (with blue background) 
  4. Copy of a Valid Passport
  5. Scanned copies of original Academic/Professional certificates. 
  6. Detailed Curriculum Vitae/ Resume 
  7. Current Proof of Shares (from BRELA Online Search System) and BRELA
  8. Employment/Engagement Contract 
  9. Sectoral Approvals/Permits/Registrations (where applicable) i.e. TALA, TMDA, TBS, ERB, NBAA, TCAA, CRB, LATRA, TASAC, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mining Commission, etc.
  10. Industrial/Business/Operating Licence 
  11. TIC/EPZA Certificate (Where Applicable) 
  12. Lease Agreement/Certificate of Occupancy/Title Deed 
  13. Proof of NSSF and WCF registration, remittance of employees’ contributions, and List of all employees who are beneficiaries of the said Contributions
  14. Certificate of Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  15. Certificate of Value-Added Tax 
  16. Tax Clearance Certificate
  17. Certificate of Incorporation/Registration for Companies, NGOs, Religious Institutions, Universities, Schools, and other Institutions
  18. Memorandum and Articles of Association/Extract from Register 
  19. Verification of Academic /Professional Qualifications by the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) for University Graduates and the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) for applicants who are not University Graduates.

How and When to Apply for A Work Permit?

The Permit is applied for and filed with the Commissioner for Labour of Tanzania, through its online permit application system (e-permit). The application for this permit can be made any time when the employment contract is finalized or if it is for self-employed after the business is set up and secure the Business License, from the relevant authorities.

Is The Work Permit Permanent?

If approved, the Work Permit is valid for a period of two years only. After this period, it must be renewed, with a maximum renewal period of 5 years for employed persons. Self-employed individuals, such as company directors and shareholders, can renew their Work Permit for an undefined time, as long as their business is still active in Tanzania.

Currently, the person who has been granted a work permit in Tanzania doesn’t have to also file a separate application for a Residence Permit with the Commissioner General of Immigration. The two departments have merged their application systems to the effect that once the applicant has applied for Work Permit, the same application will be considered and examined by the Immigration Department for a Residence Permit, and be issued with an e-Permit Smart Card with both details for Work Permit and Residence Permit. This Card will be issued at the Immigration Department after the enrollment of the applicant.

Further Information:

At Lawfic Attorneys, we assist Clients to secure Work Permits and Residence Permits, by making sure that all the required procedures are adhered to, preparing required documents, and submitting applications to the relevant authorities. You may contact us through our below email address;



This article cannot and does not contain legal advice. The legal information is provided for general information and education purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based on the provided information, we encourage you to consult Lawfic Attorneys, or any licensed attorney for further legal advice.

Author; Adv. Gasper Malongo

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