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Tanzania Special Pass: Key Immigration Law Changes for Investors and Businesses


Novus Law & Advisory Group provides an update and analysis about the recent changes in Tanzania’s Immigration Law, in particular in relation to the newly-introduced special passes and their impact on businesses, trusts, and investors.

Novus Law & Advisory Group offers a comprehensive range of legal and consultancy services to domestic and international clients in all areas of law including Corporate and Commercial; Immigration, Employment; Foreign Investments; Banking and Debt Finance; Mergers and Acquisitions; Market Entry and Transfer between Mainland and Zanzibar including Real Estate and Property Management; Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Debt Recovery.


The Minister of Home Affairs of Tanzania recently published the Immigration (Amendment) Regulations, 2023, through Government Notice No. 428 on June 30, 2023, to amend the Immigration Regulations of 1997.

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This update introduces significant changes aimed at facilitating business operations and investment in Tanzania. This article provides an overview of these changes and explores their impacts on businesses and trust operations within the country.

Key Changes in the Immigration Amendment Regulations, 2023

1. Introduction of the Interim Pass

The Interim Pass is designed to assist foreigners already residing in Tanzania by providing them a temporary status while they apply for and obtain a resident permit or complete other immigration formalities, as provided under regulation 4 of The Immigration Amendment Regulation GN No.428 of 2023 read together with regulation 8(1)(c) of the Immigration Regulations GN No. 657 of 1997. An Interim Pass can also be issued to a foreigner to afford him an opportunity to regulate his immigration status after the expiry of such immigration status.

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Valid for 90 days, the Interim Pass also helps those whose previous immigration status has expired. Dependents of the primary applicants are also eligible to receive this pass.

The Interim Pass allows foreigners holding a visitor pass to stay in Tanzania temporarily for tourism or other activities, enabling them to pursue business opportunities and reside in Tanzania while awaiting completion of the immigration process for a resident permit.

2. Special Pass for EAC Partner States

The regulations now categorize the Special Pass under SP-1 and SP-2, specifically for nationals of East African Community (EAC) member states. This pass allows individuals to engage in employment or business activities for up to 90 days, with a possible extension for another 90 days. This streamlined process promotes easier movement and business operations within the region.

3. Residence Permits for Real Estate Buyers

The regulations introduce a new category of residence permits for foreigners who purchase real estate in Tanzania. To qualify, buyers must obtain a recommendation letter from the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) or Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA), provide proof of purchase value of at least USD 100,000, and present a police clearance and tax clearance certificate. However, implementing this permit requires alignment with existing land laws, which currently limit foreign land ownership to investors.

Implications for Businesses and Investors

A. Facilitating Investment

The introduction of the Interim Pass and the Special Pass for EAC nationals simplifies the immigration process, enabling businesses to start operations quickly while completing necessary formalities. This reduction in delays fosters a more business-friendly environment.

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B. Enhancing Talent Acquisition

The streamlined process for obtaining residence permits, especially for short-term and diaspora employees, makes it easier for companies to acquire and retain talent. This improvement in talent acquisition processes boosts productivity and competitiveness.

C. Increasing Market Competitiveness

The free movement of labor from EAC member states and the introduction of various residence permits enhance the competitiveness of corporations and trusts. Access to a broader talent pool and new technologies drives market growth.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The recent amendments to Tanzania’s immigration regulations represent a significant advancement toward creating a more investor-friendly environment. However, further alignment with labor and land laws is necessary to ensure smooth implementation.

Investors and expatriates must stay informed about these changes to navigate the immigration process effectively and avoid unnecessary costs. Without expert guidance, businesses and investors risk costly mistakes, delays, and non-compliance issues.

Novus Law & Advisory Group provides the specialized knowledge and proactive support needed to navigate these challenges effectively. Contact us today to ensure your immigration strategy aligns with current regulations and maximizes opportunities in Tanzania: +255 786 006 239, info@novulaw.com, https://novulaw.com/

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