IMMIGRATION AND RELOCATION LAW UPDATE : TANZANIAN IMMIGRATION ISSUES AMIDST THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC (Q&A)
- What you need to know about entry requirements in Tanzania
- Additional requirements post-COVID 19 outbreak
- Quarantines, medical certificates, banned or blacklisted destinations/countries of origin and other matters of interest
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, relocation and travel has been largely inhibited and most countries placed entry and departure bans, while some which left their borders open, or those which later on opened their borders, did so at the behest of very strict and stringent rules. As the world reopened, Tanzania was one of those countries whose borders were open for entry and departure.
Our very keen Immigration and Relocation Law Department at Breakthrough Attorneys, deemed it key to assist with FAQs in the subject so as to provide a guidance for people who wish to enter or leave Tanzania in the current worldwide coronavirus state.
- Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, are there any changes imposed in the application of visas/permits/passes/exemptions in the Country? If yes, what are they?
No, the procedures for application remains the same as it was before, however, the immigration office has placed a bit of leniency in granting visa extensions, acquiring new visa and special passes. The main purpose of this leniency is to accommodate foreigners who are stuck in Tanzania due to lockdowns in their home countries or countries of residence. Moreover, the Immigration Department imposes leniency in residence permit issuance by lifting the 90 days limit imposed on an applicant who has been issued with a permit grant notice to report at Immigration offices for final biometric processes. The Government of Tanzania understands that there are travelling restrictions in many countries around the world which may leave many foreigners stuck in foreign countries and some unable to come to Tanzania to complete residence permit immigration procedures.
- Has Tanzania placed restrictions for international flights landing in Tanzania?
Previously, which was immediately after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, international flights were banned to land in Tanzania. However, on the 18th May, 2020, the government lifted the ban and allowed international flights to land in Tanzania. This remains the status to date.
- Is there a mandatory quarantine for all travelers entering Tanzania? If yes, what are the requirements and duration of Quarantine in Tanzania?
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic there was a mandatory 14 days’ quarantine for any foreigner and returning residents landing in Tanzania. However, from 5th August 2020 the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare removed the 14-days mandatory quarantine. Nevertheless, if one shows symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival, they will be required to take a test, get the medical attention required and recommended to self-isolate for 14 days.
- Will a foreigner entering Tanzania be required to present a COVID-19 medical certificate at the point of entry to Tanzania?
Yes, all travelers whether foreigners or returning residents whose countries or airlines require them to get tested for COVID-19 and turn negative, as a condition for traveling, will also be required to present a certificate upon arrival. Moreover, temperature scanning is implemented at all official points of entry for all international passengers arriving into Tanzania. If one shows symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival, will undergo enhanced screening and tested for COVID-19.
- What procedures have been put in place at airports and other official point of entry in Tanzania?
The Government of Tanzania is implementing temperature scanning for all international passengers arriving in Tanzania. Moreover, the Tanzanian government is collecting tracking information for all international passengers arriving into Tanzania thus all travelers are required to truthfully fill out Traveler’s Surveillance Form available on board a plane or other means of transport and submit the same to Port Health Authorities upon arrival.
- Due to COVID-19, is there a minimum requirement of family members or items to bring with in the country?
There is no set minimum requirement of family members to bring within Tanzania as long as all the members acquire an appropriate visa, pass or permit suiting the purpose of their visit in Tanzania. Moreover, there are certain items that that are regulated by either prohibition or on condition of obtaining a prior approval from Tanzania Authorities like ammunitions, pets and so forth. Lastly, Travelers are required to declare international currency valuing more than $10,000 on both entrance and exit from Tanzania.
- Has the duration of stay for a holder of Work visa, Business visa/pass and Special Pass changed due to COVID-19?
No. Currently no changes of the duration of stay for holders of visas and passes in the country have been introduced. However, leniency is imposed on holders of visa, passes, certificates and permits whom are stuck in Tanzania due to lockdowns in their home countries or countries of residency by granting visa extensions or special passes. The extensions granted are subject to conditions which may include the number of times such extension to be granted and so forth. These leniency procedures change from time to time.
- What measure (s) should be taken by a holder of a permit/visa has expired and does not have an intention to renew but cannot travel back to his home country due to COVID-19 travel ban?
Holders of ordinary visas that are about or have expired already and cannot travel back to their home countries are advised to report to the nearest Immigration offices to extend their visas for another one month free of charge.
For holders of business pass/visa, whose status is about to expire and still cannot leave the country are advised to apply for a business visa/pass for three months and pay the required visa/pass fees.
However, upon the expiration of that extension, the holders are advised to report to the immigration offices for further directives.
- What measures should be taken by a holder of an exemption certificate or residence permit whose status has expired or about to expire but cannot leave the country due to COVID-19 travel ban or lock outs?
Holders of permits and exemption certificates whose status are about to expire or has expired are also advised to report to the nearest immigration office and apply for a Special pass valid for 3 months. The special pass prohibits the holder to engage in employment or any business assignment.
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 (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, Breakthrough Attorneys, its members, 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.