Further to the notice published by the Tanzania Immigration Services Department (the “Department”) on 02 April 2020 (the “Notice”) informing the general public to report to the Immigration Headquarters in Kurasini, Dar es Salaam (the “Immigration HQ”) or nearest Immigration Office in the event their visa, residence permit or pass has expired or is about to expire owing to travel restrictions in place resulting from the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, we have obtained clarification from the Department in relation to the grace period extension and directions issued under the Notice and how it would impact those who are in quarantine and/or have been hospitalised.

We have been informed that in the event a visitor, dependent or a holder of a residence permit is in quarantine or has been hospitalised as a result of Covid-19 or any other disease or illness which may prevent that person from reporting physically to the Immigration HQ or nearest Immigration Office for the purpose of being granted an extension, such person should immediately report to the Immigration HQ or nearest Immigration Office upon release and submit the release letter/certificate issued by the relevant authority or hospital stating that the person was quarantined and has been released from quarantine and/or was hospitalised and has been treated and is no longer ill and poses no threat to the public.

We highlight below what the contents of the Notice stated for your ease of reference, that from 02 April 2020:

  1. Prospective visitors who were already granted visa grant notices but could not travel will be granted an extension of three (3) months from their visa start date. However, as of 10 April 2020, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority has closed all passenger traffic indefinitely and it is not clear if such visas will be extended further as a result of this, or if new visas will need to be applied for when air passenger travel resumes. When we spoke to the Department we were told the Notice stands as it was published;
  2. Visitors whose visa or passes have expired or are about to expire and they cannot leave the country, are advised to report to the nearest Immigration Office to obtain a one (1) month extension. Please note that the extension will be free of charge however, if the situation persists after the expiration of the extension period, the holders are advised to report to the Immigration HQ for further guidance. The locations of the nearest Immigration Office may be ascertained by clicking on this link https://www.immigration.go.tz/index.php/en/contact-information/map;
  3. For holders of residence permits, visitors’ visas, exemption certificates or dependant passes which have expired, have been given a one (1) month grace period to stay in the country. However, the Notice stipulates that upon expiry of the grace period, they are advised to report to the Immigration HQ for further directions; and
  1. Holders of residence permits or passes who have already surrendered their permits/passes are required to report to the Immigration HQ immediately for further directions.

If you have any questions regarding this legal update, please contact Amish Shah on aks@arslaw.co.tz or Margareth Fabian on mf@arslaw.co.tz.