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Immigration changes in Tanzania

The Tanzanian Immigration Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs has recently imposed significant additional company document requirements on foreign employees applying for residence permits. Applicants for Class A and B residence permits should take note that the Immigration Department is now requiring the following corporate documents from their sponsoring employers:

  • Letter stating the current status of shareholders from the Registrar of Companies of the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA), including immigration status if shareholder is a foreign national;
  • Tax Clearance Certificate from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA); and
  • Certified copies of the employer’s tax payment slips from the TRA.

Sponsoring companies should take note that these new documents should be obtained early in their foreign employees’ immigration processes in order to avoid delays in obtaining their residence permits once the work permit is issued by the Ministry of Labor.

While still one of the world’s poorest countries in terms of per capita income, Tanzania’s economy has grown at an impressive average of 6+ percent over the last five years, making it one of Africa’s five fastest growing economies. However, much of that growth is still being propped-up by some ongoing government investment in infrastructure construction projects, and foreign investors are still leery of the frequent government policy changes of President John Magufuli’s administration. 

Kenya to roll out e-Passports in September

The immigration department in Kenya has announced plans to roll out East African e-Passports from 1 September.

Kenya joins over 50 nations worldwide in issuing a new generation travel document with security features such as biometric details, machine readable through an electronic chip.

A message from the Immigration department said: “This is to notify the General Public that the Department of Immigration will start issuing the e-Passport with effect from 1st September 2017. Holders of valid current passports will be allowed to use them for the next 2 years i.e to 31st August 2019 after which they will be rendered invalid. Please note that the department will no longer be issuing the current Ordinary, Diplomatic and East African passports.”

The move is compliant with a regional agreement to harmonise passports across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

“The EAC e–Passport will have Diplomatic, Service and Ordinary categories and is different from the current machine readable passport being issued by the Partner States. It will be valid for up to 10 years while the Diplomatic passport and service passport will be valid according to specific term of the service of the holder,” it added.

According to the Immigration department, new passport applicants can register on the eCitizen portal but will need to visit the department in order to have their biometric details recorded.

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Challenges of an African education

In addition to immigration complexities, security issues and cultural considerations, families relocating to Africa face the challenge of choosing a suitable education pathway. We look at the options.

Assignees moving to Africa often find the process uniquely challenging, owing to immigration complexities, security issues and cultural considerations. Those with school-age children face the added challenge of choosing a suitable education pathway. We look at the availability of international schooling in the region, and offer advice to help parents choose a school.With significant economic growth and one African country forming the ‘N’ in MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey), the countries expected to become economic powerhouses of the future, the continent of Africa is coming into sharper focus in the world of global mobility as organisations across the world, in search of growth, look to it for new opportunities.The latest reports bear this out. EY’s 2016 Africa Attractiveness survey, Navigating Africa’s Current Uncertainties, found that, despite current uncertainties, the longer-term outlook for economic growth and investment in Africa remained positive.“The next few years will be tough – partly, even largely, as a result of a fragile global economy – but many African economies remain resilient, with two-thirds of sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries still growing at rates above the global average,” said the report.Even though growth across the region is uneven and likely to remain slower in coming years, SSA will continue for the foreseeable future to be the world’s second-fastest-growing region, after emerging Asia. Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ivory Coast are among 17 economies in the region that are forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to have grown in 2016.Larger SSA countries, such as Nigeria and Angola, have been particularly affected by lower oil prices, and growth in South Africa remains slow.Foreign direct investment (FDI) projects increased by 7 per cent year on year, from 722 in 2014 to 771 in 2015. Africa is one of only two regions in the world to have seen growth in the number of FDI projects over the past year.

School choice

Luckily, international schooling has also seen something of a boom in the region. According to the latest figures from the International School Consultancy (ISC) Group, there are currently 792 English-medium international schools throughout Africa, between them teaching more than 339,000 students. ISC Research predicts that there will be more than 1,500 such schools by 2025.

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Guide to visa requirements for work in Africa

Given the growth in Africa, employers are regularly seconding their employees to businesses in other jurisdictions.

Algeria

In Algeria, work permits are only available for posts, which cannot be undertaken by Algerian nationals. Further, foreign employees may not be hired unless they have a minimum of a ‘technical level of qualification’.

An employer must make a declaration to the competent authorities within 48 hours of hiring a foreign national and present any documents, which give that employer the right to hire foreigners. On termination of the employee’s contract, the employer must again inform the authorities.

There is no official English translation of the Algerian laws and consulates appear to apply the regulations with slight modifications. For this reason, those wishing to start businesses or send employees to Algeria should consult their nearest consulate or embassy.

Angola

In Angola, a foreign national seeking employment requires a work visa. The work visa allows its holder multiple entries into Angola and the holder can remain in Angola until the work contract expires.

The work visa must be used within 60 days of the date of its concession. It allows the holder to work in Angola for a period of 12 months, which can be prolonged for equal periods, up until the termination of the work contract.

Once a foreign worker has worked in Angola for a minimum of five years and wishes to relocate permanently to Angola, he or she will be entitled to apply for a residence visa. The residence visa entitles its holder to carry on a paid job.

Botswana

In Botswana, a foreign national issued with a work permit does not automatically qualify for a residence permit. As such, the foreign national must make two separate applications, one for a residence permit and another for a work permit. It is common for both applications to be submitted simultaneously.

There are no special permits for individuals who possess scarce skills but individuals possessing scarce skills obtain more points in the visa evaluation process.

Burundi

In Burundi, a foreigner is able to enter the country for a limited period of three months (for business or touristic purposes) by obtaining an ordinary visa, also called an entry visa (le visa d’entrée). Once in the country, a foreigner wishing to live and work in Burundi will have to apply for a visa d’etablissement.

A foreign worker wishing to work in Burundi is required to obtain an invitation authenticated by the Immigration Office in Burundi or by the Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation, which forms part of the visa application.

In terms of the Règlementation de l’emploi des étrangers au Burundi, foreign labourers should not exceed 20% of the Burundian company’s employees.

Egypt

To work in Egypt, a foreign employee requires an entry visa, a residence permit and a work permit. An employer who wishes to hire a foreign employee must submit a comprehensive formal request to the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration.

Foreigners are prohibited from working as tour guides, exporters, importers and customer officers. Furthermore, certain professions require a specific authorisation from the relevant authority.

The maximum percentage of foreigners that may be employed by corporate entities in Egypt is 10%. However, the competent Minister can vary this percentage upon approval.

Ghana

A foreign national issued with a work permit or an immigration quota permit in Ghana does not automatically qualify for a residence permit. A foreigner that has been granted a work permit or immigrant quota cannot start working immediately in Ghana unless the Director of Immigration grants that person residence permit. A foreign national, must therefore make two separate applications, one for a residence permit and another for a work permit.

One month before the expiry of a work permit, a foreign national may apply to the Immigrant Quota Committee for the renewal of his permit, which is treated as if it were a fresh application.

A foreign national granted a work permit or immigrant quota work permit must also submit an annual return, which must be completed prior to 14th of January in each year.

Kenya

To engage in employment in Kenya, foreign nationals are required to obtain work permits, and people who intend remaining in Kenya for work or business purposes for a short period of time can obtain a special pass. It is issued to a person who intends to engage in any form of employment (whether paid or unpaid) or in any other income generating activity. The special pass is valid for a period not exceeding three months.

Mozambique

In Mozambique, the labour laws provide for two different work permits for long-term secondments, namely a work permit within the quota or labour communication; and a work permit above the quota or work authorisation. The Mozambican labour regime restricts the admission of expatriates working for Mozambican companies or branches: 5% if a large company or branch (with more than 100 employees); 8% if a medium-sized company or branch (between 10 and 100 employees); and 10% if a small company or branch (fewer than 10 employees).

However, a Mozambican company may apply for a work permit above the quota for a foreign national, if it can prove that individual possesses certain skills and knowledge that cannot be found in any other potential Mozambican candidate.

Further, in terms of the Labour Law (23/2007), investment projects approved by the Government which contemplate the employment foreign nationals in a smaller or greater percentage than foreseen above, do not require work permits and notice must be given to the Minister of Labour within fifteen days after the foreign national enters Mozambique.

A Mozambican company that wishes to employ a foreign employee must apply for a work permit before the employee enters Mozambique. There is a three-step process, which is to be followed before a foreign employee can start working and legally living in Mozambique. Short-term work permits are available for occasional and specific services not exceeding 90 days in a calendar year. It may be worthwhile considering the cost and time implications of a short-term work permit versus an ordinary work permit if an employee is rendering services not exceeding 90 days in a calendar year.

Nigeria

Individuals travelling to Nigeria on short-term assignments require either a Temporary Work Permit or a Business Visitor’s Visa. The provisions in the Immigration Act, 2015 pertaining to foreign nationals requiring visas, work permit and residence permits do not apply to nationals of member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECWAS). ECWAS nationals are exempted from requiring entry visas and can work, reside and undertake commercial and industrial activities within Nigeria.

Long-term assignments are linked to specific job designations, meaning that the visa is connected to both the entity and the position in which the foreign national employee will be assigned. There is a specific process, which the employer is required to follow before the employee can apply for their work visa.

South Africa

A foreign national who wishes to work in South Africa needs to obtain the appropriate temporary residence visa. The Immigration Act 2002 and its regulations provide for different types of work visas, depending on the circumstances surrounding the applicant’s entry into South Africa.

The General Work Visa is issued to applicants who do not have skills and/or expertise listed on the critical skills list. One of the key issues in obtaining a general work visa is that the employer must be able to demonstrate that there are no South African citizens or permanent residents with qualifications or skills and experience equivalent to those of the foreign applicant.

The Critical Skills Work Visa is issued to applicants in possession of skills or qualifications that are considered critical. The employer does not have to demonstrate that it was unable to find a suitable citizen or permanent resident for the relevant position.

The Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa is issued in circumstances where multi-national companies may decide to transfer an existing employee in a key position from a foreign branch to a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate of that company in South Africa.

Tanzania

A foreign national desirous of working in Tanzania needs to obtain both a residence and a work permit.

An individual issued with a work permit does not automatically qualify for a residence permit. Thus, the foreign nation must make two separate applications – one to the Labour Commissioner and the other to the Immigration Services Department.

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Tanzania’s power play

With a president cultivating a no-nonsense reputation and an economy set to be supercharged, Tanzania is making sure its voice is heard throughout the region. 

 You are on holiday. Perhaps in Kenya’s Maasai Mara game reserve. The thought occurs: How about crossing to the world-famous Serengeti, on the Tanzanian side? Foiled … The switch won’t be easy, requiring a five-hour detour, another visa and a new set of immigration rules. 

For nearly four decades now, Tanzania has maintained a blockade of ­Bologonja, a border crossing between the Maasai Mara and Serengeti. It claims access for mass tourism could harm the ecosystem of the world heritage site, which “harbors the largest remaining unaltered animal migration in the world,” according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. 

But ever keen to do business and tap its tourism potential, Kenya sees this differently. It argues that its southern neighbor is out to make business unsustainable for Kenyan tour operators who ferry curious visitors eager to witness wildebeests on the march.

What you are witnessing are age-old rivalries, so bitter they have defied a wave of economic integration slowly sweeping across the continent. 

And they are just two of many regional disputes involving Tanzania that have earned the country a reputation as a spiky neighbor.

Voicing a popular view, Uganda’s minister for general duties Tarsis Kabwegyere said in February on a television talk show: “The political class in Tanzania is not yet attuned to regional integration.”

‘Coalition of the willing’

During March 2016 talks with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, he and Tanzania’s President John Magufuli agreed to form a joint ministerial commission to resolve outstanding issues related to the Maasai Mara-Serengeti conflict. Yet Tanzanian foreign minister Augustine Mahiga, who was selected to chair the commission, has not held a meeting since. “Tanzania is looking beyond traditional tourism,” says Mahiga.

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