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How to get a visa for Tanzania

by Juan José Herranz | Wed 06 Jul 2022
Get your visa for travelling to Tanzania

Tanzania is surely one of the most heterogeneous country in Africa. A country that offers everything we are looking for; natural parks, spectacular wildlife, endless deserts and paradise, crystal clear beaches. And of course, the highest peak in Africa, the Kilimanjaro.

Do I need a visa to travel to Tanzania?

Yes, you need to apply for a visa to travel to Tanzania, but the specific type varies depending on the reason and nationality of the applicant.

Types of visas for Tanzania

There are seven valid types of visas for travel to Tanzania:

Ordinary Visa

This visa is the one for foreigners who want to travel to Tanzania for tourism purposes, visiting family or friends, vacations, attending conferences, humanitarian and charitable activities, medical treatment or any other reason that does not involve economic gains. It is valid for 90 days and a single entry.

Multiple Entry Visa

This visa must be applied for by foreigner who must travel to Tanzania for specific reasons such as:

  • Directors or workers of Companies registered in Tanzania and not residing in the country.
  • Spouses married to Tanzanians or residents in the country.
  • Government Consultants or any international public body.
  • Representatives of International NGOs.

The multiple entry visa is also issued to U.S. citizens (due to bilateral agreements between the two countries) who wish to come for vacation or tourism purposes, as they cannot apply for the ordinary visa.

The maximum validity of this visa is 12 months, but it is not possible to stay in the country for 12 consecutive months. The maximum period of continuous stay is 90 days. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens and who wish to apply for a multiple visa must submit all justifying documentation.

Transit Visa

This visa must be requested by foreign citizens when the reason for their entry in Tanzania is to transit to reach another destination outside the country. The period of stay should not exceed 7 days.

To apply for this visa, the visa of the country of destination or the proof of flight to that country must be attached as proof. The Transit Visa is strictly for travelers whose purpose of entry is to transit Tanzania and can never be used for tourist purposes for a short stay in the country.

Business Visa

Business visa should be applied for by foreign nationals (for a period of less than 90 days) who wish to travel to the United Republic of Tanzania for one of the following reasons:

  • To carry out occasional special work such as fixing/repairing machines or conducting short-term training, etc.
  • To perform short-term professional functions such as auditing accounts, conducting feasibility studies, establishing professional and business contacts, organizing investments during the initial period, etc.
  • To perform any other legal short-term business tasks recognized by the laws of the country and approved by the issuing authority.

Mount Kilimanjaro sunset

Student Visa

A student visa is granted to a foreigner who enters the country for the purpose of pursuing studies such as:

  • research students
  • interns
  • volunteers
  • EAC students
  • exchange students

This visa can be issued for a maximum period of 2 years, and for EAC and exchange students, this visa is free of charge.

Free Visa

This free visa is issued to diplomatic and official duty passport holders, or to a recognized international organization on official duty and its attachés. It can also be issued to an ordinary passport holder if it is indicated by the General Commissioner of Immigration and the Commissioner of Immigration of Zanzibar.

Referral visa

There are some countries whose nationals require special clearance from the General Commissioner of Immigration or the Commissioner of Immigration of Zanzibar prior to visa issuance. These countries fall under the referral visa category.

Citizens in this circumstance are advised to apply for the referral visa and wait to have the visa approved before booking their flights or any accommodation in the country. This procedure must be requested 3 months prior to the scheduled date of travel.

Returnees and refugees in possession of Vienna Convention documentation must also obtain a referral visa before traveling to the United Republic of Tanzania.

This is the list of countries whose nationals are required to apply for a Referral Visa: Afghanistan, Azerbaïdjan, Bangladesh, Tchad, Djibouti, Guinée équatoriale, Éthiopie, Érythrée, Nigeria, Pakistan, République du Kazakhstan, République kirghize, Liban, Mali, Mauritanie, Niger, Palestine, Sénégal, Irak, Iran, Somalie, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Tadjikistan, Turkménistan, Ouzbékistan, Yémen.

trees and lakes in a prairie

How to apply for a Tanzania visa?

The visa to visit the United Republic of Tanzania (both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar) is applied by filling out an online form. Once completed, the corresponding payment must be made and the application must be submitted.

The forms are reviewed and processed by government authorities. Applicants will be notified via email whether their applications have been accepted or rejected.

In some cases, government authorities may require us to visit a nearby Tanzanian embassy or consular office for a personal interview. This never occurs on tourist visas.

Who needs a visa for Tanzania?

All foreign citizens with the exception of:

Antigua-et-Barbuda, Anguilla, île Ashmore, Bahamas, Barbade, Bermudes, Belize, Brunei, îles Vierges britanniques, territoire britannique de l'océan Indien, Botswana, Chypre, îles Caïmans, îles Anglo-Normandes, île Cocoa, île Cook, île Christmas, Dominique, îles Falkland, Gambie, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenade, Guernesey, Guyane, île Heard, Hong Kong, île de Man, Jamaïque, Jersey, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Montserrat, Malaisie, Madagascar, Malawi, Maurice, Macao, Mozambique, Nauru, île Niue, île Norfolk, Namibie, Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, Rwanda, Roumanie, dépendance de Ross, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapour, Swaziland, Saint-Kitts-et-Nevis, Sainte-Lucie, Saint-Vincent, Sainte-Hélène, Afrique du Sud, Sud-Soudan, Trinité-et-Tobago, Îles Turks et Caicos, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Ouganda, Zambie et Zimbabwe.

If your nationality is not on this list, you must apply for a visa to travel to the United Republic of Tanzania.

boats on seacoast with sea and mountains

What are the requirements to apply for a visa for Tanzania?

All applicants must ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months and have at least one unused stamp page before submitting their application. Documentation and requirements needed to apply for visas to Tanzania:

Ordinary visa (single entry):

  • Passport copy
  • Flight ticket (round trip)
  • Declaration for
  • Bank card for fee payment
  • E-mail to receive the visa resolution

Multiple Visa:

  • Passport copy.
  • Valid passport or national ID of the person to be visited in Tanzania
  • Introduction letter from the host Institution detailing the reasons and frequency of visits to the country
  • Marriage certificate of a spouse and passport/ID, if the applicant is traveling to visit a spouse
  • Flight ticket (round-trip)
  • Bank card for fee payment
  • E-mail to receive the visa resolution

Business Visa:

  • Passport copy
  • Flight ticket (round-trip)
  • Bank card for fee payment
  • E-mail to receive the visa resolution
  • Work contract or any proof of the work/assignment to be performed in the country. The term of such contract cannot exceed 90 days

Transit visa:

  • Passport copy
  • Entry visa to the country of final destination, or return ticket to the country of destination
  • Bank card for fee payment
  • E-mail to receive the visa resolution

Student visa:

  • Passport copy
  • Introduction letter from the institution/university where the foreign student will be staying
  • Letter detailing the course/field and duration of the program to be attended.
  • Bank card for fee payment
  • E-mail to receive the visa resolution
  • The fee for this visa will vary according to the category and duration of the permit.
  • Visa Application in Referral Cases

Applicants in the reference visa category can only apply online, they cannot obtain a visa on arrival. This visa may take longer to process than other visas.

zebras in savannah with trees in a prairie

Can the Tanzania visa be changed once it has been processed?

Once the visa application is submitted, it is not possible to make any changes. Any improperly completed visa may be rejected. The government authorities do not make any refunds in relation to any rejected visa application.

How much does a visa to Tanzania cost?

The fees for the different visas issued by the United Republic of Tanzania are as follows:

  • Ordinary single entry visa, 50 dollars.
  • Multiple entry visa, 100 dollars.
  • Business visa, 250 dollars.
  • Transit visa, 30 dollars.
  • Student visa, 50, 250 or 550 dollars, depending on type and duration.
  • Students traveling to the United Republic of Tanzania for academic purposes for a period not exceeding three months may apply for a student visa at a fee of 50 USD.
  • Students coming for the same purpose, but for a period exceeding 3 months will pay 250 USD. Students who wish to carry out research activities will pay 550 USD and will be granted a student visa for a maximum period of 2 years.
  • Free visa (diplomatic), no fees charged.  

How far in advance do I need to apply for a Tanzania visa?

Visa applications take about ten days to be processed by government authorities, so applicants are advised to process their application at least 20-25 days in advance. After payment is made, applicants must wait for visa approval before beginning their trip. Notification of approval will be sent to your email.

The Tanzania Department of Immigration Services may reject our application without giving reasons for visa rejection. Applicants who are required to process the referral visa are advised to do so at least 90 days prior to their travel date.

mouth of a hippo in a lake

What are the entry borders to Tanzania?

Applicants whose visa applications have currently been approved must enter the United Republic of Tanzania through the five specified entry points, which are:

  • Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA)
  • Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA)
  • Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA)
  • Namanga Border
  • Tunduma Border

Are vaccines required to enter Tanzania?

To travel to the United Republic of Tanzania, the only mandatory vaccine is against the Yellow Fever (if coming from an endemic country).

For the rest of foreigners there are no compulsory vaccinations, but vaccinations against Hepatitis A and MMR are recommended. The COVID vaccine is not compulsory, but highly recommended.

What is the currency in Tanzania?

The currency of the United Republic of Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling. One Tanzanian shilling is equivalent to 0.00038 euros, and 0.00043 dollars.

When is the best time to travel to Tanzania?

The United Republic of Tanzania is a large country with many contrasts. Depending on what we want to visit we can choose one date or another.

If we travel to go on safari, we can do it at any time of the year. If our trip is to visit the natural parks, such as Serengeti, the best time is from December to March or from June to September.

And if we want to visit the idyllic beaches of Zanzibar, the best time of the year to do so is from December to March, within the dry season and when it is warmer.

Is it safe to travel to Tanzania?

Tanzania is a safe country and is one of the safest countries on the African continent. However, we must take precautions as in any other destination. We should avoid remote places, especially at night, and take a number of basic precautions.

Important tips for travelling to Tanzania

  • Travellers are advised not to start their trip until they obtain confirmation that their visa is approved.
  • It should be noted if there are any irregularities, the immigration officer at the point of entry may deny entry to a visa holder if they have evidence that the visa holder cannot meet the immigration entry requirements of the country.
  • We must be careful with meals, avoid eating raw foods, including fruits and vegetables.
  • International calls are very expensive, and we will not have internet unless we are in the hotel.
  • Electricity works at 240, and the plugs are the typical British ones.
  • The country suffers from frequent power cuts, but don't worry, electricity comes back shortly.
  • We must not forget to take with us a good mosquito repellent and a good sunscreen. These two things, plus a good cap or hat should be mandatory in our suitcase.
  • Although their currency is the Tanzanian shilling, in most places they gladly accept American dollars.
  • We must carry cash, we will be able to use the credit card in very few places that are not commercial.

About the author
Juan José Herranz

Juan José Herranz
Hello! I'm Juan Jose, a boy from Extremadura who loves to travel and share his experiences with readers. I write articles for and I also help users to process electronic visas for all countries in the world that require it. I'm more of the mountains than the beach, so the quiet destinations with green landscapes are my favorites.

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