With all these then prepare yourself for a Delightful Beach/Safari Trip to Tanzania
The Island of Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region although it is still considered part of the Republic of Tanzania, thus has its own immigration processes. Not only that, visitors to Tanzania are required to present passports and visas on entry but these procedures also apply to Zanzibar Island.
Visas for Zanzibar are required by all travelers except the ones from countries of visa-free travels. There are different types of visas but the single entry/visitors’ pass or ordinary visas are the commonest. All visas can be secured online via the electronic visa application system (eVisa) or upon arrival but have to be applied in advance.
The electronic visa application normally takes only ten working days and travelers can receive them on email. Travelers are reminded that having a visa is not the final and only authority to access Zanzibar. Your visa may be rejected by the immigration officer at the point of entry, if you aren’t able to fulfill the immigration entry requirements or when your existence in Zanzibar is against the interests of the country (Tanzania) or the Island of Zanzibar.
The following are the countries whose citizens don’t require Visas to visit Tanzania:
Ghana, Anguilla, Grenada, Namibia, Malaysia, Bermuda, Dominica, Cyprus, Jersey, Lesotho, Heard Island, Bahamas, Christmas island, Malta, Zambia, St. Kitts & Navia, Cayman Island, Gibraltar, Papua New Guinea, Cocoas Island, Tokelan, St. Lucia, Tonga, British Virgin Island, Rwanda, Botswana, Kiribati, Kenya, Mozambique, Gambia, Vanuatu, Malawi, Channel Island, Solomon island, Brunei, Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago, Guernsey, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Uganda, St. Vincent, Norfolk island, Ross Dependency, Ashmore & Certie Island, Turks & Caicos, Nauru, Montserrat, Tuvalu, Mauritius, Madagascar, British Indian Ocean Territory, Swaziland, Channel island, Hong Kong, Guyana, Isle of man, Singapore, Cook Island, Falkland Island, Guernsey, Dominica, Cayman Island, Romania, St. Helana, South African Republic, and Zimbabwe.
TYPES OF VISAS.
There are a number of visa types for different categories of tourists and these include;
The Single Entry Visa or the Ordinary Visa is given to foreign Nationals for the purposes of charity, travel, visiting friends and family, leisure, Holiday/vacation, health purposes, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), humanitarian activities and any other purposes that are confirmed by the issuing authority. The Single Entry Visa is valid for only 90 days.
The Multiple Entry Visas are given to foreign Nationals whose motive of visiting calls for repeated visits to the Island of Zanzibar. Travelers under this category are Government Consultants, persons who take part in bilateral meetings, Directors of Companies registered in Tanzania (or even Zanzibar) but don’t stay in the country, married spouses of Tanzanian residents, representatives of International Non-Governmental Organizations and Government Ambassadors. Individuals under this category have to be ascertained by the Commissioner General of Immigration or Commissioner of Immigration Zanzibar.
Because American Nationals are not entitled to the Ordinary Visas, they can receive the Multiple Entry Visas to visit Zanzibar for Tourism, leisure or Vacations. These Visas are valid to one year although the holders can’t live in the country for one consecutive year. Multiple Entry Visa holders can therefore leave the country at least after 3 months.
The Business Visas are issued to foreign Nationals who intend to enter Zanzibar for the purposes listed below and are valid to 90 days. The purposes include;
• Undertaking short time professional roles like feasibility studies, auditing accounts, making preparations for investments during the start-up period in addition to setting up professionals and business contacts.
• Special assignments like repairing machines or undertaking short term training among others.
• Short term lawful business-related assignments, that are recognized by laws of Tanzania and this has to be ascertained by the issuing Authority.
Foreign nationals who receive the Transit Visas have to be passing through Tanzania to another country. This destination has to obviously be outside Tanzania and the applicant is required to present proof of a visa of the final destination or better still an onward ticket. Generally, this visa is meant for visitors who are “just passing through” Tanzania not beyond one week. Also, travelers are warned against using this Visa category for tourism purposes.
The Student Visa is issued to Foreign Nationals entering Tanzania for any academic-related purposes. These include East African Community students, research students, and students of exchange programs, persons on volunteering programs, internships as well as students admitted in legally registered and recognized Institutions. Student Visas are issued for not more than 2 years.
Applicants of the student Visa have to be holders of diplomatic, travel or official documents of recognized International organizations and have to be on official duty as well as their dependents. These Visas are issued in terms of single entries or multiple entries and are determined by the Commissioner General of Immigration as well as Commissioner of Immigration Zanzibar.
Referral visas are issued to Citizens from countries that require “special clearances” from the Commissioner General of Immigration or the Commissioner of Immigration Zanzibar before receiving the Visa. Nationals from these are advised not to book flights or even make payments for reservations in the country prior to being approved for the visa. Applications have to be sent at least 2 months before travel date.
Additionally, Refugees and persons from Stateless regions but hold Vienna Convention documents are also required to apply for Referral Visas before visiting Tanzania. Countries that qualify for the Referral Visas include:
Syria, Mauritania, Iraq, Nigeria, Tajikistan, Senegal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Yemen, Iran, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Somalia, Mali, Kazakhstan Republic, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Somali land, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Niger, Sierra Leone, Palestine, Chad and refugees with refugee status.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A ZANZIBAR VISA?
Visas for Zanzibar can be applied in two ways-on arrival at any of the four main entry points into the country or through the Tanzanian Government eVisa portal.
Application via the eVisa Portal.
Applicants are advised to visit the Government is Portal and fill in the required online application forms.
• For Single Entry Visa
Applications for the Single Entry Visas should go along with a copy of the applicant’s valid passport, return ticket of your flight, a duly filled and signed declaration form as well as visa fees.
• Applications for Multiple Entry Visa
Applicants for the multiple entry Visas are required to present a copy of their valid passport (biographic data page), valid National Identity Card or passport of the person to be visited in the host country (Tanzania), or a cover letter of the host institution indicating the reasons as well as the frequency of visits, strong proof for visiting Tanzania frequently, return ticket and attached certificate of marriage of spouse (if the purpose is visiting a spouse).
• How to apply for the Student Visa
Persons applying for the Student Visas are required to present a copy of their valid passport, covering a letter from the host college/institution detailing the course and its duration and visa fees.
• Applications for Business Visa
For business Visas, applications have to include work contracts or proof of assignment to the performed within the period of not more than 3 months, a copy of a valid passport, a return flight ticket, and visa fees.
• How to apply for Transit Visa
Applications for Transit visas must entail entry visas or onward tickets to the final destination, a copy of the applicant’s passport, and required visa fees.
• How to apply for the Referral Visas
The Referral visas are applied in two options-the first option is first seeking permission clearance through the host in Tanzania. The host then hands in the request letter with reasons of visiting and duration of stay to the commissioner of Zanzibar. Here the applicant will attach a passport size photo, travel document/passport, and permission letter granted. Processing of the application will be finalized within 5 business days. The second option is applying directly online by attaching a valid copy of passport, passport size photo, covering letter from a legally registered institution if the visit is official or a cover letter from an individual in the host country (if the visit is personal) plus the required visa fees. The second option takes a maximum of 2 months for the application to be processed.
Application of Visas on arrival.
Zanzibar Visas can also be applied on arrival through any of the four main entry points and this is possible for the single entry Visas. The main entry points include Dar es Salaam International Airport, Namanga Entry point (for travelers crossing the Kenya – Tanzania border point), Kilimanjaro International Airport, and Zanzibar International Airport, the perfect entry point for visitors planning to visit the Zanzibar Island. However, visitors are advised to apply for a visa before traveling to avoid spending a lot of time at the entry points.
Other requirements for Visa applications;
You will need a Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate, proof of onward travel as well as enough funds to support yourself during your stay in Zanzibar, and 2 recent passport photographs for mainland travels.
Different categories pay different Visa fees and they include;
• The Single Entry Visa (or ordinary Visas) are charged $50.
• Applicants for the multiple Entry Visas are required to pay $100.
• Transit Visas cost only $30.
• Business Visas for Zanzibar cost $250.
• The Student Visas also depend on the category as well as duration and are charged $50, $250 or $550.
• The Gratis Visas are provided free of charge.