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Should I apply for my visa for Tanzania before arrival or on arrival?

October 27, 2020

After the Covid-19 pandemic, Tanzania lifted the ban for international flight and opened its borders on the 18th of May 2020. That means visitors who want to visit the country are warmly welcome now. However, non-national and visitors from a country that’s not visa-exempt will need a visa to enter Tanzania.

While there are several entry points into Tanzania because countries like Malawi, Uganda, Mozambique, and Zambia borders the country, most foreign nationals must first obtain a visa to travel to the country.  You have to apply for a visa on arrival at the country’s various entry points. Any foreign national who qualifies for a Tanzania visa by nationality and requirements also qualifies for a visa on arrival. However, it would be best to apply for a visa before visiting Tanzania.

Obtaining a visa on arrival at the Tanzania borders may be more complicated than when you apply before commencing your journey. Therefore, if possible, apply for a visa beforehand.

Can I Get a Tanzania Visa on Arrival at the Border?

YES, you can get a Tanzania visa on arrival at the border, but you must be willing to queue and wait in line for an extended period to get it. Otherwise, apply and get an eVisa before your departure.

Tanzania Immigration authorities permit obtaining a visa on arrival when you pay the prescribed application fees in cash, and you can provide the required documents for the visa application.

You can get a Tanzania visa on arrival only when you appear in person at any of the five entry points along Tanzania’s border. But, more often than not, this process involves an extended waiting in line.

If you want a way to avoid the long waiting queue, you should apply online for a Tanzania eVisa before departure in your home country. Applying for the Tanzania visa online is quite simple, and it affords a quicker and smoother entry into Tanzania.

Regardless of your purpose of visit, using an online route is one way to enhance efficiency at immigration and border control, reducing waiting times during your transit.

There is currently no option to get a Tanzania visa on arrival online. Therefore, it is recommended that you depart for Tanzania with a copy of your approved Tanzania eVisa, printed out and readily available to present it when asked.

If you do not have the eVisa, you should be ready to join the queue at any of the country’s entry points to use the visa on arrival option.

On the other hand, some countries and foreign nationals cannot apply directly for a Tanzania visa. Countries such as Afghanistan, Chad, Somali land, Niger, etc. are not eligible. Therefore, travelers carrying these countries’ international passports would require a referral visa.

It’s not advisable to travel into Tanzania with the mind of using the visa on arrival option if you are from any of these countries. Check online to know if your country is eligible to apply for a visa directly or you need a referral visa.

Requirements for Tanzania Visa on Arrival

You should also check the requirements for entry into Tanzania and the things needed to obtain a visa on arrival at the Tanzanian borders before your departure.

Some of the general requirements for a Tanzania visa include the following;

  • A correctly filled out application form
  • Copy of your travel passport; valid for at least six months from the day of application
  • Digital copy of your passport photography
  • The proof of visa payment

If you seek to obtain the Tanzania tourist visa on arrival, you’ll have to pay the visa cost. It usually costs about USD 50 to get the tourist visa on arrival, although the price may sometimes rise to USD 100.

You’ll also be asked to show your proof of the return journey at immigration to be eligible for a visa on arrival. Applicants who can’t provide the evidence of outward or return journey may get denied a visa on arrival.

Your international passport must also have at least six months validity from the date you apply for the visa. Do you plan to volunteer in Tanzania? You’ll be asked to provide a valid work permit. The organization you plan to work with, or an employer should arrange for the work permit before your departure.

Immigration officers might ask you for your Yellow Fever Certificate to prove that you have been vaccinated. Some vaccinations are optional, while some are compulsory. Your nationality determines the mandatory vaccination and the ones that are optional for you.

Also, the places you have visited or are visiting are determinant. Make it a routine to check with your local doctor every time you plan to visit a foreign country and get the necessary vaccination as listed on your official government website about the country you’re seeing.

You’re not in danger from Yellow Fever when you travel to most of Tanzania. However, when you plan to visit Zanzibar, the immigration officers may ask you to prove that you’re vaccinated. It’s advisable to research the areas you wish to see in Tanzania and get the necessary vaccination accordingly.

Those are the documents and requirements needed at the entry port for crossing into Tanzania. The best thing to do is to keep any papers presented during your Tanzania visa application at hand so that you can show them if an immigration officer asks to see them at the border, especially if you applied online.

What is the Validity Period for Tanzania Visa on Arrival?

The port of entry is a major determining factor in dictating the length of stay you’ll be given. Therefore, if you know you’ll like to travel for up to three months, the best thing to do is apply for the Tanzania visa before traveling.

Consider applying for the Tanzania eVisa because it will make your visa approval and collection process hassle-free. Your visa will be approved and ready before your departure, and it will also make your arrival in Tanzania smooth and easy.


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