In an attempt to foster investment in Tanzania, the government has recently amended the Non-Citizens (Employment Regulation) Act, [Cap. 436] “the Act” to create more favorable conditions on employment of non-citizens. The changes are brought by the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act No. 4 of 2021(Hereinafter the “Amendment Act”). The new amendments to the Act have brought significant changes on employment of Non-Citizens. The most salient changes are briefly highlighted herein below:
A. Incentives to Investors
Section 19 of the Act which provided for incentives to investors has been repealed and replaced with a new provision. Section 19 of the Act has been amended by section 45 of the Amendment Act so as to allow investors registered under the Tanzania Investment Center “TIC” and the Economic Processing Zone Authority, “EPZA” to employ up to ten non-citizens without being subjected to any conditions under the Act save for the requirement to pay prescribed fees. This means there is no strict condition of qualification for the 10 non-citizen employees for the registered investors.
Further, the amended Section 19(2) of the Act provides that the immigrant quota shall not preclude the investor from employing other non-citizens provided that such employment complies with the employment ratio of one non-citizen to ten local employees and the investor has satisfied the Labour Commissioner that the nature of his business demands such number of non-citizens. This entails that an investor can employ other non-citizens as long as the nature of business demands so and the provided employment ratio is satisfied.
Additionally Section 19(3) of the Act, as amended, states that for an employer who is not a registered investor and the nature of business does not permit employment of local employees as per the required ratio, be subjected to the requirement of creating employment opportunities at the ratio of one non-citizen to ten local employees.
B. Validity of Work Permit
Section 12 (4) of the Act has been amended by section 43 of the Amendment Act by increasing the period of work permit validity from the previous five (5) years to eight (8) years. This means that the total period of validity of the first grant and its renewals should not exceed 8 years. Therefore a non-citizen whose permit was to expire after the end of five years can now apply for a new permit up to three (3) more years. Hence a non-citizen can be employed in Tanzania for a maximum period of eight (8) years.
C. Issuance of Permit through Electronic System.
Section 42 of the Amendment Act has amended Section 10 of the Act by adding new sub-section 4 which introduces electronic system for applying and issuing work permits. The electronic system for work permit is already operational and functioning for the past few months.