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Step-by-Step Process for Getting Your Tanzania Tourist Visa

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By William Sanga

Navigating the Tanzania Tourist Visa Process: A Guide for Travelers

Most foreign nationals are required to obtain a visa to enter Tanzania. Traditionally, tourists had two options for securing a tourist visa: obtaining a visa upon arrival or applying in advance through their home country’s Tanzanian consulate. The latter option involved sending passports through the mail, which was both time-consuming and posed the risk of losing the passport during transit.

Fortunately, the process has been simplified. Tourists can now apply for an Electronic Visa (eVisa) to enter Tanzania. This modernized system eliminates much of the hassle and makes the visa application process straightforward. It’s important to note that nearly all countries require travelers to obtain a visa, so this step should not be seen as a deterrent.

The cost of a Tanzanian tourist visa is generally $50 USD for most travelers, while American citizens are required to pay $100 USD. Some neighboring African countries are exempt from this requirement and their citizens can enter Tanzania without a visa.

To determine if your country is exempt from the tourist visa requirement, please refer to Tanzania’s official visa exemption list here.

Applying for a Tanzania Tourist Visa Online

For convenience and peace of mind, we recommend applying for a Tanzania tourist visa in advance through the Tanzania Immigration Department website. This method ensures a smoother entry process and allows you to focus on your travel plans.

To apply for a Tanzania tourist visa, visit the official Tanzania Immigration Department website where you can complete and pay for your application online. Detailed guidelines and instructions for the online visa application process can be found here.

Other nationals should consider whether a single entry tourist visa or a multiple entry visa better suits their travel plans. The Tanzania tourist visa process is designed to be flexible, accommodating various travel needs and ensuring that your visit to Tanzania is as seamless as possible.

Processing Timeframe for Your Tanzania Tourist Visa Application

When applying for a Tanzania tourist visa, be mindful that the processing time can take up to 10 days. Ensure you allow sufficient time for the application process and the receipt of your visa. If you find yourself short on time or have booked a last-minute trip to Tanzania, you can obtain your visa upon arrival at the airport.

It is important to note that the Tanzania tourist visa should not be applied for more than three months prior to your planned travel dates. Avoid applying for your eVisa too early to ensure it remains valid for your travel period.

After completing your Tanzania tourist visa application, print all confirmation pages and store them securely. Upon arrival in Tanzania, typically at Kilimanjaro International Airport or Julius Nyerere International Airport, you will receive an official sticker in your passport as proof of your tourist visa.

To begin your eVisa application, select “New Application.” The online form is straightforward, and your responses should be clear and concise. Save your application number by taking a photo, saving a screenshot, or writing it down for future reference. If you are unable to complete the application in one sitting, you can return to it using your email address and application number provided on the first page. To continue, simply select “Continue Application.”

You can monitor the status of your Tanzania tourist visa on the “Visa Status” page. This page will indicate whether your visa has been received, is in process, or has been approved.

Completing the Online Application Form for Your Tanzania Tourist Visa

When applying for a Tanzania tourist visa, it is crucial to use only the official Tanzania Immigration website. Ensure that you do not share your passport number or any other sensitive information with any other site offering visas. The only authentic eVisa application can be completed here.

To safeguard your personal information and ensure a smooth application process, always verify that you are on the official website before entering your details. Completing the online application form through the official site is the most secure and efficient way to obtain your Tanzania tourist visa. Remember, your Tanzania tourist visa application should be handled with care to avoid any issues with your travel plans.

Select “New Application” to start your E-Visa

The online application form is very simple and your answers should be clear.

Make sure to save your application number. Either take a photo, save a screenshot or write the number down for future reference.

If you start the application but aren’t able to finish completing all the questions at once, you can simply access the application again based on your email address and application number, provided on the first page.

When you return to complete the application, you will select “Continue Application”.

You can check the status of your visa at the “Visa Status” page, which will let you know if your visa has been received, if it is in process or if you have been approved

  • If you have different spellings of your name, or use a different last name (such as a maiden name), the information provided here must match your official passport.
  • Spelling matters, so double-check before completing the page.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a passport photo ready to scan for this last step, you can always save your application and complete it at a later date.

You should select “Holiday and Leisure” as the purpose of your visit if you are coming as a tourist.

Tips for “Travel Information” section:

  1. This is generally where clients have the most questions because you should provide a physical address in Tanzania and names of your host.
  2. Unless you personally know a Tanzanian national and will be staying at their place of residence, then you should not select “Tanzanian Citizen”. In most cases, you should state that you are staying in a “Hotel”. Even if you will be spending the majority of your time camping as you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or at various lodges throughout your safari, this is the most applicable response.
  3. Use the itinerary provided by Williamson Adventures to include the name and address of your first hotel for this section. For example, “Park View Inn Hotel, Moshi, Tanzania” if you are staying a night in our Park View Inn Hotel before starting your Kilimanjaro climb.
  4. Williamson Clients, please use Williamson Adventures and our included contact information as your “Reference” in Tanzania.
  5. Under the section Local Host, make sure to select “Company/Organization” and list Williamson Adventures. Your relationship to Williamson in this instance will be “Tour Operator”.

Tips for “Travel Companions” section:

This is most important if you are traveling with a minor (such as your child). Make sure to fill this section out to the best of your ability.

If you are traveling with a group (such as a climbing team) then you may select “Group or Organization”. However, if you don’t know all the members of your team, or are meeting up in Tanzania instead of departing from the same location, for all ‘travel purposes’ you are traveling as a single adult.

Don’t worry about companions for group situations that include individual travel where you meet up in Tanzania after arrival.

What is the difference between a visa on arrival and an e-visa?

If you find the e-visa process to be too complicated or are having technical issues, don’t worry! You can still obtain a visa on-arrival in Tanzania for the same cost, given that you are from a country that does not need a referred visa (more about that below). Nationals from many countries are eligible to receive a visa on arrival.

The difference, if you have completed the e-visa, is that you will save time when you arrive in Tanzania. Those who have their e-visas may que in the “Visa Holder ” line at immigration. They will pass quickly through and receive a sticker in their passport without needing to do any other paperwork or payments.

The alternative is a significantly longer process which requires you to complete paperwork and answer questions to determine that you are coming for tourism purposes. Once you complete this step, you must then get into another line to obtain an official payment control number, and then a third line to finally pay in cash for your visa. If you are part of a very full flight arriving in Tanzania, this line can be long and the wait very time-consuming.

If you decide to get a visa upon arrival in Tanzania, you must have $50 USD prepared in cash (other forms of payment are not accepted). US citizens must have $100 USD in cash for a tourist visa. It is also a good idea to have your tour operator’s contact details available and the name of the hotel where you will be staying, to provide to immigration, also.

Referral visa

Citizens of some countries may require a referred visa in order to come to Tanzania, even as a tourist. In these cases, the application form is not as straightforward and cannot be completed upon arrival. Citizens of the following countries must apply in advance for a referred visa:

Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan Republic, Kyrgyzstan Republic, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Somali land, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Stateless persons or persons with refugee status

If you are a citizen of one of these listed countries, you must apply for a referral visa. Please note, processing time for this application can take over 60 days, so it is important to apply well in advance. Tanzania Immigration recommends not booking flights until your referral visa has been approved.

Williamson Adventurers can help our clients complete their application for a referral visa, and we have experience in helping guests successfully travel to Tanzania as tourists under such a visa.  In case you have any difficulties with getting your visa, feel free to contact us – we are happy to assist.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for six months after your departure from Tanzania.

For example, if your passport expires November 2022, your departure date should be no later than May 2022.

If the expiration date for your passport is close to six months, consider renewing your passport before completing your e-visa, as your passport number may change and make your Tanzania visa invalild.

If you have any further questions regarding a visitor visa to Tanzania, please contact us.

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