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Visa Requirements
 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR VISA APPLICATION

 

Visa Requirements

1.                    Zimbabwe’s visa regime is divided into 3 categories:

(a)           Category .A.: for foreigners who do not require a visa;

(b)                 Category .B.: for foreigners who can obtain a visa at the port of entry; and

(c)                 Category .C.: for foreigners who require a visa before they travel from country of origin/residence.

 

N.B. Attached is a copy of the category list. (Annex 1)

 

2.             The following do not need visas to enter Zimbabwe:

(a)           Nationals of Zimbabwe;

(b)           Foreigners falling under Category .A. of the visa regime;

(c)           Foreigners resident in Zimbabwe who hold one of the

                following documents:

                (i)            Resident’s Permit

                                (ii)           Temporary Employment Permit

                                (iii)          Temporary Permits valid for re-entry into Zimbabwe

                                (iv)          Student’s/Scholar’s Permits

                                (v)           Transit passengers provided that they:

-               have confirmed onward bookings

-               will be leaving within six hours

                        -               remain in the transit lounge or aboard the aircraft on which they arrived and have the necessary documents to be accepted in the country to which they are travelling

-               are holders of documents issued by the United Nations and the African Union and are travelling on official duty.

 

3.             TYPES OF VISAS

In Zimbabwe, there are four types of visas:

 

(a)           Single entry visa

(b)           Double entry visa

(c)           Multiple entry visa

(d)                 Resident’s re-entry visa

 

4.             POINTS OF NOTE

Visitors are not allowed to take up employment whether for

remuneration or not, without authority of the chief Immigration

Officer.

 

5.             ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

All persons wishing to enter Zimbabwe are expected to comply with formalities applicable to what their situation demands and would be

processed accordingly as follows:

 

(a)           Ordinary Visitors

The following will apply:

(i)            sufficient funds for own upkeep and that of any dependents accompanying

(ii)           valid return ticket to where one originated from at the time he/she set out on the journey

(iii)          sufficient address of location within Zimbabwe and back in home country

(iv)               valid passport or other travel documents and visa, if required

(v)                 name of host, if not staying in a hotel or lodge.

 

(b)           Business Visitors

Business visitors would be required to be in possession of all

requirements as for Ordinary Visitors (holiday makers) and in

addition to that, are restricted to a period of stay not exceeding six weeks (6). If there is need to continue as a business visitor at the expiry of this initial period, then a Temporary employment Permit covering the desired period should be applied for from the Chief Immigration Officer.

Business visits may be granted to personnel coming on business for the following:

(i)            consultancy work

(ii)           installation and backup service for machiner purchased outside Zimbabwe by local companies.

(iii)          attending Board meetings

(iv)          assessing investment opportunities

 

There should be genuine supporting documents which should accompany the application for a visa.

(c)           Journalists

(i)            Journalists should be placed on a journalistic Notice to Visitor(IF3) and be required to report within 24 hours to the Ministry of Information for for accreditation, should they be on a working visit. They should also comply with the normal entry requirements.

(ii)           If the journalist is coming as a holiday maker, he is to be facilitated on a “Notice to Visitor” and in this case, marking for his attention that working without the relevant permit is prohibited.

(d)           Investor

(i)            On showing proof of intended investment and the necessary documentation of approval from the Zimbabwe Investment Centre, an intending investor will be admitted on a Provisional Restriction Notice which requires subject to apply for a Residence Permit as an Investor.

(ii)           Diplomats and members of International Organizations are admitted on a diplomatic “Notice to Visitor” which requires them to report to Ministry of Foreign Affairs within 30 days for accreditation. Diplomats receive accreditation under section 15 (2) (e) and members of

International Organizations under Section 30 (1) of the Immigration Act Chapter 4:02 Revised Edition 1996.

(iii)          Persons in transit are required to fully comply with requirements as for ordinary visitors if passing over land. When they are only transferring from one flight to continue to another country by air, they would not be required to go through Immigration Examination, but would instead be referred to the departure/transit lounge for the onward journey.

(e)           Scholars and Students

Scholars and students are required to be in possession of a letter of acknowledgement certifying that the requisite permit would be issued on arrival at the port of entry {PF10}. For requirements for a Scholar or Student Permit (See 12).

 

6.             Extension of Stay as a Visitor

A person can extend stay as a visitor. At the discretion of an Immigration Officer, the maximum period allowed as a visitor is six months. However, a visitor will be given a three month.s Visitor.s Entry Certificate at a port of entry. That certificate will need a monthly extension sought a week before it expires up to a maximum stay of six months. Extension beyond six months can only be granted on written application to the Chief Immigration Officer. Application for extension of stay can be done at any nearest Immigration office.

 

7.             Change of Purpose of Visit

No change of purpose of visit is allowed unless with the express authority of the Chief Immigration Officer.

 

8.             Can a Visitor.s Permit Allow a Person to engage in Any Employment

A person is not allowed to engage in any employment, paid or unpaid on a visitor’s permit.

 

9.             Point to Note

(a)           No visitor shall engage in any employment unless he/she has been issued with a permit authorizing such employment

(b)           No visitor shall remain in Zimbabwe for a period longer than six months unless he/she has obtained authority from Chief Immigration Officer or twelve months unless he is in possession of a valid permit authorizing him to enter or remain in Zimbabwe.

(c)           It is normal practice that all complying visitors may be given an initial period of 3 months even where one has asked for a lesser period.

 

10.           Persons Who Do Not Immediately Qualify for Entry Into Zimbabwe

(a)           Persons in the following categories may not immediately qualify for entry into Zimbabwe:

(b)           People arriving without valid travel documents

(c)           Persons falling under .Category C. of the visa regime arriving at a port of entry without a visa (Category C) refers to those persons who need of apply for visas in advance before coming to Zimbabwe.

(d)           Prohibited Immigrants

(e)           A person having insufficient funds for his/her upkeep/self sustenance while in the country and return to country of origin.

(f)            Those who declare or are known to have previous criminal convictions.

(g)           Those suffering from prescribed diseases.

(h)           Those who are found not to qualify in the category for which entry is sought.

 

11.           Immigration Permits

No person shall enter Zimbabwe for the purpose of residing therein for a period exceeding twelve (12) months or remain in Zimbabwe for more than 12 months, unless he is in possession of a valid permit authorizing him/her to enter or remain in Zimbabwe (Immigration Regulations 1998 Section 14).

 

The above shall not apply to:

(a)           Any person with his/her domicile in Zimbabwe.

(b)           Any person who enters Zimbabwe as a bona fide member of a crew of an aircraft, train or ship used as a public transport

(c)           A bona fide scholar below 18 years attending a recognized educational institution in Zimbabwe other than the national universities.

(d)           A diplomat or member of an international organization accredited to Zimbabwe.

(e)           Refugees lawfully resident in Zimbabwe in terms of Refugee Act.

 

12.           SCHOLAR PERMITS

All prospective foreign pupils who wish to enroll at formal Zimbabwe government or private schools i.e. form grade one to form six, must apply for a Scholar’s Permit.

 

No extra territorial pupils shall be admitted to the first year (Grade one) at any school, unless the child attains the age of six years in the school year of admission or the child is six years of age or more but has not attained the age of eight. The following documents must be submitted for a Scholar’s Permit application:

 

(a)           A letter of conditional authority to attend school in Zimbabwe from Ministry of Education (head office).

(b)           Certified copies of applicant.s birth certificate.

(c)           A sworn affidavit or notarized letter from the applicant.s parents or guardian.

(d)           A sworn affidavit or notarized letter from a local resident accepting to be the guardian to applicant.

(e)           A letter from parent’s bank confirming that the parents can afford to pay school fees for the child in foreign currency.

(f)            A non-refundable statutory fee of US$60 or the equivalent in acceptable currency must be paid on submission of application.

(g)           A valid radiological certificate confirming freedom from active pulmonary tuberculosis.

(h)           Documentary proof of accommodation arrangements if applicant is a day scholar.

(i)            Two full-face passport-size photographs of applicant, certified as a true likeness of subject by Commissioner of Oaths.

(j)            One residence permit application form to be completed in respect of applicant.

 

13.           STUDENT PERMITS

All prospective foreign students who wish to enroll at private Independent Colleges, Technical or vocational Colleges and Universities must apply for a student’s permit. No application will be considered whilst applicant is in Zimbabwe and only internationally recognized courses will be considered.

               

The following documents must be submitted for a Student’s Permit Application:

 

(a)           Certified copy of applicant.s birth certificate.

(b)           A letter of offer of a place to study, signed by the Head of the College, stating course of study and anticipated period. Hours of attendance per day should be reflected if applicant is attending an Independent College. Please note that a student should at least attend lessons for five hours per day.

(c)           A sworn affidavit or notarized letter from applicant.s parents appointing a local resident as the guardian to applicant, if applicant is below the age of 18.

(d)           A sworn affidavit or notarised letter from a local resident accepting to be the guardian to applicant if applicant is below 18.

(e)           A letter from parents’ bank confirming that the parents can afford to pay school fees for the child in foreign currency.

(f)            A non-refundable statutory fee of US$80 or the equivalent in acceptable currency must be paid on submission of application.

(g)           A valid radiological certificate confirming freedom from active pulmonary tuberculosis.

(h)           Documentary proof of accommodation arrangements if applicant is not accommodated at his or her learning institution.

(i)            Two full-face passport-size photographs.

(j)            One residence permit application form to be completed by applicant.

 

14.           TYPES OF RESIDENCE PERMITS

-               Residence Permit for Dependants

-               Residence Permit for Investors

-               Indefinite or Permanent Residence Permits

-               Resumption of Residence for former permanent residents.

 

(a)           Residence Permit for a Dependant

This permit may be issued to a person below 18 years or retired persons not seeking employment but coming to live with close relatives who are permanently resident in Zimbabwe.

               

The relatives should produce proof of adequate financial means.

 

(b)           Requirements or the Dependant’s Residence

(i)            Fully completed application for Residence Permit forms x 2.

(ii)           Proof of adequate financial means by the guarantor.

(iii)          A fully completed close relative guarantee form.

(iv)          Proof of residence of the guarantor.

(v)           Recent full-face passport-size photographs x 2 with one certified at the back as true likeness of the person.

(vi)          Birth/Marriage/Death/Divorce certificates certified as true copies of the originals by a Commissioner of Oaths (copies of applicable certificates only).

(vii)         An application letter stating reasons why permit should be issued and any other information applicant considers to be relevant.

(c)           Who Qualifies for an Investor’s Residence Permit

A person who wishes to establish a business in Zimbabwe by investing offshore capital and equipment to the sum of US$100 000 in a joint venture with a local partner qualifies for a

Residence Permit.

 

A technical expert who (will have) worked in Zimbabwe on a valid work permit for a period not less than three years and has invested not less than US$300 000 qualifies for a permanent residence permit as an investor.

 

The investment benchmarks are subject to change on review.

 

(d)           Requirements for Investors Residence Permit

(i)            Fully completed Residence Permit application forms.

(ii)           A written application letter by the prospective investor stating the project proposal.

(iii)          Zimbabwe Investment Centre Certificate of approval.

(iv)          Certificate of incorporation from the Registrar of Companies.

(v)           Local bank statement of the funds transferred.

(vi)          Bill of Lading or customs clearance papers for the importation of capital equipment if applicable.

(vii)         Permit can be processed within fourteen formal working days after submission of the application.

 

(e)           Requirements for Extension of Residence Permit for Investors

(i)            Letter of request from company (3) three months before the permit expires.

(ii)           Progress Report

(iii)          Latest financial statement

(iv)          Customs clearance documents for imported equipment, if any.

(v)           List of employees stating names, positions, salary and signatures.

(vi)          Viability Study Report if requested by the Immigration Control Committee.

 

(f)            When Does One Qualify for Permanent Residence

A person who has resided or lived in Zimbabwe for a continuous period of five years on a work permit or a dependent residence permit may qualify for permanent residence on application.

 

15.           POINT OF NOTE

Employees of non-governmental organizations and those on government to government agreement contracts, including diplomats and members of International Organizations do not qualify for permanent residence regardless of having lived in Zimbabwe for a continuous period of five years or more.

 

16.           Who Can Apply for Resumption of Residence

A permanent resident who has been absent from Zimbabwe for a continuous period not exceeding seven years may apply for resumption of residence.

 

17.           ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

-                     A statutory fee is payable in all cases (US$100.00 for residence, US$75.00 for permit extension, US$200.00 for permanent residence).

-                     Applications are not considered while applicant is in the country.

-                     Applicants should be advised not to make serious arrangements to come to Zimbabwe to live until they receive notice of approval in writing.

-                     Two passport-size photographs certified true likeness of applicant are required in all cases.

-                     In the case of married couples, divorcees and widows, marriage, divorce and death certificates are required.

-                     A valid Radiological Certificate confirming applicant is free from active pulmonary tuberculosis is required in cases of residence permits.

 

(a)           Temporary Employment Permit

This is authority given by the department of Immigration to a foreigner to work for an Organization or a company registered in Zimbabwe.

 

N.B.        For the purpose of a Temporary Employment Permit, work means any activity (paid or unpaid) but in the interest of any business undertaking operational in Zimbabwe.

 

(b)           Persons Who Can Apply for a Temporary Employment Permit

(i)                   Professionals offering scarce skills, which are not easily available in Zimbabwe.

(ii)                 Journalist on assignments

(iii)                Short term Temporary employment permit (12 months) - personnel on short contracts.

(iv)               Foreign Researchers - who must in the first instance, be cleared by the Research Council of Zimbabwe.

 

(c)           Missionary

A missionary is a religious worker whose main duty is to lead his congregation in prayer and preach the essential of his creed.

 

To qualify as a missionary, the church must prove that:

(i)                   The person is required for employment as a Minister of Religion/Church Worker by the leadership of a local congregation;

(ii)           The person has either been working for at least one year as a Religious worker; or has

(iii)          Been ordained as a Minister of Religion following some training for the ministry;

(iv)          The person intends to work full time as a Minister of Religion or Church Worker

(v)           The church organization takes full financial responsibility for the maintenance of the person and such dependants while in Zimbabwe and his return to country of domicile without recourse to public funds; and

(vi)          The person will need to produce a letter from the church organization.

 

(d)           Requirements for a Temporary Employment Permit and How to Apply

The employer lodges an application to engage a foreign national to the Chief Immigration Officer with the following documents:

(i)                   Completed temporary employment permits application forms by the employer.

(ii)                 Completed residence permit application forms by applicant

(iii)                Letter of offer of employment in Zimbabwe showing employer, occupation, salary and conditions of service.

(iv)               Letter from employer requesting a Temporary Employment permit - stating period required addressed to the Chief Immigration Officer.

(v)                 Documentary evidence in English of qualifications and experience in the proposed occupation i.e. certified copies of degrees, diploma certificates or testimonials.

(vi)               Two recently taken full-face passport-size photos of the applicant. All to be certified as a true likeness of the applicant.

(vii)              Certified copy of birth certificate.

(viii)            Certified copy of marriage certificate (if applicable).

(ix)                A non-refundable statutory application fee of US$100.00.

 

(e)           For How Long Can One Stay On a Temporary Employment Permit

Temporary Employment Permits are normally issued for an initial period up to a maximum period of three years and may be renewed up to five (5) years.

 

N.B. It takes about six (6) weeks to process an application for a Temporary Employment Permit.

 

The applicant is required to remain outside Zimbabwe until the successful outcome of the application is communicated to applicant after which, arrangements can be made to come to

Zimbabwe.

 

(f)            Can a Person Extend His Stay on a Temporary Employment Permit?

The employer can apply to the Chief Immigration Officer three (3) months before the permit expires for the Temporary Employment Permit to be renewed. This may be renewed up to five (5) years.

 

(g)           Can a Person Change Jobs or Employers

A person cannot change jobs or employers without authority from the Chief Immigration Officer.



 


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