1.   Short title.

   2.   Application.

   3.   Interpretation.


   4.   Appointment of Director, etc.

   5.   Delegation of functions and powers of Director.

   6.   Functions of Immigration Officer.

   7.   General powers of Immigration Officer.

   8.   Powers of arrest.

   9.   Powers of search.


   10.   Meaning of "prohibited immigrant".

   11.   Entry, etc., of prohibited immigrants.

   12.   Arrest and expulsion of prohibited immigrants.

   13.   Liability for bringing prohibited immigrants into Tanzania.

   14.   Deportation.


   15.   Prohibition on entry without passport, permit or pass.

   16.   Prohibition on employment, study, etc., without permit.

   17.   Establishment, composition and functions of the Alien Immigrants Board.

   18.   Classes of residence permits.

   19.   Class "A" residence permit.

   20.   Class "B" residence permit.

   21.   Class "C" residence permit.

   22.   Permits to be issued subject to conditions.

   23.   Appeals to the Minister.

   24.   Variation of conditions of permits.

   25.   Dependants of person granted permits.

   26.   Effect of fraud.

   27.   Revocation and surrender of permits.


   28.   General power of Minister on prohibition.

   29.   Evidence.

   30.   Burden of proof.

   31.   Offences.

   32.   Indemnification of public officers.

   33.   Regulations.

   34.   Power to exempt.

   35.   Registration of alien immigrants.

   36.   Reasons for arrest, search or detention.

   37.   [Repeal of Act No. 8 of 1972 and Z. Cap. 43.]

   38.   Savings.


An Act to provide for the control of immigration into the United Republic and for matters relating to immigration.

[1st February, 1998]
[G.N. No. 51 of 1998]

Acts Nos.
7 of 1995
27 of 1997
6 of 2008
G.N. No.
253 of 1996


1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Immigration Act.

2.   Application

   (1) This Act shall extend to Tanzania Zanzibar as well as to Mainland Tanzania.

   (2) Subject to this section this Act shall not apply to any citizen of Tanzania, except that–

   (a)   an immigration officer may exercise any of the powers conferred upon him by or under this Act, in relation to any person who is a citizen of Tanzania in so far as the exercise of that power is necessary to determine the status of that person as such; and

   (b)   a person who is a citizen of Tanzania shall be liable to be proceeded against, convicted and punished for an offence under this Act in respect of any obstruction of, or otherwise in relation to the exercise, by an immigration officer, of his powers under this Act, or for an offence under this Act in relation to a person to whom this Act applies generally; and

   (c)   regulations made under paragraph (e), (m), (n), (o) and (p) of subsection (1) of section 33, and in pursuance of subsection (2) of that section, may be applied to persons who are citizens of Tanzania, and to that extent and for those purposes the provisions of this Act and of regulations shall apply to citizens of Tanzania.

   (3) The Minister may, in relation to any category or description of persons who are not citizens of Tanzania, make regulations exempting those persons from all or any of the provisions of this Act and–

   (a)   providing for the control of immigration of such persons, whether by requiring them to comply with any such regulations before, on or after entering Tanzania or by prohibiting or regulating the entry into Tanzania of such persons, or otherwise;

   (b)   providing for the registration and identification of such persons for the purpose of the control of immigration, and for all matters incidental thereto;

   (c)   applying, with or without modification all or any of the provisions of this Act and of any regulations made hereunder to such persons.

   (4) Regulations made under subsection (3)–

   (a)   may impose, for their breach, penalties of a fine not exceeding sixty thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both that fine and imprisonment; and

   (b)   shall be laid before the National Assembly.

3.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context requires otherwise–

   "alien immigrant" means any person who is not a citizen of Tanzania;

   "Board" means the Alien Immigrants Board established by section 17;

   "child" includes a child adopted under the Adoption Act or the Adoption of Children Decree of Zanzibar, but does not include–

   (a)   a child adopted otherwise than under the Adoption Act * or the Adoption of Children Decree unless the Minister is satisfied that the circumstances of the adoption were such as substantially to satisfy the requirements of subsection (1), (2), (3), and (4) of the Adoption Act * or, as the case may be, of the Adoption of Children Decree; or

   (b)   a married woman; or

   (c)   any person who has attained the age of eighteen years;

   "dependant" means a person who is materially dependent upon the earnings of another;

   "deportation order" means an order made under section 14;

   "destitute person" means a person who, in the opinion of the Director of Immigration Services, is incapable of supporting himself or his dependants;

   "Director" means the Director of Immigration services appointed under section 4, and includes any person exercising the powers of the Director duly delegated to him pursuant to section 5;

   "immigration officer" means any immigration officer of any grade appointed under subsection (3) of section 4, and includes the Director;

   "magistrate" means in the case of Mainland Tanzania a resident magistrate, in the case of Zanzibar, a chairman of the People's Court;

   "medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner registered or licensed under the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act *, and appointed by the Director of Medical Services to act under this Act;

   "Minister" means the Minister for the time being responsible for matters relating to immigration;

   "pass" means a valid pass issued or deemed to have been issued under the provisions of any regulations made under this Act;

   "passport" means a valid passport issued to a person by or on behalf of the Government or State of which he is a subject or valid travel document issued to a person by an authority recognised by the Government of the United Republic; such passport or document being complete and having attached to it a photograph of the holder and having endorsed on it all particulars, endorsements, photographs and visa required from time to time by the Government or authority issuing that passport or document and by the government of the United Republic and by any regulations for the time being in force in Tanzania in that behalf:

   Provided that when the Government or authority issuing that passport has exempted the holder from the requirement of attaching a photograph to the passport then that passport shall be valid without the photograph;

   "police officer" means any member of the Police Force of or above the rank of constable;

   "prohibited immigrant" has the meaning ascribed to that expression in section 10;

   "residence permit" means a valid permit issued or deemed to have been issued under the provisions of section 19, section 20 or section 21;

   "ship" includes any vessel, tug, lighter or boat of any kind whether propelled by steam or in any other way or towed.


4.   Appointment of Director, etc.

   (1) There shall continue to be established the Office of the Director of Immigration Services and the President shall appoint upon such terms and conditions as he may specify in the instrument of appointment, a public officer to that office.

   (2) The Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Immigration Division and shall, in that behalf, be answerable to the Minister.

   (3) There shall be appointed such number of immigration offices as may be necessary for the proper and efficient administration of this Act.

5.   Delegation of functions and powers of Director

   (1) Subject to any general or specific directions given by the Minister in that behalf, the Director may, in writing and subject to such restrictions reservations, exceptions or conditions as he may impose, delegate to any immigration officer all or any of the powers conferred upon him by or under this Act; but no such delegation shall prevent the exercise by the Director of any power so delegated.

   (2) The Director may at any time, by writing under his hand, revoke or vary his delegation under subsection (1) of all or any of the powers included in the delegation.

   (3) Any exercise by an immigration officer of any power conferred upon the Director by or under this Act and delegated to him under subsection (1) shall be deemed, unless the contrary is proved, to be the exercise of that power as so delegated.

6.   Functions of Immigration Officer

   Every immigration officer shall perform such functions and duties as are imposed on him by or under this Act, or as may be determined by the Director, from time to time.

7.   General powers of Immigration Officer

   Without prejudice to the generality of section 6, and for the purpose of the better administration of this Act, any immigration officer may–

   (a)   interrogate, or scrutinise the passport of any person who desires to enter or leave Tanzania or any person who he has reasonable grounds for believing to be a prohibited immigrant and, when he has reason to suspect any infringement of any provision of this Act, or any regulations made hereunder, interrogate, or scrutinise the passport of, any person who he believes can give information regarding such infringement;

   (b)   require any person who has entered or who desires to enter or leave Tanzania to make and sign any prescribed form of declaration or to submit himself to examination by a medical practitioner;

   (c)   require the master of a ship, the captain of an aircraft, the guard of a train or the person in charge of a vehicle arriving from or leaving for any place outside Tanzania to furnish a list in duplicate, signed by himself or his agent or other person authorised to do so on his behalf, of the names of all persons in the ship, aircraft, train or vehicle and to furnish such other information as may be prescribed;

   (d)   if he has reasonable cause to suspect that any person has contravened any of the provisions of this Act or of any regulations made hereunder or that the presence in Tanzania of any person is unlawful, and if he is of opinion that in order to prevent justice from being defeated it is necessary to arrest such person immediately arrest any such person without warrant, and being him or cause him to be brought before a magistrate as soon as is practicable;

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