July 4, 2024
2 Min. Read

FINALLY RESIDENTS

The first homeowners to receive residencies in Zanzibar.

Joy and relief were expressed when the first foreign homeowners were granted legal resident status in May in Zanzibar.

All four are Dutch nationals and have bought the property in Fumba Town, the growing eco-city near the capital. The new residence status is granted with an investment of $100,000 and above. The move has been eagerly awaited. It is meant to encourage foreign private investment in the isles and to make life easier for property buyers. “We are expecting many more applications”, said Vuai Lada, acting director of the Zanzibar Investment Authority (ZIPA) when handing over the first light-blue digital “e-permit”-cards to foreigners in his office.

“It’s a big relief”, said Fozia de Jong, a Dutch housewife, when receiving the permit.  “We have been waiting for this for two years while we had to leave the country every three months to renew our tourist visas”, said Petra van Bemmel who moved to Fumba Town with her family of four also from the Netherlands. In Fumba Town alone, more than 100 new residents are expected to qualify for the permit.  

Anybody who buys a ZIPA-endorsed property of $100,000 or more qualifies for the practical stay permit. Initially, the “golden visa”, as it is called in other countries, was supposed to also cover multiple investments as long as they exceed $100,000. This obviously has been changed, confirmed ZIPA executive Lada during the handover in his office. Without further explanation, he said: “For the time being, one single investment property must be worth $100,000 or more. However, this can be evaluated in due course.” Many residents have criticised the change; “we hope this will be re-evaluated”, they expressed.

$550 for two years

The so-called “class C11 visa” is valid for two years, costs $550, and is renewable as long as the property continues to be owned by the holder.  East African nationals pay $300. It includes the investor, his or her spouse, and up to four children under 18. Family members pay $50 each. “The residence permit does not replace a work or business visa”, stressed Zakia Kisiri, an immigration officer in charge of the new permit at ZIPA. 

The investor-friendly “Golden Visa” has been in the making since 2021 and was finally passed with a new Tanzania-wide immigration law in June 2023. To apply, proof of investment, a Zanzibari tax number, and police clearance from the home country of the applicant are required.

Fumba Town developer CPS and THE FUMBA TIMES have been pressing for the new stay permit for years. “History was made”, investors acknowledged, when receiving the desired new national identity card for their chosen country of residence. The card also assures them of a national driving license as well as attractive resident’s tariffs with airlines, ferries, and events.

How to get the permit:

Homebuyers who bought from developer CPS may contact their sales agent for information; other homebuyers contact ZIPA’s one-stop-investment center, website: zipa.go.tz

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