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Immigration Permit Types

Description and requirements

A Residence Permit confers permanent residence to a holder and is issued to a foreigner who: has held an Employment Permit for a continuous period exceeding ten (10) years; is a dependant (who is 21 years old or below) of someone with a valid Residence Permit or an established resident; has held an Investor’s Permit for more than three (3) years; has held a Spouse Permit for at least five (5) years; is a person (irrespective of age) born from a citizen; is a dependant of foreign origin under the care of a citizen; has intention to retire in Zambia and showing proof of sufficient funds (pension, irrevocable annuity, retirement account); and a holder of an Entry Permit (provided there are reasonable and justifiable grounds for the delayed change).

Requirements for Issuance

Applicants aged between 7 – 15 years

  • Covering letter to Director General of Immigration;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Certified copy of birth certificate of the applicant;
  • Certified copy of parents’ status;
  • One recent passport size photographs;
  • Adoption certificate (in case of adopted children)*;
  • Proof of enrolment at an educational institution (for students);
  • Alien Registration Card; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Applicants above 16 years

  • Covering letter to Director General of Immigration;
  • Aliens Registration Card;
  • Certified copy of Birth Certificate of the applicant;
  • Certified copy of Marriage Certificate;
  • Two testimonials from persons of good standing who have known the applicant for a minimum period of not less than three (3) years;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Certified copy of host’s status;
  • One recent passport size photographs;
  • Adoption Certificate (in case of adopted children)*;
  • Proof of enrolment at an educational Institution (for students); and
  • Prescribed fee.

Holders of Investor’s Permit

  • Covering letter to Director General of Immigration;
  • Aliens Registration Card;
  • VAT/ZRA receipts/Valid ZRA Tax Clearance Certificate;
  • Current bank statement;
  • Audit Report from a recognized firm registered with the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA);
  • Title of ownership or lease agreement (where applicable);
  • Certified photocopies of current passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • One recent passport size photographs;
  • Prescribed fee; and
  • Inspection Report by Immigration (Only after submission of application).

Holders of Employment Permit

  • Covering letter to Director General of Immigration;
  • Aliens Registration Card;
  • Two reference letters;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • One recent passport size photographs;
  • Contract of employment;
  • Certified documentary proof of professional or other qualification; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Retirees

  • Covering letter to Director General of Immigration;
  • Duly completed application form (Form 4);
  • Proof of funds (bank statement);
  • Proof of permanent pension (irrevocable annuity) or retirement account;
  • Proof of ownership of land or lease agreement (where applicable);
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Two recent passport size photographs; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for variation by addition of Children

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration from the applicant;
  • Certified copy of Birth Certificate;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • One recent passport size photographs; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for variation by Change of Employer.

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration from applicant;
  • Certified copy of qualifications;
  • Letter of release from previous employer;
  • Letter of offer from the prospective employer; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for variation by Inclusion of a New Business and Change of Company

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration from applicant;
  • Original Permit;
  • Certificate of Incorporation;
  • List of Directors;
  • Latest Bank Statement; and
  • Prescribed fee.

To apply for a Residence Permit or variation on a residence permit please click here.

An Employment Permit is issued to a foreigner who enters the country to take up employment for a period exceeding six (06) months. It can be extended for periods up to a maximum of 10 years. It is issued to a foreigner who is:

1) Employed by the Government of Zambia or a statutory body;
2) Employed by the private sector, Non-Governmental Organisations (including a person employed as a volunteer) or a religious organization; and
3) The spouse and children, over twenty one years, of a foreigner may be issued with Employment Permits if they are to be employed in the family business.

Note: All applicants should remain outside Zambia until the permit has been approved. Further, only an Employer, a Practising Lawyer and an Immigration Consult can apply for Employment Permits on behalf of a prospective expatriate. The individual expatriate cannot do this on their own.

The permit authorises the holder to enter and re-enter into and to remain within Zambia until the permit expires. However, if it is a first time application and the successful applicant requires a visa to enter Zambia, such a person is still required to apply for a visa to enter the country to collect the permit.

Requirements for a new application

  • Covering letter from employer addressed to the Director General of Immigration;
  • Employment contract or Letter of offer;
  • Police clearance from country of residence;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Registration certificate from the relevant professional body in Zambia (where required);
  • Certified copy of qualifications (academic, professional);
  • Copy of marriage and birth certificates (where available);
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Certified Certificate of Share Capital and List of Directors;
  • Copy of succession plan which shall include an understudy training program to be conducted by the foreign national to transfer knowledge and/or skills to the Zambian worker;
  • A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation;
  • In the case of Construction, Mining Sector, ICT, Engineering and other project based engagements, a covering letter specifying the project on which the expatriate would be employed, copy of letter of award specifying completion date and value of project must be submitted;
  • Original Press advertisements which have appeared in two leading newspapers in A5 size. Name of Newspaper and date of advert should be clearly visible on the press advert and outcome of selection exercise must also be submitted;
  • One recent passport size photographs; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal /extension

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration from concerned employer;
  • Extended contract;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia); and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for variation by Addition of Children and/or Spouse

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration from the applicant;
  • Certified copies of marriage/birth certificate/s (as appropriate);
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia); and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for variation by Change of Occupation

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration from the employer or concerned employer;
  • Letter of appointment for new occupation;
  • Certified copies of professional certificates; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for variation by Change of Employer

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration from concerned employer;
  • Letter of appointment /offer/contract;
  • Letter of release from previous employer; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Obligations of Holder

1. The holder of a an Employment Permit shall comply with the conditions specified in the permit and shall not engage, for gain, in any activity, business, trade, employment, profession, study or any other thing not specified in the permit

2. The holder must observe conditions such as the area within which the holder may engage in employment and the nature of the employment in which the holder may engage.

3. A holder of an Employment Permit cannot buy land. 4. A holder of an Employment Permit cannot engage in studies at any institution of learning in Zambia.

Obligations of Employer

1. An employer shall make effort in good faith to ascertain that no illegal immigrant is employed or to ascertain the status or citizenship of those employed by the employer.

2. An employer shall, on the termination of an employment contract of, or the resignation or dismissal of, a foreign employee who is the holder of an employment permit, surrender the employment permit to the Director General of Immigration within one month of the termination of the employment contract, resignation or dismissal of the foreign employee.

3. An employer shall, on termination of an employment contract of, or the resignation or dismissal of, a foreign employee who is the holder of an employment permit, be fully responsible for the repatriation of the former foreign employee and other costs associated with the removal or deportation of that former foreign employee if that former foreign employee fails to leave Zambia when no longer in employment.

4. An employer who fails to surrender the employment permit or take responsibility for the repatriation of the former foreign employee and other costs associated with their removal or deportation, commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units.

5. An employer employing a foreigner shall for two years after the termination of such foreigner’s employment, keep the prescribed records relating to the foreigner’s employment.

6. An employer employing a foreigner shall for two years after the termination of such foreigner’s employment report to the Department the termination of such foreigner’s employment; and any breach on the part of the foreigner, of the foreigner’s status.

7. If an illegal immigrant is found on any premises where a business is conducted, it shall be presumed that such illegal immigrant is or was employed by the person who has control over the premises, unless prima facie evidence to the contrary is adduced.

8. If an foreign employee is moving to operate at different location, the employer must in writing, notify the Director General of such change of address.

To apply for an Employment Permit or variation on an Employment permit please click here.

An Investor’s Permit is issued to a foreigner (above the age of 18 years) intending to establish a business or invest in Zambia or who has established or invested in a business in Zambia, or is joining an already existing company.

Requirements for a new application

  • Covering letter addressed to the Director General of Immigration;
  • Certificate of Incorporation;
  • Certificate of Share Capital (where required);
  • Certificate of Minimum Capital;
  • Investment License from ZDA (where available);
  • List of Directors;
  • Proof of personal investment amounting to US$250,000 for a new business and US$150,000 if joining an existing company (Bank Statement, Money Transfer, ZRA Form CE20, showing description and value of goods/equipment);
  • Proof of ownership or lease agreement in Zambia;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Two recent passport size photographs; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal/extension

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration 11);
  • VAT/ZRA receipts/ valid Tax Clearance Certificate;
  • Audit Report from a recognized firm registered with the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA);
  • Lease Agreement (where applicable);
  • Current bank statement;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Prescribed fee; and
  • Inspection Report by Immigration (Only after submission of application).

Requirements for variation by inclusion of another company

  • Covering letter addressed to the Director General of Immigration;
  • Certificate of Incorporation;
  • Certificate of Share Capital;
  • Certificate of Minimum Capital;
  • Investment License from ZDA (where available);
  • List of Directors;
  • Proof of personal investment (Bank Statement, Money transfer, ZRA Form CE20);
  • Proof of ownership or lease agreement in Zambia;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia); and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for variation by Change of Nature of Business/ Addition of Nature of Business

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration;
  • Certificate of Incorporation;
  • Appropriate license;
  • List of Directors;
  • Certificate of Share Capital;
  • Certificate of Registration of Business Name (where applicable);
  • Investment License (if any);
  • Proof of ownership of land or lease agreement (where applicable); and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for variation by Addition of Children and/or Spouse

  • Covering letter to the Director General of Immigration from applicant;
  • Certified copies of Marriage/Birth Certificate/s (as appropriate);
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Two recent passport size photographs; and
  • Prescribed fee.

To apply for an Investors Permit or variation on a residence permit please click here.

A Spouse Permit is issued to the spouse of a: Zambian Citizen; an established resident holding a Certificate of Status as an Established Resident; and a Residence Permit holder.

Requirements for new application

  • Covering letter from the applicant addressed to the Director General of Immigration;
  • Letter of consent from the spouse in support of the application (citizen, established resident & Residence permit holder);
  • Status of the spouse (Citizen, Established Resident & Residence Permit holder);
  • Certified copy of marriage certificate;
  • Certified copy of valid passport of applicant (bio data & last endorse- ment stamp for Zambia);
  • One recent passport size photographs;
  • Proof of sustenance; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal/extension

  • Covering letter from the applicant addressed to the Director General of Immigration;
  • Letter of consent from the spouse in support of the application (Citizen, Established Resident & Residence Permit holder); and
  • Prescribed fee.

To apply for a Spouse Permit or extension on a Spouse Permit please click here.

A Study Permit is issued to a foreign national who intends to study on full time or part time basis at a Zambian Educational Institution . Children and dependants of holders of permits should apply for Study Permits in order to study at an educational institution in Zambia for a period longer than three (03) months unless the children or dependants in their own right hold Residence Permits, in which case they should ensure that the occupation on their Residence Permits reads “student”.

Note: The holder of a Study Permit shall comply with the conditions specified in the permit and shall not engage, for gain, in any activity, business, trade, employment, profession or any other thing not specified in the permit.

Requirements for new application

  • Covering letter from applicant addressed to the Director General of Immigration/Regional Immigration Officer;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Letter of acceptance from the educational institution;
  • Letter from sponsor (e.g. institution, host, parent, guardian, applicant, if self-reliant etc.) supporting the application;
  • Proof of status of sponsor (whether a national or a permit holder);
  • Financial status of sponsor; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal/extension

  • Covering letter from school;
  • Latest results transcript / progress report; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirement for variation by Change of School

  • Covering letter from the applicant addressed to the Director General of Immigration;
  • Acceptance letter from new school;
  • Latest results transcript / progress report from previous school; and
  • Prescribed fee.

To apply for a Study Permit or extension on a Study Permit please click here.

A Diplomatic Permit is issued to Ambassadors; Ministers of foreign countries; career diplomats; Consular Officers; representatives of prescribed international organizations; officials and employees of a foreign Government or international organizations recognized by the Government of Zambia; members of the immediate family of the holder of the Diplomatic Permit; and personal/domestic staff of the holder of the Diplomatic Permit.

Requirements for new application

  • Covering letter from the Ministry responsible for Foreign Affairs addressed to the Director General of Immigration in support of the application;
  • Note Verbale from the Mission/copy of letter of accreditation;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • One recent passport size photographs; and
  • Certified copy of Diplomatic Identity Card from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Requirements for renewal/extension

  • Covering letter from Ministry responsible for Foreign Affairs addressed to the Director General of Immigration in support of application;
  • Note Verbale from the Mission/copy of letter of accreditation; and
  • Certified copy of valid Diplomatic Passport.

A Visiting Permit is issued to an ordinary visitor who wishes to remain in Zambia for a period in excess of ninety (90) days. This permit is valid for three (03) months and cannot be extended beyond nine (09) months within a period of twelve (12) months.

Requirements for a new application

  • Covering letter from applicant, addressed to the Director General of Immigration;
  • Letter of consent from host supporting the application and stating reason for the prolonged visit of the applicant;
  • Proof of status of host (whether a national or a permit holder);
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • One recent passport size photographs;
  • Copy of return air ticket or proof of ability to return e.g. host’s or applicant’s bank statement; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal /extension

  • Covering letter addressed to the Director General of Immigration from applicant;
  • Letter of consent from host supporting the application;
  • Proof of status of host (whether a national or a permit holder);
  • Copy of return air ticket; and
  • Prescribed fee.

To apply for a visiting permit kindly click here.

A Cross Border Permit is issued to a foreigner who is a member of a regional grouping to which Zambia is party or one who ordinarily resides in a country sharing boundaries with Zambia and is a member of an association of persons engaged in cross border business. It is issued for an initial period of ninety (90) days and may be renewed after expiry for a further period of ninety (90) days within a period of six (06) months from the date of issuance. The period granted shall not exceed six (6) months in any given period of twelve (12) months.

Requirements for a new application

  • Covering letter from applicant addressed to the Director General of Immigration/Regional Immigration Officer;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • Proof of membership to a Cross Border Traders Association;
  • Letter from the relevant Cross Border Traders’ Association supporting the business venture; and Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal/extension

  • Covering letter from applicant addressed to the Director General of Immigration/Regional Immigration Officer;
  • Proof of membership to a Cross Border Traders Association
  • Letter from the relevant Cross Border Traders’ Association supporting the renewal;
  • Original Permit; and
  • Prescribed fee.

A Temporary Employment Permit is issued to any business visitor who intends to remain in Zambia for a period exceeding thirty (30) days. The validity of the permit should not exceed six (6) months within a period of twelve (12) months.

Requirements for issuance

  • Covering letter from the institution doing business with applicant;
  • Duly completed application form (Form 25);
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp);
  • One recent passport size photographs; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal/extension

  • Covering letter from the employer indicating the reasons for extension;
  • Duly completed application form (Form 11); and
  • Prescribed fee.

A Temporary Permit is issued to: a prohibited immigrant or any person as directed by the Minister of Home Affairs; parent(s) (father, mother or foreparents only) of a holder of an Employment Permit or Investor’s Permit within the validity of the permit; and  a dependant of permit holder above the age of 18.

This Permit is also issued to a foreigner who has appealed to the Minister of Home Affairs against rejection of their permit application or notice to leave Zambia.

The Temporary Permit must not be applied for unless directed by the Department of Immigration.

Requirements for new application (A Prohibited Immigrant or any person directed by the Minister)

  • Covering letter addressed to the Director General of Immigration/ Regional Immigration Officer;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia) (where available);
  • Copy of endorsed appeal to the Minister;
  • One recent passport size photographs;
  • Proof of Court process (e.g. bail); and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for new application (Parent(s)/dependant of permit holder)

  • Covering letter from applicant addressed to the Director General of Immigration/Regional Immigration Officer;
  • Letter of consent from sponsor/permit holder;
  • Copy of permit of sponsor;
  • Certified copy of passport of applicant (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • One recent passport size photographs;
  • Current endorsement in passport; and
  • Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal

Covering letter giving reasons why an extension is desired and Prescribed fee.

A Transit Permit is issued only to drivers of commercial trucks and their crew when they have exhausted ninety (90) business visit days. The Transit Permit is given initially for a period of one year and may be renewed for a further period of one year.

Requirements for a new application

  • Covering letter to the Director General of by host or company ;
  • One recent passport size photo;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia);
  • and Prescribed fee.

Requirements for renewal/extension

  • Covering letter by host or company;
  • Certified copy of valid passport (bio data & last endorsement stamp for Zambia); and
  • Prescribed fee.

An Asylum Seeker’s Permit is issued to a person seeking asylum in Zambia and is valid for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of issue. The 30 days given are to allow for refugee status determination.

Requirements for Issuance

National Registration Card (if available) and Passport (if available).