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Tanzania: Whether an Iranian man married to a Tanzanian woman has the right to live in Tanzania with his wife

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 October 1998
Citation / Document Symbol TZA30488.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Tanzania: Whether an Iranian man married to a Tanzanian woman has the right to live in Tanzania with his wife, 1 October 1998, TZA30488.E, available at: [accessed 30 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Please note that the 1995 Tanzanian Citizenship Act and Immigration regulations are available on REFWORLD.

The following information was provided during a 23 October 1998 telephone interview with the Consul of the High Commission for Tanzania in Ottawa.

The consul stated that the couple has the right to live in Tanzania. According to the 1972 Immigration Act the foreign husband can join and live with his Tanzanian wife in Tanzania and keep his nationality. The husband has the right to apply for permanent residence status. There are many cases of Tanzanian women married to foreigners who live in Tanzania. A permanent residence status provides the right to reside indefinitely, to work, to an education, to health care, etc. Only the rights to vote and to be a candidate in an election are not provided under the status of permanent resident. There are many foreigners who have been living in Tanzania indefinitely with a permanent residence status. The Consul added that since the explosion at the Embassy of the United States, persons coming from Libya, Algeria, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan and Iran must go through an in-depth verification with the authorities before receiving any status in Tanzania.

The husband must obtain a three months entry visa from the Tanzanian Embassy, provide a copy of the marriage certificate, show his current valid passport, fill the visa application form, provide two passport-like photos and pay a fee for the visa. The wife has simply to show her Tanzanian passport.

The Consul stated that after ten years of residence in Tanzania the husband can apply for Tanzanian citizenship. Tanzania does not recognize dual citizenship and the husband would have to renounce his Iranian citizenship. The Tanzanian authorities would investigate whether the applicant has a criminal record in Tanzania and with Interpol. The security check would be crucial in the acquisition of Tanzanian citizenship. If there are no criminal record, there would be no obstacles remaining to acquire Tanzanian citizenship. The same documents as required for the visa are required for the acquisition of citizenship, only the administrative forms would be different.

If children are born during the ten years of residence in Tanzania and prior to their father acquiring Tanzanian citizenship, the authorities would consider them dual nationals (Iranian and Tanzanian) until they reach eighteen. After eighteen, the children would have to choose one of the two citizenships. If the father acquires Tanzanian citizenship before the children reach the age of eighteen, they would simply be Tanzanian citizens.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


High Commission for Tanzania, Ottawa. 23 October 1998. Telephone interview with consul.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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