If your company is exploring the process of international expansion, you may be drawn to the sustained economic growth of the Republic of Tunisia. However, like any other country, Tunisia has a unique set of requirements for foreign nationals who plan to live and work within its borders.
Types of Work Visas in Tunisia
Citizens of several countries, including the United States and member states of the European Union (EU), are free to visit Tunisia for up to 90 days without a visa. Foreign nationals who are not from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain a short-stay visa for temporary visits under 90 days, such as business trips and conferences.
Any foreign national who intends to remain in Tunisia for more than 90 days will need to apply for a long-stay visa and obtain a temporary residence permit upon arrival in Tunisia, including citizens of visa-exempt countries.
Requirements to Obtain Tunisia Work Visas
Tunisian visa requirements can vary based on a number of factors, including the applicant’s country of residence and the intended length of their stay in Tunisia. That said, the following documents are generally required:
- A completed visa application form
- A passport that’s valid for a minimum of six months and has been issued within the last decade
- A copy of the first page of the applicant’s passport
- One or two passport photos, depending on the specific embassy’s requirements
- Proof of accommodation in Tunisia, such as a lease or hotel reservation
- A travel itinerary with the planned dates of travel
- A letter of invitation from the employer in Tunisia
- Evidence that the visa application fee has been paid
In addition to these requirements for the employee, the employer will also need to demonstrate that there are no eligible job seekers in Tunisia to fill the position.
To begin the visa application process, applicants should gather all necessary documents and contact the Tunisian embassy or consulate in their country of residence. The diplomatic officials will confirm the visa requirements and set up an appointment for a visit to the embassy.
At the embassy, the applicant should submit the long-stay visa application along with all required documents. They should then wait in their country of residence for the visa to be processed. Upon issuance of the visa, the applicant can travel to Tunisia.
Upon arriving in Tunisia, foreign employees will need to obtain a temporary residence permit. The long-stay visa is a prerequisite for this document and does not actually allow foreign nationals to live in Tunisia on its own.
Temporary residence permits are issued by the Ministry of the Interior in Tunisia. The Ministry issues residence permits for education, employment, joining family in Tunisia, and investing. To get a permit, foreign nationals should visit the local police department near their place of residence in Tunisia.
Tunisian officials will issue a Residence Card, which is valid for one to two years and can be renewed. Employees will need to renew their residence permit every time their work contract is renewed.
Other Important Considerations
In recent years, the Tunisian government has announced plans to implement a procedure that will enable foreign nationals to apply online for an eVisa. This process will be quicker than the current system, and there will be fewer visa requirements. Such an option is not yet available as of this writing.
Aside from the visa application process, your employees should also be aware that they’re eligible to obtain permanent residence status after living in Tunisia for five years as a temporary resident.
Partner With Globalization Partners
If your company is undertaking an international expansion, Globalization Partners can help. Contact us today to learn more about how our Global Expansion solution can help you expand to Tunisia and stay compliant from day one.