All foreigners entering Zambia require a passport valid for at least six months. Depending on the purpose and duration of stay, some travellers require a visa for Zambia, which is usually available at the point of entry into the country.
Tourist visas for Zambia
Visa requirements for Zambia vary according to one's nationality. Nationals of certain countries are allowed visa-free entry while others can obtain a visa on arrival in Zambia.
It’s possible to obtain a single-entry or double-entry tourist visa for Zambia at the port of entry. Those wanting to obtain a multiple-entry visa should apply online using Zambia's e-Visa system or in person at a Zambian embassy or consulate before arriving in the country. Tourist visas allow holders to be in Zambia for up to 90 days within one calendar year.
Business visas for Zambia
Foreigners entering Zambia for business purposes are required to have a valid business visa. These can be obtained at the point of entry into Zambia and businesspeople may be asked to produce a letter from their intended business partner in Zambia stating the nature of the intended visit. Business visas are usually valid for 30 days and do not qualify a person to work for pay while in the country.
Foreigners arriving in Zambia for volunteer purposes are required to enter the country on a business visa.
Work permits for Zambia
Foreigners wishing to work in Zambia for longer than six months will need a work permit. Work permits for Zambia are issued by the Department of Immigration and should be applied for before entering the country.
Zambian employers wanting to recruit foreign workers will generally have to prove to authorities that there are no Zambians suitably qualified or experienced enough to fill the position.
Depending on the nature of the employment, work permits are usually issued for an initial period of up to two years. Subsequent extensions of the work permit are permitted for a maximum of 10 years.
*Visa and work permit requirements are subject to change at short notice and expats are advised to contact their nearest Zambian embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For more on the business climate and job opportunities, see Working in Zambia
"I was very well informed regarding visas, so I did not have any problems. By law, work permits must be obtained by employers. I have an official investor passport so that makes a very big difference. But Zambia immigration is very strict on the issue, so do not underestimate their controls."
Read more about Belgian expat Jacques's experiences in Zambia.
Are you an expat living in Zambia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Zambia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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