July 6, 2021
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Zanzibar Launches Residence Permit Program By Purchasing Real Estate

The government of Zanzibar has launched a new residence permit program for investors wishing to buy property in the country. Previously, Zanzibar issued a residence permit only for developers. We tell you what is known about the new status and what other countries offer a residence permit by purchasing real estate.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Chief Development Officer in Immigrant Invest, lawyer

Zanzibar residence permit by investment in 2021

Zanzibar Launches Residence Permit Program By Purchasing Real Estate

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous state within Tanzania, with its own administrative center. The islands of Zanzibar are located in the Indian Ocean near Africa.

There is the Zanzibar Investment Promotion and Protection Authority Act No. 14 of 2018, which enshrines the state’s fiscal policies and the rules of the investment program.

In June 2021, the government of Zanzibar announced that investors who bought real estate in the country can now obtain a residence permit. For two years, residence permits were issued only to developers who built commercial and residential real estate or urban infrastructure facilities, such as bridges and piers, on the territory of the country.

The program was not a success with investors, as there was no one to buy the facilities built. The government of Zanzibar is confident that the changes will help correct the situation by balancing supply and demand in the real estate market.

How to get a residence permit in Zanzibar by purchasing real estate

Adult investors without a criminal record are eligible to apply for a residence permit.

Investment options are not limited to specific properties, the government provides an indicative list:

  • residential real estate;

  • hotels, restaurants, and bars;

  • plots of land for the construction of business centers;

  • shopping centers, stores, and showrooms.

All properties other than residential must be approved by the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency or ZIPA.

The minimum investment amount is specified in the law. Perhaps the Zanzibar government will approve it in the future.

The ZIPA agency’s investment guidelines only specify amounts for developers. For example, developers must invest a minimum of $2.5 million to build hotels on the island.

Participation of family members of the investor. Get a residence permit with an investor can be a spouse and children under the age of 20 years. To maintain the status, you do not have to live in Zanzibar.

The residence permit is only valid for the duration of ownership of the property. Status must be renewed every two years.

What gives a residence permit in Zanzibar

Tax benefits. The government of Zanzibar has developed a number of tax benefits for program participants:

  1. The investor does not pay tax on income outside the country.

  2. Tax on income in the country is taxed at a rate of 15% instead of 30%.

  3. When selling an apartment, the investor pays tax on only half of the transaction amount at 5%, instead of 10%.

  4. VAT is not charged for renting a property, as well as when selling it.

  5. Deferral of payment of the license for the first three months of business.

  6. During the first five years, there is no income tax for a company opened in the country.

The list of tax benefits may be amended or supplemented. Up-to-date information can be found on the ZIPA website.

Real estate income. Demand for residential and commercial real estate in Zanzibar has been growing since 2012. According to Knight Frank’s 2017 Africa report, GDP growth in Tanzania has been about 5% every year for the past five years. Due to the pandemic crisis, GDP growth has fallen, but the economy has already begun to recover. The demand for real estate will start to grow as well.

The investor will be able to rent the property or sell it after some time. In order not to lose the residence permit can be invested in other projects, which offers the program.

Accommodation and vacation in Zanzibar. An investor has the right to live on the islands for an unlimited number of days. The best time to vacation is from December to March. During this time, the temperature is comfortable — about +26 ° C and no seasonal rains.

The most popular resorts in Zanzibar are located in the west and north of the island — the coast of Stone Town, Bububu and Kendwa beaches, where there are hotels, restaurants and stores.

Zanzibar residence permit by purchasing real estate

Zanzibar has many beaches. Hotels, cafes, and boat and water equipment rentals open for tourists

What other countries offer a residence permit by purchasing real estate

Wealthy people buy real estate abroad for a variety of reasons. First of all, to keep the money they earn. Some buy real estate to live, work and study in the country. And for this, you need residency status.

Investors more often choose the option of buying real estate in European residence permit programs. Greece, Malta, and Portugal offer foreigners to buy real estate in exchange for a residence permit or permanent residence permit.

European residence permit programs by investment in real estate


Minimum investments




Residents of Greece, Malta, and Portugal can live in the country of residence and freely enter Schengen states. If the conditions of the programs are met, the investor is entitled to apply for citizenship — after 5 years in Portugal and Malta and after 7 years in Greece.

With the passport of a country-member of the European Union, the investor has even more opportunities, such as free residence in any state of the European Union and visa-free entry into more than 170 countries.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent who helps you obtain a residence permit in the European Union. If you want to live in Europe and travel freely through the Schengen countries, seek advice from investment program experts.