Essential Employment Paperwork in Tunisia



Nestled in the borders of the beautiful Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea is Tunisia. Though this North African country’s economy is quite complicated to portray due to constant changes, it still serves as a major player in the export industry and has a growing partnership with France as well as Italy. Expatriates that are courageous enough to brave Tunisia’s labour market should prepare all the essential employment paperwork before flying in. 

US passport holders can stay in Tunisia without a residence permit for a maximum stay of four months. However, exceeding four months of stay will require a residence permit that can be obtained at the local central police station. Foreign nationals who will only stay in this country for less than three months are also not required to have a visa but are subject to security check upon their arrival regardless of their nationality. Those who are seeking to get employed for more than 90 days must have a work permit and Carte de Sejour (residence permit). 

Work Permit 

Sponsorship from a Tunisian company can significantly speed up the permit application, but there are some instances when an employer won’t extend a hand and offer sponsorship to expats. Those who need to take care of their work permits need to submit an application to the Ministry of Social Affairs. It usually takes about four to six weeks to process this document and foreign nationals should avoid seeking for a job without it since Tunisian employers are hesitant in hiring applicants that don’t have a valid work permit. 

Carte de Sejour or Residence Permit 

Upon arrival in Tunisia, foreign nationals must visit the local police station in their area of residence to apply for a residence permit. The application process normally takes around two to three months, and once it has been issued, holders will be able to work and stay in Tunisia for one year. Some of the documents that expats must bring when applying for a Carte de Sejour are listed below: 

  • Copy of valid passport
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Work Permit
  • Copy of Employment Contract (for applicants that are already employed) 

Residence and work permits have the same validity period. Expats can file for renewal of another one year after obtaining a new work permit from the Ministry of Social Affairs.