Tunisia – Taxation of international executives

Taxation of international executives.

Taxation of international executives.

  

Overview and Introduction

Residents are taxed on worldwide income. Non-residents are taxed only on income from Tunisian source. Income tax is calculated by applying a progressive tax rate schedule to taxable income. The top income tax rate is 35 percent.

The official currency of Tunisia is the Tunisian dinar (TND).

Herein, the host country/jurisdiction refers to the country/jurisdiction to which the employee is assigned. The home country/jurisdiction refers to the country/jurisdiction where the assignee lives when they are not on assignment. 

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Income Tax

Tax returns and compliance

When are tax returns due? That is, what is the tax return due date?

5 December of the year subsequent to the year of taxation for personal income tax return

25 February for capital gains arising from the sale of securities, income from movable capital and Real property income.

What is the tax year-end?

31 December.

What are the compliance requirements for tax returns in Tunisia?

Residents and non-residents

Residents: Resident individuals are required to submit an annual personal income tax return by 5 December of each year

Non-residents: Non-residents are generally not required to file income tax returns if they have earned only employment income which have been taxed at source through withholding made by a Tunisian employer.

Tax rates

What are the current income tax rates for residents and non-residents in Tunisia?

Residents: are subject to income tax at the following progressive rates:

Residents and non-residents

Income tax table for 2021

New tax rates are applicable starting from 1 January 2019.

Income bracket (annual)

Tax rate

0 to 5,000 Dinars

0%

5,000,001 to 20,000 Dinars

26%

20,000,001 to 30,000 Dinars

28%

30,000,001 to 50,000 Dinars

32%

Above 50,000 Dinars

35%

Non-resident: non-resident individuals (people staying in Tunisia less than 6 months) are taxable at a flat tax rate of 20 percent on the gross income.

Residence rules

For the purposes of taxation, how is an individual defined as a resident of Tunisia?

An individual is considered a Tunisian tax resident if:

  • the individual has a permanent home available to them in Tunisia
  • their stay in Tunisia during a calendar year is for more than 183 days.

Is there, a de minimus number of days rule when it comes to residency start and end date? For example, a taxpayer can’t come back to the host country/jurisdiction for more than 10 days after their assignment is over and they repatriate.

No

What if the assignee enters the country/jurisdiction before their assignment begins?

The assignee has to comply with foreign entry requirements to enter the country/jurisdiction and they can stay for 3 months as a foreign visitor. During this period foreign national is not allowed to carry out any employment work. They will be taxable in Tunisia beginning from the official start date of their assignment in Tunisia.

Termination of residence

Are there any tax compliance requirements when leaving Tunisia?

Any individual who intends to transfer his residency outside of Tunisia, should apply before his departure for a tax clearance from the Tax authorities, then, he should apply for a change of residency attestation.

What if the assignee comes back for a trip after residency has terminated?

There is no problem with coming back to Tunisia as a foreign visitor; However, if the assignee comes back to carry out an employment, he must in this case obtain a work permit.

Communication between immigration and taxation authorities

Do the immigration authorities in Tunisia provide information to the local taxation authorities regarding when a person enters or leaves Tunisia?

Yes.

Filing requirements

Will an assignee have a filing requirement in the host country/jurisdiction after they leave the country/jurisdiction and repatriate?

Generally, all income earned before the end of assignment (incurred income even if not yet paid) should be declared within the departure year tax return.

Economic employer approach

Do the taxation authorities in Tunisia adopt the economic employer approach1 to interpreting Article 15 of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) treaty? If no, are the taxation authorities in Tunisia considering the adoption of this interpretation of economic employer in the future?

Yes, the Tunisian authorities adopt the economic employer approach, especially where there is a recharge of the remuneration costs to the Tunisian entity.

De minimus number of days

Are there a de minimus number of days before the local taxation authorities will apply the economic employer approach? If yes, what is the de minimus number of days?

Not applicable.

Types of taxable compensation

What categories are subject to income tax in general situations?

As a general rule, the taxable income includes all the remunerations paid in cash or in kind by the employer to its employee, such as:

  • salary/bonus
  • expatriation allowance for inbound assignees
  • reimbursement of foreign and/or home country/jurisdiction taxes
  • cost-of-living allowances
  • housing allowances and housing provided by the employer
  • private use of a company car
  • employer provided domestic assistance
  • employer contributions to private social security scheme
  • phone, fuel vouchers, lodging, meal voucher
  • the employer's contribution to private health insurance or group insurance plan when not compulsory by law.

However, benefits in kind and allowances paid to employees should not constitute an additional taxable income when they are:

  • intended to cover expenses inherent in the function.
  • remunerated from social fund, reserves or profits that have been taxed
  • established under a mandatory provision, under a statutory or regulatory provision.

Intra-group statutory directors

Will a non-resident of Tunisia who, as part of their employment within a group company, is also appointed as a statutory director (i.e. member of the Board of Directors in a group company situated in Tunisia trigger a personal tax liability in Tunisia, even though no separate director's fee/remuneration is paid for their duties as a board member?

If no fee/remuneration is paid for their employment or presence during the Board of Directors meetings, their appointment should not trigger personal income taxation

a) Will the taxation be triggered irrespective of whether or not the board member is physically present at the board meetings in Tunisia?

Director’s remuneration such as attendance fee is subject to withholding tax in Tunisia

b) Will the answer be different if the cost directly or indirectly is charged to/allocated to the company situated in Tunisia (i.e. as a general management fee where the duties rendered as a board member is included)?

Yes, in this case the remuneration may be subject to taxation as a Tunisian sourced income unless providing a tax treaty exception

c) In the case that a tax liability is triggered, how will the taxable income be determined?

N/A.

Tax-exempt income

Are there any areas of income that are exempt from taxation in Tunisia? If so, please provide a general definition of these areas.

  • Expatriation allowances paid by a Tunisian company for their employee assigned abroad, subject to specific conditions.
  • Life annuities and temporary allotments granted to victims of labor accidents or to their heirs.
  • Redundancy indemnities, within certain limits fixed by the law.
  • Special allowances intended to cover expenses inherent in the function or employment of workers, evidences must be provided.
  • Interest from deposits and from certificates in foreign currencies or convertible dinars.

Other taxes levied on the gross salary

  • Social Housing Promotion Fund Tax (FOPROLOS): 1 percent of the gross salary for industry activities and 2 percent for others.
  • Vocational training tax (TFP): 2 percent of the gross salary.
  • Social Solidarity contribution
  • Social security contributions
  • Work injury.

Redundancy payments

Redundancy allowance is tax exempt according to the limits fixed by the labor law. Or in accordance with amounts limits fixed by employees’ redundancy payments for economic reasons and approved by the redundancy control committee or by the labor board or fixed by the restructuring and improvement committee decisions for companies with public participation.

Expatriate concessions

Are there any concessions made for expatriates in Tunisia?

A fixed rate of 20 percent is granted to foreign employees hired by fully exporting companies, hydrocarbon companies and other business area.

Non-resident individuals are subject to 20 percent tax rate, they are not required to file an annual income tax return when their employment income is subject to withholding income tax at source operated by the Tunisian employer.

Salary earned from working abroad

Is salary earned from working abroad taxed in Tunisia? If so, how?

Tunisian resident individuals are taxed on their worldwide income, income from Tunisian source and incomes from foreign source unless, the foreign sourced income has been already taxed at the country of source

Taxation of investment income and capital gains

Are investment income and capital gains taxed in Tunisia? If so, how?

Capital gain:

For resident and non-resident individual, capital gains derived from the disposal of immovable properties (lands and buildings) owned in Tunisia and shares in real estate civil partnerships, are subject to personal income tax according to the following rates:

  • 10 percent when the property was sold 5 years after the acquisition date
  • 15 percent when the property was sold before 5 years period of detention starting from the acquisition date

For non-resident individuals, capital gains derived from the disposal of shares held in the capital of Tunisian-resident companies are subject to tax in Tunisia.

For resident individuals, capital gains derived from the sale of shares held in the capital of Tunisian-resident companies are considered as securities income and are subject, as such, to income tax at the rate of 10 percent.

The taxable basis is calculated as the difference between the sale price and the purchase price reduced by TND10,000.

Dividends, interest, and rental income

Dividends

Dividends paid by a Tunisian entity to Tunisian resident individuals are subject to 10 percent withholding tax starting from January 2018.

Dividends paid to non-residents individuals are taxable at 10 percent tax rate unless the tax treaty provides a favorable tax rate.

Dividends received from non-Tunisian resident companies are subject to taxation in Tunisia under “other income category”

Interest

Interests and investment income from foreign source received by a Tunisian resident individual are taxable in Tunisia under “other income”, unless, this income was already taxed in the country/jurisdiction of source.

Interests and investment income from Tunisian source received by a non-Tunisian resident are subject to 20 percent tax rate, unless, the domestic tax legislations provide an exemption or when tax treaties provide favorable tax rate.

Rental income

According to double tax treaties, Income derived by a resident of Tunisia from real property situated in another country/jurisdiction may be taxed in that other country/jurisdiction.

According to the Tunisian local tax legislation, income derived by a resident individual in Tunisia from real property situated abroad should be taxed in Tunisia under “other income”, unless the income has been taxed in the country/jurisdiction of source.

Gains from stock option exercises

As a general rule, capital gain deriving from the option exercise should be subject to tax.

Foreign exchange gains and losses

If the exchange gains and losses are realized, that is a payment or receipt of funds occurred, they will be part of the tax base of calculation.

Principal residence gains and losses

Use of losses Information not available

Assessment of profits

Capital losses

Capital losses could be deducted offset capital gains realized the same year. Gifts

As a general rule, gifts are not subject to tax unless provided by the employer.

Additional capital gains tax (CGT) issues and exceptions

Are there additional capital gains tax (CGT) issues in Tunisia? If so, please discuss?

Information is not available.

Are there capital gains tax exceptions in Tunisia? If so, please discuss?

Information is not available.

General deductions from income

What are the general deductions from income allowed in Tunisia?

Employee contribution to social security scheme

10 percent fixed rate for professional costs capped to TND2,000. Common deductions are as follows:

  • family head: TND300
  • first child: TND100
  • second child: TND100
  • third child: TND100
  • fourth child: TND100.

Contributions made to life insurance within certain limits.

Tax reimbursement methods

What are the tax reimbursement methods generally used by employers in Tunisia?

The process could be administratively very heavy. It is recommended to deduct tax credit offset the subsequent year due tax.

Calculation of estimates/prepayments/withholding

How are estimates/prepayments/withholding of tax handled in Tunisia? For example, Pay-As- You-Earn (PAYE), Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG), and so on.

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding

Not applicable.

PAYG installments

Not applicable.

When are estimates/prepayments/withholding of tax due in Tunisia? For example: monthly, annually, both, and so on.

Actual withholding is paid by the employer on monthly basis.

Relief for foreign taxes

Is there any Relief for Foreign Taxes in Tunisia? For example, a foreign tax credit (FTC) system, double taxation treaties, and so on?

The relief for foreign taxes depends on the double tax treaty provisions signed by Tunisia.

General tax credits

What are the general tax credits that may be claimed in Tunisia? Please list below.

Information is not available.

Sample tax calculation

This calculation assumes a married taxpayer resident in Tunisia with two children (spouse is not working), whose 3-year assignment begins 1 January 2020 and ends 31 December 2022. The taxpayer’s base salary is 100,000 US dollars (USD) and the calculation covers 3 years.

 

2019

USD

2020

USD

2021

USD

Salary

100,000

100,000

100,000

Bonus

20,000

20,000

20,000

Cost-of-living allowance

10,000

10,000

10,000

Housing allowance

12,000

12,000

12,000

Company car

12,500

12,500

12,500

*Moving expense reimbursement

20,000

0

20,000

Home leave

0

5000

0

Education allowance

3,000

3,000

3,000

Interest income from non-local sources

6,000

6,000

6,000

Exchange rate used for calculation: USD1.00=TND2.8386.

Other assumptions

  • All earned income is attributable to Tunisian sources, except interest income. Current 2020-tax rates are applied for 2021 and 2022 tax calculations.
  • Bonuses are paid at the end of each tax year and accrue evenly throughout the year.
  • The company car is used for business and private purposes and originally costs in 2019 USD50,000 (excl. environmental fee)
  • The employee is deemed resident throughout the assignment.
  • Tax treaties are ignored for the purpose of this calculation, i.e. this is only a Tunisian tax calculation.
  • The employee lives in Tunis, Tunisia. The spouse has no income.

Calculation of taxable income

Year-ended

2020

TND

2021

TND

2022

TND

Days in Tunisia during year

365

365

365

Earned income subject to income tax

 

 

 

Salary

283,860.00

283,860.00

283,860.00

Bonus

56,772.00

56,772.00

56,772.00

Cost-of-living allowance

28,386.00

28,386.00

28,386.00

Housing allowance

34,063.20

34,.063.20

34,063.20

Company car

35,482.50

35,482.50

35,482.50

Home leave

0.00

14,193.00

0.00

Education allowance

8,515.80

8,515.80

8,515.80

Interest income from non-local sources

17,031.60

17,031.60

17,031.60

 

 

 

 

Total

464,111,100

478,304,100

464,111,100

Calculation of tax liability

Gross income

464,111,100

478,304,100

464,111,100

Employee social security contribution

-42,605,399

-43,908,316

-42,605,399

Professional costs deduction

-2,000,000

-2,000,000

-2,000,000

Net taxable

419,505,701

432,395,784

419,505,701

Round up

419,506,000

432,396,000

419,506,000

Total tunisian income tax including social solidarity contribution

146,622,160

151,262,560

146,622,160

* Please note that this is not included as taxable income, as this is a reimbursement in connection with a secondment.

Footnotes

Certain tax authorities adopt an "economic employer" approach to interpreting Article 15 of the OECD model treaty which deals with the Dependent Services Article. In summary, this means that if an employee is assigned to work for an entity in the host country/jurisdiction for a period of less than 183 days in the fiscal year (or a calendar year of a 12-month period), the employee remains employed by the home country/jurisdiction employer but the employee’s salary and costs are recharged to the host entity, then the host country/jurisdiction tax authority will treat the host entity as being the "economic employer" and therefore the employer for the purposes of interpreting Article 15. In this case, Article 15 relief would be denied, and the employee would be subject to tax in the host country/jurisdiction.

For example, an employee can be physically present in the country/jurisdiction for up to 60 days before the tax authorities will apply the ‘economic employer’ approach.

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Special considerations for short-term assignments

Residency rules

Payroll considerations

Taxable income

Additional considerations

For the purposes of this publication, a short-term assignment is defined as an assignment that lasts for less than 1 year.

Residency rules

Are there special residency considerations for short-term assignments?

The residency rules are the same for short- or long-term assignments, although it is often more likely that an employee will remain resident in the home country/jurisdiction under a tax treaty during a short-term assignment. If the employee is a non-resident of Tunisia, it may be possible to structure the assignment in such a way as to make use of a dependent personal clause in the tax treaty with the country/jurisdiction of residence in order to exempt the employee from income tax in Tunisia on their compensation earned for services carried in Tunisia.

Payroll considerations

Are there special payroll considerations for short-term assignments?

No special consideration.

Taxable income

What income will be taxed during short-term assignments?

The income paid for services performed in Tunisia and booked in the accounts of the local entity is subject to individual income tax in Tunisia.

Additional considerations

Are there any additional considerations that should be considered before initiating a short- term assignment in Tunisia?

Information is not available.

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Other taxes and levies

Social security tax

Are there social security/social insurance taxes1 in Tunisia? If so, what are the rates for employers and employees?

Employer and employee

Type of insurance

Paid by employer

Paid by employee

Total

CNSS

16.57%

9.18%

25.75%

Gift, wealth, estate, and/or inheritance tax

Are there any gift, wealth, estate, and/or inheritance taxes2 in Tunisia?

In Tunisia, there is no specific inheritance and gift tax. However, inheritance and gifts are subject to registration duties.

Real estate tax

Are there real estate taxes in Tunisia?

Yes

Sales/VAT tax

Value-added tax

VAT is due on all transactions taking place in Tunisia. The sale of goods is considered as taking place in Tunisia and thus subject to VAT if the goods sold are delivered in Tunisia. The sale of services is considered as taking place in Tunisia and thus subject to VAT if the services sold are exploited or used in Tunisia.

The standard rate of VAT is 19 percent. Lower rates of 7 percent and 13 percent apply to specifically designated operations.

Unemployment tax

Are there unemployment taxes in Tunisia?

There is no unemployment tax in Tunisia.

Other taxes

Are there additional taxes in Tunisia that may be relevant to the general assignee? For example, customs tax, excise tax, stamp tax, and so on.

Tunisia’s Budget Law for 2018 enacted a Solidarity Social Contribution to finance social security fund. The new measures took effect on 1 January 2018.

For natural person, the contribution corresponds to the difference between the personal income tax calculated based on the current tax rates and the personal income tax calculated on the bases of the later tax rates increased by 1 percent as follows:

Income bracket (Annual)

Current Tax rates

Current Tax rates increased by 1%

TND0 to 5000

0%

1%

TND5000,001 to 20,000

26%

27%

TND20,000,001 to 30,000

28%

29%

TND30,000,001 to 50,0000

32%

33%

Above TND50,000

35%

36%

The contribution is withheld and paid in the same time and under the same conditions as those applicable to the personal income tax or corporate tax. This contribution is not deductible for income tax or corporate tax purposes.

Non-resident individuals entitled to 20 percent flat rate are not subject to the social solidarity contribution.

Employees receiving an annual income less than 5000 DT are not subject to Solidarity Social Contribution.

Foreign Financial Assets

Is there a requirement to declare/report offshore assets (e.g. foreign financial accounts, securities) to the country/jurisdiction’s fiscal or banking authorities?

Tunisian residents in terms of FX regulation have to declare to the Central Bank of Tunisia the foreign accounts they own abroad.

Footnotes

1 Tunisian Labor Code of 1956 and subsequent amendments.

2 Tunisian Income Tax Act of 1989 (Law 89-114 of 30 December 1989) and subsequent amendments.

3 Central Bank of Tunisia website

4 Tunisian personal income Tax code

  

Immigration

Following is an overview of the concept of Tunisia’s immigration system for skilled labor.

(E.g. which steps are required, authorities involved, in-country/jurisdiction and foreign consular processes, review/draft flow chart illustrating the process)

This summary provides basic information regarding visa requirement, and work authorization for, Tunisia. The information is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

International Business Travel/Short-Term Assignments

Describe (a) which nationalities may enter Tunisia as non-visa national, (b) which activities they may perform and (c) the maximum length of stay.

As a general rule, any foreign national who intends to come to Tunisia to carry out a remunerated employment activity, is required to obtain a work permit in accordance with the Tunisian Labor legislation before starting the employment and a residence visa.

EU nationals (except Cyprus) and other countries/jurisdictions nationals can enter Tunisia without visa requirement as tourist visitors.

Overview of visa exemptions for entry into Tunisia:

Tunisian authorities have fixed the maximum stay as visitors for the above-mentioned nationalities ranging between 1 and 4 months of stay.

Describe (a) the regulatory framework for business traveler being visa nationals (especially the applicable visa type), (b) which activities they may perform under this visa type and the (c) maximum length of stay.

Nationalities exempt from visa :

For a stay less than 4 months: Canada, Germany, United States

For a stay less than 2 months: Bulgaria

For a stay less than 1 month: Greece

For stays less than 90 days: other countries/jurisdictions of the European Union (except Cyprus), Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bosnia, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Hong Kong (SAR), Honduras, Iceland, Japan, Jordan, Kiribati, South Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia , Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South-Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican

For a stay of less than 90 days with an identity card for organized trips: Austria, Belgium, France Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Holders of a diplomatic passport or a service passport of the following nationalities are also exempt from visa: Egypt, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Ukraine, Thailand.

Holders of diplomatic passports of the following nationalities are also exempt from visa: Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Albania, Vietnam.

Holders of a passport of the following nationalities may also stay in Tunisia without a visa on organized trips: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macao (SAR), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Nationals of all other countries/jurisdictions may obtain their visas at the embassies and consulates of Tunisia.

Residence visa

A residence visa is required for any foreigner who stays in Tunisia for more than 3 months without interruption or 6 months not consecutive for 1 year.

The validity period of the temporary residence permit is the same as the period of validity of the documents used to issue it. It may not be more than 1 year unless otherwise authorized by the Secretary of State for the Interior.

The Tunisian Authorities may withdraw the temporary residence permit to any foreigner:

  • who has committed acts of a nature to injure public order
  • if the reasons for granting the residence permit are no longer applicable.

The temporary resident holder must leave Tunisia at the expiry of the period of validity of their residence permit, unless they obtain a renewal.

Visas for residence are classified into two categories:

Temporary residence visa

This visa is generally granted to foreigners who do not intend to stay permanently in Tunisia.

The ordinary visa and residence permit can be provided:

  • to foreigners born in Tunisia who have resided without interruption
  • foreigners residing in Tunisia for 5 years without interruption
  • foreign women married to Tunisians nationals
  • to foreigners who have Tunisian children
  • to foreigners who have rendered appreciable services to Tunisia.

In any case, if any foreigner intends to carry out an employment in Tunisia, they must obtain a work permit prior to start the employment activity

Outline the process for obtaining the visa type(s) named above and describe (a) the required documents (including any legalization or translation requirements), (b) process steps, (c) processing time and (d) location of application.

Information not available

Are there any visa waiver programs or specific visa categories for technical support staff on short-term assignments?

Information not available

Long-Term Assignments

What are the main work permit categories for long-term assignments to Tunisia? In this context outline whether a local employment contract is required for the specific permit type.

Local employment contract not required

  • Foreigners having the status of employer (Manager, Co-Manager or Director of attorney for Limited Liability Companies, General Manager or Chairman of the Board of the Company for Limited Companies) and in accordance with the provisions of Article 258 of the labor code promulgated by the law n ° 66-27 of the 30/04/1966
  • Executive staff of foreign nationality in accordance with the provisions of article 06 of the Law n ° 2016-71 of 30 September 2016, bearing the law of the investment. on 1 April 2017) under conditions and limits
  • Executive staff of foreign nationality in the fields of prospection, research and exploration covered by article 107 of the mining code promulgated by law n ° 2003-30 of 28/04/2003
  • Executive staff of foreign nationality in the fields of prospection and research covered by Article 124 of the Hydrocarbons Code promulgated by Law n ° 1999-93 of 17/08/1999
  • Foreign executives practicing in Non-profit Associations and Non-profit Organizations
  • Technical co-workers assigned to projects or programs funded by states or foreign organizations in collaboration with Tunisia
  • Moroccan nationals

Local employment contract required

  • Foreigners to hire for lack of Tunisian similar profiles in the requested specialty
  • The holders of employment contracts among the spouses of Tunisians
  • Supervisory and supervisory staff of foreign nationality practicing in companies eligible for the provisions of Article 6 of Law No. 2016-71 of 30 September 2016 on the law of investment (exceeding the limit)
  • Supervisory and supervisory staff of foreign nationality in the areas covered by Article 75 (1) and (2) of the Mining Code
  • Supervisory and supervisory staff of foreign nationality practicing in the field of exploitation covered by Article 62-2 of the Hydrocarbons Code
  • Agents of foreign nationality seconded to parent companies or as part of partnership or cooperation projects between Tunisian companies and other foreign companies
  • Agents of foreign nationality seconded to Tunisian branches of from parent companies holding business contract (s) in Tunisia
  • gents of foreign nationality seconded to Tunisian branches of the parent companies that participate in the subcontracting of the execution of contract (s) in Tunisia
  • Young French Professionals as part of the Franco-Tunisian agreement on the exchange of young professionals
  • Young Swiss Professionals
  • Young French people seconded to International Business Volunteers
  • Agents of foreign nationality exercising in the Sports and Artistic field
  • Agents of foreign nationality exercising in Hotels including Animators and representatives of Travel Agencies.
  • Social cases: Tunisian mother or Tunisian father.
  • Partners and shareholders.

Provide a general process overview to obtain a work and residence permit for long- term assignments (including processing times and maximum validation of the permit).

A general rule, Work authorizations are provided for a 1-year period. Residence visa is provided for the same period as the work authorization

Timeframe work authorization:

  1. Document gathering (1-2 weeks)
  2. Prepare Visa application (2-5 days)
  3. Online registration (1 day)
  4. File Visa application with the Tunisian Employment Ministry (5-10 business days)
  5. Obtain Work Visa (1 day)

Time frame residence visa

  1. Document gathering (1-2 weeks)
  2. Prepare Visa application (2-5 days)
  3. File the application with the police office (1 day)
  4. Obtain temporary residence visa (1 day)
  5. Obtain the residence visa (2-4 months)

Documents generally required for work authorization application

  1. Copy of passport
  2. Hard copy of the signed and stamped application request
  3. Hard copy of the signed and stamped recruiting request
  4. Legal file of the Tunisian entity (Trade register extract, Status, API declaration, trading tax, Jort …)
  5. Social security payment receipt of the Tunisian entity (last quarter)
  6. Copy of CV, Diploma
  7. Assignment letter if any

Documents generally required for residence visa application

  1. Work authorization
  2. Legal file of the Tunisian entity (Trade register extract, Status, API declaration, trading tax, Jort …)
  3. Portrait Photo
  4. Home Lease contract registered with Tunisian tax authorities
  5. Passport copy
  6. Payment tax receipt for residence visa application.

Is there a minimum salary requirement to obtain a long-term work and residence permit for assignments? Can allowances be taken into account for the salary?

As a general rule, the salary should not be lesser than the salary paid to a Tunisian national with the same professional profile.

Is there a fast-track process which could expedite the visa/ work permit?

NA.

At what stage is the employee permitted to start working when applying for a long-term work and residence permit (assignees/ local hire)?

Upon the time they obtain the work authorization and temporary residence visa.

Can a short-term permit/ business visa be transferred to a long-term permit in Tunisia?

Yes.

 

Is it possible to renew work and residence permits?

Yes.

Is there a quota or system or a labor market test in place?

Yes.

General Immigration Related Questions

Would it be possible to bring family members to Tunisia?

Yes.

Is it possible to obtain a permanent residence permit?

Yes

What if circumstances change after the Work and Residence application process (e.g. change of employment or personal situation, including job title, job role or salary)?

Change of employer, job title, place of work should be notified to the Labor Ministry. Notification should not be required when change of personal situation or salary.

How long can a permit holder leave Tunisia without their permit becoming invalid?

Information not available.

Must immigration permissions be cancelled by the end of the assignment/employment?

Yes.

Are there any penalties for individuals and/or companies in place for non-compliance with immigration law?

Yes.

Other Important Items

List any other important items to note, or common obstacles faced, in Tunisia when it comes to the immigration processes.

NA.

Footnotes

1 Tunisian Labor code

2 Law n° 1968-0007 of 8 mars 1968, relating to foreigners stay requirements in Tunisia

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Disclaimer

All information contained in this publication is summarized by KPMG ENTREPRISES SARL, the Tunisian member firm affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity, based on the Tunisian Tax code of 2021, Tunisian Social Security Website, Tunisian Labor Law Code, Central Bank of Tunisia Website, Tax treaties signed by Tunisia.