What is a Residence Permit? A Detailed Guide

6 minute read
Residence Permit

A residence permit (RP) is a necessary document for foreign nationals who are planning to reside in a specific country for an extended period. This document allows an individual to stay longer for study, work, or other reasons. This detailed guide will help the aspirants of study abroad to get complete knowledge about residence permits, their types, how to apply for a permit, and also some of the easiest countries to get a residence permit. Students aiming to study or work for a career abroad should go through this guide to demystify all the details on residence permits.

What is a Residence Permit?

A residence permit is an official document issued by the government of a specific country. It is not a visa. Both residence permits and visas give different rights. The visa allows an individual to cross the border. On the other hand, a residence permit allows one to enter the country for a specific purpose such as study, work, etc. This permit confirms the right of a foreigner to live in a country.

Also Read: How to Apply for a Student Visa: A Complete Guide

Difference Between a Residence Permit and a Permanent Residence

Note below the difference between a residence permit and a permanent residence.

Residence Permit Permanent Residence
It is temporary and is valid only for up to 1 or 2 years. It is permanent and is given only after a residence permit.
A residence permit allows the candidate to stay in a country for a limited period. Permanent residency refers to the permit for living in a country for a long period or even permanently.

Types of Residence Permits

Residence permits can be divided into the following main types:

  • Class A: Self-Employed 
  • Class B: Working in a company or other private institutions.
  • Class C: For researchers, retired persons, Missionaries, Volunteers, etc.

The Commissioner General of Immigration Service has the power to issue residence permits. In case the applicants are not satisfied with the Commissioner’s decisions they may appeal to the Minister of Home Affairs even while outside the country. Application for residence permits should also be submitted even when the applicant is outside the country.

Must Read: How to Apply for UK Visa Application

Validity of Residency Permit

The maximum validity of any class of Residence Permit is only two years, and it can be renewed. However, the validity of a residence permit depends upon:

  • Contract of Employment
  • License validity issued by relevant professional boards
  • Work Permits validity

During the validity of a residence permit, a person can:

  • Stay in a country
  • Buy real estate
  • Cross the border for unlimited times
  • Start up a business
  • Study in private or public institutions
  • Use medical services
  • Purchase a car and also get a driving license
  • Travel without visas to the Schengen countries

How to Apply for a Residence Permit Online?

The online application for residence permits generally depends upon the country for which it has been applied. However, check below the general outline of steps involved in the online application:

  • Directly visit the link: https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/online/permit or web site www.immigration.go.tz
  • Students can select Go to e-services and then choose the option of Online Residence Permit Application;
  • The applicant must first read the guidelines of the Residence Permit.
  • The candidates must create an account and fill in their phone number, email, postal address, and password.
  • After filling in all the details the students are required to attach all the required documents, and finally submit their application
  • After the application has been approved for payment, it will be notified, and he/she will be required to pay the prescribed fee within 60 days. After the expiry of sixty days, if the candidate fails to make the payment the application will be canceled automatically
  • After the payment has been made, the applicant will receive a notification of Residence Permit Enrolment Notification, which requires the candidate to report to the nearest Immigration Office for fingerprints and photo capture
  • Once the enrolment process is completed the applicant will have to wait for his/ her processing and issuance of residence permit processing. This usually takes a week’s time.
  • The Residence Permit can be collected from the Regional Immigration Office where the company is located or at the Immigration Head Office Zanzibar, Immigration Headquarters, EPZA, TIC, or ZIPA as the case may be.

NB: In case the application has incomplete documents/information the applicant will be notified online (through the Residence Permit System) to rectify the important query so that the application can proceed.

Must Read: UK Student Visa Dependent: Requirements, Process

Easiest Countries to Get Residence Permits

Obtaining a residence permit in a foreign country can be a complex and lengthy process, but there are some countries where the requirements are relatively straightforward and the procedures are more accessible. In this guide, we will explore the five easiest countries to get residence permits.

A residence permit allows a foreigner to stay in a country for a period of usually 1- 5 years. It is offered on various grounds such as economic solvency, real estate ownership, and investment.


A residence permit in the UK is known as a BRP ( Biometric Residence Permit). A BRP is usually given in case a person comes to the UK for more than 6 months or extends the visa longer than 6 months and is planning to settle in the UK. A BRP will include the following details:

  • Name, date & place of birth
  • Fingerprints and photo of face
  • Immigration status and condition of stay
  • If the person can access public funds such as health & other benefits 

Must Read: UK Spouse Visa 2023: Fees, Documents, Rules


Persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada may be authorized to enter Canada as temporary residents. The maximum validity of temporary residents is three years depending on various conditions. Check the conditions below:

  • Students should satisfy the conditions imposed on the TRP ( Temporary residence permit)
  • Students must not work or study without a work or study permit
  • Cannot re-enter Canada without prior authorization
  • Students must leave Canada at the end of their authorized period of stay


A France residence permit is a document that allows its holder to stay in France and is mandatory for every foreigner who comes to France to stay more than three months. Without a French residence permit, one will not only be considered an illegal resident in France but will be unable to get access to many state services and aids.

To apply for a France, the students should prepare the following documents for submission:

  • A valid passport stamped with the French long-stay visa on it.
  • A copy of the important pages of your passport, including the pages with stamps.
  • Birth Certificate of your home country.
  • Two photographs as per the ICAO standards.
  • Proof of residence can be an electricity bill, domicile statement, rent receipt, etc.
  • Proof of income:
    • if employed – work contract and latest payment slips.
    • if self-employed – proof of their status.
    • retired or unemployed: proof of having the adequate financial means to live in France.
  • Medical Insurance
  • Translations of every document are required that are not in French.

Also Read: How to Get a PR in France?


What rights does a residence permit give?

It gives the right to a person to stay temporarily. However, the person will not be able to visit countries with which the state of a residence permit has an agreement of a visa-free regime.

How to get a residence permit in EU countries?

The students can get residence permits in EU countries in many different ways such as through marriage, admission to a university, or volunteer activities.

Is a visa required to get a residence permit?

Yes, a visa is required to get a residence permit. It allows a student to stay in a country temporarily but and visa allows them to cross the borders of a cou

We hope you now understand what a residence permit is and how to apply for it! Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu and we will guide you on your dream journey!

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