Living in Tunisia
Advice for British people living in Tunisia, including information on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.
This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in Tunisia, including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and cannot do for British nationals. This information supplements the travel advice for Tunisia.
Visit the national health portal for information on health care in Tunisia. The British Embassy in Tunis assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by the medical professionals, the clinics, or the hospitals in Tunisia.
Visit the Ministry of education website (in Arabic) for information on education in Tunisia.
Employment and recognised qualifications
Foreigners are not allowed to do jobs which Tunisians could normally fill. There are special provisions for foreign-owned or off-shore companies. As a general rule, job seekers should only sign properly drawn-up contracts offered by an employer and which have been endorsed by eg Ministry of Social Affairs (website in French or Arabic). If you need advice, you can consult a lawyer. A list of lawyers is available at the British Embassy Tunis or the Consular Division of the FCO in London.
Entry and residence requirements
Customs allow visitors to bring their personal effects and sporting equipment into the country. The duty free allowance on arrival is: 2 to 4 bottles of wine, for personal consumption and not commercial quantities. A carton of beer, ie a box of 24 cans, one litre of spirits and 200 cigarettes. Check Tunisian customs website for latest information.
If you are a British citizen or British subject with right of abode in the UK, you do not require a visa to enter Tunisia. Other British Overseas Territory citizens should confirm the current entry requirements with the nearest Tunisian embassy.
A valid British passport must be held for entry to and exit from Tunisia as a visitor. There is no minimum passport validity requirement but you should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your visit.
There is an “ID requirement” in Tunisia. This means that you must carry a proof of identity on you at all times. For British nationals, this is a valid original British passport. This is a legal requirement. Copies of passports can be carried providing that they are supported by an alternative form of ID such as a valid Driving Licence or a ‘Carte De Sejour’.
In case you extend your stay to more than three months, you must apply for a residence permit (carte de séjour, see below for more information).
You are required to apply at the nearest police station (with a “Bureau d’Etrangers” section) of the sector in which you reside for authorisation (a visa and Carte de Séjour) to extend your stay.
You would be committing an offence if you stay in the country without a legal proof for which you could be charged under the law. Visit the Tunisian Ministry of Interior website (in Arabic) for more information on entry requirements.
Driving licences and vehicles
For enquiries about UK driving licences, please visit the DVLA website.
If you bring your car or motor-cycle when visiting Tunisia, you are required to have in your possession:
a. A valid national driving licence and/or international driving permit
b. A vehicle registration document
c. If b. is not in your name, a legalised document signed by the person or company whose name is on that registration certificate, permitting you to drive it
d. Third party liability insurance. Insurance cover can be bought on arrival at the port, for periods of days or weeks as required, and must be paid for in foreign currency (ie Not Tunisian dinars).
On entry, the details of the vehicle are written into the driver’s passport, and he is expected to re-export the vehicle when he leaves.
The vehicle may not be sold or left behind in Tunisia without express Customs’ permission. Enquire at the Direction Régionale des Douanes, La Coupole, port de Tunis. Import dues are high and have to be paid before any sale is authorised. The regulations forbid the sale of any vehicle which is over three years old on entry.
For information about driving in Tunisia, consult the local authority (in French).
The Tunisian Dinar is a non-convertible currency. You are advised to check with a bank the various packages they offer to open a bank account and to invest your money.
Money can be changed in banks, change offices and big hotels. Credit cards are accepted in supermarkets, the main hotels, large restaurants, airline companies, travel agents and souks. Cash point (ATM) machines accept UK debit and credit cards are widely available.
All income is taxable. You should expect a rate of 20% but ask your employer for precise details. There is a UK/Tunisia non-double taxation agreement, signed in London on 15 December 1982.
Guidance on bringing medication into Tunisia
If you are bringing medication into the country for a pre-existing medical condition, you should carry a letter from your doctor listing the names of the medications, and any syringes or needles, you are carrying with you.
More information can be found on website for the Tunisian Embassy in London.
Buying property abroad
For information on buying a property in Tunisia, please check our guide.
Social ethics and traditions
Check the local laws and customs detailed as part of our travel advice.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.
Published: 16 December 2013