Living in Zimbabwe

Official information that British people moving to and living in Zimbabwe need to know, including residency, healthcare and driving.

Before you go

See our travel advice for Zimbabwe for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

See entry requirements for Zimbabwe in our travel advice.

You can get a visa from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London or on arrival in Zimbabwe. Visitors are typically given entry permission for 30 days. You can apply to have this period renewed or extended if required. Do not violate your Zimbabwe visa conditions by overstaying. You will be arrested and deported. Check that the number of days stamped in your passport at the port of entry covers your intended period of stay in the country.


See our travel advice for Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe and the UK do not have reciprocal healthcare agreements. You should buy comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you enter the country.

You should also make sure you’re covered by health insurance for UK treatment or you’ll be charged by the NHS for any care you receive in the UK.

The NHS has information for people moving abroad.

You can find English-speaking doctors in Zimbabwe. You should also check that your prescriptions are legal in Zimbabwe.

Working in Zimbabwe

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).


See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Zimbabwe.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.


See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

Consular Section at the Embassy can no longer certify Proof of Life Certificates but one of the recognised professions on this list may be accepted. If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.


See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Driving in Zimbabwe

See driving abroad and road travel in Zimbabwe.

See taking a vehicle out of the UK.


British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.


See register a birth abroad.


See what to do after someone dies.

We no longer process consular birth and death certificates at the Embassy. Consular section cannot obtain duplicate Zimbabwe birth/death certificates on your behalf where originals have been lost. Please contact the Zimbabwe Registry Office directly on +263 4 702 295 ext 120 & 134 for assistance or

See also:

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Consular Section does not issue Certificates of No Impediment (CNI). You need to obtain a No Trace Marriage Letter from the UK GRO as well as UK Police Clearance to get married locally, details below:

The General Registrar Office in the United Kingdom holds all records of births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, stillbirths and adoptions. They issue a ‘no trace marriage letter’ which will enable you to get married in Zimbabwe.

Records in England & Wales

Records in Scotland

Records in Northern Ireland

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).


If you need urgent help - Econet subscribers should dial 112, NetOne subscribers should dial 114, Telecel subscribers should dial 911 and those using landlines should dial 993. These numbers will give you access to ambulance, fire and police emergency services across Zimbabwe.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.


Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Zimbabwean authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 6 March 2014