Arrangement of Sections



   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Application


   4.   Appointment of Director-General of Immigration and other immigration staff

   5.   Functions of Department

   6.   Powers of Department

   7.   Delegation of powers of Department

   8.   Powers of search of aircraft, train, vehicle or other vessel

   9.   Powers of arrest of suspects entering Zambia

   10.   Appeal procedures


   11.   Entry and remaining in Zambia

   12.   Arrival in Zambia

   13.   Examination of entrants

   14.   Permit holder to appear before immigration officer

   15.   Security from entrants

   16.   Departure from Zambia

   17.   Power to deport illegal immigrants

   18.   Arrest and detention prior to deportation

   19.   Duties and liabilities of carriers


   20.   Residence permit

   21.   Temporary residence permit

   22.   Diplomatic permit

   23.   Spouse permit

   24.   Business permit

   25.   Visiting visa and visiting permit

   26.   Study permit

   27.   Temporary permit

   28.   Employment permit and temporary employment permit

   29.   Investor’s permit

   30.   Cross border permit

   31.   Asylum seeker’s permit

   32.   Border pass and transit permit

   33.   Variation of conditions of permit

   34.   Revocation and cancellation of permit


   35.   Prohibited immigrants

   36.   Prohibited immigrant required to leave Zambia

   37.   Representation against requirement to leave Zambia

   38.   Suspected prohibited immigrants

   39.   Deportation

   40.   Trafficking in persons


   41.   Border controls

   42.   National monitoring and information system

   43.   Obligations of employers

   44.   Educational institutions

   45.   Accommodation establishment

   46.   Aiding and abetting illegal immigrants

   47.   Immigration consultant

   48.   Immigration ethics

   49.   Illegal immigrants not exempt or allowed to sojourn in Zambia

   50.   Evidence

   51.   Burden of proof

   52.   General offences

   53.   Obstructing, assaulting, etc. immigration officer

   54.   Engaging in employment, etc. without permit

   55.   Possession of more than one passport without authority

   56.   General penalty

   57.   Bail

   58.   Forfeiture of vehicle, aircraft, boat or house

   59.   Regulations

   60.   Notice of service

   61.   Repeal of Cap. 123

   62.   Savings




to consolidate the law relating to immigration; provide for the appointment of a Director-General of Immigration and other immigration officers and provide for their powers and functions; promote a human rights based approach and culture in respect of immigration controls; regulate the entry, exit and remaining within Zambia of immigrants and visitors; provide for prohibited immigrants and other specified persons and their deportation from Zambia; provide for, and regulate, immigration consultants; create an environment of cooperation with other public institutions and promote an integration of functions and harmonisation of operations among public institutions controlling borders and activities at ports of entry; repeal and replace the Immigration and Deportation Act, 1965; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[16th April, 2010]

Act 18 of 2010.


1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Immigration and Deportation Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“admission” means the entry into Zambia after being examined at a port of entry by an immigration officer;

“asylum seeker’s permit” means a permit issued under section 31

“authorised person” means any person to whom any function of the Department has been delegated to, or conferred on, under section 7,

“border” means the national borders of Zambia;

“border pass” means a prescribed document authorising a person to enter and remain temporarily in, or to re-enter, Zambia, and includes any class or description of such document;

“business permit” means a permit issued under section 24,

“business visitor” means a person coming to Zambia to transact business during the person’s stay in Zambia, such as attending meetings, conferences, arranging of deals and the signing of contracts and includes—

      (a)   an overseas worker, who is paid by an employer abroad, who comes to Zambia, for a short period, to work, install, erect, repair or service foreign-made machinery or equipment;

      (b)   a person who comes to Zambia to advise on the development of new computer systems or information technology; or

      (c)   the provision of any service consisting of advice, training or learning by observation or in a classroom;

“child” includes a child adopted under the Adoption Act, but does not include—

      (a)   a child adopted otherwise than under that Act, unless the Minister is satisfied that the circumstances of the adoption were such as substantially satisfy the requirements of sub-sections (1), (2), (3) and (4) of section 4 of that Act;

      (b)   a spouse; or

      (c)   a person who has attained the age of twenty one years;

“citizen” means a citizen of Zambia;

“depart” means exiting Zambia from a port of entry in compliance with this Act and “departure” shall be construed accordingly;

“Department” means the Immigration Department in the Ministry responsible for home affairs;

“deportation” means removing or causing to be removed an illegal immigrant from Zambia, by the Minister, or detaining an illegal immigrant in accordance with this Act and “deport” shall be construed accordingly;

“diplomatic permit” means a permit issued under section 22;

“Director-General of Immigration” means the person appointed as Director-General of Immigration under section 4;

“educational institution” means an institution, the primary function of which is to provide academic or other instruction established or registered under the Education Act, the University Act, 1999, or the Technical Education, Educational and Entrepreneurship Training Act, 1998;

“employer” includes a person contractually bound under an employment contract or, in the case of a juristic person, its chief executive officer or any person to whom authority has been bestowed to make final decisions on human resources;

“employment permit” means a permit issued under section 28;

“established resident” means, in relation to any date, a person who is not a citizen or a prohibited immigrant and who has been ordinarily and lawfully resident in Zambia or the former Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, or both, for the period of four years immediately preceding that date, except that no period during which a person—

      (a)   has been confined in a prison consequent on a sentence of imprisonment imposed by a court, which sentence has not, on appeal or review, been quashed or varied to a fine;

      (b)   has been an inmate of a mental institution; or

      (c)   has remained in Zambia as an ordinary visitor or in terms of a permit allowing such person for a limited period only so to remain; shall be counted for the purpose of this definition;

“foreign country” means a country other than Zambia;

“foreigner” means any person who is not a citizen;

“illegal immigrant” means a foreigner who is in Zambia in contravention of this Act and includes a prohibited immigrant;

“immediate family” means a husband, wife or child;

“immigration assistant” means a person appointed as an immigration assistant in accordance with section 4;

“immigration consultant” means a person, other than a legal practitioner, who for remuneration and by trade; represents or acts on behalf of other persons in respect of any of the procedures or activities under this Act;

“immigration officer” means a person appointed as an immigration officer in accordance with section 4 and includes the Director-General of Immigration and, in relation to the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty, any person on whom such power or duty has been conferred or imposed under this Act;

“investor” means any person, natural or juridical, who is not a citizen, investing in Zambia in accordance with the Zambia Development Agency Act 2006, or under any other law;

“investor’s permit” means a permit issued under section 29;

“legal practitioner” has the meaning assigned to it in the Legal Practitioners Act;

“national document of identity” means a national registration card or passport;

“ordinary visitor” means any visitor, including a tourist and any person visiting friends and relatives in Zambia, other than a business visitor;

“passport” has the meaning assigned to it in the Passports Act, 2003;

“port of entry” means a place where a person has to report before entry into, sojourning in, remaining within, or departing from, Zambia;

“prohibited immigrant” has the meaning assigned to it in section 35;

“refugee” has the meaning assigned to it under the Refugees (Control) Act;

“removal” means removing an illegal immigrant, by an immigration officer, on the order of the Director-General of Immigration, but does not include deportation;

“repealed Act” means the Immigration and Deportation Act, 1965;

“residence permit” means a permit issued to any person under section 20;

“spouse” means a husband or wife, whose marriage was solemnised under the Marriage Act, the laws of a foreign country or under the Zambian customary law;

“spouse permit” means a permit issued under section 23;

“status” means the status of a person as determined by the relevant permit granted to that person under this Act;

“study permit” means a permit issued under section 26;

“subordinate Court” means a Court constituted under the Subordinate Courts Act;

“temporary employment permit” means a permit issued under section 28;

“temporary permit” means a permit issued under section27;

“temporary residence permit” means any of the permits specified under section 21;

“traffic” has the meaning assigned to it in the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2008;

“transit permit” means a permit issued under sub-section (4) of section 32;

“visa” means an endorsement on a valid passport of a foreigner, which is confirmed by examination by an immigration officer at the port of entry, granting that person the authority to enter Zambia;

“visiting permit” means a permit issued under section 25;

“work” includes the following-

      (a)   conducting any activity normally associated with the running of a specific business; or

      (b)   being employed or conducting activities consistent with being employed or with the profession of the person, with or without remuneration or reward;

“Zambia Development Agency” means the Agency established under the Zambia Development Agency Act, 2006;


“Zambia Revenue Authority” means the Authority established under the Zambia Revenue Authority Act.

3.   Application

   (1) Subject to sub-section (2), Parts IV and V shall not apply to any—

      (a)   citizen;

      (b)   established resident; or

      (c)   immediate family of a citizen or established resident;

and such persons shall be entitled to enter and re-enter into, and to remain within, Zambia.

   (2) Notwithstanding sub-section (1), Parts IV and V shall apply to any person

      (a)   arriving in or departing from Zambia until the person satisfies an immigration officer that such person is a person to whom sub-section (1) relates; or

      (b)   who is an established resident for the purpose of the exercise by the Minister of the Minister’s powers under those Parts.


4.   Appointment of Director-General of Immigration and other staff

   (1) The Public Service Commission shall appoint, as public officers, a Director-General of Immigration, immigration officers, immigration assistants and such other staff, for the Immigration Department within the Ministry responsible for home affairs, as shall be necessary for the proper administration of this Act.

   (2) A person shall not be appointed as a Director-General of Immigration unless the person has expertise in matters of immigration, administration or security.

   (3) The Director-General of Immigration may be removed from office if the Director-General—

      (a)   is declared to be of unsound mind;

      (b)   is in breach of any code of conduct provided for under this Act;

      (c)   is found guilty of any corrupt practice;

      (d)   is incompetent to perform the functions of the office of the Director-General;

      (e)   is an undischarged bankrupt;

      (f)   is found guilty of any misbehaviour or misconduct; or

      (g)   is convicted of an offence under any law and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months.

   (4) If the Public Service Commission considers that the question of removing the Director-General of Immigration under this section ought to be investigated, then—

      (a)   the Public Service Commission shall appoint a tribunal which shall consist of three senior public officers; and

      (b)   the tribunal shall inquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Public Service Commission and advise the Public Service Commission whether the Director-General of Immigration ought to be removed from office.

   (5) Where a tribunal appointed under sub-section (4) advises the Public Service Commission that the Director-General of Immigration ought to be removed from office, the Public Service Commission shall remove the Director-General of Immigration from office.

   (6) If the question of removing the Director-General of Immigration from office has been referred to a tribunal under sub-section (4), the Public Service Commission may suspend the Director-General of Immigration from performing the functions of the office of the Director-General of Immigration, and any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the Public Service Commission and shall in any case cease to have effect if the tribunal advises the Public Service Commission that the Director-General of Immigration ought to be removed from office.

   (7) This section shall not be construed as preventing the Public Service Commission from exercising the Commission’s powers under any law relating to the security services.

5.   Functions of Department

   (1) The Director-General of Immigration shall, subject to section7, be responsible for the administration of this Act and the exercise of the Department’s functions as provided under this Act.

   (2) The functions of the Department are to—

      (a)   control all borders as provided under this Act;

      (b)   administer and regulate all ports of entry;

      (c)   regulate the migration of any person to Zambia but at the same time promoting economic growth, encouraging the training of citizens and residents by employers by the following, as the case may be:

      (i)   ensuring that businesses in Zambia may employ skilled foreigners who are needed, especially in sectors that are reliant on international exchanges of people and personnel, as provided under any other law;

      (ii)   enabling exceptionally skilled or qualified people to sojourn in Zambia; or

      (iii)   facilitating the movement of students and academic staff, within the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, for study, teaching and research;

      (d)   assist in the prosecution of any offence under this Act; and

      (e)   maintain public records showing funds received or collected—

      (i)   from foreign countries to defray the cost of repatriating illegal foreigners originating from their country, as determined through international relations and agreements;

      (ii)   from donors or other sources; and

      (iii)   from other fees and fines imposed or received by the Department under this Act.

   (3) The Director-General of Immigration shall, in carrying out the functions of the Department, as specified under sub-section (1)—

      (a)   promote a human rights based approach and culture in respect of migration control;

      (b)   facilitate and simplify the issuance of permits to those who are entitled to them;

      (c)   create an environment of cooperation and consultation with other public institutions by establishing advisory inter-departmental committees so as to enable the other public institutions to perform their functions, that impact on this Act, within the context of this Act and the ambit of their respective powers and functions;

      (d)   create a climate of cooperation with communities and organs of civil society, including trade unions, to encourage them to co-operate with the Department in the application and implementation of this Act;

      (e)   in consultation with the Commissioner for refugees and any other relevant body, educate communities and organs of civil society on the rights of foreigners and refugees;

      (f)   organise and participate in community for a or other community based organisations to deter xenophobia and educate the citizenry on migration issues;

      (g)   in cooperation with the Ministry responsible for foreign affairs—

      (i)   promote programmes in foreign countries with the aim of deterring people from becoming illegal immigrants; and

      (ii)   table the need for cooperation in controlling migration towards Zambia on the agenda of relations with foreign countries and negotiating appropriate measures and agreements with such foreign countries;

      (h)   ensure the uniform application of this Act;

      (i)   ensure the efficient and effective operation of the Department;

      (j)   administer the prescribed fees, fines and other payments that the Department exacts or receives in such a fashion as to defray the overall cost of the Department’s operations;

      (k)   liaise or interface with organs of foreign countries or international institutions dealing with migration or law enforcement, especially, but not exclusively, to fight terrorism, arms trafficking, human trafficking, drug trafficking, human smuggling, and organised crime; and

      (l)   conduct any other activity specified under this Act or that is necessary for or conducive to its implementation.

   (4) The Director-General of Immigration shall ensure that every immigration officer shall, when performing any of the functions of the Department, abide by the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of sub-section (3).

   (5) The Department shall establish and train an investigative unit to detect illegal immigrants, monitor compliance with the terms and conditions of permits, control borders and perform any other function under this Act or which may be delegated to it.

   (6) The Department shall have officers in missions abroad or in any public or statutory body in order to promptly and effectively exercise the functions of the Department.

   (7) An officer in a mission abroad shall serve as an immigration attach for a term of three years and may be re-appointed for a further term of three years.

6.   Powers of Department

Subject to, and for the purposes of, this Act, through its duly authorised officers, the Department may —

      (a)   enter, without warrant, any workplace and inspect employment records;

      (b)   inspect workplaces in the prescribed manner to ensure that no illegal immigrant is employed and that foreigners, if any, are employed in the job description and at the terms and conditions set out in their permits, and that the relevant fees, if any, have been paid;

      (c)   inspect any educational institution to ensure that illegal immigrants are not enrolled at the institution;

      (d)   liaise with other law enforcement officers to—

      (i)   ensure that the identity of people who are arrested, detained or convicted is checked for the purposes of this Act; and

      (ii)   educate and instruct law enforcement agencies to detect illegal immigrants and report them to the Department;

      (e)   liaise with the Zambia Revenue Authority and the Zambia Development Agency to ensure that the identity of people who contravene the provisions of the laws administered by the Authority or Agency or who intend to invest in Zambia is checked for the purposes of this Act;

      (f)   exercise any power relevant to, or necessary for, the functions set out in sub-section (2) of section 5;

      (g)   request any public institution—

      (i)   to take action or adopt procedures to ensure that the recipients of their services are identified as citizens or foreigners; and

      (ii)   that provides services, or issues permits, concessions or other authorisations to subject the applicant to proof of status or citizenship;

      (h)   apprehend, detain and remove any illegal immigrant;

      (i)   remove illegal immigrants who are unwilling to leave Zambia;

      (j)   enter and search, without a warrant, any premises, trading area, residential area or dwelling house which the officer has reasonable grounds to believe have evidence connected with a contravention of this Act;

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