1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Authorised officers


Immigration procedures

   4.   Point of entry

   5.   Examination of persons entering Botswana

   6.   Examination of suspected illegal immigrant

   7.   Examination of persons leaving Botswana

   8.   Travel document to be produced

   9.   Powers of search

   10.   Application of Part II to air passengers


Establishment of Immigrants Selection Boards

   11.   Establishment of Immigrants Selection Board

   12.   Functions of Board

   13.   Disqualification, suspension and removal of member

   14.   Meetings of Board

   15.   Disclosure of interest

   16.   Confidentiality

   17.   Remuneration



   18.   Right to remain in Botswana

   19.   Visitor's permit

   20.   Residence permit

   21.   Overstaying

   22.   Work permit

   23.   Application for permit

   24.   Appeal to Minister

   25.   Procedure for appeal

   26.   Power of Director to issue residence permit

   27.   Power of Commissioner to issue work permit

   28.   Permanent residence permit

   29.   Renewal of permit

   29A.   Variation of permit

   30.   Cancellation of permit

   31.   Exemption order

   32.   Application for certificate of exemption

   33.   Appeal against rejection to issue certificate of exemption

   34.   Replacement of permit

   35.   Return of permit

   36.   Registers

   37.   Safe keeping of permit

   38.   Inspection of permit

   39.   Registration of immigration consultant

   40.   Submission of returns


Prohibited immigrants

   41.   Prohibited immigrants

   42.   Exclusion of prohibited immigrant

   43.   Detention of suspected prohibited immigrant

   44.   Removal of prohibited immigrant

   45.   Detention pending removal

   46.   Exemption of prohibited immigrant

   47.   Re-entry of prohibited immigrant

   48.   Exercise of discretionary powers by President or Minister

   49.   Restrictions on immigrants


Undesirable immigrants

   50.   Undesirable immigrants

   51.   Notice to undesirable immigrant

   52.   Appeal by undesirable immigrant


Miscellaneous provisions

   53.   Removal of persons arriving by air

   54.   Aiding and abetting unlawful entry

   55.   Contradictory statements

   56.   Offences

   57.   Evidential presumption as to reasonable excuse

   58.   Repeal of Cap. 25:02 and Cap. 47:02

   59.   Savings

   60.   Regulations

Law 19, 1966,
L.N. 88, 1966,
Act 19, 1967,
Act 18, 1968,
Act 37, 1968,
Act 31, 1970,
Act 32, 1972,
Act 12, 1974,
Act 27, 1975,
Act 34, 1975,
Act 23, 1977,
S.I. 12, 1977,
Act 19, 1979,
Act 30, 1980,
S.I. 109, 1983,
Act 19, 1989,
Act 12, 1991,
Act 11, 2003,
S.I. 89, 2008,
S.I. 57, 2009,
S.I. 56, 2010,
Act 3, 2011,
S.I. 83, 2011,
Act 18, 2014,
S.I. 88, 2014,
Act 6, 2017,
S.I. 58, 2017.

An Act to provide for immigration procedures; procedures for the employment of non-citizens and for matters incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 14 October, 2011]

(ss 1-3)


1.   Short title

    This Act may be cited as the Immigration Act.


2.   Interpretation

    In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

   "authorised officer" means a person appointed under section 3 to be an authorised officer for the purposes of this Act and includes an immigration officer;

   "Board" means the Immigrants Selection Board established under section 11;

   "certificate of exemption" means a certificate of exemption issued under section 32 or a duplicate of the certificate of exemption;

   "Commissioner" means any person holding the public office of Commissioner of Labour;

   "Director" means any person holding the public office of Director of Immigration;

   "employ" means, in relation to the person employing, to use as an employer the labour of an employee;

   "immigrant" means any person in Botswana other than a citizen of Botswana;

   "immigration consultant" means a person who facilitates the processing of residence permits and work permits for immigrants and is registered under section 39;

   "immigration officer" means a person appointed under section 3;

   "member" means a member of the Board;

   "non-citizen" means a person other than-

   (a)   a citizen of Botswana; or

   (b)   a person or a member of a class of persons declared by order published in the Gazette, not to be a citizen for the purposes of this Act;

   "permit" means a-

   (a)   residence permit issued under section 20; or

   (b)   work permit issued under section 22;

   "precincts of the airport" means the part of the airport at which customs and immigration formalities are conducted;

   "specified organisation" means any organisation which the Minister may by order published in the Gazette, prescribe for purposes of this Act; and

   "travel document" means a passport or other document of identity which satisfies such conditions as may be prescribed.


3.   Authorised officers

    (1) The Minister may, in writing, appoint-

   (a)   an immigration officer; and

   (b)   an authorised officer,

to perform the duties set out under this Act.

   (2) A person appointed under subsection (1) shall act in accordance with such general directions as may be given by the Minister and such instructions as may be given by the Director or Commissioner.

Immigration procedures


4.   Point of entry

    (1) A person entering Botswana shall-

   (a)   enter through a point of entry specified by the Minister by order published in the Gazette; and

   (b)   on arrival at a point of entry, present himself or herself immediately to an immigration officer.

   (2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any person who is-

   (a)   authorised in writing by the Director; or

   (b)   a member of a class of persons authorised by the Minister by order published in the Gazette,

to enter Botswana subject to any condition to which the authority to enter Botswana without complying with this section was granted.

   (3) It is no defence to a charge of contravening subsection (1) that the accused person was bona fide under a belief that he or she was not entering or had not entered Botswana.

   (4) A person who fails to comply with this section commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding P10 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or to both.


5.   Examination of persons leaving Botswana

    (1) An immigration officer may require any person who has presented himself or herself in accordance with section 4(1)(b) to submit to examination.

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