It would be fair to say that Tunisia is mainly regarded as a country which is accustomed to tourists. However, deeper in this North African nation are scores of foreigners – who have opted to move to the country, for either work or leisure reasons.
Many people who are researching the idea are actually surprised at just what is on offer to foreign residents. In some cases, there are even more benefits than staying in your home country. We’re not just talking about the new shopping centers and all of the recent infrastructure developments that are regularly covered by mainstream media either – some of these surprises relate to policies which directly benefit the foreign resident.
Following on from the above, we will now take a look at life in Tunisia in more detail. Sure, everyone might know about the sandy beaches and other standard activities, but this guide will invest more time in the finer details that are essential if you are looking to permanently relocate to the country.
What are the entry requirements?
If you are looking to live in the country, you will need to hold a residence permit. This works alongside your visa – meaning there are two types of documents that you need to hold.
Naturally, as part of the moving process, you will want to bring your own belongings. Fortunately, Tunisian law acts favorably in this regard, and you are allowed to import personal and household goods without any tax.
How about accommodation?
Perhaps one of the most favorable issues about moving to Tunisia is the exceptionally low rent.
If you have visited before, you may have been used to the accommodation that is geared for tourists. If you delve further into this country, you will start to discover the modern residential neighborhoods. There is plenty of luxury housing and this is perhaps something that isn’t realized by the bulk of visitors to the country.
In terms of hard and fast figures related to the rent, Tunisia has some of the lowest in North Africa and the Middle East. You can expect to pay something in the region of 17 TND per sqm.
What is the employment situation?
Something else which might surprise you is the favorable employment situation in relation to foreign visitors. The labour market is put together through the Labour Code, which states that domestic and foreign workers have the same rights. This applies to everything from remuneration to vocational training.
In terms of the salaries, this can be something of a grey area. If we take the example of an engineer, you can expect to earn around 1,200 Euros, while a senior technician will be about half of this figure.
Salaries tend to be reviewed every three months, while the inter-occupational minimum wage is approximately 130 Euros.
What educational opportunities do foreigners in Tunisia have?
It’s very easy for foreign residents to integrate themselves in Tunisia’s educational system, with this mainly due to the vast amount of foreign schools. British, American, Russian, Canadian, French and Italian schools are all commonplace meaning that you and your family can comfortably continue your education in the country.
Generally, these schools are based in the likes of Bizerte, Nabeul and Sousse.
What can residents do to stay entertained?
Everyone knows about Tunisian culture, but if you are moving there you might want slightly more to ensure that your day-to-day life contains plenty of leisurely activities.
A guide on Tunisia wouldn’t be complete without a mention to the glorious beaches, archaeological sites and picturesque landscapes – but what else are you able to do with your time?
In truth, everything that you would expect from a mainstream country is available here – and potentially more. For example, the weather conditions mean that things such as desert hikes, scuba diving and water sports are all commonly undertaken by foreign residents – with many of these not available in their own country. Additionally, these tend to be offered throughout the country, in both the northern and southern areas.
In fact, sport is pretty huge in this country. While we could talk about each and every sport, let’s hone in on some of the ones which are gaining the most traction in Tunisia. Golf is one of these, and over the last few years there has been a real push to make this more available for residents. There are courses all around the country and many visitors cite the high quality of these.
Of course, it’s not just golf, and keeping fit seems to be something that is becoming more and more ingrained into Tunisian culture. Fitness rooms and sports facilities are becoming increasingly developed and the nation is quickly catching up with other countries who perhaps jumped on the sporting bandwagon at an earlier date.
As well as so-called active sports, there are plenty of opportunities for cerebral sport and chess, Scrabble and various card games are really on the rise – and there are various clubs available for foreign residents.
How is your health cared for?
This final topic really shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, Tunisia is an established country and its high level medical services certainly tie in with this. In fact, you only have to take a look at their health sector from an economic point of view to understand how important it is in Tunisian culture. About 8% of the country’s budget is reserved for health, with this being about 2% of the GDP.
As such, it’s always possible to find modern and specialized clinics. The vast majority of treatments are available – with these distributed both publically and privately. In relation to the former, there are a total of 29 university hospitals, as well as 33 regional and 109 local hospitals. From a private perspective there have been big developments here; there are thousands of surgeries, almost 2,000 dental offices and 75 specialized clinics.
To summarize, anybody who is considering moving to Tunisia should not have any concerns about the country’s health position.