Work in Tunisia

Work in Tunisia
Updated 2022-08-06 20:29

If you plan to move to Tunisia for work, there are quite a few things you will need to think about: from considering your salary and cost of living balance to arranging your work permit. Learn more about working in Tunisia below.

Working in Tunisia: overview

The first thing you need to know is that finding a job in Tunisia is not an easy task, given the complexity of the labor market and employment laws. In addition, the unemployment rates in the country are quite high, and a lot of companies may prefer to hire a Tunisian national over a foreign citizen.

However, the country provides several professional opportunities to qualified and skilled expats — especially in specific areas. So, the key to building your career in Tunisia is to do research about the state of the labor market in the city where you want to work. Learn about what professions are most in-demand, make connections, and if you feel you have the right profile, take your time to inquire on relating conditions and procedures beforehand.

Tunisian economy and labor market

Tunisia has the 12th largest economy in Africa. It is based primarily on oil, gas, textiles and mining. Tunisia also has a number of active trade connections with Europe and is a prolific exporter of agricultural goods, textiles, oil, and more.

Unemployment in the country is, unfortunately, quite high — especially among young people, women, and those with high levels of education. The percentage of unemployed people under 35 is close to 85%, while 40% of the unemployed are university graduates.

For foreigners, employment opportunities generally lie in the fields such as industry, IT and computer science, tourism and hospitality, education, and others.

Tunisian labor code

According to Article 284 of the Tunisian labor code, candidates cannot be hired by any other person than the company's director or manager. Private and unauthorized employment agencies, whether these are paid or free of charge, are suppressed.

A director or manager may choose a delegate to take care of the recruitment of staff. In this case, the delegate's first and last names, nationality and address have to be communicated to the public employment office or to the competent regional employment inspection office.

Employment contracts in Tunisia

Foreigners wishing to work in Tunisia have to sign a labor contract and be in possession of a resident permit mentioning 'autorisé à exercer un travail salarié en Tunisie', which is their authorization to work in the country.

Good to know:

Permanent residents who were born and who are living permanently in Tunisia are exempt from the labor contract requirement. However, they must be in possession of a resident permit mentioning ' autorisé à occuper un emploi salarié en Tunisie', that is their authorization to work in the country according to Article 271 of the Tunisian labor code.

In general, the work contract in Tunisia is valid for a maximum of one year and is renewable once only. However, a foreign company may renew its foreign employees' contracts more than once, provided it is operating within a development framework as approved by local authorities. The contract and its renewal then have to be approved by the Ministry of Employment.


Tunisian companies are allowed to hire foreign employees provided the required expertise is not available locally. However, the said expertise must be clearly mentioned in the employment contract.

Note that these regulations apply to all foreign workers with a few exceptions where the Ministry of Professional Training and Employment provides a certificate of non-requirement of visa for the employment contract.

Moreover, in accordance with Article 263 of the Tunisian labor code, foreign workers in Tunisia are entitled to the same rights and obligations as local workers as regards employment relations.

How to find a job in Tunisia?

Nowadays, networking is an essential tool when it comes to job search in Tunisia. Indeed, your friends and contacts on the spot can definitely help you by getting you in touch with potential employers or other related persons.

If you don't know anyone in the country yet, why not turn to social networking? Professional social networks, employment blogs, expat forums, companies operating in Tunisia, etc., can all be great sources of potential job opportunities.

It's also a good idea to have your professional social media updated. For instance, you can change the location on your LinkedIn profile to a city in Tunisia to make yourself more visible to local employers. You should also have your online portfolio (if applicable) ready so that you can quickly send it on demand.

You can also contact major companies that may provide opportunities according to your level of expertise, especially if you have particular qualifications and skills. You can get in touch with the companies you are interested in via Human Resources, social media, online job adverts, and more.

You can also browse general and specialized job websites (some of which are provided in the useful links below). This will also give you an overview of the current job market situation in the country and let you see which occupations are more in demand.

If you have some knowledge of Arabic, consider checking out local newspapers such as Al Chourouk, l'économiste, and Assabah, among others. Most job ads are published in these newspapers.

How to apply for a job in Tunisia?

If you are applying for a job in an international company in Tunisia, you will probably be able to send out your resume and cover letter in English. However, in most other cases, you will need to prepare a copy of your resume and cover letter in French or Arabic.

You can use standard resume formats when applying for work in Tunisia: you can focus on your work experience and list it in reverse chronological order, or you can highlight your professional skills if you don't yet have much working experience. Consider getting a free CV review at TopCV.

Working conditions in Tunisia

The Labor Code in Tunisia regulates the following:

  • the legal working age
  • the legal working week
  • entitlement to leaves
  • and employment contracts for both Tunisian and foreign workers.

Minimum working age in Tunisia

In Tunisia, children are allowed to work starting from the age of 16. However, the ability of children to work must be determined by medical supervision until the age of 18. In fact, a child can only remain in continuous employment provided he undergoes a medical examination every semester.

Working week in Tunisia

The legal working week should have a maximum of 48 hours.

Employees typically have one hour of rest during the day. They can take a break once or several times during the day.

For part-time jobs, the legal working week should generally not exceed 70% of the normal working week. Note that the accumulation of full-time and part-time work is prohibited.

The following public holidays are observed in Tunisia:

  • New Year's Day on January 1st
  • Independence Day on May 20th
  • Martyrs' Day on April 9th
  • Labour Day on May 1st
  • Aïd El-Fitr (dates vary)
  • Aïd El Kebir (dates vary)
  • Republic Day (July 25th)
  • Ras el am el Hejri (Islamic New Year)
  • Women's Day (August 13th)
  • Prophet Mohammed's Birthday (October 9th)
  • Evacuation Day (October 15th)
  • Revolution and Youth Day (December 17th)

How many days off you get during the specific holiday depends on the company you work for and what line of work you are in.

You are also entitled to a paid annual leave provided you have been working with the same employer for at least one month.

However, the duration of the leave you will be granted can not exceed a period of fifteen days with twelve working days. After five years of service with the same employer, the employee is entitled to an additional leave per period.

The minimum salary in Tunisia

As of 2022, the minimum wage in Tunisia is set at 340 Tunisian dinars ($220) per month for a 48-hour work week. For a 40-hour work week, it is set at 290 dinars ($199) per month in the industrial sectors. Agricultural workers make from 9 dinars ($6.50) to 14 dinars ($10) per day.

However, your actual salary will depend on a number of factors, such as your line of work, the company that employs you, and more.

If you have relocated to Tunisia as part of a transfer within a company in your home country, you may get a generous relocation package, including return tickets, accommodation, living expenses, and more.

If you have applied for a job in Tunisia directly, your salary will depend on what you do, the company you work for, the city where you are employed, and other factors.

Note, however, that even within the same industry, the salaries in Tunisia can vary greatly.

Company directors, top management, senior engineers and IT professionals generally are among the highest earning professions. Software development professionals report salaries from 5,000 dinars ($1,600) to 12,000 dinars ($3,800). A secondary education teacher, on the other hand, makes around 1,000 dinars ($320) to 1,500 dinars ($490).

As we've mentioned above, you will also have a good chance of finding work in the tourism and hospitality sector. The salaries here differ substantially depending on your position, experience and the company you work for.

How to obtain a work permit in Tunisia?

Before coming to work in Tunisia, you will need to obtain a work permit. You will need to do so before you start work in the country. Note that the process for getting a work permit may take from four to six weeks.

To receive a work permit in Tunisia, you will need sponsorship from your employer. Note that receiving a job offer doesn't mean that your employer is ready to sponsor your work visa. This is why you need to discuss work visa sponsorship with your potential employee right away and make sure they are equipped to provide a work visa for you.

Useful links:

Employment of foreign nationals in Tunisia

National Employment Agency and Self Employment

Human Force Tunisie

Tunisie Travail

Jurisite Tunisie (Code du travail)

Presse tunisienne


UN Jobs

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