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The growing demand for Immigration and Relocation Services in Kenya and East Africa

Let us start by exploring what each service involves;

1.Immigration Service -Immigration is the movement of people from one country to another on a temporary basis normally for business or leisure. Immigration services is any form of service  aimed at facilitating such movement and includes Visa processing, work permit processing, and arranging temporally accommodation normally hotel
accommodation.
2.Relocation service- Relocation on the other hand is the movement of people from one town or country to another on a long term or permanent basis. A relocation service is any service aimed at facilitating smooth
settling down in the new location and includes house/accommodation search and contracting Country orientation, facilitating school placement for expatriates’ children, guided tour of new locations, etc.

Various local and international investment and business advisory organizations have predicted that East Africa will continue to grow its ranking as a leading investment destination in Africa. The Region has experienced significant political, social, and economic stability compared to other African regions and its economic block, the East African Community continues to be way ahead of other regional economic blocks in Africa. The Region seems headed for political integration sometime in the foreseeable future.

The strong integration path established democracy, and stable economies offer key attractions to investors and especially multinational companies seeking markets for their products in emerging African markets.

This article explores what these trends means for providers of immigration and Relocation Services in East
Africa.

i.Regional business expansion will increase regional immigration The Region has seen rapid regional expansion with leading Companies in various sectors opening Country branches in other East African Countries with Kenyan Companies playing the leading role. Today you see branches of a Kenyan, Tanzania, or Ugandan companies in every Capital City in East Africa. These companies will definitely need the following services;
a.Work permits for their staff from home branches which immigration service providers can facilitate.
b.Country orientation in the new cities for their foreign employees which relocation service providers can provide.
c.Swahili language training for expatriate staff which Swahili language training institutions can provide.
d.Schools for the foreign staff which relocation service providers in the region can provide.

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ii.International organizations with a presence in East Africa/ Hub status will bring in more expatriate staff to East Africa and grow demand for both Immigration and relocation services Kenya is increasingly becoming not just a regional but a continental hub with many multinational companies relocating their Africa Head Offices to Nairobi and others opening
regional centers in Nairobi. This will increase significantly the number of expatriates working in Nairobi over the next few years which could double the demand for both Immigration Services and Relocation Services.

iii.Growth in Tourism Industry will also boost demand for immigration services While East Africa lags behind other Africa Regions in the number of visiting tourists, tourism remains key to East Africa Economies. Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda continue to invest millions of dollars in destination marketing and as economic integration increases, the number of regional tourism initiatives continue to grow.

This is therefore an opportune time for established multinational companies providing relocation and immigration services to set base in East Africa. International immigration service providers will need local partners in key capital cities of East Africa especially Nairobi, Dar salaam, and Kampala in the following areas;

a.Processing of work permits.
b.Visa requirements information
c.Local transport
d.Accommodation bookings

On the side of relocation services, international service providers can partner with local partners in the areas of;

a.Country orientation including social, cultural, and geographic orientation
b.Training in the local official language, Kiswahili
c.School placement facilitation for expatriates with children
d.Packing/unpacking and clearing of household item.

One can therefore expect local immigration and relocation service providers to experience growing business opportunities on their own and through partnerships with international immigration and relocation service providers.

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