Kenya’s economic growth and favorable political conditions have continued to attract more foreigners into the country. Although most of these come as visitors, a good proportion of them tend to stay in the country for months or even years. Apart from people coming into the country from other East African countries, it is a requirement that immigrants must have relevant VISAs, permits and passes are also needed for foreigners who want to visit, work, or invest in the country.
To help potential immigrants we explore these documents, how to apply for them and the Kenya Government requirements
i. Ordinary visa (multiple or single entry): Issued to foreigners from countries that require a visa to enter Kenya for residence or visit.
ii. Transit visa: Issued to individuals from countries whose nationalities need a visa to travel through Kenya
iii. Diplomatic visa (multiple or single entry): This is a visa for diplomatic passport holders who are on official duties.
iv. Courtesy/Official Visa: The visa is given to holders of official pass port and ordinary passport holders who are on official duties.
An individual applying for a Kenyan visa must have all the documents below:
i. Correctly filled application form
ii. An original passport
iii. Two color passport size photos
iv.A cheque for the visa fees
v. An envelope that is self-addressed and stamped
NOTE: The fees charged on Visa issuance are $20 for Transit Visa, $10 for referral visas, $50 for ordinary/Single journey visa, and $100 for Multiple Journey Visa.
The following passes are applicable
i. Class A: Issued to foreigners involved in prospecting and mining.
ii. Class B: Issued to individuals in agriculture and animal husbandry
iii. Class C: Issued to professionals such as surveyors, engineers, veterinary surgeons, dentists, and legal professionals.
iv.Class D:Workers in specific manufacturing
v.Class G: Issued to foreigners involved in consultancy, business, and trade.
vi.Class I: For people visiting Kenya for religious or charitable activities.
vii. Class M: Issued to refugees seeking asylum in the country.
NOTE: It is important to note that the durations of the permits may vary depending to the uniqueness of an individual’s case. There is also an option to apply for an extension of the initial permit. Apart from class M category, all the permits have a processing fee of KSH 10,000.
However, they have varying issuance fees per year.
The following passes are applicable in Kenya
i.Dependant’s Pass: The pass is issued to dependants of a Kenyan citizen, permanent resident, and holder of work permit.
ii. Student’s Pass: Issued to foreign students who have been accepted by educational or training institutions in Kenya.
iii. Intern/Researcher’s Pass: for foreigners doing research or internship in the country. The pass duration is less than 12 months.
iv.Visitor’s Pass: This is for tourists or foreigners visiting the country for a temporary purpose. The pass’ duration is a maximum of 6 months.
v.Transit Pass: The pass issued to foreigners traveling through the country to another country.
vi. Special Pass: Issued to individuals applying for a review of their denied pass application. Its duration is less than six months.
NOTE: Transit Pass does not have issuance fees. The others cost between KSH 1000 andKSH 500 per year. Issuance fee on Special Pass is, however, KSH 15,000 per month.
Requirements for permits and passes
i. Certified copies of academic or professional certificates
ii. A valid passport
iii. National identity cards
iv. Curriculum Vitae
v. Employer application letter
vi. Clearance letter from the relevant government ministries
The Directorate of Immigration has introduced new procedures for applications for visas, permits, and passes with effect from 2016. The Directorate will only accept applications made through their online portal. Online application is a huge change from the traditional physical applications. Although the application will be online, the Directorate will still require applicants to present their documents physically at the immigration offices near them for verifications.
Foreigners wishing to travel into the country are advised to research further as the requirements and fees for visas, permits, and passes may change from time to time. Applications for permits, visas, and passes can be made online on the official website of the immigration ministry. It is, however, better to work with local agents, such as Career Options Africa, who are experts in the field to ensure smooth entry and stay in Kenya. The firm will handle all the immigration applications for you.