Visas for Kenya

Whether visiting on vacation or looking to settle down for the long-term, most travellers will require a visa to enter Kenya. The type of visa one acquires will depend on each individual’s reasons for being in the country.

Expats hired to work in Kenya are likely to have some level of support from their employer when it comes to arranging their visa and work permit. Volunteers and employees of aid agencies in Kenya are also likely to have their organisations arrange for their visa. Expats starting their own business in Kenya have to secure licenses and demonstrate earning potential in order to receive a work and business permit.

Tourist visas for Kenya

Most foreigners require a tourist visa to visit Kenya, though citizens of select countries are allowed visa-free entry.

For those who do require a visa, there are three options: obtaining a visa upon entering the country, applying for an eVisa online at least seven days before departing, or applying in person at a Kenyan diplomatic mission. The latter is not recommended as it takes a more time and effort than the other options, which are quick, easy and convenient.

A tourist visa is valid for a three-month period from the date of entry, after which it can be extended once for a further three months.

Work and residence permits for Kenya

Any non-Kenyan wishing to remain in the country for longer than a six-month period must obtain what is known as a Work/Residence Permit before arriving in Kenya. There are various classes of such permits to suit each individual's motives for settling in Kenya, covering everyone from short-term assignees to retirees.

The cost of the visa is generally covered by the company or organisation employing an expat.

Class D

This permit covers those who are moving to Kenya to do a specific job for a single employer. This permit is intended for expats who have skills and qualifications that are not available in the local workforce and that will benefit the country.

Class G

This permit is issued to those looking to invest in a specific trade or set up a business or consultancy in Kenya.

Class I

This permit is specifically for foreign missionaries working in Kenya. 

Class K

This permit is for independently wealthy foreigners above the age of 35 who want to settle down in Kenya. To obtain a Class K permit, one needs to submit proof of adequate funds to support themselves while they remain in the country.

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