What is a Visa?
A visa is an endorsement in a passport/travel document which facilitates entry into the country subject to meeting the requirements as is stipulated in the Act /regulation. It should be noted that a visa is not an authority to enter a country.
How long does visa processing take?
- Single entry visa may be issued on application subject to the requirements.
- Multiple journey visa may be issued within 30 working days.
- Transit visas may be issued on application.
- Diplomatic visas is issued on application.
- Transit visas is issued on application.
- Official/ service visa is issued on application.
- Referred visa is issued on application.
VISA REGULATION AND REQUIREMENTS.
The attention of all applicants for visas should be drawn to immigration requirements set out below:
i. Valid passports or other travel documents including Seaman’s Discharge Book, acceptable to the Government of Kenya are required for all persons wishing to enter Kenya.
ii. Passports issued by the Governments of Kosovo, Macedonia and Taiwan are not recognized as valid travel documents and no official endorsements should be made therein.
iii. Passports must be valid for at least Six (6) Months.
iv. Passports must have a clean and a full visa page for endorsement.
B. PERMITS OR PASSES
Subject to the exemptions mentioned below, an immigration pass or permit is required by all persons, other than Kenya citizens wishing to enter Kenya.
Exemptions from permits/Visas are granted to all persons who are entitled to privileges and immunities under the Privileges and Immunities Act (Cap. 179) and who are covered under section34(3)C of Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011 of Laws of Kenya.
A bona fide visitor may be issued with a visitor’s pass on arrival at a port of entry into Kenya valid for a period not exceeding three months in the first instance provided that he is in possession of a valid passport or other travel document acceptable to the Government of Kenya, has a valid visa where required, is in possession of sufficient funds for subsistence while in Kenya and a return, or onward ticket to his country of origin, domicile or destination.
Nationals of East African Partner States holding valid passports and other acceptable travel documents may be issued with a visitor’s pass on arrival at a port of entry into Kenya valid for Six Months.
Travellers entering Kenya by road should be advised to pass through the gazetted entry points and report immediately to an Immigration Officer.
Note: Under no circumstances shall a paper visitor’s pass be issued in advance to a person intending to come to Kenya for holiday or business.
E. PROHIBITED IMMIGRANTS
The following categories of persons are classified as prohibited Immigrants in Kenya and accordingly shall not be issued with visas or permitted to enter Kenya;
(a) Any person incapable of supporting himself/herself or his/her accompanying dependants if any in Kenya..
(b) Any person suffering from a mental disorder or being a mental defective.
(c) Any person who refuses to submit to medical examination on arrival when required to do so by an Immigration Officer in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Act.
(d) Any person certified by a medical practitioner to be suffering from a disease, which shall make his/her presence in Kenya undesirable on medical grounds.
(e) Any person who, not having received a free pardon has been convicted in any country including Kenya, of murder, or of any offence for which a sentence of imprisonment has been passed for any term and who, by reasons of such conviction and imprisonment is considered to be an undesirable immigrant.
(f) Any person whose entry and presence in Kenya is deemed by the Minister to be contrary to national interests, including persons suspected to be involved with or sympathetic to terrorist groups.
(g) Any prostitute or person living on or receiving or who has lived on or received the proceeds of prostitution.
(h) Any person in respect of whom there is in force an order directing him/her to remain out of Kenya.
(i) Any person who is involved or suspected to be involved in illicit trafficking and trade in narcotics.
(j) Any person or groups of persons involved or suspected to be involved in human trafficking.
(k) Any person involved or suspected to be involved in illicit arms trade.
(l) Any person involved or suspected to be involved in money laundering.
(m) Any person who, upon entering or seeking to enter Kenya fails to produce a valid passport to an immigration officer on demand or within such time as that officer may allow.
(n) Any person whose presence in or entry into Kenya is unlawful under any written law other than the Immigration Act.
(o) Any dependants of the persons mentioned in the foregoing categories and classes.
TYPES OF VISAS
a) Ordinary Visa (SJV,MJV)
b) Transit Visa
c) Diplomatic Visa (SJV,MJV)
d) Courtesy / Official Visa
The possession of a visa for Kenya is not the final authority to enter Kenya. The Immigration Officer at the port of entry may refuse such a person permission to enter if he is satisfied that such a visitor is unable to fulfil the immigration requirements and that the entry and presence of such a visitor, in Kenya would be contrary to national interests even though such a person may be in possession of a valid visa for Kenya, Provided that any such refusal is consented to by the Director of Immigration Services Nairobi, his deputy or provincial heads of Immigration at Mombasa, Kisumu and Garissa or any other Senior Officer so authorized to deputise.
a) Ordinary (SJV,MJV)
These are visas issued to all persons whose nationalities require visas to enter Kenya for visits or residence and shall be issued strictly in accordance with the provisions of categories 1, 2 and 3 of the Visa Regulations.
b) Transit Visas
These are visas required by all persons whose nationalities require visas to enter Kenya and are intending to transit through Kenya to a third destination for periods not exceeding three days and shall be issued strictly in accordance with the provisions of categories 1, 2 and 3 of the Visa Regulations.
c) Diplomatic (SJV,MJV) Visas
Diplomatic (Multiple, Ordinary or Transit) Visas are issued gratis to holders of Diplomatic Passports on official visits. These visas should be issued strictly in accordance with the provisions of categories 1, 2 and 3 of the Visa Regulations.
d) Official/Service Visas
Official/Service (Multiple, Ordinary or Transit) Visas are issued gratis to holders of Official or Service passports on official visits. These visas should be issued in accordance with the provisions of categories 1, 2 and 3 of the Visa Regulations.
e) Multiple Journey Visas
All persons who are nationals of countries which require visas for Kenya and who by nature of their business or circumstances require to make frequent visits to Kenya may be issued with Multiple Journey Visas for Kenya valid for up to twelve (12) months or part there of as the case may be.
f) Courtesy Visas
Courtesy (Transit and Ordinary ) Visas may be issued gratis in accordance with the Provisions of categories 1, 2 and 3 of the Visa Regulations, where the applicant is not entitled to a Diplomatic Visa, but where it is considered by the issuing officer to be desirable on the grounds of international courtesy.
THERE ARE THREE (3) CATEGORIES OF VISAS
a. NATIONALS OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES DO NOT REQUIRE VISAS TO ENTER KENYA.
Malaysia (For less than 30 days stay)
Papua New Guinea
South Africa (For less than 30 days stay)
St. Kitts and Navis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
i. All persons whose passports are endorsed with valid Kenya re-entry passes or any other written authority in lieu of a re-entry pass.
ii. All passengers arriving and leaving by the same ship, and who do not leave the ship.
iii. All passengers in transit through Kenya arriving and leaving by the same aircraft or transferring to another aircraft and who do not leave the international transit lounges at the International Airports in Kenya.
iv. Holders of United Nations Organisation Laissez-Passers whilst on official UN Business.
v. Holders of African Union Laissez-Passers whilst on official A.U. business.
vi. Holders of African Development Bank Laissez-Passers, whilst on official A.D.B. business.
vii. Holders of Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa Laissez-Passers, whilst on official ABEDA business.
viii. Holders of International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern Africa Laissez-Passers, whilst on official I.R.L.C.O. business.
ix. Holders of Desert Locust Control Organisation Laissez-Passers, whilst on official D.L.C.O. business.
x. Holders of COMESA Laissez-Passers, whilst on official COMESA business.
xi. Holders of International Monetary Fund and World Bank Laissez – Passers whilst on official IMF/World Bank Business.
xii. Holders of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Laissez- Passers whilst on official IGAD business.
xiii. Holders of African Airlines Travel Association (IATA) Laissez- Passers whilst on official business.
xiv. Holders of Environment Liason Centre International (ELCI) Laissez-Passers whilst on official ELCI business.
xv. Holders of Union Of Radio, Television Network of Africa (URTNA) Laissez- Passers whilst on official URTNA business.
xvi. Holders of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Laissez – Passers whilst on official ILO business.
xvii. Holders of Preferential Trade Area/Common Market of East & Southern African Bank Laissez – Passers whilst on official PTA/COMESA business.
xviii. Holders of European Union Laissez – Passers whilst on official European Union business.
xix. Holders of CIP (International Potato Centre) Laissez – Passers whilst on official CIP business.
xx. Holders of African Reinsurance Corporation (ARC) Laissez – Passers whilst on official ARC business.
xxi. Holders of African Housing Fund (AHF) Laissez – Passers whilst on official AHF business.
xxii. Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports from The Islamic Republic of Iran for a period not exceeding (30) Days stay.
xxiii. Holders of Diplomatic, Official, Special, and Service Passports, from The Republic of Turkey and members of their families holding valid Diplomatic, Official, Special, and Service Passports, while on Transit or Stay not exceeding ninety (90) days.
xxiv. Holders of Diplomatic, Official or Service Passports from the Federal Republic of Brazil for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days.
xxv. Serving Members of the British Military (are exempted from visa formalities).
xxvi. The manifested crew of ships and aircraft passing through or stopping in Kenya for periods not exceeding seven (7) days in the case of air crew and fourteen (14) days for ships crew.
xxvii. Owners of private aircraft stopping over for refuelling in Kenya and who do not leave the precincts of the airport.
c. THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES HAVE CONCLUDED VISA
ABOLITION AGREEMENTS WITH KENYA
iii. San Marino
(a) Nationals of the following countries, classes and categories of persons may be issued with visas on application, and without reference to the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi, provided that they do not fall under the classes and categories of persons mentioned under Chapter 1, paragraph (E) of the Visa Regulations.
Central African Rep.
China (China Peoples Republic)
Cote d’ Ivoire/ Ivory Coast
Holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)
Myanmar (formally Burma)
Palau Pacific Isles
Sao Tome and Principe
United Arab Emirates
b) Delegates attending regional or international conferences, meetings, workshops, seminars and courses sponsored by regional or international organisations of which Kenya is a member.
Spouses and children accompanying delegates who fulfil the requirements of paragraph 2 (b) above may be issued with visas on application.
c) Diplomats arriving to take up diplomatic assignments/appointments in Kenya may be issued with gratis entry visas on application and without reference to the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi provided that: -
i) Such persons produce documentary evidence of their official
Assignment / appointment to Kenya.
ii) Wives and children accompanying such diplomats who fulfil the requirements of category 2 (c) above; and provided such persons, their wives and children do not fall under chapter I paragraph “E” of the visa regulations.
d) Diplomats and Government officials coming to Kenya to conduct official business or transiting through Kenya may be issued with entry/transit visas on application and without reference to the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi, provided that: -
i. Such persons produce documentary evidence of their nature of official business transit.
ii. Spouses and children accompanying such diplomats and Government officials who fulfil the requirements of category 2 (d) above and provided such persons, their spouses and children do not fall under Chapter I, paragraph “E” of the visa regulations.
NOTE: Diplomats and Government officials on private visits to Kenya and who are nationals of countries that require referred visas, shall have their visa applications referred to the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi, for approval, in the usual manner.
a) NATIONALS OF COUNTRIES, CLASSES AND
CATEGORIES OF PERSONS WHO REQUIRE
Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (Formerly N. Korea)
b) Applicants against whom there is some local objections or doubt in the country where the application is made.
c) Stateless persons or persons not holding valid passports or other travel documents issued by their own country of nationality, including recognized refugee holders of the United Nations Refugee Travel Documents.
d) Prohibited immigrants as enumerated under Chapter I, paragraph ‘E’ of the Visa Regulations.
CHAPTER III FEES
a) Reference and reference fees
i. Where reference to the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi, is necessary before the issue of a visa, the completed application forms in duplicate with two recent passport size photographs of the applicant shall be forwarded to the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi, for approval in the usual manner to reach him at least one month prior to the proposed date of the applicant’s departure to Kenya.
ii. Where a visa application is referred to the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi, a reference fee of US $ 5 shall be collected at the time of application. The applicant’s passport shall be endorsed as follows:
Kenya visa applied for …………………………………
(place and date)
Fee US $ 5 paid. Receipt No.
The endorsement shall be made on a blank page and initiated by the visa officer. It shall be endorsed in such a manner, so as to leave enough space for the actual visa to be endorsed on the same page, if approved.
iii. Where a visa has been referred and approved by the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi, it should be endorsed in the applicant’s passport immediately below the “visa applied for” endorsement.
iv. The visa Issuing Officer shall indicate the fee paid, official receipt number and quote the approval authority number and the date the visa is issued.
v. The reference fee charged shall be non-refundable and where a referred visa is approved and issued, the proper visa fee shall be charged thereof and no account taken of any reference fee paid.
b) Visa fees
a) The Transit Visa fee is US $ 20.
b) The Referral Visa fee is US $ 10 non-refundable.
c) The Ordinary / Single Journey Visa fee is US $ 50.
d) The Multiple Journey Visa fee is US $ 110.
With effect from 1st January 2011:
a) The Transit Visa fee shall be US $ 20.
b) The Referral Visa fee shall be US $ 10 non- refundable.
c) The Ordinary / Single Journey Visa fee shall be US $ 50.
d) The Multiple Journey Visa fee shall be US $ 110.
e) All the visa requirements will apply to children under 16 years
who were previously exempted from visa payment and other
QUASI-CONSULAR AGREEMENTS (FUNCTIONS)
The Government of Kenya acts in a quasi-consular capacity on behalf of the following Commonwealth countries. Visas and other consular services may be undertaken on behalf of these Governments, by the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi, strictly in accordance with the quasi-consular agreements, entered into between the Government of Kenya and the respective countries.
6. Sierra Leone
8. Trinidad and Tobago
Address for Communication
All inquiries, where necessary, shall be made to:
The Director of Immigration Services
P. O. Box 30191
Telephone: 000 254- 20-2222022, Extension 22057 Nairobi
Telegraphic address: “PRINCIM” Nairobi
Telex: 25396 PRINCIM
Fax No. 000 254- 20-2220731