Kenya’s immigration framework lends itself to collaboration with and investment from foreign employees, with sector-specific work visas for the long-term targeting foreign nationals with the skills to help create job opportunities and stimulate the country’s economy for the benefit of all.
Why should you consider working long-term in this East-African gem? Keep reading to find out more.
Sector-Specific Work Opportunities
In Kenya, the sectors experiencing the most growth at present include agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, construction and health services. The fintech and mobile payments sector is especially prevalent, with skills such as software development, app development and softer skills such as Human Resource Management in high demand.
When searching for employment in Kenya, it is recommended to search job postings for prominent multinationals and Kenyan branches of international companies looking to expand their footprint further on the continent.
Stable Governance and Work Benefits
Africa is commonly viewed as being politically unstable, however, since the country’s transition into a multi-party democracy with President Uhuru Kenyatta at the helm, Kenya has enjoyed moderate political stability, despite instability in neighbouring countries.
Kenya’s employment law carries benefits for foreign nationals too, such as minimum wage requirements, paid leave, maternity leave and so on.
Kenya’s climate is temperate all year round. The country’s position on the equator means a warm, tropical climate with average temperatures around 20-28 degrees Celsius for most of the year. You won’t have to chase the sun working in Kenya long-term but the closer you are to more mountainous regions, the colder it gets.
Nairobi’s high altitude location can make it quite cold in Winter, so even though you’ll be in a tropical climate, warm clothing during this period is recommended when working in the capital.
Kenya’s diverse ecology makes it the perfect place for workers in the fields of Biology, Ecology, Botany and Animal Welfare and Conservation, with a plethora of stunning national parks for the nature fundi to explore. There are also many volunteering opportunities for foreigners in these fields.
English is an Official Language
English is written and spoken in Kenya as an official language. If you are entering Kenya as a foreign national without English language experience, we recommend an online learning portal such as BiCortex Languages to ease your transition.
Now that we’ve explored the reasons why you should work in Kenya, let us discuss the how.
Long-Term Work Visa Types
To work in Kenya, we recommend you begin processing your work permit application with your employer as soon as possible to avoid delays.
Work permits are furnished under the Kenyan Citizenship and Immigration Act of 2011 to Non-Kenyans looking to take up gainful employment or voluntary service.
Kenya’s long-term work permits are split into the following classes:
Class C – individuals who already belong to a prescribed profession and are looking to practise said profession within Kenya
Class D – individuals offered specific employment by a specific employer, by the government of Kenya or within an approved technical aid scheme under the United Nations or another approved agency (not being an exempted person), who possess skills or qualifications unavailable in Kenya and whose engagement in that employment will benefit Kenya
Class F – individuals who intend to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific manufacturing business in Kenya
Class G – individuals who intend to invest in a specific trade, business, consultancy, or profession
Class I – individuals who belong to a missionary society, a member of a company limited by guarantee, a member of a trust registered under the Trustees Act approved by the Government of Kenya and whose presence is beneficial to the country
Class M – for conventional refugees
Long-Term Work Permits are issued for one to two years and is renewable. The estimated processing time for a work permit ranges from about two to three months, if no delays are encountered.
This permit will allow multiple entries during the validity period.
- 2 original colour passport photos (white background)
- Copy of academic/professional certificates (to be translated if not in English)
- Copy of passport bio-data page
- Curriculum Vitae
- Copy of clear signed Form 25
- Copy of clear signed Report on Employment Form (Form 27)
- Copy of clear Covering Letter
- Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
- Copy of Valid Tax Compliance Certificate
- Copy of Employment/Assignment Contract
- Copy of Job Description
- Certified employment contract
- Certified qualifications
- Copy of ID and contact info
For more information on living and working in Kenya, please contact one of our friendly immigration consultants.
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