KENYAN PERMIT & Visa Services

Your Immigration to Kenya starts here:

For almost 20 years, IBN Immigration Solutions has become one of the leading immigration providers in South Africa and Namibia, servicing private and corporate clients. IBN has opened a branch in Nairobi to service our growing client base with a presence in-country, which allows us to have the pulse in policy issues and the practical reality governing immigration rules and regulations. Continue reading to find the available Visa Options in Kenya.

Our services range from consulting and identifying the most effective and practical immigration solution for you, preparing applications and submissions, and following up with relevant authorities until the visa/permit is issued.

There are several work visas corporations may obtain for their employees. These include the Work Permit (class A-K), Special Pass (allows one to work for 90 days), Dependant Pass and Student Pass.

Short Term Work Permit/Special Pass

 

The Short-Term Work Visa, also known as a Special Pass, is issued to persons given specific employment by a particular employer for a period not exceeding three months

Long-Term Work Permit

 

Class C, D, F, I, M are types of Long-Term Work Visas issued for a year or for the duration of the employment contract.

Business and Tourist Permit

 

The Business E-Visa allows people to attend conferences, seminars, training and meetings, or for tourism.

Retirement Permit

 

The Retirement Visa in Kenya is valid for a period of one year for those 35 years and older.

INVESTMENT Permit

 

The Investment Permit is for individuals that want to own and run their own business in Kenya.

DEPENDANT Permit

 

The Dependant Permit allows dependants to legally accompany the main permit applicant.

Click on the Kenyan Permit you need, for more information:   Click below for more information on Kenyan Permits

In Kenya, this visa is also known as a Special Pass. The Special Pass is processed in country and does not require the applicant to be present.

Who can apply?

The Special Pass is furnished under regulation 34 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulations Act.

This visa is issued to persons entering Kenya:

  • To apply for a review if a permit has been denied (for a limited time).
  • To apply for a permit or pass.
  • To conduct business or training for a short period.

Documentation – What will I need to apply?

  • A completed and signed Form 32 – Special Pass application
  • A copy of the Special Pass checklist which can be downloaded here
  • A comprehensive, detailed cover letter for the attention of the Director of Immigration Services from the individual applying or the organisation they will be working for
  • Two passport photos in colour
  • A copy of the bio-data page of your passport
  • Documents detailing current immigration status, including copies of permits or passes held currently
  • A copy of your employer or organisation’s Registration Certificate
  • Certified copies of academic and professional certificates
  • Copy of official acknowledgement if a permit application is in progress
  • Clearance letters from relevant authorities

NB: Documents in foreign languages should be translated into English by a notary, the Embassy or an authorised institution.

Steps to approval:

To apply for the Special Pass, get in touch with one of our immigration specialists to get started.

1:  Contact your IBN Immigration consultant, who will advise you on the requirements.

2: Collate your documentation and share with your consultant for review.

3: Your completed application pack will go through an in-house quality check.

4: Your consultant is then ready to submit your application to the relevant immigration authority.

Duration – How long will my visa be valid?

  • It takes two weeks to obtain an approval of your Special Pass
  • Thereafter, a government fees payment should be made to issue your Special Pass
  • The Special Pass is valid for 90 days, after which you may take up work or training activities
  • The Special Pass may be extended three times or for a total of nine months. However, to extend the pass, a Work Permit application must be submitted before the second extension of the Special Pass. This application must be approved before the Special Pass can be extended.

Cost

  • Individuals residing outside East Africa – 15 050 Kenyan Shillings for one month or 45 050 Kenyan Shillings for three months
  • Individuals residing within East Africa member states– Free

NB: If payment is not received within 30 days, the Special Pass approval will be revoked.

What restrictions apply to this visa?

You may only work for the employer or organisation specified in your documentation. You will not be permitted to work at a third-party site.

Can my dependants accompany me on this visa?

Your dependants will not be able to accompany you on a Special Pass but may apply for a separate tourist visa.

Will this visa allow for a path to permanent residence?

The duration of this visa is too short to allow for a path to permanent residence.

Have a question? Ask us, it’s free!

Who can apply?

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.

Permits in Kenya are categorised as follows:

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

Documentation – What will I need to apply?

  • Certified copies of your passport, valid for at least six months
  • A copy of your CV
  • Certified copy of your highest degree/academic certificate obtained
  • Two passport photos in colour
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Medical Report
  • Employment contract
  • Motivational letter from the employer
  • Relevant business/operating license
  • Company registration documents
  • NB: The Department of Immigration released a directive in 2018, stating that all work permit renewal applications must be accompanied by a tax compliance certificate from the employer and employee.

NB: If an understudy has been appointed for the purposes of assisting the visa applicant with skills transfer, that individual must provide the following documents:

  • His/her CV
  • Certified copy of their highest degree/academic certificate obtained
  • Employment contract
  • Certified copy of their identification document
  • Relevant contact details

Compliance – duties and responsibility of the employer

  • An employer employing a foreign national must keep all records pertaining to that employment for two years after the termination of such employment.
  • There is an assumption of guilt of the employer, therefore if a foreign national is found on the business premises conducting himself in such a manner as to suggest that he is in employment and is not in possession of a valid work permit for that business, the employee and employer shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to a fine not exceeding 20 000 Kenyan Shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.
  • If convicted of these offences, any person who is not a citizen of Kenya and is not in possession of a valid entry permit or pass will invariably face deportation.
  • The fact that an application for a work permit has been lodged does not entitle someone to work in Kenya and cannot therefore be a defence in the event of a criminal prosecution.

Steps to approval:

  1. Contact your IBN Immigration Solutions consultant, who will advise you on your specific visa requirements
  2. Collate your documentation and share with your consultant for review
  3. Your completed application pack will go through an in-house quality check
  4. Your consultant is then ready to submit your application to the relevant Immigration Authority
  5. Wait for your visa approval. Your immigration consultant will provide you with an estimated processing time, based on current trends.

Duration – How long will my visa be valid?

  • The visa applicant must remain outside Kenya until the Long-Term Work Visa is approved.
  • All work permits are valid for one year and can be renewed for a maximum of two years.
  • Long-Term Work Visas allow for multiple entries during the period of validity.
  • Currently, work permits can take anywhere between two and six months to process from the date of submission; keep in touch with your IBN Immigration consultant to confirm processing times.
  • Once the work permit has been issued, the visa applicant must pick up the permit in person at the relevant Immigration Authority, where they must also apply for an Alien ID Card.
  • Only once the Alien ID Card application has been submitted, will the work permit be endorsed (usually on the same day).

Renewals

  • Renewals of Long-Term Work Visas are subject to the same requirements as the initial application.
  • Every work permit may be renewed for further periods of one or two years at a time, upon payment of the renewal fee.
  • Renewals of work permit application are conducted in-country.

Cost

  • Application fees differ according to duration and renewal.
  • Please contact your IBN Immigration Solutions consultant to confirm your work permit processing fees.

Departure notification

  • De-registration is required if the permit holder would like to begin employment with another company and therefore wants to apply for a new work permit.
  • If the applicant is leaving the country for good within the period of validity of the current work permit, their Alien ID Card must be returned to the Directorate of Immigration Services.
  • If departure is well in advance of the validity period, the work permit, as well as dependant and/or student passes should be cancelled.

Can my dependants accompany me on this visa?

  • Dependants may accompany the work permit holder by applying for a study permit or dependant’s pass.

Will this visa allow for a path to permanent residence?

  • Long-Term Work Visas may offer a path to permanent residence if the visa holder has held work permits for at least 7 years and applies for permanent residence once they have resided in the country for three continuous years immediately preceding the permanent residence application.

Have a question? Ask us, it’s free!

Who can apply?

Individuals attending conferences, seminars, training activities and meetings in Kenya, or visiting for the purposes of tourism.

Documentation – What will I need to apply?

  • Completed electronic application form
  • Two passport photos in colour
  • A copy of the bio-data page of your passport
  • Invitation letter, company registration other proof from relevant organisation
  • Proof of return ticket or onward travel

Steps to approval:

To apply for a Business or Tourist Visa, get in touch with one of our immigration specialists to get started.

1:  Contact your IBN Immigration consultant, who will advise you on the requirements

2: Collate your documentation and share with your consultant for review

3: Your completed application pack will go through an in-house quality check

4: Your consultant is then ready to submit your application to the relevant Immigration Authority

Duration – How long will my visa be valid?

  • Applicants may choose between a single or multiple-entry visa which is valid for 90 days.
  • Individuals from visa-exempt countries may travel to Kenya for up to three months with only essential documents. This includes member states of the East Africa Community (EAC).
  • Tourists from South Africa and Malaysia are only exempted for stays less than 30 days.
  • Frequent business travellers may apply for a one-year multiple-entry visa after proving frequent travel to Kenya for six months or longer.
  • The Business Visa is usually issues within 48 hours. Please keep in touch with your IBN Immigration consultant to confirm processing time.

Cost

Contact your IBN Immigration Solutions consultant to confirm processing fees.

What restrictions apply to this visa?

You will not be allowed to conduct work activities on this visa.

Have a question? Ask us, it’s free!

Who can apply?

  • Foreign individuals looking to own and/or run a business in Kenya must hold a work permit from the Ministry of Immigration.
  • The relevant permits for interested investors are the Class A, B, F and G permits.
  • The type of permit applied for depends on whether the foreigner will own the business or simply be hired as an employee.

Documentation – What will I need to apply?

  • Certified copies of your passport, valid for at least six months
  • A copy of your CV
  • Certified copy of your highest degree/academic certificate obtained
  • Two passport photos in colour
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Medical Report
  • Employment contract
  • Motivational letter from the employer
  • Relevant business/operating licence
  • Company registration documents
  • Please see below for specific documentation applicable to each class of Investor Permit.

Class A – issued for purposes of prospecting and mining.

  • Applicants must provide proof of a licence to prospect for minerals
  • Applicants must provide proof of funds for investment of at least US$ 100 000.

Class B – issued for purposes of agriculture and animal husbandry.

  • There is no minimum amount of capital required. The applicant must prove that there is at least some capital available, prove land ownership or leasehold and be in possession of clearances or licences from all relevant bodies.
  • Applicants must hold a personal identification number (PIN) certificate, required for purposes of transacting business with the Kenyan Revenue Authority.

Class F –  issued for purposes of manufacturing.

  • Applicants must submit a copy of their currently held licence
  • Registration of the company in Kenya
  • Memorandum of understanding
  • Articles of association
  • A shareholder certificate (if applicable)
  • A copy of his or her PIN certificate
  • Certificate of incorporation of the company
  • Proof of funds for investment of at least US$ 100 000. This amount must be invested specifically in manufacturing.

Class G – issued for purposes of conducting a specific trade, business, consultancy and/or profession.

  • Applicants must provide proof of the certificate of incorporation of the company
  • Memorandum of understanding
  • Articles of association Shareholding certificate
  • Clearance letters from relevant institutions
  • A copy of his or her PIN certificate
  • Proof of funds for investment of at least US$ 100 000

Steps to approval:

To apply for an Investor Visa, get in touch with one of our immigration specialists to get started.

  1. Contact your IBN Immigration consultant, who will advise you on the requirements
  2. Collate your documentation and share with your consultant for review
  3. Your completed application pack will go through an in-house quality check
  4. Your consultant is then ready to submit your application to the relevant Immigration Authority

Cost

Contact your IBN Immigration Solutions consultant to confirm processing fees.

Have a question? Ask us, it’s free!

Who can apply?

  • Foreign nationals, 35 years of age and older, looking to retire in Kenya may apply for the Class K permit or Retirement Permit.
  • Applicants must provide a statement that they will not take part in income-generating activities without relevant permits.
  • Applicants must have, by their own right and at their full and free disposition, an assured annual income of no less than US$ 24 000, derived from sources other than any such employment, occupation, trade, business or profession and being an income that either; is derived from sources outside, and will be remitted to Kenya; or is derived from pension or annuity payable from, sources in Kenya.
  • The applicant’s residence must be beneficial to Kenya.

Documentation – What will I need to apply?

  • Certified copies of your passport, valid for at least six months
  • A copy of your CV
  • Certified copy of your highest degree/academic certificate obtained
  • Two passport photos in colour
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Medical Report
  • Relevant employment and financial documentation

Steps to approval:

To apply for a Retirement Visa, get in touch with one of our immigration specialists to get started.

  1. Contact your IBN Immigration consultant, who will advise you on the requirements
  2. Collate your documentation and share with your consultant for review
  3. Your completed application pack will go through an in-house quality check
  4. Your consultant is then ready to submit your application to the relevant Immigration Authority

Duration – How long will my visa be valid?

  • The Retirement Visa can take two to three months to process and is valid for a year.
  • It may be renewed annually on payment of a renewal fee. 

Cost

Contact your IBN Immigration Solutions consultant to confirm processing fees.

Have a question? Ask us, it’s free!

Dependant Permit

Who can apply?

  • Dependant permits are a suitable solution for dependents who wish to accompany the main applicant and who can be included as dependant pass holders on the main applicant’s passport.
  • A dependant is defined as family members who are dependent on the applicant, such as a spouse and children or any other person who, by reason of age, disability or incapacity, is unable to maintain himself or herself adequately or for some other reason relies upon the applicant for his or her maintenance.
  • Please note that beside the dependant pass, a multiple-entry visa is required.

Study Visa

Who can apply?

Study Visas are issued to individuals seeking to enter and remain in the country for the purpose of receiving education or training at an educational or training establishment within the country where he or she has been accepted as a student.

  • Certified copies of your passport, valid for at least six months
  • Relevant certified copies of degrees/academic certificates obtained
  • Two passport photos in colour
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Medical Report

Steps to approval:

To apply for a Dependant or Study Visa, get in touch with one of our immigration specialists to get started.

  1. Contact your IBN Immigration consultant, who will advise you on the requirements
  2. Collate your documentation and share with your consultant for review
  3. Your completed application pack will go through an in-house quality check
  4. Your consultant is then ready to submit your application to the relevant Immigration Authority

Duration

Study visas are valid for a year or for as long as the applicant’s studies/research/internship lasts (upon renewal).

Cost

Contact your IBN Immigration Solutions consultant to confirm processing fees.

Have a question? Ask us, it’s free!

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