What are the Visa Requirements and Guidelines in Kenya?

A visa is an important part of travelling to any country. The visa requirements and guidelines depend on the country that you are travelling to. The visa requirements and guidelines for Kenya have changed in the last few years. The main change that has taken place is that travellers from most countries will require an e-Visa, instead of applying for a traditional Visa in Kenya.

The Kenyan Visa Requirements and Guidelines

Like many other countries in the world, Kenya has its own Visa requirements and guidelines. There are some exceptions to the guidelines and requirements if you live in or are travelling from specific countries.

Today, Kenya uses the e-Visa program, which makes it easier to apply for and to receive your Visa. However, there are new visa requirements and guidelines for work and longer stays. With the e-Visa program, you will need to file for a tourist visa, then once you arrive in Kenya, you will need to apply for the appropriate permits within 15 days of your arrival.  The time period that an e-Visa is good for is 90 days after its approval. Short visit visas are only good for 30 days after approval. You can apply for an extension of the valid time period once your visa has been approved.

What You Need to Have When You Arrive in Kenya

Once your e-Visa is approved, you will be sent an e-mail stating that you have been approved, which has a link to download your visa. You will need to make sure that you have a physical copy of the e-Visa with you when you arrive because if the e-Visa is not printed, it is not valid.

Along with your valid e-Visa, you will also need a valid signed passport that does not expire within 6 months of your arrival date. You will also need to provide a travel itinerary that is supported by a written letter. The letter can be from the business, an invitation letter, or from your family or friends who you are going to be visiting. For a tourist visa, you should also have your hotel confirmation and any other services that you have booked in Kenya.

If you are missing information, you may not be granted access into Kenya until you can provide the documentation required. It is recommended that you have printed physical copies of all the required documentation and you should be ready to show it at all airports, docks, and borders. Immigration authorities have the final say if you can enter the country or not, and may hold you if they think that any of the documents are incorrect.

The Visa requirements and guidelines in Kenya changed in 2015 as to move towards only using the e-Visa program. This makes applying for a Visa in most countries around the world easier and quicker because there is no need to wait for a letter to arrive, which also helps lower the processing time. However, you will still need a physical copy of the e-Visa when you are entering Kenya.