Kenya's visa policy serves as the foundational framework that governs the entry requirements for travellers from diverse nationalities and travel intentions. It lays out the essential criteria for obtaining a Kenyan visa, a crucial document for foreign visitors planning their journey, entry, and stay within the country.
The tourist visa policy for Kenya applies to foreign visitors from the majority of nationalities, emphasising the need for a tourist visa when planning a trip to the country.
As per Kenya's tourist visa policy, international travellers must follow the online Kenya visa application process to acquire an electronic visa, commonly referred to as an eVisa, prior to their arrival in Kenya.
This digital platform eliminates the need for international visitors to physically visit a diplomatic mission or embassy for visa paperwork, offering the ease of online application from the comfort of one's own home or any location with internet connectivity.
This option, although available, is notably less convenient and typically involves a longer processing period. Consequently, it is advisable to plan well in advance when considering this route, as the processing time may extend to several weeks in some cases.
Kenya's tourist visa policy extends exemptions to nationals from a limited number of countries, allowing them to visit Kenya without the requirement of obtaining a visa in advance. Tourists hailing from these exempted states have the privilege of visiting Kenya on a visa-free basis.
Visa requirements for Kenyan citizens
Visa free access
Visa on arrival
Visa available both on arrival or online
Kenya's eVisa program extends its convenience to nationals from approximately 140 countries and territories worldwide, facilitating their travel plans to Kenya.
The Kenya eVisa is designed as a single-entry electronic visa, granting travellers the privilege to visit Kenya for a period of up to 90 days.
International travellers can swiftly obtain their online visa, thanks to the efficiently streamlined and user-friendly system in place. To initiate the process, applicants need to provide essential details through a concise online form, which includes personal information, passport details, and travel information.
Upon successful application, the eVisa is promptly delivered via email. This entire process is typically completed within a few business days, with many visas being approved within as little as 24 hours.
The Kenya eVisa caters to a wide range of purposes, including tourism, business ventures, medical treatment, and transit, making it a versatile choice for eligible citizens.
Prospective travellers have the option to request an e-Visa up to 80 days prior to their intended trip to Kenya. However, it is advisable to initiate the online application at least 7 days before the planned travel date to ensure a smooth and timely process.
An approved Kenya eVisa remains valid for a period of 3 months from the date of issue or until the expiration date of the associated passport, whichever comes first. Compliant with Kenya's visa policy, eVisa applicants must possess a passport from an eligible country, with a minimum validity of 6 months from the expected arrival date in Kenya. This valid passport must be presented at Kenyan border control for entry into the country.
Kenya's immigration regulations establish specific visa requirements for approximately 160 countries, mandating the need for an embassy or consular visa to travel to Kenya. This requirement remains applicable regardless of the intended duration and purpose of the stay within the country.
In addition to this, visa-exempt and eVisa-eligible nationalities, while exempt from the embassy visa requirement for stays of up to 90 days, are obligated to secure an embassy or consular visa for longer durations of stay in Kenya. The period of validity and the allowable duration of stay in Kenya with an approved embassy visa are contingent upon the purpose of the visit, whether for study, work, or other specific purposes.
The process for obtaining an embassy or consular visa for Kenya involves a series of steps. Travellers must commence by scheduling an appointment at the nearest government diplomatic office before their intended trip.
Once at the embassy or consulate, applicants are required to submit a comprehensive visa application, accompanied by a diverse set of supporting documents tailored to the type of visa being sought. Essential among these requirements is the applicant's passport, which must maintain a minimum validity of 6 months from the anticipated date of arrival in Kenya.
Given that the approval of an embassy or consular visa may necessitate several weeks, travellers are strongly advised to proactively schedule an appointment well in advance of their intended travel dates. This proactive approach ensures that all necessary steps are taken to secure the visa within a reasonable timeframe.
Kenya's visa regulations outline provisions for visitors from approximately 45 countries and territories, exempting them from the requirement of obtaining a visitor visa when planning short stays in the country.
In addition to these visa-exempt categories, nationals from certain countries enjoy the privilege of travelling to Kenya without a visa if they hold diplomatic or service passports.
To qualify for visa-exempt entry to Kenya, travellers must possess a valid passport from one of the eligible countries. However, some visa-exempt nationalities have the option to enter Kenya using their National ID card, a convenience extended to citizens of several East African countries.
Kenya's immigration regulations stipulate that visa-exempt nationals can stay in Kenya for a period of up to 90 days. However, it's important to note that visa requirements can undergo changes over time, and travellers are strongly advised to consult this page for updates before making travel plans to Kenya.
For foreign citizens eligible for visa-exempt entry but planning to stay in Kenya for durations exceeding 90 days, the necessary step is to obtain a visa from a Kenyan embassy or consulate. This ensures compliance with Kenya's immigration requirements for longer-term stays in the country.
Do I need a visa to visit Kenya as a tourist?
Most foreign nationals need a tourist visa to visit Kenya. However, citizens of approximately 45 countries are exempt from this requirement for short visits, typically up to 90 days. It's advisable to check the specific visa regulations based on your nationality and travel purpose.
How can I apply for a Kenya tourist visa?
Travellers can apply for a Kenya tourist visa online through the eVisa system. The online application involves filling out a form with personal, passport, and travel information. The approved eVisa is usually sent via email within a few days.
Can I get a visa on arrival in Kenya?
No, Kenya discontinued the visa-on-arrival system in 2021. All visitors, including tourists, must obtain an eVisa online before travelling to Kenya.
What are the requirements for a work or study visa in Kenya?
Work and study visas typically require in-person applications at a Kenyan embassy or consulate. The specific requirements may vary based on the type of visa and individual circumstances.
How long is the Kenya eVisa valid for?
An approved Kenya eVisa is generally valid for three months from the date of issue or until the associated passport's expiration date, whichever comes first.
Can I extend my stay in Kenya if my visa is about to expire?
In most cases, you can apply for a visa extension at the Immigration Office in Kenya before your current visa expires. Extensions are subject to approval and specific conditions.
Are there any visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders?
Yes, some countries' diplomatic passport holders may be exempt from visa requirements when visiting Kenya. However, it's crucial to check with the Kenyan embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.
How can I stay informed about changes in Kenya's visa policies?
To stay updated on Kenya's visa requirements and rules, regularly check the official website of the Kenyan Immigration Department or consult your nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate.