Educational Opportunities in Kenya: The Importance of a Student Pass

Educational Opportunities in Kenya: The Importance of a Student Pass

In Kenya, education is not only a fundamental right but also a privilege that many students from around the world aspire to experience. However, embarking on this educational journey in Kenya requires more than just acceptance into an institution; it involves navigating through the intricacies of obtaining a student pass.

This essential document, often overlooked, plays an important role in ensuring that foreign students can legally pursue their education in the country. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of the student pass application process, shedding light on its importance and the straightforward steps to acquire one.

What is a Student Pass?

A student pass is a document issued to applicants (section 30(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulations 2012), who wish to purse their education in Kenya’s Education or Training Institutions where they have been accepted or admitted. The applicant (foreign student) must be accepted as a student by an approved Educational or Training Establishment before starting the application.

Even though the law is clear about this, we have realised that it is rarely adhered to. Many schools do not insist in the student pass and are content if the student has a dependent pass.

It is a rather simple process and even though the list of requirements seems to be long they are straight forward and nothing complicated.

Document Requirements

  • A duly filled, signed and stamped application Form 30, by the institution’s authorised person
  • Detailed and Signed Cover letter addressed to the Director of Immigration Services from the institution indicating the course to be pursued and the duration
  • Signed commitment letter from the sponsor
  • National passport copy of the sponsor
  • Proof of funds for self-sponsored students
  • For minors, consent letter from the parent
  • Copy of the parent’s national passport and copy of the birth certificate of the minor should be attached as proof of relationship (for minors).
  • Copy of a valid national passport (the bio-data page)
  • Current immigration status for the pupil/student (If in the country)
  • Recent passport-size colour photos (white background soft copy)
  • Documents in foreign languages should be translated into English by either the Embassy, Public Notary, or authorised/recognised institution (both new and renewal cases)
  • Copy of the school’s registration certificate from the Ministry of Education
  • Certified copies of the progress report
  • Copy of admission letter


While some schools may overlook the necessity of a student pass, obtaining one is a relatively straightforward process. It ensures that foreign students can fully immerse themselves in their educational pursuits without legal issues.

Should you seek further information or assistance with the student pass application process, do not hesitate to reach out.

Written by Sandra Estermann, IBN Immigration Solutions Kenya

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