Kenyan immigration law provides two permits that will enable you to perform work-related activities while living in Kenya. Most importantly, you must be employed by a company in Kenya to proceed with the permit application, once you have signed your new employment contract.

The first permit we will discuss is the Short-Term Special Pass. The second is the Long-Term pass that can be valid for up to two years.

Both are easily accessible because you can create the application on the EFNS online portal; you will be able to see all updates as they happen.

These permits are open to anyone who qualifies for a job in Kenya.

Short-Term – Kenya’s Special Pass

Special Passes are issued for three months and may be renewed once. The estimated processing time for this pass is about four weeks. This allows multiple entries into Kenya during the validity period.

Process

Combine all electronic documents and submit the online application. You will then have to print the application that you completed online and sign the form. Once you sign, it must be stamped by your Kenyan employer. The approval process takes about a month. Once the application has been approved, it takes approximately three weeks for the Special Pass to be issued.

Upon issuance, the main assignee will be required to provide the original passport to the immigration office for endorsement. The pass allows for multiple entries during the validity period.

Document Requirements

To ensure you have all the necessary documents, we have compiled a list below of what is needed:

Applicant

  • 2 original colour passport photos (white background) and 1 digital photo
  • Copy of passport bio-data page
  • Copy of academic/professional certificates (to be translated if not in English)
  • Curriculum Vitae

Kenyan Entity

  • Copy of clear signed form 32
  • Copy of clear Covering Letter
  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
  • Copy of Tax Compliance Certificate
  • Copy of Job Description
  • Copy of signed Contract

There are two different fees applicable.

The fees that this application will cost you will be the Government fee of Ksh. 45,050 for  three months, as well as the disbursement fee of  Ksh.300.

Long-Term – Class D Work Permit

Information

Work Permits are issued for a time ranging from 1 to 2 years, depending on the duration you will need, and the work permit can also be renewed. The estimated processing time for a work permit range about 2-3 months, should no delays be encountered.

This permit will allow multiple entries during the validity period.

Process

Combine all the documents (electronic copies) and then submit the online application. It will then need to be printed and signed by the assignee, as well as signed and stamped by your new employer in Kenya. Within approximately 2 months, your application should be approved. Once the application has been approved, it takes approximately 3 weeks for the Work Permit to be issued.

Upon issuance, the assignee will be required to apply for alien card. The Alien ID Card requires the assignee to undergo bio-metrics, such as fingerprints, hence the need to appear in-person at the Immigration office.

Document Requirements

Applicant

  • 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

Kenyan Entity

  • 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

 Understudy

  • CV
  • Certified employment contract
  • Certified qualifications
  • Copy of ID and contact info

The following fees can be expected with an application for this type of permit:

Processing Fee: Ksh. 10,050

Government Fee: Ksh. 400,050 for two years (one year is 200,050)

Disbursement: Ksh. 2700

If you would like to know more, or want to work and live in Kenya, feel free to contact us for any immigration assistance!

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By Sylvia Waiganjo