Kenya Visa Validity

Kenya is a beautiful African country, popular for its famous safari parks and game reserves. Most visitors enjoy holidaying in the Coastal region, on the lovely sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets. 

If you intend to visit the country, know that the Kenya e-Visa is mandatory for any foreign person planning to visit Kenya. Citizens from more than 160 countries with valid passports are eligible for a Kenyan visa. 

Some nations are exempt from the visa for up to 90 days, although most are African countries. They include:

South Africa (up to 30 days) Brunei Kiribati Lesotho
Barbados Bahamas Malaysia (up to 30 days) Namibia
Belize Botswana Malawi Nauru
Burundi Cyprus Maldives Uganda
Dominica Eswatini Papua New Guinea Rwanda
Ethiopia The Gambia Saint Kitts and Nevis San Marino
Fiji Ghana St. Vincent and the G. Saint Lucia
Grenada Solomon Islands Samoa Seychelles
Mauritius Jamaica Sierra Leone Singapore
South Sudan Tanzania Tonga Trinidad and Tobago
Tuvalu Vanuatu Zambia Zimbabwe

Nationalities that Require a Referral visa

Citizens from certain nationalities require a referral visa, including:

Afghanistan Armenia
Iraq Kosovo
Lebanon Libya
Palestine Somalia
Syria Tajikistan

The Kenya e-Visa

The Kenya e-Visa is acceptable at all entry points to Kenya. Once you present the e-Visa to an immigration official, you’ll get a visitor pass attached to your passport. 

Since 1st January 2021, all visitors must acquire an e-Visa before arrival. Visas on arrival are no longer issued in Kenya or at any embassy or consulate. 

As a citizen from an eligible country, the e-Visa allows you a single entry for tourism or business purposes. For children below 16 years, you only need to present identification documents at the point of entry without applying for a visa. 

The validity term on the visa indicates the duration to which you’re allowed to stay in Kenya. Regardless of the arrival date you indicated on the visa application, and the maximum stay duration starts from the exact arrival date. 

Validity Term of the Kenya Visa

The Kenya e-Visa is valid for exactly three months, depending on when you submitted the visa application. Once you get approval, you need to enter the country within this period. If you fail to use the visa, it becomes invalid, so you’ll need to apply for a new one online. 

If you intend to travel to Kenya several times regularly, you can choose between a single-entry and a multiple-entry Kenya visa. 

Most business people prefer the multiple-entry visa since there’s no need for a new visa application before every trip. However, the application process is more complex and takes longer. 

  1. Single Entry Visa

Single Entry Visa grants you entry to Kenya for short periods, either for business or tourism. The validity period is three months only, but if you travel to neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania, you will have permission to re-enter Kenya during the three months. 

Requirements for a Single Entry Visa

  • A valid passport with at least six months to expiry and three consecutive blank pages
  • A recent coloured passport-size photograph
  • Visa fee of £74.95 per person

Additional Attachments

  • If the visa is for tourism purposes, you’ll need proof of hotel booking confirmation and a return air ticket indicating the date of arrival and departure, place of departure and flight number.
  • If you’re travelling for business, ensure you have an invitation letter from a company or business entity, a copy of the company’s registration or incorporation certificate, and an ID copy of the letter’s signer. 
  • If you’re visiting family, you’ll need an invitation letter from them, the host’s official identification document and a return air ticket indicating the date of arrival and departure, place of departure and the flight number.
  1. Transit Visa

The Kenya Transit Visa allows a single entry and is valid for up to 72 hours. However, if you arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport through an international flight, stay inside the international transit area, and leave on an international flight, you don’t need to apply for a transit visa. 

  1. Multiple-Entry Visa

The validity term of a multiple-entry visa is between six months and a year. It’s most beneficial to visitors and business people who enter Kenya many times a year. The Director of Immigration Services in Nairobi is responsible for the approval, which takes about one to two weeks. 

To get this visa, you need an official letter from your employer or company that specifies the duration of your stay. 

Requirements for a Multiple Entry Visa

  • A valid passport with at least six months to expiry and three consecutive blank pages
  • A non-refundable fee of £8.1 ($11)
  • Visa fee of £223 ($101)
  • A recent coloured passport-size photograph
  • An official letter from the employer or company indicating the reasons for multiple visits and the visa validity period
  • Invitation letter from the organization you’ll be visiting or from your host. For students, a recommendation letter from the school or employer to indicate the visit’s reasons. 
  • Your visa application letter
  • Proof of employment such as your staff ID or a copy of your contract
  • Three recent single-entry or multiple-entry visas 
  1. Referred Visa

If you’re a citizen of the nationalities listed in the second table, you require a referral visa to enter Kenya. The Director of Immigration Services in Nairobi is responsible for the visa approval. 

Referred visas take longer to process, so it’s best to apply at least four weeks before the planned travel date. 

Maximum Length of Stay in Kenya Allowed by the e-Visa

Visitors entering Kenya have permission to stay for a maximum of 90 days, starting from the arrival date. These 90 days should be on a single trip for a single-entry visa. 

If you exit Kenya before the 90 days, the visa automatically expires, so you’ll need a new one if you wish to return within the same period. 

Extending the Maximum Length of Stay in Kenya

After the standard 90-day validity, you can only extend your visit once, up to 180 days. However, the extension is not guaranteed, as the decision solely depends on the immigration authority in Kenya. 

The validity of the Kenya Visa Can Expire Pre-maturely

There are some cases where the visa validity expires before the standard 90 days. For example, your passport validity may be less than six months from your arrival date, or there’s suspicion that you failed to meet the visa requirements.

It’s, therefore, crucial to follow the correct procedures, ensure you submit valid documents, and abide by the local authorities once you arrive in Kenya. 

Upon arrival, the immigration service stamp on your passport will indicate the final date you must leave the country. 

Additional Notes

  • The Visa processing fee is non-refundable
  • Any incomplete applications will not get approval
  • Having an e-Visa doesn’t give you the ultimate authority to enter Kenya, even if it’s valid. The immigration officer at the point of entry can deny you permission to enter Kenya if you fail to meet immigration requirements or if your presence is against national interests. 
  • If you conduct any business or get employment without the required pass or permit is an offence.
  • You need to get a visa before entry into Kenya, not on arrival
  • Ensure you print out copies of your e-Visa to present at the point of entry
  • The approval process takes at least two working days to ensure you submit your application on time
  • Every adult visiting Kenya must submit an e-Visa application through their e-Visa account. If you have children, you can use your account to submit applications. 
  • The visa application processing happens one month before the expected arrival date, even if you apply earlier. 
  • The validity period begins when the visa gets approved, often eight days after submission or four days in urgent cases
  • There are specific COVID-19 measures and requirements for international visitors; ensure you get updated information here