Visas for Kenya

Regardless of whether expats travel to Kenya for leisure or to relocate long term, most foreign nationals will require a visa to enter Kenya. The type of visa depends on an individual’s motivation for being in the country and the length of their stay.


Expats moving to Kenya to take up a job offer are likely to receive some assistance from their employer when it comes to arranging their visa.

Before venturing to another country, make sure you have a health insurance plan you can rely on. Our international health insurance plans offer comprehensive health cover for when you are in your home country and abroad.

There are a select few countries allowed visa-free entry into Kenya. Most foreigners, however, will need to apply for a visa beforehand.

Depending on nationality, some may be able to obtain a visa on arrival while others will be required to obtain the visa prior to travelling to Kenya. While it is possible to submit a tourist visa application at a Kenyan diplomatic mission in one’s home country, this tends to be a long process. By far the easiest way of obtaining a tourist visa is through the online eVisa system at least seven days before travelling to Kenya.

Tourist visas are granted for a three-month period from the date of entry, after which they can be extended once for a further three months.

If planning to remain in the country for longer than a six-month period, expats must obtain what is known as a work/residence permit before arriving in Kenya. There are various classes of such permits to suit each individual's motives for settling in Kenya, covering everyone from short-term assignees to retirees.

The list of required documents differs according to the specific class of visa an expat applies for. Requirements also change regularly so expats should consult their embassy or consulate.

Expats moving to Kenya for work will often find that their employer will cover the cost of the visa application and assist in providing the necessary documentation.

There are various types of work permits for Kenya:


  • Class A
    This permit is issued to persons who intend to engage in prospecting for minerals or mining.

  • Class B
    These are issued to those individuals wishing to invest in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.
  • Class D
    This permit covers those who are moving to Kenya to do a specific job for a single employer, including those relocating on an intra-company transfer and humanitarian workers employed by a recognised NGO.

    The employer will need to provide documentation to prove that the applicant has skills and qualifications that are not available in the local workforce and that this person can be of benefit to the Kenyan economy.

  • Class G
    Class G permits are issued to expats who are either looking to set up a business in Kenya or invest in a specific trade.

  • Class I
    These permits are issued to a member of a missionary society approved by the Government of Kenya and whose presence is beneficial to the country.

  • Class K
    This permit is for independently wealthy foreigners above the age of 35 who want to settle down in Kenya. To obtain a Class K permit, one needs to submit proof of adequate funds to support themselves while they remain in the country.

  • Class M
    And lastly, the Class M permit is issued to Conventional Refugees.