1. Kenya now has an eVisa
In line with many other countries, Kenya has moved to an online application for their Tourist Visas. Applying online gives you the peace of mind that comes with getting your visa in advance instead of worrying about whether you will be able to get it on arrival.
2. The online application is not complicated
The application procedure has been modified and simplified to three steps. The eVisa portal now has a dedicated website: evisa.go.ke. The processing time is two days.
3. You need to upload a passport photo with your online application
You will need to upload a passport-size photo and a copy of your passport for your application to be complete. Photos can either be scanned or taken by a mobile phone and the system is able to resize your photos to fit the size requirement.
4. If your visa is refused, the fee is non-refundable
Once the application has been submitted to the Kenyan government, the eVisa application fees are non-refundable.
5. The visa fee is payable in US Dollars
The online payment fee is in US Dollars and will be converted from the currency of your card (as per other foreign online transactions).
6. Visas on arrival are still available if you do not have an eVisa
You will still be able to get a visa at your port of entry. You can also get your visa from a Kenyan embassy or high commission. If you are a passport holder of one of the following countries, you cannot get an eVisa and instead must submit a paper-based application for a visa from the Department of Immigration: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanan, Libya, Mali, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, and Tajikistan.
7. If you are transitting through Nairobi’s international airport (JKIA) on your way to Tanzania or Uganda, but you will be passing through immigration before connecting directly to your onward flight, you do need a transit visa.
In order to clear immigration in Kenya you do need a transit visa regardless of whether you are immediately connecting to a local flight. If this situation occurs unexpectedly (i.e. you were expecting to connect to your onward flight from within the airport and not have to pass through Kenyan immigration), there is a desk where you can apply for a transit visa at your port of entry.
8. There are three types of visas available online
There are three eVisa types for people traveling to the Republic of Kenya temporarily.
Single Entry visa: Issued for single entry to persons whose nationalities require a visa to enter Kenya either for business, tourism or medical reasons.
Transit visa: Issued to persons connecting through Kenya to other destinations for a period not exceeding 72 hours. Those connecting flights directly without leaving the airport don’t need to apply for Transit visas.
Courtesy visa: Issued to Diplomatic, Official and Service passport holders coming into the country on official duties, or transiting through Kenya to a third country for official business or duties. It is also issued to government officials and dignitaries on official duties but holding ordinary passports. It is issued free of charge / gratis.
9. All other visa types must be applied for through the Department of Immigration
The procedures for applying for all other visa types (those not listed above) remains the same, whereby applicants apply in advance to the Department of Immigration, via the Kenyan embassy of high commission in your home country.
10. The East African Visa
The East African visa is not available online. It is available at your port of entry and covers Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. It is also possible to apply for it by writing to the Kenyan embassy or high commission in your home country.
11. The online application is in English
There are plans to translate the application to other languages, but for now it is only available in English.
12. Tour operators and travel agents can apply on your behalf
The application asks for invitation letters or itinerary/bookings. As you will have your itinerary already from your agent you can attach this. However it is also possible to give your personal details to your agent who can do the online eVisa application for you.
13. There are a lot of details required for the eVisa application
This is pretty normal for most countries as they manage issues foreigners may encounter while travelling. The contact information of who you are visiting in Kenya (which will be your tour operator’s contact details) are important for security and emergency purposes.
14. The eVisa costs US$51
There has been a $1 processing charge added for online payments. If you get your visa on arrival it will cost US$50.
15. Visitors get their photo and fingerprints taken at the immigration desk on arrival
This assists with authenticating that the person who presents at immigration is the same person as applied for the eVisa. This is becoming increasingly common around the world as countries strive to secure their borders.
16. You don’t have to complete the visa application in one sitting
The system allows you to save a partially completed application and later return to where you left off.
17. It is safe to pay online with your credit/debit card
The system does not store your credit/debit card information once payment is made. EVisa is a government website and thus highly secured with the latest technology. There are plans to include other modes of payment such as PayPal.
18. Please check back on the website for the status of your application
While an email is supposed to be sent to your notifying you when/if you visa has been granted, there have been instances where this hasn’t occurred (or it’s been lost in a Spam folder). Please take note of your log in details so you can access your application and eVisa.
19. Multiple-entry visas are not available online
If you require a multiple-entry visa you can apply for a single-entry visa online and once in Kenya go to the Department of Immigration office to apply for the multiple-entry visa.
For more information about the eVisa please visit evisa.go.ke