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Immigration & Work Permits

Work Permits

Foreign nationals wishing to work in Kenya are required to obtain a work permit. However, work permits are generally only granted in instances where the employer can prove that doing so would be beneficial to Kenya and the position cannot be filled by any suitable Kenyan applicants.

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A foreign company that wishes to get a work permit for one of its employees must first set up its Kenyan subsidiary/branch/representative office. This Kenyan entity may then apply for the work permit.

An applicant may make an application directly or choose an agent such as a law firm or consultancy. However, do note that direct applications take a longer time.

Step 1: Completion of the application

Foreign nationals wishing to be employed by a Kenyan entity are required to apply for a Kenyan work permit. The different classes will depend on the specific circumstances of the applicant. Generally, the success rate depends on whether skilled labour for the position is available locally i.e. employers are required to justify employment of the foreign national instead of a local.

All work permits are generally valid for 2 years, with renewals permitted for an extra 2 years at a time. The number of renewals is unlimited. Renewals need to be done at least 3 months prior to expiry.

While each work permit may have specific documentation requirements, the following are all required:

  • Dully filled and signed application Form 3
  • Covering letter from employer/self/organisation depending on the class (as applicable)
  • Copies of the foreign national’s passport
  • Two coloured Passport size photographs
  • Application form fee

Step 2: Submission to the Ministry of Immigration

Once the application is submitted at the Ministry of Immigration, it shall be presented to a committee for approval. This process may take between two and six months.

The following factors are considered by the committee when deciding whether to approve or reject an application:

1. The amount of investment and its impact on Kenya’s economy, which is determined by the auditors’ report or bank statement

2. The number of jobs that will be created for Kenyans, which is determined by the application letter submitted by the applicant’s agent

3. The nationality of the applicant. An applicant has a higher chance of approval of his application if his or her country of origin has a stronger economy’s than that of Kenya and low criminal statistics and security threats.

If the application is successful, the Ministry will issue a Notification of Approval will be issued. If it is rejected, a Notification of Rejection will be issued. This Notification of Approval is valid for ninety days pending payment of the government fees.

The entry permit is then endorsed on the applicant’s passport.

More information can be found here.

Step 3: Registration as an alien

All foreigners who remain in Kenya for more than 3 months (90 days) are required to register as an alien and obtain an alien registration card from the Immigration Department.

The application must be accompanied by:

1.Two passport –size photographs (either coloured or black and white and taken not more than 12 months earlier) of the applicant;

2.A valid passport or some other official document establishing identity and nationality; and

3.The prescribed fee

Use the Shield GEO Employer of Record Solution

Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hand, co-ordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.

Types of visas in Kenya

Category Description of Visa
Class A

Issued to persons who intend to engage in prospecting for minerals or mining.

Requirements:

1. One should obtain or is assured to obtain the necessary licenses and registrations.
2. For renewals current license held for prospecting minerals and copy of PIN is required.
3. One has sufficient capital or resources for investment.

Please contact us for a quote.

Class B

Work permit issued to persons wishing to invest in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.

Requirements:

1. Proof of land ownership or leasehold interest in land for the purpose.
2. Proof of capital available for the purpose.
3. Clearance from relevant bodies.
4. For renewals current license held for prospecting minerals and copy of PIN is required.

Please contact us for a quote.

Class D

Issued to a person who is offered specific employment by a specific employer who is qualified to undertake that employment.

Requirements:

1. Copies of academic/professional certificates along with the CV.
2. Evidence that the organisation failed to fill the vacancy from the local labor market.
3. Form 25 dully filled, signed and sealed by the company.

Please contact us for a quote.

Class G

Work permit issued to investors in specific trade, business or consultancy.

Requirements:

1. Documentary proof of capital to be invested/already invested minimum of 100,000 US dollars or equivalent in any other currency.
2. Registration certificate of the company OR certificate of incorporation.
3. Copies of personal and company PIN (Personal Identification Number) if business is running.
4. For renewals; audited accounts for previous 2 years and a certificate of tax compliance from the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Please contact us for a quote.

Class I

Work/Residence permit issued to a member of missionary society approved by the Government of Kenya and whose presence is beneficial to the country.

Requirement:

1. A copy of registration certificate of the organisation.
2. Academic and professional certificates of the applicant.

Please contact us for a quote.

Class K

Residence permit issued to persons who have an assured income derived from sources outside and undertakes not to accept paid employment of any kind.

Requirement:

1. Documentary proof of assured income is required for Class K.

Please contact us for a quote.

Class M

Work permit issued to Conventional Refugees.

Kenya

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