Online Visa for Kenya: A Complete Guide to Apply for E-Visa

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Whether you're headed to Nairobi, exploring the Maasai Mara, or relaxing on the coast of Mombasa, understanding the online visa process for Kenya is essential. Kenya has streamlined its visa application procedure, making it more convenient and efficient for travellers. Kenya's Directorate of Immigration Services has introduced evisa.go.ke, a user-friendly platform that enables travellers to apply for the Republic of Kenya Evisa online. This innovative system eliminates the need for physical visits to Kenyan diplomatic missions or acquiring visas upon arrival.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of obtaining an e-visa for Kenya, ensuring your journey is smooth and hassle-free.

Understanding the E-Visa

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An eVisa is an authorization document issued in PDF format, allowing travellers to journey to a Kenyan entry point. This electronic document must be presented to an immigration officer at any point of entry. The officer grants permission to enter the Republic of Kenya, endorses it on the holder's passport, and issues a visitor's pass.

Categories of Visas

Passport holders travelling to the Republic of Kenya fall into three categories:
  • Category 1: Nationals and persons who do not require visas to enter Kenya.
  • Category 2: Nationals issued with visas upon application. The visa is processed within 48 hours of application.
  • Category 3: Countries and persons who require referred visas. This visa is processed within 10 working days of application.

The Types of E-Visas

Before you start the application process, it's essential to determine which type of e-visa you need. Kenya offers several categories of e-visas, including:
Safari
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1. Tourist Visa:

The Tourist Visa is designed for individuals engaging in tourist activities and exploration in Kenya.
  • To apply for this visa, you will need to provide the following documents: an application form, passport photos, a valid passport, flight reservation, travel insurance, proof of accommodation, and bank statements.
  • The cost for this visa is $51.
  • It allows for a 3-month validity from the date of issue, granting single entry and a 90-day stay.
  • The processing time typically takes 48 hours.

2. Multiple Entry Visa:

If you're a frequent traveller, the Multiple Entry Visa is the suitable option.
  • When applying for this visa, you should prepare passport photos, a valid passport, a flight reservation, and a detailed itinerary, and ensure there's one blank passport page available.
  • The fee for the Multiple Entry Visa is $101.
  • It offers a longer validity period of 6 to 12 months from the issue date.
  • The processing time for this visa usually takes around 10 working days.

3. East Africa Tourist Visa:

The East Africa Tourist Visa is a convenient choice for those wishing to explore Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda for tourism purposes, with Kenya as the initial entry point.
  • Required documents include passport photos, a valid passport, a flight reservation, a detailed itinerary, and one blank passport page.
  • The cost for this visa is $101.
  • It is valid for 3 months from the date of issue.
  • Please note that the processing time may vary, and it could take up to a month to receive this visa.

4. Courtesy Visa:

The Courtesy Visa is specifically issued to individuals holding Diplomatic, Official, and Service passports. These holders may be entering Kenya for official duties or transiting through Kenya to reach a third country for official business or duties.
  • The Courtesy Visa is provided free of charge, which means there are no fees involved.
  • To apply for this visa, you should have a Valid travel document (min. six months), a Diplomatic, Official, or Service passport, an official letter, a round trip ticket for transit, and specific attachments (clear passport biodata page, clear photograph).

5. 5-Year Multiple Entry Visa:

The 5-Year Multiple Entry Visa is intended for USA nationals who require a visa to enter Kenya, either for business or tourism purposes. The processing time for this visa is 10 working days.
  • The Multiple Entry Visa remains valid for 5 years from the date of issue.
  • The processing fees include a 10 USD charge and a 1 USD service fee.
  • Once approved, you will be required to pay a 160 USD application fee, as well as a 1 USD service charge. Debit cards, credit cards, VISA cards, and Mastercard payments will incur a card handling fee in addition to the processing fees.
  • To apply for this visa, you should have a valid travel document with a validity of not less than six months, as well as at least one blank page in your passport.
  • Specific attachment requirements during the application process include:
  • For Business Visits: Invitation letters from the company, copies of the company's registration.
  • For Family Visits: Invitation letter from the host family, identity card/passport/alien card/entry permit of the host.
  • For Tourists: Travel itinerary (details about places to visit if travelling as a tourist), hotel bookings, a clear passport biodata page, and a clear photograph.

The Application Process:

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Applying for an e-visa for Kenya is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide:
  1. Visit the E-Visa Portal: Access the official e-visa portal for Kenya - evisa.go.ke. It's essential to use the official government website to avoid potential scams.
  2. Create an Account: Register for an account on the e-visa portal. You will need a valid email address to proceed.
  3. Fill in the Application Form: Click on "Evisa Application." Complete the online application form with accurate information. Be ready to provide personal details, passport information, and your travel itinerary.
  4. Upload Documents: You'll be required to upload specific documents, such as a copy of your passport, a passport-sized photo, and any supporting documents for your visa category.
  5. Pay the Visa Fee: The visa fee varies depending on the type and duration of your visa. Payment is typically made online through secure payment methods. You can make the payment using Visa Card, Mastercard, or other debit and credit cards.
  6. Wait for Approval: After submitting your application, you'll receive an email confirming receipt. The processing time can vary, but you'll receive a notification when your visa is approved.
  7. Download Your E-Visa: Once your e-visa is approved, you can download it from the portal. Print a copy to carry with you during your travels.
  8. Present E-Visa: Present your printed E-Visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.

Points to Remember:

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  • Application Time: It's advisable to apply for your e-visa at least 7-10 business days before your intended travel date.
  • Entry Requirements: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from your entry date into Kenya.
  • Border Control: Present a printed copy of your e-visa to Kenyan border control upon arrival.
  • Keep Your E-Visa Safe: Safeguard your e-visa during your stay, as you may need to show it at various points.
  • Non-Refundable Fees: Note that visa processing fees are non-refundable.
  • Legal Employment: Engaging in business or employment without the necessary permit or pass is against the law.
  • Separate Applications: Each adult visitor should submit their Evisa application through their account, while parents can apply for their children through their accounts.
Kenya's e-visa system has made the visa application process efficient and traveller-friendly. With these simple steps, you can secure your e-visa and embark on an unforgettable journey to this captivating East African nation.

This post was published by Varsha Alva

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