The majority of foreign nationals need a visa to visit Kenya. Passport holders from just over 40 nations can enter Kenya visa-free, most of which are other African countries.
Fortunately, citizens of more than 160 are now eligible for the Kenya e-visa, the most convenient option for people heading to Kenya.
The electronic visa was introduced in 2015 to facilitate travel to Kenya. Not only is the application process efficient, but crossing Kenyan borders with an eVisa is also quicker.
While it was previously possible for some foreign citizens to obtain visas on arrival and embassy visas for Kenya, this is now no longer the case, as these old processes have been discontinued in favor of the expedited eVisa application.
Tourists who are not eligible for the Kenya visa can get another type of Kenya visa: visas on arrival and embassy visas are also available.
The information below explains the differences between each of the different Kenyan travel visas and who should apply.
Kenya eVisa: the Best Option for Most Travelers
All those from eligible countries are encouraged to take advantage of Kenya’s eVisa system.
Foreign nationals with an approved eVisa can spend up to 30 days in Kenya, it can be extended from within the country. The permit is valid for a wide range of purposes, including:
This means that holidaymakers taking part in some of the country’s most popular activities, such as going on a Kenyan safari, can do so using the e-visa.
Applying for the Kenya eVisa is fast and efficient
Unlike the traditional visa process, the Kenya eVisa application process is fully online and can be submitted from anywhere with an internet connection 24 hours a day.
With no need to present paperwork at an embassy or consulate, or wait around at the airport on arrival, the eVisa saves time and is hassle-free.
The visa form and supporting documentation are submitted digitally, the whole process can be completed within 15 minutes.
Electronic visa processing is also quick. In most cases, applications are reviewed in under 72 hours but it is advisable to request a visa a week in advance in case of any complications or delays.
The eVisa is single-entry. To return to Kenya travelers simply have to reapply for another visa online following the same procedure.
Kenya Visa on Arrival at the Airport
In the past, visas were available on arrival at Kenyan airports for arriving passengers of select nationalities, although this application option involved long waiting times in immigration lines, especially during busy periods.
It was necessary to pay the visa arrival fee in cash with the exact amount in US dollars, as debit or credit card facilities were not available at the Kenyan border, and there was also no guarantee that the request would be approved.
Kenya Embassy Visa: the Traditional Method
Previously, a few groups of people who did not meet the Kenya e-visa requirements were required to contact their nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate to apply for a visa for the country.
Passport holders from 16 nations previously needed to request a Kenya embassy visa using the traditional process:
- North Korea
However, this is no longer the case, as these nationalities are now exclusively able to obtain their visa for Kenya through the eVisa application following the Kenyan government’s revision of the visa policy in January 2021.
How to Get a Multiple-Entry Visa for Kenya
While the eVisa for Kenya is a single-entry permit, travelers who need to make several trips to Kenya, such as business people, may find a multiple-entry visa more convenient.
It is not possible to obtain a multi-entry visa for Kenya online. A visa for multiple entries can only be issued by officials at the immigration headquarters in Nairobi.
Both the eVisa for Kenya and the visa on arrival are single-entry permits.
- Apply for a single-entry eVisa online
- Travel to Kenya using the eVisa
- On arrival in Kenya, go to the immigration offices in Nairobi to request a multiple-entry visa
Alternatively, foreigners who have left Kenya and wish to return can simply apply for another single-entry eVisa online.