For a trip to Kenya, you need a visa. We explain how you can get the right entry permit quickly and inexpensively and what you are allowed to do as an eVisa visitor in Kenya.
Most international travelers need a visa to enter Kenya. There is a distinction between a "Referred Visa" through the Kenyan Embassy and the new, non-bureaucratic eVisa (electronic travel authorization).
If you are a citizen of a country eligible for Kenyan eVisa, you will get an entry permit within two days and with little effort. Children under 16 traveling with you may accompany you without a visa.
Nationals of Ethiopia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia (for stays of less than 30 days), Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Zambia, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Singapore, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Cyprus, as well as travelers under 16 years of age accompanied by their parents, certain UN staff and diplomats are allowed to enter Kenya without a visa.
Since 2021, travel to Kenya has become much easier for nationals of many countries, who can now apply for an eVisa online.
The electronic entry permit is faster, cheaper, and easier to obtain than a traditional visa, and it allows travelers to stay for up to 90 days for tourism, visiting family and friends, medical, or business purposes.
Kenyan eVisas come in different categories:
A Single Entry Visa is issued to you for a single visit to Kenya for business, tourism, medical, or other purposes like family visits.
If you are traveling to other countries via Kenya and want to leave the airport during your stopover, then you will need a transit visa. It is valid for 72 hours.
Diplomats and certain officials can apply for a Courtesy Visa to perform official duties in Kenya or to transit the country. The unique feature about this eVisa is that it is free of charge.
The East African Tourist Visa allows you to travel through three African countries, namely Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
If you travel to Kenya frequently for business, tourism, medical, or other reasons, you can apply for a multiple entry eVisa. It is valid for between three and twelve months from the date of issue, but you can also apply for a visa that is valid for five years.
The eVisa eligible countries for travel to Kenya currently include:
|eVisa Kenya: eligible countries|
|Antigua and Bermuda||Argentina||Australia||Austria|
|Benin||Bhutan||Bolivia||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Canada||Cape St. Christopher||Cape Verde||Central African Republic|
|Comoros||Congo (Brazzaville)||Congo (Democratic Rep)||Costa Rica|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Croatia||Cuba||Czech Republic|
|Egypt||El Salavador||Equatorial Guinea||Estonia|
|Romania||Russia||Sao Tome and Principe||Saudi Arabia|
|South Sudan||Spain||Sri Lanka||Sudan|
|Turkey||Turkmenistan||Ukraine||United Arab Emirates|
Citizens of Afghanistan, Armenia, North Korea, Iraq, Yemen, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, and stateless travelers must apply for "referred visas" at the Kenyan Embassy.
If you want to travel to Kenya on an eVisa, you must meet additional requirements besides being a citizen of a country approved for eVisa. These include:
During the visa application process, in addition to personal information, you will be asked to upload various documents in JPG, PNG, or .doc format. These may differ slightly depending on the purpose of your trip and the type of eVisa you are applying for.
To obtain a Single Entry eVisa for Kenya, you will need to upload the following documents during the eVisa application process and present them again upon entry:
To obtain a transit visa for Kenya, you must upload the following documents in the eVisa application and present them again upon entry:
To obtain a Courtesy Visa for Kenya, you will need to upload the following documents to the eVisa application and present them again upon entry:
To obtain an East African tourist visa, you must upload the following documents in the eVisa application and present them again upon entry:
To get a Multiple Entry Visa, you need to upload the following documents in the eVisa application and show them again upon entry:
In addition to your passport, any invitation letters, and documentation of your travel route, the Kenya eVisa application also requires you to upload a digital photo that meets the current standards of the Kenyan government. These are:
Children under the age of 16 do not require a visa or eVisa to enter Kenya, provided they travel with their parents. Be prepared to prove your relationship status as well as the right to travel with your children, for example, with birth certificates, letters of authority, and copies of ID from both parents.
If you are an adult traveling with children under the age of 16, indicate this in the appropriate field during your eVisa application. Young people traveling alone fill out their own eVisa application (or have caregivers do so) by selecting "minor" instead of "adult" at the beginning.
The eVisa application for Kenya will take about 15 minutes on the eVisa application page of our partner iVisa. To complete it, you will need your passport, a valid email address, your travel dates, any documents regarding hotel bookings or your hosts' contact information, any invitation letters, and your personal information.
After completing the form, you will be prompted to upload your passport, passport photo, hotel reservations, and other supporting documents (depending on the type and purpose of your eVisa).
Double-check all data before submitting your eVisa application. If all the information is correct and you as a traveler meet the requirements, then you will receive your eVisa approval usually within 48 hours.
How long is an eVisa for Kenya valid? An eVisa for Kenya is valid for three months initially but no longer than the expiration date of your passport. What is meant here is that you must enter Kenya within three months of receiving the approved permit.
If you realize on-site in Kenya that you need to stay longer, you can have your visa extended by another 90 days with the local authorities.
With an eVisa, you are allowed to vacation in Kenya, visit relatives and friends, do short business errands such as attending conferences, or receive medical services.
Possession of an eVisa does not entitle you to work or reside in the country. You must obtain permission from the Kenyan government for any purpose beyond tourism, visits, business, or medical travel.
If your eVisa for Kenya has been rejected, there can be various reasons for this. The most common ones include spelling mistakes, incomplete information, or documents uploaded in the wrong format.
Personal eligibility can also play a role. For example, if your information in the application suggests that you want to live and work in Kenya or could pose a threat to the Kenyan people, your eVisa application is likely to be rejected.
Provided that the reasons for your eVisa rejection are correctable (i.e., if they are clerical errors, missing documents, or incorrect file formats), you may reapply for an eVisa after correcting them. All others are advised to apply for a classic visa at the Kenyan Embassy instead of the eVisa.
When you arrive at the Kenyan border, you ask the border officials for permission to enter the country. Have your travel documents ready for this purpose. They include:
If the border officials deem you eligible to enter Kenya, they will issue you a visitor's pass and stamp your passport with the date of exit. Re-check the exit date and have it corrected if necessary, as this date is binding for you.
All passengers are subject to a short medical check. For this purpose, you will receive the Travelers Health Surveillance Form to fill out before your trip. After completing the form, you will receive a QR code to show upon entry.
Find out about the exact import regulations for Kenya before you enter the country. The import of electrical equipment, animal and plant species, and some other things are strictly regulated. Also, it is forbidden to bring weapons and pornographic material.
Do you have further questions about the Kenya visa? We hope you will find what you are looking for in our FAQ:
With an eVisa for Kenya once approved, you must enter the country within the following three months. This means that the last day of validity of your eVisa is also the last day you are allowed to enter Kenya with it. Thus, you do not need to apply for a new eVisa while your old one is still valid.
Tip: You can apply for a visa extension up to 180 days at the Kenyan authorities in Nairobi when you are in the country.
Suppose you are a citizen of Ethiopia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia (for stays of less than 30 days), Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Zambia, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Singapore, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu or Cyprus. In that case, you do not need to apply for a visa.
Travelers under the age of 16 can also travel to Kenya visa-free when accompanied by their parents.
You can apply for your eVisa only after planning your route and booking your accommodations. The reason is that you need to upload proof of your hotel bookings or similar confirmations from your hosts when applying for a visa.
Approval of an eVisa for Kenya usually takes two business days. However, some applications may require an additional processing time of up to eight days, for example, because the application is incomplete or certain documents are missing. In the case of multiple-entry visas valid for five years, you can expect about 14 days of processing time.
Without a work permit, you are not allowed to pursue any professional employment in Kenya. The eVisa only entitles you to short business errands such as attending meetings and conferences.
Contact the State Department for Immigration for a work permit.
If you are already in Kenya, you can have your eVisa extended through the State Department for Immigration.