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Kenya Entry and Travel Requirements

Kenya Entry and Travel Requirements specify the rules that one who plans to visit Kenya must meet to enter the country hassle-free. Every traveler should have a valid passport and a valid Kenyan visa.

Kenya's visa policy specifies the type of visa required for a certain traveler depending on their nationality, travel purpose, and intended duration of stay in Kenya. 

Travelers visiting Kenya for short-term stays, including holidays, business trips, family reunions, or medical treatment, can obtain a Kenyan visa online. The electronic system replaced the previous visa-on-arrival facility. 

Certain nationalities may need to apply for a regular visa at the nearest Kenyan diplomatic mission. The Kenyan visa application in person will also be necessary for work, living, and study purposes. 

Moreover, nationals of around 45 countries are allowed to travel to Kenya visa-free. 

Travelers to Kenya must be aware of specific entry and travel requirements to avoid issues upon entering the country. Apart from a valid passport and a Kenyan electronic visa, those who plan to visit Kenya may face some restrictions introduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These include the vaccination and testing requirements as well as the obligation to complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form before the planned trip.

Before setting off to Kenya, make sure to check on the latest update on the Kenyan entry requirements. Due to the evolving coronavirus situation, the requirements may change at short notice.

Who can enter Kenya?

Kenya allows entry both for vaccinated and non-vaccinated foreign travelers. Nevertheless, the latter may enter Kenya only when falling under one of the following exempt categories:

  • Travelers who cannot receive the Covid-19 vaccine due to various medical contraindications (confirmed in a letter issued by the recognized medical practitioner);
  • Travelers who have recovered from coronavirus infection or received convalescent plasma within the last 90 days (they also must provide a medical document confirming it);
  • Unvaccinated Kenyan citizens or permanent residents who return to Kenya and could not access vaccines abroad.

Documents check-list for entering Kenya

  • valid passport
  • Kenya e-Visa
  • Covid vaccination certificate (if vaccinated)
  • negative PCR test result (if non-vaccinated)
  • completed Travelers Health Surveillance Form
  • travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage (optional)

Testing, Vaccination, and Quarantine Requirements

Testing requirements

The following Covid-19 testing requirements apply to all passengers aged 5 years and older.

Pre-departure testing

Passengers who are not able to provide a valid vaccination certificate (but are eligible for travel) must show a negative Covid-19 PCR test report to enter Kenya. The test should be taken no earlier than 72 hours before the planned departure from the first embarkation point. Moreover, the test certificate must include a QR code.

On-arrival testing

An unvaccinated traveler who will arrive at any Kenyan entry point will be subject to a rapid antigen test that must be performed at their own cost ($30). Those who tested positive will next need to take a PCR test at their own expense ($50). They must also self-isolate until receiving the PCR test result

Please note: Since it is not possible to verify Covid-19 test results or vaccination certificates upon arrival in Kenya, airlines need to ensure that every traveler has uploaded their documents via www.globalhaven.org to validate them.

Vaccination requirements

If you have received the full regimen of Covid-19 vaccination, you may use it as the document confirming your immunization status. As a holder of valid vaccination proof, you will not need to perform either pre-departure or on-arrival Covid-19 tests. Kenya accepts all Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization.

Travelers recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days

Travelers who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 90 days can enter Kenya without vaccination proof. They, however, need to submit a letter issued by the medical practitioner confirming their recovery from coronavirus. They are not exempt from pre-departure testing requirements.

Quarantine requirements

Currently, Kenya does not require any traveler to quarantine upon arrival as long as they do not have a temperature over 37.5°C (99.5°F), breathing difficulties, cough, or other covid-like symptoms. Quarantine is also unnecessary for all travelers who can submit a negative PCR test or valid vaccination certificate.

Traveling from Kenya

If you plan to depart Kenya for another country that requires submitting a negative PCR Covid-19 test as an entry condition or wish to transit through a destination requiring a test, you will need to go to the testing laboratory, perform the test and verify it via Global Haven.

You may not be able to depart Kenya if your certificate has not been verified. You should also meet all health requirements applicable to a given destination country you wish to travel to or transit through.

Traveling to Kenya

To enter Kenya, most travelers must have a certificate confirming that they have received the full regimen of Covid-19 vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers may travel to Kenya only when falling under one of the exempt categories.

What is more, all necessary covid-related documents, i.e., negative test results or vaccination proof, must be validated via Global Haven. Every traveler also needs to fill out the Travellers Health Surveillance Form when traveling into and out of Kenyan domestic airports and ports.

Apart from coronavirus documentation, travelers should remember to check visa requirements (described below) and consider purchasing travel insurance.

Every traveler arriving in Kenya also needs to continue to follow international coronavirus-related guidelines, including wearing face masks where necessary and keeping social distance. Random temperature checks and health screenings may be perfomed before a traveler is allowed to enter Kenya.

Entry Rules for Children

Children under the age of 5

These young travelers are exempt from the pre-arrival testing requirement to enter Kenya.

Children aged 17 and under

Travelers aged 17 years old and younger do not need to provide a Covid-19 vaccination certificate to enter the Kenyan territory.

All children

All children must hold a Kenyan electronic visa and present the QR code confirming the completion of the Travelers Health Surveillance Form. Children's applications both for the visa and the health declaration must be completed separately by their legal guardians or parents. They cannot be just added to the documents of adult travelers. Moreover, adult travelers should ensure that children are included in their insurance policy (if they decide to purchase travel insurance).

Transit through Kenya

Visas

You must obtain a transit e-Visa to make a transit stop in Kenya on your way to another destination. Moreover, your transit stop cannot take longer than 72 hours as it is also the period for which the transit e-Visa remains valid.

If you plan just to take a connecting flight in Kenya and you will not leave the airport transit zone, you do not need to obtain a transit visa.

Covid-19 documents

All passengers need to provide a COVID-19 PCR test that must be performed at an accredited lab. Passengers in transit are not exempt from this requirement. Moreover, they have maximally 48 hours to take a departure flight from their arrival in Kenya. For longer layovers or if they wish to leave the transit zone, they will need to complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form.

Kenya visa requirements

Visa-free countries

Currently, citizens of over 40 countries can enter Kenya visa-free. Most of them are allowed to stay in Kenya without a visa for maximally 90 days, with some exceptions, including Malaysians and South Africans, who can stay 30 days in total without the necessity to obtain a visa.

Those visa-free nationals still need to have a valid passport that will not expire for at least 6 months from the date of planned entry to Kenya. Moreover, nationals of Uganda and Rwanda are allowed to visit Kenya with just a valid national ID card.

Additionally, some nationals holding diplomatic or service category passports can also enter Kenya visa-free. These countries include:

  • China
  • Brazil
  • India (only diplomatic passport holders)
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • Turkey
  • Israel

Electronic visa system

The Government of Kenya introduced an electronic visa system in 2015, making applying for a visa to Kenya effortless and less time-consuming. In January 2021, the electronic visa service entirely replaced the issuance of Kenyan visas. Since then, all travelers from non-visa-exempt countries need to apply for the Kenyan e-Visa before the planned trip. Travelers can choose between the following types of electronic visas:

  • Tourist e-Visa
  • Business e-Visa
  • Transit e-Visa
  • East Africa e-Visa (Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda)

All Kenyan electronic visas, i.e., tourist, business, and tranist visas, are issued as single permits allowing holders to enter Kenya only once throughout a 90-day validity period. In turn, the East Africa e-Visa is a multiple-entry visa that enables its holder to visit Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda numerous times within its validity period (90 days).

Kenya Health Surveillance Form

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Kenyan authorities introduced a mandatory health declaration known as the Travellers Health Surveillance Form. The form is obligatory for every person entering Kenya.

Travelers need to fill out the declaration with some essential information on their trip and health status and provide some personal details, including contact information.

The Kenyan Health Surveillance Form is to be completed entirely online using any electronic device with Internet access. After submitting all the details, a unique QR code is generated and delivered to the applicant’s email address. The code will be checked upon entry to Kenya.

Travel Insurance

Kenya does not require visitors to have travel insurance, but it is highly recommended. If something goes wrong while you are in Kenya – a flight is canceled, you get sick, or your luggage is lost – travel insurance can help cover the costs.

There are many different types of travel insurance policies available, so it is important to compare your options and find one that fits your needs. Protect yourself while traveling in Kenya during the pandemic by choosing travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage!

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