Kenya Visa Types
Kenya is a country located in the Eastern part of the African continent. Before the journey, you should check whether you can enter Kenya visa-free or if you need to apply for a visa.
If you do need a visa, you should know that there are several Kenya visa types: single-entry, transit, courtesy, multiple-entry, and East Africa visa.
Get to know how long each visa type stays effective, which purposes it serves, and which documents it requires.
Depending on the nationality, an applicant may have an opportunity to apply for some types online.
Single-Entry Visa to Kenya
A single-entry type of visa serves tourist and business purposes and can also be used by persons who go to Kenya for medical treatment.
This Kenyan visa stays effective for 3 months from the issuance date.
To apply for a single-entry visa to the Republic of Kenya, you need to own such required documents: a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended entry into Kenya, a face photograph, and a return ticket.
If you travel for family visits, you also need an invitation letter from your family. Tourists should attach a detailed travel itinerary of places they plan to visit. People willing to come to Kenya for business matters, have to present an invitation letter from the company and copies of registration of the company.
Transit Visa to Kenya
The transit visa is designed for travelers who don't intend to stay in Kenya for a long time and just need to transit through Kenya to a different destination. It is valid for 3 days.
Note that you don't need a transit visa if you are not going to leave the airport.
For a transit visa to the Republic of Kenya, you must have an effective passport, a photograph of your face, and a ticket to your next destination.
The courtesy visa can be obtained by holders of diplomatic, official, and service passports if they visit Kenya for official duties or if they plan to transit through Kenya for such duties.
Individuals willing to apply for a courtesy visa must hold a service, official and diplomatic passports that stay valid for a minimum of 6 months from the arrival date and attach the next documents:
- clear face photograph
- official letter from the country of origin/organization/foreign affairs
- ticket to the next destination
The multiple-entry visa to Kenya also serves business, medical, and tourist matters like a single-entry, but allows numerous entries and keeps its validity for an extended period – 3-12 months. US citizens can get a visa effective for 5 years from the issuance date.
Besides a valid passport, face photo, and return ticket, a visa application for a multiple-entry visa requires the following:
- an invitation letter (for business purposes)
- an invitation letter from a family member and your host identity card (for family visits)
- proof of hotel booking and travel itinerary describing your trip
East Africa Tourist Visa
The East Africa tourist visa is a multiple-entry joint visa that permits one to visit Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. During the validity period of 3 months, you can reenter these three countries as many times as you want.
It's important to remember that you should make the first entry through the very country that issued your East Africa visa. For example, if Kenya issued this visa to you, you must enter Kenya first when traveling to East Africa.
The visa extension is not available.
To be able to apply for an East Africa tourist visa, you must possess a valid passport, a clear face photo, your travel itinerary, an invitation letter, a yellow fever vaccination certificate, and a return ticket.
Citizens of some countries are able to travel to Kenya visa-free for a period of up to 90 days.
Also, there are other visa-exempt categories:
- passengers under 16 (applies to all nationalities)
- transit travelers who don't leave the airport transit area or the ship
- crew members of aircraft can stay visa-free for up to 7 days, and of ships for up to 14 days
- private aircraft owners that stop for refueling and don't leave the airport
- laissez-passers holders
- diplomatic, official, and service passport holders from Brazil, Cuba, and Turkey
- diplomatic and service passport holders of China and Iran
- diplomatic passport holders of India, Israel, and Nigeria
- Serving members of the British Armed Forces
Traveling with eVisa
According to Kenya visa requirements, nationals of some countries cannot enjoy visa exemption but still are eligible for an eVisa to Kenya.
Kenyan eVisa is an electronic visa implemented in 2005 by the Kenyan government that allows traveling for tourist, transit, and business purposes.
- It is possible to apply online for tourist, business, transit, and East Africa visas
- Tourist and business visas are valid for 90 days, while a transit visa stays effective for 3 days
- The visa application process is easy and speedy: an applicant only has to fill in the form, attach the required documents and pay the fee
- The Kenyan eVisa comes to the applicant's email as a PDF document.