Kenya Introduces Visa-Free Entry for All Countries and Replaces eVisa with ETA System

From the beginning of January 2024, travelers arriving in Kenya no longer need to hold a visa. The Kenya eVisa system has been replaced with eTA system.

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In mid-December 2023, the Kenyan President announced a visa-free entry for all international visitors traveling to Kenya since January 2024. 

According to President Ruto's announcement, he wanted to lift the burden of applying for a visa for Kenya for any person around the world. 

This decision coincided with the country's 60th Independence Day and was aimed at marking a crucial shift in the Kentan approach to the facilitation of international travel. 

The recent change in the Kenyan visa policy, however, does not mean that Kenya welcomes all travelers without any entry restrictions.

Instead of applying for a visa, all travelers must now apply for the Electronic Travel Authorization for Kenya

Kenyan eTA at a glance

  • Since January 1st, 2024, all foreign citizens, irrespective of their nationality, can now travel to Kenya without a visa for tourism or business travel and stay in Kenya for up to 90 days 
  • Travelers must now apply for a new Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) online before their travel;  the processing time may take up to three business days
  • East African Community nationals are exempt from the Kenyan eTA requirement 
  • The eTA covers only one trip, and every traveler is obliged to obtain a new eTA before a new trip to Kenya

More about Kenyan Electronic Travel Authorization

The Electronic Travel Authorization for Kenya has replaced the Kenya eVisa system that was implemented by the Kenyan authorities in 2021.

The application for the Kenyan eTA is open from January 2024 for travelers from eligible countries. 

The processing time for Kenya eTA approval is expected to take much less time than it used to be in the case of applications for online visas.

Nevertheless, due to the high volume of applications and some technical difficulties resulting from the introduction of the new system, the approval (or denial) may take a bit longer than it was originally expected.

The eTA Kenyan system ensures that all foreign visitors undergo essential security checks before arriving in Kenya. It maintains safety in the country and enhances travel convenience.

Visa-free travel aimed at boosting Kenyan tourism sector

The Kenyan authority's decision to allow visa-free entry is a strategic move to boost national economic growth

The tourism sector is a significant component of the economy in Kenya. The country has recorded a 90% increase in foreign arrivals in the post-pandemic recovery era.

Following the decision to lift visa requirements, the country's authorities expect further grow and, finally, to even surpass the number of tourists arriving in Kenya before the pandemic started. 

Katarzyna Żyła

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