Breaking News: Visa is scraped for entry into Kenya.

Visa is scraped for entry into Kanya.
Visa is scraped for entry into Kanya.

Passport holders from South Africa and six other nations are no longer need to pay the controversial entry tax that was implemented last month, according to Kenya.

Last month, the government eliminated the need for a visa for bearers of all foreign passports.
The action was perceived as an effort to market Kenya as a travel destination and draw corporate travelers.
However, entry fees of $30 (£23) were instituted, even for those tourists who were previously exempt from needing a visa.
The move sparked a fierce outcry, with opponents arguing that it would encourage other nations with whom Kenya has visa-waiver arrangements to impose a comparable charge, increasing the cost and bureaucracy of travel.
Only travelers who came from the regional bloc known as the East African Community (EAC) were excused from paying the fee.
Apart from South Africa, the exclusion has also

been expanded to include passport holders from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo-Brazzaville, Comoros, and Mozambique, five additional African nations.
The only other nation on the exemption list is San Marino, which is the third-smallest country in Europe.
The nations that were exempted had “visa abolition agreements or signed bilateral visa waiver agreements” with the East African state, according to a memo from Kenya’s interior ministry and immigration department.
To enter Kenya, visitors from these nations must still obtain an electronic travel authorization (ETA) document in advance and provide documentation of their accommodations and flight information.
The 90-day ETA is valid for a single entry.

Kenya’s New Visa-Free Policy: An Overview

At the 60th Jamhuri Day Celebrations in Nairobi last year, President Ruto said that a visa would not be required to visit Kenya. The president’s proclamation in Congo-Brazzaville in October of last year was closely followed by the decision to grant Kenyan citizens visa-free entry and open its borders to all people. He made the initial argument for the necessity of visa-free travel between African nations at that point. By the end of the year, he pledged, Kenya would allow all Africans to travel without a visa.

President Ruto stated, “It is with great pleasure, as president of this extraordinary country, to make a historic announcement of the decision of the Government of Kenya,” in his speech announcing the most recent historic movement. Kenya will be visa-free as of January 20, 2024.”

“Anyone from anywhere in the world won’t have to worry about obtaining a visa in order to visit Kenya anymore. To reiterate the Turkana people’s exhortation to the world: “Tobong’u Lorre!” “Kenya’s message to humanity is straightforward: Welcome home,” he continued.

That now-iconic speech went viral very fast. It appeared that the country was at last moving toward globalization in a way that promotes consistent socioeconomic growth.

Kenya’s tourism sector also needs some encouragement. While going on an African safari is often the dream vacation for many tourists, there are several practical difficulties when visiting and traversing the continent. Getting a visa simply increases the expenses and paperwork. Netizens applauded Kenya for taking a risk.

President Ruto stated in his speech that the government had created a new platform to identify and monitor visitors entering the nation. Although a visa is no longer required for entry into Kenya, travelers must now get an electronic travel authorization (ETA) from the website. An ETA has a processing fee and is essentially a more straightforward version of a visa.

Technically, the ETA is due to security concerns. It would be useful to keep track of people coming into and going out of the nation. Where it becomes sufficiently complex to make even visas look more accessible is in the ETA procedure.

Following the implementation of the ETA system, nationals of nations that were previously exempt from requiring a visa to visit Kenya must now pay between $34 and $52, in addition to other entry fees.

Visas were not required for people of 51 different nationalities prior to the implementation of the regulation. Now, before they can travel, they have to go through a laborious process that requires entering flight information, confirmation of hotel reservation, etc. After that, they must wait 72 hours to receive an electronic travel authorization.

People must apply for the permit well in advance of their intended arrival and departure dates in order for this to operate. There may be problems with the current system if someone needs to travel in an emergency.

Individuals who are citizens of the East African Community (EAC) are not need to follow the rigorous procedures of obtaining an ETA in order to enter Kenya. Those who previously had to pay more for visas benefit from the new arrangement as well.

It is also not necessary to apply for the ETA for people who already have electronic visas for travel to East Africa. But the brunt of the blow must fall on almost everyone else. Even minors under 16 who were previously exempt from requiring a visa to enter the nation are now required to pay for an ETA.

This action might have more negative effects than just more paperwork and expenses; it might also discourage visitors from coming to the nation in the near future. It’s possible that the 51 countries that were exempt from the visa requirement in the past, as well as other parties who felt left out of this arrangement, may take revenge.

Kenyans, after all, must travel. Kenyans may find it difficult to enter their states if they are from the nations where traveling to Kenya has become much more challenging than it was previously.



What is the Kenya Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)?

A semi-automated system called Kenya eTA establishes a visitor’s eligibility for travel to Kenya. An eTA is a travel authorization document that has been approved by the Republic of Kenyan government.
A traveler’s eligibility to enter Kenya is not determined by an eTA. Upon arrival, immigration officers will decide who is admissible.
The traveler’s biographical details and responses to eligibility questions are gathered via the eTA application.
In order to provide sufficient time for authorization, eTA applications must be filed at least three days before departure.
Prior to departing, every qualified traveler must apply for an eTA.

Exempted Persons

The following individuals are not required to apply for an eTA:

Kenyan nationals
Kenyan citizens who possess a valid work permit, permanent residence certificate, or passes that MUST be endorsed on a passport.
Those in possession of previously issued e-visas, such as EATVs from EATV member nations, are likewise released from the need to apply for eTAs.
anyone with a valid travel document issued by the Kenyan government under the UN Convention.
travelers passing through Kenya who refuse to exit the boundaries of the land border, sea port, or airport.
members of the crew of a ship, vessel, airplane, bus, car, train, or carrier whose information is contained in the carrier crew manifest and who are traveling outside of Kenya for their journey.

Gratis eTA

Official/Diplomatic Passport or Laissez-Passer holders traveling to Kenya on official duties are exempted to pay fees to apply eTA.

All foreign tourists, with the exception of those who wish to visit Kenya as citizens of EAC Member States, must have an eTA. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of South Sudan, the Republic of Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Burundi are among the EAC member states

eTA Validity before Entry

A tourist is required to enter Kenya within ninety days of the eTA’s issuance date. The given eTA expires if the visitor does not enter within ninety days.


All overseas guests need to submit an eTA application. The application must be completed by the parent, legal guardian, or accompanying adult for children under the age of 18. We strongly advise families to apply together.

Requirements and Documentation

a valid passport
A recent passport photo OR a selfie taken at the time of application
Contact information (house address, phone number, email)
Travel details and flight schedule (arrival flight number, first flight departure date if there are any connecting flights)
evidence of reservation for the hotel (a letter of invitation is accepted if you are staying with friends)
If traveling from an endemic country, a copy of your yellow fever vaccination certificate (the most recent list of these countries can be found on the WHO website).
Using a credit or debit card to pay.

Based on your purpose of visit the following may also be required:

letter from the hospital or physician who referred you, or an appointment letter
Invitation to conference or letter of participation; Employment contract; Documents supporting resettlement; Certificates of vaccination or test results.

For travellers arriving for business

  • Invitation letter from company
  • Copy of registration of the company

For travellers visiting family

  • Invitation letter from family/host
  • Identity card/Passport/Alien card/Entry permit of the family member/host

For Diplomatic travel

  • A Diplomatic, Official and Service passport
  • An official letter from the Country of Origin/Organisation/ Foreign Affairs

Benefits of Kenya eTA system

Kenya eTA will improve arrival processes into the Republic of Kenya by reducing the queues on arrival for health, customs, and immigration inspections.

Determination of Entry and stay in Kenya

The possession of an eTA does not guarantee entry to Kenya, the determination of entry/admissibility and stay in Kenya will be made by the Immigration Officer at the point of entry.

Duration of stay

The Immigration Officer will issue a Visitor’s Pass indicating the duration of validity of the eTA which may be extended for upto 90 days. It is obligatory to present a valid eTA during the check-in and boarding process.

Extension of eTA validity

  • If a visitor to Kenya wishes to extend the period of stay beyond that given on entry, they are advised to make an application for extension at the nearest Immigration Offices.
  • The maximum period that the Visitor’s pass can be extended is upto 90 days in the first instance and a further period of 90 days. The period of validity may not be extended beyond 180 days.

Multiple Entry

If you expect to travel to Kenya regularly or have multiple trips planned, we highly encourage you to download the “Kenya Travel Authorisation” mobile app that will be made available in January. You will be able to securely save your travel documents and profile on your phone which can be reused for future travel.


eTA is valid for a single entry to Kenya. However, the eTA remains valid for more than one entry in case of temporary departure/entry to one or more EAC Partner States: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. A visit to a country outside this block renders re-entry to Kenya subject to a new eTA.

How to Apply for eTA

  1. Visit www.etakenya.go.ke
  2. Click “Apply Now” and follow the instructions
  3. Make sure that all the data has been entered correctly
  4. Submit the application
  5. An email confirming receipt of your application will be sent to you
  6. An email confirming receipt of payment, if applicable, will be sent to you
  7. Upon decision by Immigration officer, an email confirming Approval / Refusal will be sent to you.
  8. If your application is approved, please either print the PDF document attached to the email, OR download the document to your mobile device OR save it in the “Kenya Travel Authorisation” mobile app.

Payment for eTA

  • A valid credit or debit card is required to pay and complete the transaction. In case the payment fails, please wait a few minutes and try again, or check to make sure you have sufficient funds on the means of payment.
  • Cheques and cash are not accepted

Processing time for eTA

  • Processing time will vary depending on the type of eTA and your country of citizenship.
  • Standard processing time is three (3) working days.

Checking status of eTA application

You can check the status of your application any time by visiting the following URL: https://www.etakenya.go.ke

Beware of online Fraud

• Please be careful of websites imitating the official eTA website and ensure that you use the official website on URL: https://www.etakenya.go.ke to submit your application.
• Applications submitted through third party websites will be automatically denied and may lead to fraud and loss on your part.


• If your application has been denied, you will not be able to travel to Kenya. Please contact [email protected] to report your situation and obtain further details.
• You are only allowed to travel after your application has been approved.

Privacy of personal information

The Government of Kenya has taken all the necessary steps to protect your data in accordance with the relevant laws on data protection. Please refer to the Government’s Privacy Policy to get more information.

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