A foreign national as per the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011 is any person who is not a citizen of Kenya. If you just jetted in the country and you are looking to extend your stay, it is prudent to get in line with the laws of the land. The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act of 2011 provides that all foreigners resident within Kenya for a period exceeding 90 days should be registered.
This implies that one should have all the relevant documentation for a smooth stay in the country to include, work permits, passes, licenses and in other cases citizenship. Here is how foreign residents can get work permits to go about their businesses in Kenya.
What is a Work Permit?
It’s a document issued by the Director of Immigration Services, under the provisions of section 40 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011, to enable foreign nationals to enter Kenya and engage in trade, prospecting, farming, business, professional employment, missionary activities or even reside in Kenya.
The Director gets a recommendation of the Permit Determination Committee, an inter-ministerial Committee appointed by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to issue the permit.
How to apply for a Work Permit.
There are different classes of work permits depending on one’s purpose in the country but the foreign nationals seeking employment apply for the class D (Employment) type of work permit. The Class D work permit is issued to a person who is offered specific employment by a specific employer, the government of Kenya or some other approved Agency in possession of skills or qualifications that are not available in Kenya and whose engagement in that employment will be of benefit to Kenya.
One is required to have the following documents.
- Cover letter from employer
- Copies of the foreign national’s passport
- Colored Passport size photographs
- Completely filled and signed Application Form 25
- Contact information of the applicant and the employer
- Copy Registration certificate of the employing company or organization
- Company PIN registration certificate of the company or organization
- Documented evidence that the position to be filled cannot be filled locally
Form 25 is an Issuance/permit renewal form that is available on online which you will print out at the end of the application. The form can be accessed online portal through the Department of Immigration Services.
2. Application to the Immigration Ministry of Kenya
Once you have all the requirements, you will make an application to the Director of Immigration Services Kenya at a non-refundable application fee of Ksh 10,000 and an annual fee of Ksh 200,000 per year or part thereof. The application is put forth before the committee for approval which takes between two to six months.
Impact of the investment to the economy, applicant’s nationality and job creation for Kenyans are some of the key things the committee will look into.
3. Notification of Approval
Suppose the application is successful, the Ministry will issue you a Notification of Approval. If it is rejected, a Notification of Rejection will be issued as well. The Notification of Approval is valid for ninety days pending payment of the government fees. Once the application has been processed and is successful an Approval certificate shall be issued containing the terms of the permit.
Note that, all work permits are generally valid for 2 years, with unlimited renewals for an extra two years at a time. The renewals need to be done at least 3 months prior to expiry. Class D Work Permit costs Kshs 400,000 for a two-year immigration Permit. The entry permit is then endorsed on the applicant’s passport.
A foreign national can only get exempted from provisions of obtaining a permit by the cabinet secretary through a gazette notice according to the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011. Otherwise, a person aggrieved by the decision of the Director regarding work permit applications may appeal to the Cabinet Secretary, for review of the decision.