Non-Kenyan citizens must have an entry/work permit issued by the Principal Immigration Office (PIO) before they can take up any form of work in Kenya, whether paid or unpaid.
The application is normally made by employers on behalf of their future employees. Approval is usually conditional upon the employer demonstrating that he or she has been unable to fill the post in question from within Kenya due to lack of suitably qualified personnel.
Foreigners wishing to engage in business activities or in a specific trade or profession either alone or in partnership must make the application themselves. They are required to present evidence that they have already obtained, or are assured of obtaining, the relevant licence(s), registration or other authorisation needed to carry out their intended activity. In addition, they must demonstrate that they have sufficient capital derived from sources outside Kenya and which will be remitted to Kenya for the purpose.
There are various types of permit. Here are the most common ones (source: www.immigration.co.ke):
Class A: issued to those offered a specific job by a specific employer and who satisfy the immigration office that they are qualified for that particular position. A fee of KSh100,000 is charged per year.
Class C: issued to those offered specific employment under an approved technical aid scheme under the United Nations or some other approved agency. No fee charged.
Class D: issued to a dependant spouse or parent who is offered specific employment by a specific employer. KSh50,000 per year.
Class E: issued to members of missionary societies approved by the Kenya government. KSh2,000 per year.
Class H: issued to those in a specific trade, business or profession in Kenya. KSh50,000 per year.
Class J: issued to members of a prescribed profession with prescribed qualifications. KSh50,000 per year.
Class K: issued to non-Kenyans intending to retire to Kenya or to live in the country without engaging in paid or unpaid employment. KSh25,000 per year.
Non-Kenyans intending to stay in the country for more than 90 days also need to register as an alien with the immigration office. This involves presenting a passport and entry/work permit plus two passport photographs and a KSh2,000 registration fee.
For more information contact the department of immigration,
Nyayo House, Kenyatta Avenue/Uhuru Highway, P. O. Box 30191-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel. +254 (0)20 222022, fax +254 (0)20 220731, email: email@example.com or see www.immigration.go.ke
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