News report | | 04/01/2024 | ±3 minutes reading time

In December 2023, Kenyan President Ruto declared that travellers from all countries would no longer need a visa to travel to Kenya from 1 January 2024 onwards. Instead, travellers will have to apply for an ETA instead of a visa before leaving for Kenya. However, this plan has been postponed due to technical issues.

Please note: You can no longer apply for the e-visa, but previously granted visas are still valid. If you have no visa and you are travelling to Kenya soon, apply for an ETA.

Visa rules in Kenya

Kenya’s electronic visa has been mandatory since 2015 for travellers from most countries. You had to apply for the e-visa in advance, which could be done entirely online. In most cases, the visa for Kenya is delivered within 9 days after completing the online application. This system usually works properly. It is easy for travellers to apply for a visa online, and it allows Kenya to monitor who enters the country to maximise security.

Visa-free travel has been announced

On 12 December 2023, Kenyan President William Ruto announced that Kenya’s visa requirements would be abolished, and that anyone would be able to travel to Kenya without a visa in the future. According to Ruto, Kenya is the “Cradle of Mankind”, meaning that people from every corner of the world are welcome there. He also stated that Kenya was going to introduce an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation). Travellers will have to apply for the ETA instead of the visa. How and when the ETA would be launched was not mentioned in December 2023, but visa-free travel was supposed to be introduced by 1 January 2024.

Problems with the Kenya ETA

Travellers and travel agencies were looking forward to the start of 2024 and to the launch of the ETA, which would allow visa-free travel to Kenya. While the Kenya government launched a new website in early 2024 to accept ETA applications, no further announcements were made regarding the new application process. The system that is supposed to process the applications seems to suffer from major technical issues. Currently, we do not know when the system will be operational. Kenyan embassies advise travellers to apply for the e-visa at this time.

Introduction of visa free travel officially postponed

On 2 January 2024, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) issued an announcement regarding the visa waiver for Kenya. The KCAA is the government agency monitoring and regulating aviation in Kenya. In this official announcement, the KCAA confirmed that it is still necessary to apply for a visa when travelling to Kenya, at least until the government confirms that applying for an ETA is possible and that the application process has been sufficiently explained. Since then, no official announcements were made in this regard.

What do you have to do when you are travelling to Kenya?

Are you travelling to Kenya in early 2024? Currently, you may not travel to Kenya without a visa, so you need to apply for an e-visa. Applying for an e-visa for Kenya takes about 15 minutes, and the visa is delivered in 9 days on average. For urgent applications, the average delivery time is just 3 days.

Apply for the e-visa for Kenya

Are you travelling to Kenya later in 2024? You may apply for an e-visa for Kenya. The Kenyan authorities have already stated that the e-visa will stay valid for travelling to Kenya in the future. In this case, you could also choose to wait until the Kenyan authorities provide further information on the ETA and the visa waiver. Please note that for trips to Kenya you always need either a visa or an ETA. So for visa-free travel, an ETA is always required.

e-Visa.co.uk is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Kenya visa. e-Visa.co.uk acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (52.53 USD per visa, via www.etakenya.go.ke). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.co.uk, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 52.53 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £23.82 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Kenya visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.