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Traveling to Kenya visa-free has become a reality for many thanks to recent changes in the country’s visa policy. Kenya has introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), streamlining the process to make it easier and more efficient for travelers. The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a semi-automated system for assessing visitor eligibility for entry into Kenya. Although it grants permission to travel, actual entry is subject to inspection at the border.

Key Benefits of Traveling to Kenya Without a Visa

Opting for an ETA instead of a traditional visa offers several advantages:

  • Convenience: The entire process can be completed online, saving time and eliminating the need for a visit to an embassy or consulate.
  • Speed: Faster processing times mean you can receive authorization within days, sometimes even hours.
  • Cost-Effective: Potentially lower fees compared to traditional visas.
  • Travel Flexibility: Easier planning with less bureaucracy involved.

These benefits make exploring Kenya’s rich landscapes and vibrant wildlife more accessible than ever before.

What is Kenya’s New Visa Policy?

The Kenyan government has made its visa process more efficient by going digital. The Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is an online visa that eligible travelers can apply for before their trip. Instead of getting a physical visa stamp in your passport, you’ll receive a digital confirmation, making the whole process faster and smoother. The ETA allows you to stay in Kenya for up to 90 days and choose between single or multiple entries, giving you flexibility whether you’re here for tourism, business, or just passing through.

Applicants must provide personal and eligibility information via the eTA, ideally submitting their application two weeks to three months before their trip, especially after booking their stay and transportation.

The Kenya eTA system offers numerous advantages, including the convenience of remote applications, which ensures travelers are well-prepared prior to their journey. It eliminates the necessity for filling out paperwork during travel or upon arrival, streamlines the process for transport carriers to verify passenger authorization for entry into Kenya, reduces queues for health, customs, and immigration inspections upon arrival.

It’s essential to apply for an eTA through the official government website, https://www.etakenya.go.ke, as third-party submissions are not accepted. For minors, a guardian, parent, or accompanying adult must complete the application.

Application Requirements:

You can submit your eTA application as early as 90 days before your travel date. While applications typically process within 3 days, some may require additional time. For this reason, we advise applying for your eTA at least 2 weeks before your intended travel.

Before beginning your application, ensure you have the following documents:

For All Travelers:

  • A valid passport with a minimum of six months’ validity beyond your intended arrival date in Kenya, including at least one blank page.
  • A selfie or passport-style photo.
  • Contact details including an email address and phone number.
  • Information about your arrival and departure schedules.
  • Confirmation of accommodation bookings.
  • A credit or debit card, or other payment methods.

Depending on Your Country of Residence and Citizenship, You May Need:

  • Proof of financial means or a bank letter.

Depending on the Purpose of Your Visit, You May Need:

  • A referral or appointment letter from a doctor or hospital for medical visits.
  • An invitation letter for conference participation.
  • An employment contract for work-related visits.
  • Documents supporting resettlement.
  • Certificates for vaccinations or test results.

For Business Travelers:

  • An invitation letter from the hosting company.
  • Registration documents of the inviting company.

For Those Visiting Family:

  • An invitation letter from your family or host.
  • An ID card, passport, alien card, or entry permit of the family member or host.

For Diplomatic Travelers:

  • A Diplomatic, Official, or Service passport.
  • An official letter from your country of origin, organization, or foreign affairs department.

Who is Exempted from eTA?

Exemptions from needing an eTA include:

  • Kenyan passport or emergency certificate holders.
  • Those with Kenyan permanent residency, work permits, or passes.
  • Holders of UN conventional travel documents issued by Kenya.
  • Diplomatic mission and accredited international organization members.
  • Citizens from East African Partner States (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda) for up to six months.
  • Transit passengers who do not leave airport precincts or arrive and depart on the same ship without disembarking.
  • Crew members listed in the transport manifest and proceeding to a destination outside Kenya.
  • Private aircraft owners making refueling stops without leaving airport areas.

Application Process:

  • Visit the website at www.etakenya.go.ke.
  • Select “Apply Now” and proceed as guided.
  • Ensure all information is accurately filled in.
  • Complete and submit your application.
  • You’ll receive an email confirmation of your application and payment.
  • A decision email from the Immigration officer regarding approval or refusal will be sent.
  • If approved, either print the PDF attached to the approval email or save it on the Kenya Travel Authorization mobile app, as you’ll need to present the ETA at departure and arrival points.
  • In case of denial, you’re currently unable to travel to Kenya. Please reach out to for assistance and more information.
  • To monitor your application’s progress, visit https://www.etakenya.go.ke at any time.

Shortly after you submit your application, you will receive an email confirmation acknowledging that your application has been received. This email will include a reference number unique to your application, which you can use to check the status of your application. Please refrain from reapplying for a travel authorization immediately.

NOTE: You can make changes to your eTA application before it’s submitted. Before finalizing your application and providing payment details, all data fields in the application can be adjusted. However, if an application is submitted with errors, a new application may be necessary, and the fee will be applied for each new submission.

eTA Fee

The cost for each eTA is USD 32.50, in addition to any applicable bank and processing charges.

The fee for your eTA application is not refundable. After submitting your eTA application, the fee cannot be refunded or transferred to someone else. This policy applies regardless of whether your eTA is denied or if any changes, including those caused by force majeure, affect your travel plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do all visitors, including children and infants, need an eTA to enter Kenya?
    Every foreign visitor, including children and infants, must have an eTA. For those under 18, a parent, legal guardian, or accompanying adult must complete the application. It’s advised for families to apply together.
  • Can I enter Kenya with a valid East Africa Tourist Visa instead of an eTA?
    If you possess a valid East Africa Tourist Visa, you’re allowed entry into Kenya without needing an eTA.
  • How can I extend my stay if I’m already in Kenya?
    To extend your stay, visit the Immigration Services at Nyayo House, Nairobi, and submit your extension request in person.
  • Is the eTA valid for multiple entries into Kenya?
    The eTA allows for a single entry unless you visit an EAC Partner State (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, or Uganda), don’t travel to any other country, and your eTA hasn’t expired (valid for 90 days from issuance).
  • Do holders of diplomatic passports need to apply for an eTA?
    Yes, individuals with diplomatic passports, including members of diplomatic missions and international organizations in Kenya, must apply for an eTA.
  • Can I apply for an eTA before arranging my travel?
    You must book your travel and accommodations first since travel information is a required part of the eTA application.
  • For couples or groups traveling together, do we need individual eTAs?
    Yes, each member of a couple or group needs their own eTA. Choose the Apply as a Group option when starting your application.
  • What is the allowed length of stay in Kenya with an eTA?
    An eTA permits travel to Kenya within 90 days of issuance but doesn’t guarantee entry or determine the length of stay, which is at the discretion of Immigration Officials at the entry point, based on your travel purpose.
  • Is a yellow fever certificate required for the eTA application?
    No, you do not need to submit a yellow fever certificate with your eTA application.