Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Directorate of Immigration Services in Kenya announced an amnesty in April for visitors still in the country. The reprieve allowed international travellers whose visas or residence permits had expired to stay on beyond the stipulated six months. That all changes from the 14th of September 2020 when the directorate lifts the amnesty. Foreign nationals will at that point have two weeks to either:
- Arrange to depart within the two weeks (14 days) or
- Apply for residency (Permit or Pass) to regularise their stay. To apply for residency, international travellers can visit the Kenya electronic Foreign Nationals Services (eFNS) portal at https://fns.immigration.go.ke/. From the portal, they can apply for their pass, permit, alien card, permanent residence or Kenya citizenship. They can pay using cards or mobile money but not through cash.
Once you fill and sign the online application, print the form at the end of the application for Visitor’s pass extension. You will also need an original and copy of Visitor’s pass as well as a copy of a valid passport. Present your application with all the requirements at the Immigration Counter at Nyayo House, Nairobi for processing. From there on, wait to receive automatic notifications via email on the progress of your application.
The directorate advised that those who fail to take advantage of the two options above would face the law under Section 53(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act (2011). Upon conviction, they would be fined a half a million shillings or face imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.
How has your Kenyan travel been affected by COVID-19? Have you had to cancel trips or postpone your travel? Did you get a refund after that? Share your experience by leaving your comment below. I look forward to hearing your stories.