Types of Kenyan Visas

Kenya like many sovereign countries of the world has a document that is granted to foreigners to enter and temporarily remain within the country. The document that is referred to as a Visa is offered in diverse categories with the Single Entry Visa being the default Visa for foreigners.

The types of Visa issued by Kenya include-:

Single Entry Visa
A single entry visa is issued for single entry to persons whose nationalities require visa to enter Kenya either for business, tourism or medical reasons. The visa is valid for 3 months before you travel. Present yourself to immigration control at the port of entry, you may be issued with a stay period not exceeding 90 days.

Fee: $51

The standard fee for multiple journey visas shall be US $ 100 for all nationalities.

Transit Visa
Transit Visas are issued to persons connecting through Kenya to other destinations for a period not exceeding 72 hours. Those connecting flights directly without leaving the airport don’t need to apply for Transit visas.

Fee: $21

Courtesy Visa
This is a visa issued to Diplomatic, Official and Service passport holders coming into the country on official duties, or transiting through Kenya to a third country for official business or duties. It is issued free of charge / gratis.

Fee: $0 (No Charge)

Referred visas (Category 3)
Category 3 Visas are for Nationals of Countries, Classes and Categories Of Persons Who Require Referred Visas according to the laws of Kenya. Find out which countries require Referred Visas here.

The government of Kenya launched online visa application services using the eVisa platform where can now apply and pay your visa online.



Countries exempt from Kenyan Visas

All foreign citizens wishing to travel to Kenya will need an visa, except citizens from countries who are exempt.

The following category 1 countries do not need a visa to enter into the country with some countries having specified conditions.

Barbados Malawi St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Belize Malaysia (For less than 30 days stay) St.Kitts and Nevis
Botswana Mauritius St.Lucia
Brunei Namibia Swaziland
Burundi Nauru Tanzania
Cyprus New Guinea The Bahamas
Darussalam Papua Tobago
Dominica Rwanda Tonga
Fiji Island Samoa Trinidad
Ghana Seychelles Tuvalu
Grenada Sierra Leone Uganda
Jamaica Singapore Vanuatu
Kiribati Solomon Islands Zambia
Lesotho South Africa (For less than 30 days stay) Zimbabwe


Other people who hold special privileges do not require a visa to enter into the country. The following persons and circumstances qualify to exempt from requiring a visa.

  1. All persons whose passports are endorsed with valid Kenya re-entry passes or any other written authority in lieu of a re-entry pass.
  2. All passengers arriving and leaving by the same ship, and who do not leave the ship.
  3. All passengers in transit through Kenya arriving and leaving by the same aircraft or transferring to another aircraft and who do not leave the international transit lounges at the International Airports in Kenya.
  4. Holders of United Nations Organization Laissez-Passers whilst on official UN Business.
  5. Holders of African Union Laissez-Passers whilst on official A.U. business.
  6. Holders of African Development Bank Laissez-Passers, whilst on official A.D.B. business
  7. Holders of Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa Laissez-Passers, whilst on official ABEDA business.
  8. Holders of International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa Laissez-Passers, whilst on official I.R.L.C.O. business.
  9. Holders of Desert Locust Control Organization Laissez-Passers, whilst on official D.L.C.O. business.
  10. Holders of COMESA Laissez-Passers, whilst on official COMESA business. xi. Holders of International Monetary Fund and World Bank Laissez – Passers whilst on official IMF/World Bank Business.
  11. Holders of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Laissez- Passers whilst on official IGAD business.
  12. Holders of African Airlines Travel Association (IATA) Laissez- Passers whilst on official business.
  13. Holders of Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI) Laissez-Passers whilst on official ELCI business.
  14. Holders of Union of Radio, Television Network of Africa (URTNA) Laissez- Passers whilst on official URTNA business.
  15. Holders of International Labor Organization (ILO) Laissez – Passers whilst on official ILO business.
  16. Holders of Preferential Trade Area/Common Market of East & Southern African Bank Laissez – Passers whilst on official PTA/COMESA business.
  17. Holders of European Union Laissez – Passers whilst on official European Union business.
  18. Holders of CIP (International Potato Centre) Laissez – Passers whilst on official CIP business.
  19. Holders of African Reinsurance Corporation (ARC) Laissez – Passers whilst on official ARC business.
  20. Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports from The Islamic Republic of Iran for a period not exceeding (30) Days stay.
  21. Holders of Diplomatic, Official, Special, and Service Passports, from The Republic of Turkey and members of their families holding valid Diplomatic, Official, Special, and Service Passports, while on Transit or Stay not exceeding ninety (90) days.
  22. Holders of Diplomatic, Official or Service Passports from the Federal Republic of Brazil for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days.
  23. Serving Members of the British Military (are exempted from visa formalities).
  24. The manifested crew of ships and aircraft passing through or stopping in Kenya for periods not exceeding seven (7) days in the case of air crew and fourteen (14) days for ship’s crew.
  25. Owners of private aircraft stopping over for refueling in Kenya and who do not leave the precincts of the airport.



Countries who need Referral Kenyan Visas

Passport holder of  countries referred to as CATEGORY THREE COUNTRIES are required to submit a paper based application for a visa to the Department of Immigration services. They do not qualify for an eVisa from the government electronic services.

Nationals of the following Category 3  Countries require a referral visa.

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan
Cameroon Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Formerly North Korea) Eritrea
Iraq Kosovo Lebanon
Libya Mali Palestine
Senegal Somalia Syria

The categorization takes into consideration the following factors

  • Applicants against whom there is some local objections or doubt in the country where the application is made.
  • Stateless persons or persons not holding valid passports or other travel documents issued by their own country of nationality, including recognized refugee holders of the United Nations Refugee Travel Documents.
  • Prohibited immigrants as enumerated under Section 33 (1) and (2) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011.



New Body to Handle Business Registration in Kenya

New Body to Handle Business Registration in Kenya

The office of the Attorney General has formed a new body that will be tasked with the registration of businesses in Kenya.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai published a list of directors to run the Business Registration Service Board on Monday stripping the State Law Office of the powers to register companies.

Ms Carol Musyoka has been appointed to head the board and will work with Michael Mugasa, Shallah Sheikh, Irene Wamakau and Ben Gaithuma as directors for three years.

The Attorney-General was mandated by the Business Registration Service Act, which removes the function of business registration from The State Law office, that is set to take effect.

The act was signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015 alongside six new legislations set to transform Kenya’s business landscape and thrust the country’s competitiveness.

Entrepreneurs should now expect a fastracked business registration process. Low foreign investment has previously been blamed on the State Law Office’s slow process that was marred by constant delays.

Services such as incorporation of companies, registration of business names and partnerships will be devolved to promote local business ideas/legal entities, cut the costs of registration and operations which are currently being offered in Nairobi only.

For better service delivery, the independent body expects to have an office in Nairobi as well branches across the country.

Chase Bank to reopen under KCB Management

Chase Bank to reopen under KCB Management

Following the receivership of Chase Bank Kenya over financial trouble, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced that the bank will reopen on April 27 under the Kenya Commercial Bank’s (KCB) management.

Customers will have immediate access to their deposits up to a maximum of Sh1 million, CBK says.

167,290 accounts, equivalent to 97 per cent of accounts or 6 per cent of total deposits, will have their funds available in full.

The deal with Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation, signed at 8.30am on Wednesday, will see the bank’s 62 branches reopened by next Wednesday, April 27  2016.

The CBK had received nine proposals, including six from local investors, two foreign and one from existing Chase Bank shareholders.  The bank’s shareholders had proposed to inject more cash for its revival.

KCB was chosen for their offer to re-open the bank immediately as well as their credibility and cash to support operations. The reopening will be followed by their eventual acquisition of a majority stake in the bank.

Other announcements from the acquisition are as follows

  • Deposits in excess of Ksh.1 million will be made available in a structured manner, details of which will be released in the near future.
  • The moratorium on payments to creditors and lenders remains in place. However, the Manager will correspond with them in the near future with details of how these would be dealt with.
  • Ongoing efforts to collateralize existing loans and recover funds that were obtained irregularly or are non-performing will be stepped up. Existing borrowers are required to continue servicing their facilities.
  • CBK and KCB will ensure that Chase Bank Ltd (In Receivership) will have adequate liquidity for its operations.
  • KCB will make available a management team that will assist in the receivership.

How to Register a dot ke Country Code Top-Level Domain (.ke ccTLD)

dot ke county code TLD

If you run a business that is based in Kenya, registering a local Top Level Domain Name such as .co.ke would be the right choice for your digital and internet marketing strategy.

Definitely make sure that the .com TLD of your chosen domain name is not taken first then go on to register the extension of your Country Code Top-Level Domain.

The Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC) is the sponsoring institution for the dot ke Country Code Top-Level Domain that is divided into KE is divided into the following domain levels which serve different functions

.co.ke – for Companies
.or.ke – for Not-for-Profit-Making Organisations or NGO’s
.ne.ke – for Network Devices
.go.ke – for Government Entities(Requires Supporting Documents)
.ac.ke – for Institutions of Higher Educations.( Requires Supporting Documents)
.sc.ke – for Lower and Middle Institutes of Learning. (Requires Supporting Documents)
.me.ke – for Personal names
.mobi.ke – for Mobile content
.info.ke – for Information

KENIC does not allow the public to register the .ke domain directly with them. Instead, there are more than enough registrars who have been issued with a licence to register and resell the .ke domain.

Here are a few simple steps on how you can register a .ke domain

1. Choose a domain name and do a WHOIS search for the name to find out its availability
2. Select a registrar from our list and ask them to register the name for you
3. Pay for the domain name
4. Start using your new domain name


How to Choose the Right Domain Name

Choose a Domain Name in Kenya

The first step to marketing your business online starts with acquiring a Domain Name. Choosing the right domain name can impact your online presence.

A domain name consists of two parts: a top-level domain (TLD) and a second-level domain (SLD). In the domain name Biashara.co.ke, the TLD is “.co.ke” and the SLD is “Biashara.” The “http” and “www” are not part of the domain name; rather, they are part of the entire web address, called a URL. Some other examples of TLDs include .com. .biz, .net and .org.

While .com is an international TLD, dot ke (.co.ke) is classified as a Country-code TLD (ccTLD) that is specific to Kenya with the sponsoring institution being the Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC).

Therefore, when choosing your domain name, you should only be concerned with the TLD and SLD.

Seeing that you now have an idea of what a domain name is, here are a few tips that can help you choose the right combination of a TLD and SLD for your business.

Grab a .com first

The .com TLD (top-level domain) is by far the most widely accepted extension for a domain name. For obvious reasons, it is also the easiest to remember. When you tell someone to go to your site, in most cases they are going to think “name/business name.com” so try to stick with a .com if you can.

Definitely grab a .co.ke

If you run a business that is based in Kenya, it can be smart to use a local TLD (.co.ke for the Kenya).

Make sure the .com is not taken first. It’s also a good idea to have both names otherwise you can easily market a business that is owner by someone else with a similar business name.
Get more Extensions
Once you grab your .com and .co.ke, consider other extensions that can be relevant for your business. The more the merrier. Extensions such as .net, .org, .info, .biz etc are still up for grabs. The advantage to registering other extensions is that you can protect your investment in case you want to make it big in the future without the trouble of other people registering other extensions of your domain name.

Here are other straightforward tips that can make your life easier when it comes to choosing the right domain name

  • Keep it Simple
  • Shorter is Better
  • Avoid Hyphens
  • Make it Keyword Rich
  • Avoid Copyright Issues
  • Relate to your Industry


Soho launches Serviced Apartments in Kilimani, Nairobi

SOHO Serviced Apartments in Kiliman, Nairobi

SOHO Serviced Apartments has unveiled an ultra modern 11 storied serviced hotel apartment project in Kilimani, at a time when Nairobi has been listed as among the global cities set to enjoy a surge in short let accommodation.

Located along Kirichwa Road, the apartments offer luxurious 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom duplexes and 3 bedroom duplex targeting expatriate guests and foreign corporates working in Nairobi for a 3 – 12 month period.
“The location of SOHO Serviced Apartments is very convenient as we tap into the international organisations and embassies currently relocating their offices to this area, as well as its environs, such as Westlands and Upper Hill,” said Mr Rajpal Sahib, CEO of Realto Group Ltd.

Globally, a hybrid of hotel room and rental apartment, the number of serviced apartments in the world has grown by 80 per cent since 2008 to about 750,000, according to a report by The Apartment Service, a global provider of short term accommodation.

However, demand for the accommodation has grown by far more than supply in Nairobi and other key Kenyan cities.

Nairobi is currently the leading location in demand with searches for short let accommodation standing at 29.61 per cent, ahead of Mombasa at 14.70 per cent, and followed closely by Naivasha at 12.71 per cent. This is despite the fact that the city takes the crown for having the highest number of hotel rooms, with an estimated 58,071 rooms.

Part of the driver for demand for short let serviced apartments, instead of hotel rooms, is the chance they offer to set up a temporary ‘home’ complete with hotel like amenities.

According to Knight Frank, multinationals have also become more cost conscious when looking for short term rentals and are keen on cutting the expenses, hence are now showing an inclination towards serviced apartments rather than hotels on the basis of cost too.

“The hotel apartments provide a cheaper and homely option with most of them being in close proximity to all the recreational facilities that a modern lifestyle requires,” said Mr Rajpal Sahib.

According to research by the Apartment Service, a studio apartment in Nairobi costs about $64 per night, a big contrast to the walk in rate of an international-standard hotel room in Nairobi that would cost as much as g $220 – $350 a night.

This, coupled with the fact that internationally, serviced apartments in Africa cost, on average, less than anywhere else in the world, make such apartments an increasingly sought out option, with now 84.62 per cent of companies using apartments for business travel in Africa.

However, even as the demand for hotel apartments has skyrocketed in Nairobi, the rest of the country is even more severely under-served. In Nairobi for instance, the Kilimani area which has set itself apart as the most cosmopolitan of suburbs, boasts of high end apartments such as Yaya Towers Serviced Apartments, Palacina, Woodmere Serviced Apartments among many others.

In such well served areas, the serviced apartments are frequently booked out. “But with Kenyan tourism ranking 5th in Sub-Saharan Africa, investing in hotel apartments all over Kenya will provide variety not only to our international clientele, but also to our Kenyan tourists, giving them the option to have a homely visit while in Kenya,” said Mr Rajpal Sahib.

The demand for serviced apartments is also being pushed upwards as Kenya hosts an increasing number of trade summits and multinational dignitaries.

The SOHO hotel apartments, now under construction, will be completed by the end of 2017, and offer additional amenities that include a restaurant, gym, sauna and spa, poolside bar, tuck shop and a conference room sealing SOHO’s place as one of the first in a new wave of short term accommodation investments in Kenya.

Mobius II: A Kenya made car

Mobius is Kenya made car by Mobius Motors that retails at Kes 950, 000. The recent model, the Mobius II delivers 12 kms to the litre on highway driving and 10 kms to the litre in city driving.

The company designs, manufactures and sells durable, affordable vehicles for Africa’s mass market. The vehicle, that is designed for Africa’s rough terrain and off-road driving, is assembled by the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM).

Business people would find it very useful to operate a range of services such as public transport, goods delivery or mobile medical care.

While most new off-road driving models are likely to fetch close to Kes 2 Million at the showroom, the Mobius II comes at an affordable price of Kes 950, 000.


It’s affordable but consumers in Kenya will probably miss out on extras such as air conditioning, power steering and other internal fixtures that the car manufactures have foregone, probably to keep the price low.

Mobius Motors is now taking subscriptions to place pre-orders for Mobius Two production units on their website. Once they receive a completed subscription, a member of the Mobius Sales team sends the customer a pre-order form including the bank details for your deposit payment. The deposit on a Mobius Two production unit is 50,000 KES ($500), against a total vehicle price of 950,000 KES (excluding VAT).


Tradecarview introduces Import Duty Finance in Kenya

Tradecarview, one of Japan’s biggest used car online marketplace has unveiled import duty finance available at only 1.46% interest rate per month.

The discounted import duty finance will be available for customers who purchase only via Tradecarview. The interest rate is announced to be only 1.46% per month and a processing fee of only 2%.

Import duty in Kenya is big hindrance to the buying vehicles in Kenya due to the high rate of motor vehicle import duty. This move from the Japanese used car dealer is set to be a game changer.

Customers will be financed as soon as their purchases arrive at the port of Mombasa which means the wait time will be reduced to zero.

The move is one of kind from a used car marketplace with Tradecarview facing stiff competition from other used car dealers such as SBT and BeForward.

Importation of used cars from Japan and other countries has skyrocketed in the past five years due to increased trust worthiness from consumers in Kenya. Tradecarview like its competitors has set up an office in Kenya to handle customer requests.

The application process for the financing will be handled through CARVIEW Kenya Limited which has offices International House, 3rd Floor Mama Ngina Street. Customers can also reach them on phone (+254202484642, +254715720325).