Permits in Kenya

Permits are part of immigration services in Kenya and are handled by the Department of Immigration Services located at Nyayo House Kenyatta Avenue/ Uhuru Highway.

All documents submitted must be in English / or translated to English by relevant embassies or authorised organizations. For all government contracts the following should be presented in addition to other requirements;

A valid signed contract and Letter from relevant Ministry or Government Department attaching list of applicants indicating their full names, nationality, passport number and profession.

There are various classes of permits issued to foreigners who will be deemed to benefit Kenya as described under the Seventh Schedule of the Regulations. They include: 

CLASS A PERMIT

Issued for Prospecting and Mining to individuals who intend to engage in prospecting for minerals or mining in Kenya, whether alone or in partnership.

Documents required:

  • License to prospect for minerals to mine
  • Proof of funds for investment atleast (minimum USD 100,000)
  • Current license and copy of PIN certificate (for renewals)
  • Signed audited accounts for the last one year (for renewal)
  • Current tax compliance certificate (for renewal)
  • Processing fees non refundable (kshs. 10,000)

CLASS B PERMIT

Issued for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry to individuals who intend to engage in agriculture or animal husbandry in Kenya, whether alone or in partnership.

Documents required:

  • Proof of land ownership / leasehold
  • Proof of capital availability (bank statement)
  • Clearance / license from relevant bodies
  • Copy of KRA PIN certificate
  • Current audited accounts (for renewal)
  • Tax compliance certificate from KRA (for renewal)
  • Processing fees non refundable (kshs. 10,000)

CLASS C PERMIT

For a Prescribed Profession and issued to an individual who is a member of a prescribed profession and intends on practicing that specific profession in Kenya, whether alone or in partnership.

Prescribed professions are defined under the Eighth Schedule of the Regulations. These include the following professions; medical, dentists, legal profession, surveyors, estate agent, valuer, land agent, architects, quantity surveyors, pharmacists, veterinary surgeons, engineers, nurses, physiotherapists, accountants, chartered secretaries, actuaries, scientist and IT experts.

 Documents required:

  • Proof of membership to a prescribed profession
  • Copies of certified academic and professional qualifications
  • Copy of PIN certificate
  • Processing fees non refundable (kshs. 10,000)

CLASS D PERMIT

This is for Employment and is issued to an individual who is offered specific employment by a specific employer, the Government of Kenya and an approved technical aid scheme under the UN (not exempted). You are required to have a Kenyan understudy in the specific role.

It is worth noting that if this permit is issued to an individual who is not present in Kenya at the time it being issued, then the individual will only have ninety (90) days from the date of issue to enter Kenya before this permit expires. The permit may however be extended for a further period not exceeding ninety (90) days, upon application.  

This permit is issued for a period of two years, renewable.

Where the holder of this permit stops working for the employer specified in the work permit, the employer is expected to report this information in writing, to the Immigration Director within fifteen (15) days from the date of such cessation.

Documents required:

  • Duly certified copies of academic and professional certificates
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Duly filled and signed application Form 27
  • Name of Kenyan understudy
  • Certified copies of academic certificates and full contacts of the understudy:- address, email, cell phone
  • Curriculum vitae of the understudy
  • Certificate of registration of the organization
  • Clearance letter from relevant institutions
  • Processing fees non refundable (kshs. 10,000)

CLASS F PERMIT

This is for Specific Manufacturing and is issued to individuals who intend to engage in manufacturing in Kenya, whether alone or in partnership.

Documents required:

  • Copy of license held
  • Proof of funds for investment (manufacturing) at least USD 100,000
  • Registration certificate of the company
  • Memorandum of understanding
  • Articles of association
  • Signed current audited accounts (for renewals)
  • Shareholders certificate (CR12)
  • Copy of PIN certificate
  • Certificate of incorporation of the company
  • Tax compliance certificate from KRA (for renewal)
  • Processing fees non refundable (kshs. 10,000)

CLASS G PERMIT

This is for Specific Trade, Business or Consultancy. It is issued to individuals who intend to engage in a specific trade, business, consultancy or profession (other than a prescribed profession) in Kenya, whether alone or in partnership.

Documents required:

  • Documentary proof of capital to be invested atleast USD 100,000
  • Certificate of incorporation of the company
  • Memorandum of understanding
  • Articles of association
  • Copy of PIN certificate
  • Signed current audited accounts (for renewals)
  • Duly filled Form 27

CLASS I PERMIT

This is for Approved Religious or Charitable Activities Issued to a person who will be approved by the Government of Kenya and is a Member of an institution registered under the Society’s Act as a missionary; a Member of a company limited by guarantee; or a Member of a trust registered under the Trustees Act.

Documents required:

  • Registration certificate of the company
  • Certified copies of academic and professional certificates
  • Processing fees non refundable (kshs. 1,000)

CLASS K PERMIT

This is for Ordinary Residents and is Issued to any individual who undertakes not to accept employment, paid or unpaid, or engage in any income generating activity of any kind without a relevant permit; Has on his/her own right an annual assured income of not less than USD 24,000 or its equivalent, per annum, at his/her full and free disposition of such income. The source of funds must not be derived from any employment, occupation, trade, business or profession.  Instead, the source of income must be derived from either:

  1. Outside Kenya and will be remitted to Kenya; or
  2. Pension or annuity payable from sources in Kenya.

Documents required:

  • Documentary proof of annual assured income of atleast USD 24,000
  • Processing fees non refundable (kshs. 10,000)
  • Must be over 35 years of age

It is worth noting that if this permit is issued to an individual who is not present in Kenya at the time it being issued, then the individual will only have ninety (90) days from the date of issue to enter Kenya before this permit expires. The permit may however be extended for a further period not exceeding ninety (90) days, upon application. 

CLASS M PERMIT

For Refugees, it is issued to any individual who has been granted refugee status in Kenya, including their spouse, who intends to take up employment or engage in a specific occupation, trade, business or profession.

Documents required:

There needs to be a recommendation letter from the Department of Refugee Affairs.

APPLICABLE LAWS

The main legislation that provides for Immigration in Kenya:

  • The Constitution of Kenya
  • Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act No. 12 of 2011, Laws of Kenya
  • Regulations referred to in the Act are the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulations, 2012.
  • All the classes of permits are prescribed under the Regulations pursuant to Section 36 of the Act. 

General Requirements for all classes of permits

  • Duly filled and signed application Form 25
  • Signed cover letter from the employer / self / organization addressed to the Director of Immigration Services
  • Copies of national passport
  • Two recent coloured passport size photo
  • Current Immigration status if in the country
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Silvana
Silvana
Silvana & Associates Advocates is a premier medium-sized law firm established in 2014 and based in the Metropolitan City of Nairobi. We offer Corporate and Commercial Law services.