Kenyan President Ruto announced that people worldwide will no longer need to apply for a visa to travel to Kenya. Instead, a new policy has been implemented where travelers will obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to enter the country.
What Does Visa-Free Travel to Kenya Mean?
Visa-free travel policies are typically implemented for tourist or business purposes and permit short stays ranging from 30 to 90 days in a country. It is important to note that visitors still require a valid travel document to enter a visa-free state.
Countries establish visa-free entries to foster good diplomatic relationships or to achieve economic development.
As a proponent of free trade in Africa, President Ruto has consistently urged African nations to eliminate visa requirements for their citizens. According to Ruto, this will facilitate the formation of AfCFTA (the African Continental Free Trade Area), which aims to create a borderless market for African entrepreneurs and businesses.
How Will the Kenyan ETA Work?
The visa-free travel policy requires that when entering the country, visitors must apply for an ETA. To obtain an ETA, travelers must apply through a digital platform.
To be eligible for an ETA, travelers must possess a valid passport and pay a fee. Depending on the circumstances, additional identification documents may be required before authorization. Once obtained, the ETA is electronically linked to the traveler's passport or travel document.
ETA and Visa Fees
Eliminating the visa requirement for visitors to Kenya does not mean there will be no charges to apply for entry into Kenya using the ETA system.
The Kenyan Authority, through the Ministry of Interior, announced in November 2023 that ETA charges will be $30 (approximately Ksh. 4,500) starting January 2024.
Starting January 1, 2024, the visa fees for visiting the country will be updated as follows:
- A Single Entry Visa will cost $100
- A multiple-entry visa will cost $500
- An extension of the visa after six months will cost $200
In addition, overstaying will result in sanctions of $100. Referral/Multiple Entry Visa processing fees will cost $100, while a Transit Visa will cost $50. If you are interested in an East African Tourism Visa, it will cost $100.