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Kenya's immigration ministry announces shift to e-visa from January 2021

By Fredrick Obura | November 3rd 2020
By Fredrick Obura | November 3rd 2020

Travellers from countries that require a visa to enter Kenya will from January 2021 be required to have an electronic visa (e-visa) before boarding a plane.

A statement from the department of immigration services seen by Standard Digital says 100 per cent e-visa will be effected from January 2021.

“All passengers from countries that require a visa to enter Kenya shall be required to obtain e-visa before boarding an aircraft,” says Alicent Odipo.

According to evisa.go.ke, countries that qualifies to apply for the electronic visa includes Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Bermuda, Agentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville, Congo (Democratic Republic), Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominian Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equitorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bisau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland (Republic) Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kampuchea, Malagasy, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar {Burma}, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pacific Isles, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Russian Federation, Salvador, Saint Christopher Cape, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia and former States of Yugoslavia.

Countries exempted from the electronic visa are Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Darussalam, Dominica, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada,Jamaica, Kribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Siera Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa (For less than 30 days stay), Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Kenya is also phasing out an old passport with an electronic passport.

Deadline for e-passport extended 

In February 2020, the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, extended the deadline for migrating to the new e-passport to March 2021 to enable about 1.8 million Kenyans, mostly those in the diaspora, to get the new passports.

“We note with concern that 1.8 million Kenyans, mostly in the diaspora, are yet to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometric e-passport,” said Dr. Matiang’i.

The CS said the government was progressively phasing out the old generation passports as part of Kenya’s commitment to migrate to the e-passport following the International Civil Aviation Organisation specifications.

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