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30,000 aliens granted work permits

By Roselyne Obala | November 4th 2013

By Roselyne Obala

Kenya: The government has issued 29,374 work permits to foreigners since January last year and a total of 3,880 persons granted Kenyan citizenship in the past five years.

A ministerial statement by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku set out the criteria used in the issuance of permits and citizenship to foreigners.

The National Assembly departmental committee on Administration and National Security Chairman Asman Kamama, who read the statement on behalf of ole Lenku in the House, explained that the permits are issued in different classes.

He also noted that the immigration ministry grants Kenyan citizenship in accordance with the law under chapter three article 15.

“The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011 provides for categorisation and classification of persons entitled or eligible to be registered as a citizen and administrative thereof,” he emphasised.

Kamama explained the permits are pegged on job description and qualification of those applying and maintained that it is not fair to issue the work permit to those with similar qualification as Kenyans.

“The ministry is yet to issue a detailed breakdown to know the kind of expertise the aliens possess that lacks in the country,” he promised.

He listed the classes as follows, Class D (expatriates) 18,355, Class I  (missionaries) 4,441, Class B (farmers) 11, Class F (manufactures) three, Class G (general investors) 5,459, Class K (retired residence) 1,035  and Class M (refugees) 70.

However, Marakwet East MP David Bowen faulted the process bearing in mind that the country has qualified personnel to take up the jobs.

Jobless kenyans

“This is very serious that over 29,000 expatriates were issued with work permits over a year yet majority of Kenyans are jobless,” he wondered.

Kamama explained that since January 2012, applicants who were granted work permits underwent riogorous vetting.

He explained, “The procedure for clearance is twofold. We first ensure the applications of all foreigners seeking permits are submitted to the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) for security clearance.”

He emphasised that no permit is issued without the NSIS clearance.

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