A few years ago, Kenya introduced the electronic visa (e-visa). This visa could be applied for online and was issued digitally once granted. At the beginning of 2024, the e-visa was replaced by the Kenya eTA, which can also be applied for online.

Spot giraffes during a safari in KenyaGiraffes in Kenya

What is an e-visa?

The e-visa is an electronic travel authorisation that is issued in the form of a digital file. E-visas are not applied for at an embassy or consulate. Travellers could apply for these visas online using a digital application form. These electronic visas are therefore not stamped on the passport like physical visas.

E-visas are electronically linked to the applicant's passport. This electronic pairing allows immigration authorities to instantly determine whether an incoming traveller has a valid travel authorisation based on the passport details. More and more countries are using an electronic e-visa system because of its simplicity, lower costs and shorter delivery times.

Kenya e-visa introduction

Kenya introduced the e-visa in 2015 as an optional alternative to the regular visa. Most travellers began to prefer the online application process. Immigration services and consulates also found the e-visa to be a great innovation. Therefore, in 2021, the Kenyan government decided to abolish the issuance of physical visas at consulates altogether.

Kenya eTA replaces the e-visa

At the beginning of 2024, the e-visa was also abolished. Now, travellers must apply for a Kenya eTA (electronic Travel Authorisation) instead. However, little has changed for most travellers apart from the name of the travel authorisation. The new eTA is in fact very similar to the e-visa. For instance, the eTA must also be applied for online before departure and is valid for 90 days once granted. The application process and visa requirements have also remained practically the same.

Should I apply for an e-visa or eTA for Kenya?

Are you travelling to Kenya for a holiday or business trip? Since early 2024, you must then apply for an eTA. The e-visa no longer exists. All tourists and business travellers from the European Union, as well as travellers of Swiss and British nationality, must apply for the eTA. Minors must also hold their own eTA for Kenya.

Apply now for your Kenya eTA

Do you have the nationality of a country that is not mentioned above? Then check whether your nationality requires you to apply for an eTA.

What is the difference between an e-visa and an eTA?

There is actually very little difference between the e-visa and the eTA for Kenya. The eTA is not a real visa, but serves to facilitate travel for which a visa is not required. Like the e-visa, the eTA must also be applied for online. Both travel authorisations aim to monitor travellers before they arrive in their country of destination by comparing the personal details of the applicants with the data stored in various databases. In addition, the online application process before departure allows to identify travellers who belong to certain high-risk groups and therefore have to pass a more thorough check. Generally, it makes very little difference to travellers whether they need an e-visa or an eTA for their trip. Since the difference between these two travel authorisations is so small, the terms e-visa and eTA are often used as synonyms.

What changes does the abolition of the e-visa imply?

Kenya has decided to replace the e-visa with the eTA with effect from 1 January 2024. This initially caused some confusion, but it is now clear that little has changed for travellers. Applying for an eTA for Kenya is as simple as applying for an e-visa. Similarly to the e-visa, the eTA application process involves filling in a digital form, submitting certain documents and making the payment.

However, besides the similarities, there are also some differences between the e-visa and the eTA for Kenya. The main change is that since early 2024, minors must also hold their own travel authorisation to be allowed to enter Kenya. Previously, travellers under 16 did not need a visa themselves and could be added to the visa application of an accompanying adult. The application process has also changed slightly. For instance, when applying for an eTA, applicants must provide their exact travel dates and a booking confirmation of the journey by plane or cruise ship to and from Kenya. In the case of travel by air, the numbers of the flights to and from Kenya must also be provided. Finally, the price for applying for an eTA also differs from the price of the e-visa. The application fee of the eTA is in fact slightly lower than that of the e-visa.

Where can I apply for an eTA?

Since the abolition of the e-visa in early 2024, it has become mandatory for almost all travellers heading to Kenya to have an eTA. Like the e-visa, the eTA must also be applied for online. Submitting an application only takes a few minutes and can be done easily through this website.

Submit your eTA application here

e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Kenya visa. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (52,53 USD per visa, via www.etakenya.go.ke). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 52,53 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 16,36 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Kenya visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.