News report | | 24-02-2022 | ±2 minutes reading time

Kenya‘s Minister of Tourism, Najib Balala, has expressed concern over the delays in visa applications for Kenya. The government wants to solve this problem as soon as possible.

No more paper visas since 2021

Kenya has been busy modernising the country in recent years. This also affects the application of Kenya visas. At the beginning of 2021, Kenya switched over completely to a digital visa system. Paper visas can no longer be applied for and it is no longer possible to apply for a visa on arrival at the airport in Kenya. All visa applications must be made online before departure. This eliminates the need for a visit to the consulate, and average delivery times for Kenya visa have been greatly reduced. Kenya is now one of the few countries to have a fully digital visa system. The Kenyan government says that the switch to e-visas has improved the security situation in the country. Visa travellers can now be screened in advance, which makes it easier to deny unwanted persons access to the country.

The Kenya e-visa is approved within 8 working days on average, and even within 4 working days for urgent applications. The efficient e-visa system is used by the government to attract more tourists and business travellers as they can now easily apply for their visas online.

Delays in visa applications

Although the e-visa system has led to shorter visa delivery times, Minister Balala said there were relatively many complaints about delayed visa applications. Some travellers had to wait longer than 30 days for their visas. The news comes at an unfortunate time as Kenya seeks to attract as many tourists and business travellers as possible. Because of COVID-19, the tourism sector in Kenya has virtually collapsed. Visitor numbers have been recovering rapidly in recent months; the number of tourists to Kenya rose by 53% in 2021 and is expected to rise further, partly because more and more countries are relaxing COVID-19 measures. Yet Kenya is still far from its pre-coronavirus tourism figures. Minister Balala expects the number of visitors to Kenya to exceed 1 million in 2022 for the first time since the coronavirus.

Emerging markets

The Kenyan government is working hard to attract tourists from more diverse countries. Currently, outside the African continent, Kenya is mainly popular with Western European countries, such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The government now also wants to attract travellers from Eastern Europe. Especially Russia is a potential major source of tourists. Currently, relatively few Russian tourists go on holiday to Kenya. Minister Najib Balala wants to solve this by, among other things, offering direct flights from Russia to Kenya. The Kenyan government is discussing this with Kenya Airways, among others.

Please note: this news article about the visa for Kenya is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the visa for Kenya.

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 € 16,84 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.