Kenya Visa - eVisa Application Process and Requirements

Nov 28, 2022

17 min read

If your next great African adventure includes Kenya, you may need a visa to enter the country. After my recent trip to Kenya, I've decided to create a guide on how visitors can easily apply for their own Kenya e-Visa.

Here you'll find everything about how to apply for the Kenya visa online, the e-Visa requirements, Kenya Tourist Visa, Kenya online application, and the Kenya Visa application form. This guide will make traveling to Kenya effortless.

Kenya zebrah sunset

What Is The Kenya e-Visa?

The e-Visa for Kenya is an electronic travel authorization that allows you to enter and visit the Republic of Kenya. As of late, the Kenya e-Visa is completed online, and the government of Kenya grants tourists to any eligible foreigners wishing to enter Kenya.

This means you get to avoid the long queues at the airport. However, visitors will need to present their e-Visa (Kenya online visa) documents to immigration authorities at any of the points of entry into Kenya.

The type of visa you apply for will determine how long you can visit the country. I'll talk more about the types of Kenya e-Visas later in this post.

It's worth mentioning that not all nationals require a visa to enter Kenya. Some countries fall under Kenya's visa exemption program. Citizens of these countries can enter Kenya without going through the hassle of applying for a visa. I included a list of these countries in the FAQ section below.

I'll discuss how to apply for the Kenya visa online later in this post.


How To Get A Kenya E-Visa Effortlessly

Applying for visas can be tiresome, especially if you don't understand the Kenyan visa requirements and application process. However, traveling to Kenya can be effortless if apply for your visa through Atlys.

With Atlys, you can submit your documents within minutes. Furthermore, you don't need to worry about any requirements or visa-specific details. Simply enter your travel dates and personal information. Atlys will handle the rest.

Kenya E-Visa application process GIF for US citizens on the Atlys app

The Kenya e-Visa: The Basics

There are a few questions you may still have about the Kenya e-Visa, as well as a few important things you need to know before you can begin your visa application which includes processing time, visa fees, and more, so stay tuned!

Kenya immigration

What Is The Difference Between The Kenya E-Visa And The Kenya Tourist Visa?

From January 2021, all eligible citizens must apply for a Kenya E-Visa to visit the country, according to the Kenyan government. The visa application is entirely online. The Kenya Tourist Visa was obtained by applying at the Kenyan embassy. Hereafter you would have a visa interview; your visa application would be granted or denied.

Since 1 January 2021, the Kenyan Government has created an Online Visa portal to digitalize all their Government systems. As a result, tourists now have to apply for their Kenya visa online.

The Kenya e-Visa is also referred to as the Kenya Tourist Visa

Kenya Visa

Am I Eligible To Apply For The Kenya E-Visa?

Before applying for your Kenya e-Visa, you'll need to check if you're eligible for one. The process of doing so is pretty straightforward. I'll quickly walk you through it.

First, head over to the Kenya e-Visa portal. On the top of the page, you'll see a button named "ELIGIBILITY". Click on that.

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Once the new page opens up, you'll see a search bar. Simply enter your country of origin in the search bar to check if you're eligible to apply for a Kenya e-Visa.

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Under the qualifications tab, you'll see either "YES" or "EXEMPTED":

  • Yes - You're eligible to apply for a Kenya e-visa
  • Exempted - You don't need a visa to enter Kenya

What Are The Different Types Of Kenya E-Visas?

There are 6 different Kenya e-visas you can apply for. However, for the purpose of tourism, you only need to know about the following 3 e-Visas:

The Single Entry Visa:

A single-entry visa lets you enter Kenya once and expires after you exit Kenya. So, for example, if you plan to go to Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda, this visa is good as long as you're not re-entering Kenya.

Your Kenya e-Visa will be valid for 3 months from the date it's been issued. After your visa is approved, you'll be able to travel to Kenya for 90 days. Remember, your trip must be within the validity period of your Kenya e-Visa.

Suppose you wish to stay a little longer. In that case, you can extend your Single Entry Visa for an additional 90 days at the Immigration Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Multiple Entry Visa:

The Multiple Entry Visa is for those who frequently visit Kenya. After your visa is approved, it will be valid for 3 to 12 months from the issue date. As the name suggests, you'll be able to enter Kenya multiple times during the validity period.

The 5yr Multiple Entry Visa - For US Citizens

The 5yr Multiple Entry Visa is issued to US passport holders who plan to visit Kenya for tourism or business purposes. Like the others, the validity period of 5 years will start as soon as your visa has been issued.

How Much Is A Kenya Online Visa?

For each Kenya e-Visa, the government has added a $1 service charge and card handling fee.

  • The Single Entry Visa - $51
  • The Multiple Entry Visa - $101
  • The 5yr Multiple Entry Visa - $201

These amounts are indicated on the official Kenya e-Visa website.

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How Long Does A Kenya Visa Take To Process?

Once you've completed the Kenya online application, your Kenya visa application will be processed in as little as 48 hours. However, starting your e-Visa application at least 10-15 business days before your intended trip is recommended.


Which Documents Are Required For A Kenya Visa?

The documents you need to submit will depend on the Kenya e-Visa you decide to apply for. Additionally, I'll list the required documents for each purpose of travel to Kenya.

Because the Kenya e-Visa is an online application, you'll need to upload your documents. The format of your documents must be PDF, JPG, or Microsoft Word.

Basic Document Requirements:

  • A passport or travel document valid for at least 6 months after your intended trip,
  • A return flight ticket,
  • A copy of your passport bio-data page,
  • 1 photo of yourself.

For Business Visits:

  • An invitation letter from the company in Kenya,
  • Registration of the company.

For Family Visits:

  • An invitation letter from the family member you plan to visit
  • An ID document of the relative you plan to visit (Identity card, passport, entry permit, or Alien card will suffice).

For Tourism Purposes:

  • A complete travel itinerary of the places you plan to visit,
  • Proof of accommodation like hotel bookings.

How Can I Apply For The Visa Online?

Finally, you made it to the "how to apply for the Kenya Visa online" part of the blog.

The neat thing about the Kenya e-Visa is that you can do everything online. There's no need to worry about visa appointments, notarizing documents, or visiting the Embassy. The question is, how?

Here's how:

Remember that you can apply for your e-visa through Atlys. It's as easy as downloading the app and entering your details.

Step 1: Create An Account On The Kenya E-Visa Platform

The first step is to head over to the official Kenya e-Visa website and create your account. On the top right corner of the page, you'll find a button that says "Create an account ".

Alternatively, if you already have an account, simply sign in.

Step 2: Lodge Your Kenya E-Visa Application

After creating an account, you should see the "visa dashboard." Find and click Get Service on the Directorate of Immigration Services tab.

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You'll be redirected to a new page on which you'll find a blue clickable button that says "eVisa Application". Then, you know what to do next.

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Step 3: Complete The Online Visa Application Form

Once you click on the blue button, you'll officially start the Kenya e-Visa application form. I recommend reading through the first page of the application, which indicates the different visa requirements.

The Kenya visa application form is divided into 8 sections and is relatively straightforward to complete. You can expect the following:

  • Application Information
  • e-Visa Applicant
  • Nationality and Residence
  • Passport Information
  • Applicants Information
  • Travel Information
  • Uploads (where you upload your documents)
  • Review Applications

Keep your passport close when filling out the Kenya visa application form. You need to fill in the exact personal information found on your passport. At the end of the application, you'll be able to review the information you provided. So check, check, and double-check!

Before continuing with the rest of the application process, I want to point out a few things.

You'll be able to select what visa you want to apply for under the Visa Details section.

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Finally, in the "Travel Information" section (i), you need to select your port of entry. Again, be sure to check your travel itinerary and enter the correct port.

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Step 4: Upload Your Documents

After completing the Kenya visa application form, it's time to upload the Kenya e-Visa required documents. Remember to collect and scan these documents before starting the Kenya online application. Just to remind you, your documents must be in one of the following formats:

  • PDF
  • JPG
  • Microsoft Word

When you apply through Atlys, all your information will be stored in the correct format. Then, Atlys submits your application, and you just sit back and wait for it to be approved.

Step 5: Pay The Visa Fee

You'll be redirected to a payment page at the end of your online application.

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You have 3 payment options:

  • Debit Card /Credit Card /Prepaid Card
  • KCB Cash
  • Equity Cash

Simply select your preferred payment method and follow the prompts. The easiest option is the debit/credit/prepaid card option.

Due to website failures, we've noticed that applicants sometimes find it difficult to pay their visa fees. That's why we wrote a whole blog on Kenya visa payment issues.

Why struggle on your own if Atlys can help you with a streamlined application process? No payment issues, no typos, and no stress.

Step 6: Wait For Feedback

Now all you need to do is wait for feedback. According to the website, processing a Category 2 Visa will take 48 hours. However, starting your application at least 15 days before your intended trip to Kenya would be best.

A benefit of the Kenya e-Visa online application process is that you'll receive notifications about your application status as it's being processed. So be on the lookout for email or SMS notifications about your Kenya e-Visa.

Step 7: Print Out Your New Kenya E-Visa

After your visa has been approved, you'll be able to download and print it. It's important to keep a copy of your Kenya e-Visa with you when entering the country. You'll need to present your e-Visa as well as your valid passport to immigration authorities at the border.


Traveler's Health Surveillance Form For Kenya

It's no surprise that the Kenyan government has implemented new COVID-19 entry requirements and restrictions to combat the spread of the virus. As you already guessed, this has been done to ensure the safety of all Kenya's visitors and locals.

To enter Kenya, you will have to show a QR Code of the completed Traveler's Health Surveillance Form, including a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result and a valid E-Visa.

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How To Fill The Traveler's Health Form

The Traveler's Health Surveillance Form is a single document that all tourists will have to complete and submit to the Kenyan Ministry of Health. The form requires you to provide your personal details and trip information.

Upon submission, you will get a QR code that must be shown on arrival. It looks like this:

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If you see a blank page without a QR Code - simply wait for a few hours and refresh again. If the issue persists, try submitting a new application. Sometimes, you've to repeat this task several times!

Kenya Cheetah safari

In Summary

  • You'll need to apply for a Kenya e-Visa when planning to visit the country. If your country enjoys visa-free travel, you don't need to apply for a Kenya Tourist Visa.
  • In order for your visa application to be successful, you need to meet the Kenya visa requirements.
  • You need to start and complete your Kenya e-Visa application online.
  • You'll receive notifications about the progress of your visa applications via email or SMS.
  • After your visa has been approved, you need to print it and present it to immigration authorities at the border.

What Are The Best Places To Visit In Kenya?

If you're traveling to Kenya, you're basically traveling to see the wildlife. Kenya has amazing national parks filled with thriving wildlife. The following is a list of the top 10 places to visit while you're in Kenya:

Maasai Mara National Reserve

The park is renowned for the Great Migration, which occurs from July to October and involves tens of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson's gazelles moving toward and away from the Serengeti.

Numerous hippos and crocodiles lurk in the Mara River. Due to its relatively significant populations of lion, cheetah, and leopard, the park is also renowned for offering exceptional predator sightings, particularly during the dry months of December through February. Because of the park's elevation, the climate is pleasant and moderate all year long.

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Amboseli National Reserve

This reserve is one of the best spots in Africa to see big herds of elephants up close. Big cats like lions and cheetahs, as well as giraffes, impalas, elands, waterbucks, gazelles, and more than 600 different species of birds, are other animals that are frequently seen in the park.

Here, nature enthusiasts can explore five distinct habitats, including the dried-up Lake Amboseli bed, wetlands with sulfur springs, savannah, and forests.

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Tsavo National Park

Tsavo East, located halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa, is renowned for photogenic vistas of enormous elephant herds rolling and soaking in red dust. A lush contrast to the dry plains and providing superb wildlife watching is the palm-fringed Galana River, which winds through the park.

The Yatta Plateau, the longest lava flow in the world, Mudanda Rock, and the Lugard Falls, which pour into rapids and crocodile-filled pools, are some of the area's other highlights.

The northernmost parts of the park feature some of the most breathtaking landscapes, and Tsavo West is wetter and topographically more diversified. Highlights include Chaimu Crater, a fantastic place to watch raptors, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, and Mzima Springs, a collection of naturally occurring springs with sizable populations of hippos and crocodiles.

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Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves

The river's waters are essential for the survival of the wildlife in all three reserves, and many species have evolved specifically to thrive in the dry climate. These animals include Somali ostriches, Grevy's zebras, and gerenuks, a long-necked antelope that stands on its hind legs to reach new sprouts on higher tree limbs.

The Sarara Singing Wells, neighborhood watering holes where Samburu warriors sing traditional songs while bringing water for their animals to drink, are a prominent attraction in Samburu National Reserve. Additionally, you can be rewarded with glimpses of wild dogs and big cats.

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Lake Nakuru National Park

More than 450 bird species have been identified in the park since its creation in 1961, in addition to a wide variety of other animals. Some of the creatures you might encounter include lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, and white rhinos. The environments range from expansive grasslands flanking the lake to steep cliffs and woods.

The park also protects the largest Euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa. These indigenous, tall, branching succulents provide dry landscapes with a striking textural aspect.

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Lamu Island

Visiting these places is like traveling back in time. There aren't many, if any, motorized vehicles here, and donkeys still dominate the streets as they have for decades. Dhows plow the harbor. 

The Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort, and the Donkey Sanctuary are among the island's top attractions. They feature exhibits on Swahili culture and the area's maritime history.

You may relax on one of the island's white sand beaches or enjoy an Arabic coffee in a nearby café if all the history gets a little overwhelming.

Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha, which is a refuge for birds, is located at the highest point of the Great Rift Valley. Here, more than 400 different bird species have been recorded, including African fish eagles, jacanas, white-fronted bee-eaters, and various kingfisher species.

Boating is among the best methods to see animals. Hippos splash about in the lake as giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and elands graze nearby. Additionally, keep an eye out for colobus monkeys in the trees.

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Nairobi

Kenya's capital and the largest city offer various options for tourists looking for activities besides safaris. Nairobi is renowned for having a vibrant colonial past. Previously, it served as the capital of British East Africa, enticing people looking to make a fortune in the coffee and tea industries.

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Nairobi National Park

At Nairobi National Park, just a 15-minute drive from the hubbub of Kenya's capital, you can observe a sleeping pride of lions or a gorgeous giraffe striding across the golden grass.

One of the best things to do in Nairobi is to visit this wildlife-rich park; it makes for a worthwhile day excursion, especially if you can't get to one of the larger game reserves.

Buffalo, leopards, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, elephants, and cheetahs are among the typical safari stars that can be found here. At the park's rhino sanctuary, visitors may also view some of the most critically endangered animals on the planet.

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David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Nursery

You can interact with adorably adorable baby pachyderms and feel good about helping a vital conservation organization at the same time when you visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

This renowned wildlife refuge provides the opportunity to observe these endearing animals up close and rescue and rehabilitate orphaned elephants. In addition, you may observe the keepers bottle-feeding the infant elephants here, where the newborn elephants are raised by hand until they are two or three years old.

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That's It!

And there you have it! Now you know everything on how to apply for the Kenya Visa online, and remember, if it gets difficult, you can always count on Atlys to have your back

Written By: Jakus Eloff
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Visa To Visit Kenya?

Yes. You will need a visa to visit Kenya.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Kenyan Visa Online?

48 hours or 2 working days. That's how long it takes to get a visa for Kenya online.

How Long Can You Stay In Kenya Without A Visa?

90 days. That's how long you can stay in Kenya if you are from a country that doesn't need a visa:

Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Cyprus, Dominica, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malaysia (30 days), Malawi, Maldives, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, The Solomon Islands, South Africa (30 days), Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, St. Vincent, and the G., Saint Lucia, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Is Kenya Still Visa On Arrival?

No. Unfortunately, travelers can no longer get a Visa on Arrival for Kenya since it has been discontinued.

Can I Get My Visa At Nairobi Airport?

No. You will need to apply for your Kenya Visa online before traveling.

How Do I Get A Tourist Visa for Kenya?

By applying online through the Kenya Visa Portal, or with Atlys.

How Long Can I Stay In Kenya With A Tourist Visa?

For a maximum of 90 days.

What Are The 6 Types Of Kenya e-Visas?

The East Africa Tourist Visa is not the same as the online Kenyan Visa.

Do Minors Need To Apply For A Kenya e-Visa?

No. Anyone under the age of 16 does not need to apply for a Kenya e-Visa. However, keep in mind that you'll need to add their information to your visa application.

What Are The Photo Requirements For Kenyan E-Visa
  • The size of the photo should be 5.5 x 5.5 cm.
  • The color tone of the picture should be natural.
  • It would be best if you looked straight at the camera with your eyes visible.
  • The photo should have a white background.
  • The quality of the picture should be clean and sharp
  • Your face should cover most of the image.
Which Countries Can Enter Kenya Without A Visa?

Residents from the following eligible countries can enter Kenya without applying for an e-Visa:

Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Cyprus, Dominica, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malaysia (30 days), Malawi, Maldives, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, The Solomon Islands, South Africa (30 days), Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, St. Vincent, and the G., Saint Lucia, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Is A Yellow Fever Vaccine Required For A Kenya?

Getting a yellow fever vaccine is recommended if you’re planning to go to Kenya, but it’s not necessarily required. It still depends on you since yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Kenya.

What Is A Yellow Fever Vaccine?

The yellow fever vaccine protects against yellow fever. Yellow fever is an infection that occurs in South America and Africa.

What Are The Processing Times & Prices For The e-Visa?

$51. The processing time is 48 hours.

Does Kenya Require A PCR Test?

Yes. You will only need to take a PCR test when traveling to Kenya if you are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

When Is The Best Time To Travel To Kenya?

The best wildlife viewing month is from July to October. Unfortunately, this high season usually gets Kenya crowded.

If I Obtain A New Passport, Do I Need A New Visa?

Yes. The visa is inseparably linked to the passport and passport number which was used when applying for the visa for Kenya.

What Is The Capital Of Kenya?

Kenya’s capital is Nairobi. It's the largest city in both Kenya and East Africa.

Can You Get A Kenya Visa Online?

Yes, you can. The Kenyan Government implemented an e-visa system, which means you can apply for an e-visa (electronic visa) for Kenya. To find out more on how to apply for the Kenya visa online, you can read the "how to" section in this blog.

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