IMPACT – LOW

What is the change? Kenya has eased its visa policy for nationals of Cameroon, Mali and Senegal, removing the three countries from the list of “referred nationals” whose visa applications undergo enhanced scrutiny.

What does the change mean? Visa applicants from the three West African countries will no longer need to obtain preapproval by Kenya’s Director of Immigration Services as part of the visa application process and will now have the option of applying for visas upon arrival, online or via any expedited process service offered by a Kenyan mission.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Entry visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Cameroon, Mali, Senegal.
  • Impact on processing times: Previous processing times of two to three months will be reduced to one to two days for those applying online and will be eliminated for those traveling to Kenya without a visa and applying at a port of entry.
  • Business impact: Business travel will be significantly eased, especially for travel on short notice.

Background: The policy announcement comes after negotiations between the government of Kenya and the governments of Cameroon, Mali and Senegal. Previously, the three countries were among those whose citizens are required to undergo stricter visa procedures for entry into Kenya and obtain prior approval by the Director of Immigration Services in Nairobi.

BAL Analysis: The eased visa policy is consistent with a general recent trend among African countries to eliminate consular processing for African nationals traveling within the continent.