IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? The Kenyan Directorate of Immigration has announced that all applications for work permits and passes that are submitted beginning next week must include a police clearance certificate from the applicant’s country of origin or residence.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals must now additionally submit a police clearance certificate, from their home country or from their country of residence, in support of any work permit or pass application.

  • Implementation time frame: Oct. 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: All work permit types (Classes A, B, D, G, I and M) and all pass types (Special Pass, Internship/Research Pass, Dependent Pass, Student Pass).
  • Who is affected: All employers, employees and family members who are at least 18 years old and who are applying to enter or remain in Kenya on the basis of one of the affected visas or permits.
  • Business impact: The new requirement adds to the document-gathering steps for all work permit and pass applicants.

Background: Foreign nationals undertaking work activities in Kenya are required to have either a Special Pass (short-term work permit) or a Class D Permit (long-term work permit). Family members accompanying foreign nationals with Class D Permits must apply for either a Dependent Pass or, if of school-age, Student Pass from the Directorate of Immigration. The additional document requirement relates to all these application types, both initial and renewal applications, starting Monday.

BAL Analysis: Employers in Kenya should be aware of the new requirement for a foreign national police clearance certificate and aim to obtain this additional document early in the immigration process to avoid delays.