IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Immigration services have been slowed in Kenya following last week’s presidential election and subsequent protests. Businesses reopened Monday in the capital city of Nairobi, but delays should still be expected in the days ahead.

What does the change mean? Employers and foreign nationals should take note of the likelihood of delays and plan accordingly.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas, permits and other immigration-related government services.
  • Who is affected: Companies and foreign employees seeking government services.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing may take longer than usual in the coming days and weeks.

Background: President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of last week’s presidential election, a result that challenger Raila Odinga protested. Even before the election, Kenya saw a number of demonstrations related to the vote. Some demonstrations turned violent, and BAL warned at the time that employers were likely to see delayed immigration services and increased compliance activity. Protestors took to the streets following last week’s vote, shuttering offices and closing down streets. Some measure of normalcy appeared to be restored Monday, however. The U.S. Embassy, for example, said it would resume normal operations, but advised U.S. citizens in Kenya to continue monitoring news outlets and to “act prudently when moving about.” The Associated Press and the BBC reported that Odinga’s call for a general strike was largely ignored.

BAL Analysis: While ordinary life has by and large resumed following last week’s election and subsequent demonstrations, immigration delays should still be anticipated, particularly for those with pending applications. Businesses may need to adjust schedules and start dates to account for any delays in services.