Kenya Immigration Department facilitates international travel.


Kenya Immigration.

The control of entry and residence of foreigners into this country dates back to the introduction of what was called the Immigration Restriction Ordinance of 1906. This Ordinance restricted the influx of foreigners especially Indians, coming to the then Kenya colony and Protectorate upon completion of the Kenya- Uganda Railway (KUR) or the Iron Snake.

There were foreigners known as ‘Coolies’ from the sub continent of India had decided to remain in Kenya to start businesses and became known as ‘dukawalas’.

This Ordinance and others in 1940, 1944, 1948 and 1956 imposed restrictions on persons who wished to travel to Kenya for permanent settlement.

The Immigration Ordinance of 1st August 1948 formed the basis of the present day Immigration Department, which was curved from the Police Department in 1950. The Immigration Ordinances were revised in 1962 and 1964, when the latter was renamed the Immigration Act.

One of the core functions of the Immigration Department is to facilitate international travel of Kenyans. The travel documents issued by the department include: Kenya and East Africa passports, Temporary permits, Certificate of identity & Nationality, and United nations travel documents (for refugees).

The attention of all applicants for visas should be drawn to immigration requirements: Valid passports, or other travel documents including Seaman's Discharge Book, acceptable to the Government of Kenya are required for all persons wishing to enter Kenya, Passports issued by the Governments of Taiwan (Nationalist China) are not recognized as valid travel documents and no official endorsements should be made therein."

Subject to the exemptions like person who is entitled to privileges and immunities under the Privileges and Immunities Act (Cap. 179) and who is covered under section 4(3) (a) to (g) of the Immigration Act (Cap. 172) Laws of Kenya, an immigration pass or permit is required by all persons, other than Kenya citizens wishing to enter Kenya.

A bona fide visitor may be issued with a visitor's pass on arrival at a port of entry into Kenya valid for a period not exceeding three months in the first instance provided that he is in possession of a valid passport or other travel document acceptable to the Government of Kenya.

One may also need a valid visa where required, is in possession of sufficient funds for subsistence while in Kenya and a return, or onward ticket to his country of origin, domicile or destination.

Travelers entering Kenya by road from Sudan, Somalia or Ethiopia should pass through gazetted entry points and report immediately to an Immigration Officer.

There are some categories of persons who are classified as prohibited Immigrants in Kenya and accordingly shall not be issued with visas or permitted to enter Kenya; people suffering from mental disorders, people who refuse to submit to medical examinations, people suffering from diseases certified by medical practitioners as undesirable, a law fugitive person, a person whose entry is deemed to be contrary to national interests, people involved in prostitution deeds, a person suspected to be involved in illicit trafficking and in trade of narcotics, a person or groups of persons who are involved or suspected to be involved, in human trafficking, and a person involved or suspected to be involved in illicit arms trade and finally, any person involved or suspected to be involved in money laundering.

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