A Visa is simply an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country. In this case, we are reffering to the Kenyan Visa. Here is are the Frequently Asked Questions on the Kenyan Visa.
1. Why the eVisa
Most Governments world over are moving towards digitization of their operations. Online application makes it possible for visitors to get their Visa in advance hence removing the anxiety of whether one will be able will get it or not at the point of entry
2. The Online Application is NOT complicated
The procedure of application has now been modified and simplified to a user friendly mode that takes three simple steps. The E-Visa portal now has its dedicated website: www.evisa.go.ke. Visa approval is being done real-time.
3. Do you need to upload a passport photo to process the online application?
The applicant needs to upload a passport size photo and a copy of the passport for the online application to be complete. Photos can either be scanned or taken by a mobile phone. The system is able to resize the photo automatically to fit in the photo size requirement.
4. If your application is refused, is the fee refundable?
Visa fee is non refundable since the application will be processed for approval or non approval
5. Is it only payable in US dollars?
The online payment of visa fee is in US dollars.
6. Will you still be able to get visas on arrival at the port of entry if you do not have an E-Visa?
Yes, an applicant will still be able to get a visa at the port of entry on arrival. Visas acquired at Kenyan Embassies and High Commissions are also valid and will be honored at the port of entry. Citizens of the following countries require a visa that cannot be obtained online or on arrival at the airport but instead this must be done in advance through a Kenyan Embassy: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan.
7. If you are in transit at JKIA with an onward ticket, for example to Kilimanjaro, would you have to purchase a visa, even if you are only going to pass through immigration then check back in for your connecting flight?
If a passenger is on transit and needs to clear with immigration to enter Kenya, he or she will need a transit visa. The Department has set up a work station where they can apply for the transit visa at the port of entry in case of such unexpected circumstances.
8. What visa types are available via the online system?
The visas available online are those of countries in category two (2) of the Kenya visa regulations. They are listed on the on line visa application form.
9. For those visas you can’t currently purchase online, will visitors still be able to purchase on arrival at JKIA or the High Commissions/Kenyan Embassies abroad?
The procedures of applying for visas which are not available on line remain the same. These are in category three (3) of the visa regulations and the applicants have always applied to the Director of Immigration Services before travelling. However, further consultations are under way before this category can be put on line.
10. The East African Visa
The East Africa Tourist visa is not affected by the new system. It is still available on arrival and covers Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. It’s also possible to apply for this manually (in writing) via the High Commissioners Offices/ Kenyan embassy abroad.
11. The procedure is in English only
The system will be modified to accommodate other languages e.g. French, Italian, Germany and Chinese through auto translation.
12. Tour Operators and Travel agent role:
The agents can apply on behalf of the applicant, as long as they provide accurate information by either attaching invitation letters or itinerary/bookings. Details of hotels and applicants telephone numbers are necessary for security and emergency purposes. The agent will use their own account (does not have to create different accounts) to apply with the details of the applicants. The Visa notification will be in the names and details of the applicant they will have applied for.
13. The details required are too many
Visitors’ details very important for a country to manage issues related to foreigners’ for keeping track of their activities and where they are staying. Contacts requested whether email, phone numbers or physical addresses of host country or place to be visited is crucial for security and emergency purposes.
14. The eVisa is now costing more
The increase of visa fee is very minimal and has been observed before that Visa fee plays a minor role in determining a tourist destination. A case scenario is when a few years back, the Visa fee was slashed by half with no notable upsurge in arrival numbers.
15. Will visitors still have their digital photo and fingerprints taken at the immigration desk on arrival?
Yes, the need to have photos and fingerprints taken upon arrival is to authenticate that the person who applied for the Visa is the same person at the port of entry. This is a best practice world over now and more so, owing to our commitment to secure our borders. Compared to the manual application, the online process saves visitors time at the point of entry as it has eliminated writing of visa stickers and receipt as they wait
16. If one is filling out the application and stop before completing, will they be able to resume from where they left?
Yes, the system allows visitors to save his/her application and continue with process at own time.
17. What safety mechanisms are in place for submission of credit card information?
If the credit card payments are processed in Kenya; most people do not like the idea of having to contact their credit card company to approve a charge made directly in Kenya. The system does not store any information of credit or debit cards. They are only used for payment. The applicant is not required to give any information on their credit/debit card. E-citizen is a government website and is highly secured with the latest technology. There are plans to include other modes of payments like PayPal.
18. How does an applicant know if the Visa has been approved?
Notifications of visa approvals are being sent through applicants email.
The system directs an application to the nearest Embassy or High Commission to the place/country of application and initiates immediate response
19. The multi-entry visa is no longer available
A visitor will not be able to get multi-entry visa online (Learn more about visas and citizenship on CitizenshipBureau). This can only be issued by immigration offices in Nairobi headquarters. Therefore, an applicant will apply for single entry on the e-visa portal, upon confirmation and arrival in the country then go to Immigration offices 7th to apply for multi-entry visa.
20. What are EVisa Kiosks?
The Immigration will introduce e-Visa kiosks at JKIA and MIA for two months to assist in the transition and to handle emergency cases only and even then one will still have to apply for the visa online from the kiosks and await confirmation on issuance which may take time and may not be guaranteed. To minimize on anxiety and the risk of applying upon arrival, we are encouraging the eVisa application as per the required timelines unless it’s an emergency beyond the applicants’ influence
For more information on the eVisa please log on to www.evisa.go.ke.
This article was first published by Magical Kenya
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