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KENYA – In-Country Work Permits Suspended [UPDATED]

, 14/01/2019

As of 10 December 2018, the Kenyan government has issued a directive suspending the in-country issuance of work permits and visa extensions. Once implemented, applications for entry/work permits must be submitted while the foreign national is outside Kenya. Upon the expiry of a permit or pass, the foreign national will be required to leave the country until the permit or pass is renewed and issued.

[UPDATE] As of 14 January 2019, this directive has not yet been implemented. However, increased scrutiny is being given to all applications with more stringent vetting of approvals for permits and passes. Approvals will only be given for positions where it is clearly demonstrated that there is no local skill-set available or that the sponsoring entity has taken genuine steps to train Kenyan understudies.

Action items

Employers should ensure that all foreign national employees remain outside Kenya until their permit or pass is issued. This includes employees whose permit or pass has expired, and those with pending applications.
Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their immigration specialist for case-specific advice.