Kenya Immigration changes.

Kenya introduces several major changes to their immigration processes.

The secretary for immigration has announced major upcoming changes in the immigration processes. It commenced with an ongoing 60- day nationwide audit of foreign workers.

Once of the aims of the Immigration Department is to crack down of foreign workers who are either undocumented or have the incorrect category of visa.  Other changes are to introduce electronic work permits gradually and to tighten the reigns on work permit procedures and issuance.

How will this effect employees and employers?

All employers should brace themselves for site inspections from the immigration department and the police. Employers are expected to cooperate by allowing access to the premises and employee files. Current work permit applications of expat employees will be scrutinized and will result in delays in processing times.

When will this take effect?

This process is immediate and ongoing and there is no indication of when the crackdown will end. This will affect all work and residence permit applications.

What Impact will this have?

All business should ensure that expat workers permits are up to date and they have valid authorisation to work in country (Either a work permit or special pass). Expat workers are expected to travel with their documents at all times.

This was announced at a meeting with the cabinet secretary, national assembly administration and the national security committee.

It would be advised that all employers should file work permits as early as possible to avoid any delays for new expats and ensure that all current special passes and work permits must be renewed timeously.

As mentioned previously, employers can expect either the police or the immigration department may conduct inspections and under Kenyan law they do not need a warrant to access business properties or personnel files. Businesses do however have a right to ask for identification from the authorities.

Should you have any queries regarding current or prospective work permits for Kenya, please do not hesitate to contact us on