New visa rules and R750 fee for travel to Kenya

In response to South Africa’s recent tightening of visa rules for Kenyans, the Kenyan High Commission has announced measures of its own, applicable to South African nationals visiting Kenya.

“In international relations and treaties, the principle of reciprocity states that favours, benefits or penalties that are granted by one state to the citizens or legal entities of another should be returned in kind,” said Kenya’s Deputy High Commissioner Hellen Gichuhi.

Previously, South Africans visiting Kenya for less than 30 days did not need to submit a visa application. From 1 September, people travelling to or through Kenya now need to apply for a visa prior to travel as visas are no longer issued on arrival in Kenya.

The only exception will be for holders of official/diplomatic passports travelling on government business, who won’t be affected by the new measures.

According to the new rules:

  • The R750 ($70) fee must be paid at the Kenyan High Commission/Embassy premises
  • Applicants must appear in person for biometrics
  • The visa processing period will be five working days
  • All applicants will need to produce:
    – a return air ticket
    – an invitation letter from the host in the Republic of Kenya
    – a letter from employer/institution/college/school
    – proof of funds in the form of a recent bank statement
    – two passport photographs

For expert visa and immigration assistance, visit 1st Contact Visas.