Kenyan Govt issues new directive for foreigners to regularize immigration status


Kenyan Govt issues new directive for foreigners to regularize immigration status

Kenyan Govt issues new directive for foreigners to regularize immigration statusOn 20 April 2018 the government issued a directive to foreign nationals working in the country to regularize their immigration status within the next 60 days. It was indicated that the Government will verify previously issued work permits within the 60 days window in an effort to remove from the country individuals who are illegally working in Kenya.

Thereafter electronic work permit cards will be issued to all foreign nationals working in the country. The Government will also harmonize identification data into a single card that will carry all personal data. Currently the work permits and passes are issued manually.

The Government is expected to perform inspections in organizations after the lapse of the 60 day window to ensure that foreign workers are compliant. This is in a bid to ensure that all foreign nationals who are working in the country are doing so legally and are in possession of skills and qualifications that are unavailable locally.


All foreign nationals working in Kenya are expected to be in possession of valid work permits. To obtain the work permits these individuals should hold skills that are not locally available; it is the Government’s policy that work permits are only issued to highly skilled and qualified individuals.

Employers are also expected to have made provisions for training Kenyan nationals to the resume the role and responsibility of an expatriate’s position after completion of their assignment. However, the government has noted that some expatriates are in contravention of the immigration laws and regulations, with some individuals working in Kenya without the required work documentation and with skills that can be sourced locally.

Next steps

All foreign nationals should regularize their work permit status in the country within the next 60 days. Employers should ensure that foreign nationals in their organization are in possession of valid work permits and special passes.

Employers should have proper immigration records for all foreign nationals working for them. The documents should be available on request by the Immigration Department.

Employers and foreign employees should expect queries and impromptu visits from the Immigration Department and should therefore ensure they are in compliance with the Immigration requirements.

Applications for work permits should be submitted early. The qualifications held by the foreign national will be critical and employers should ensure that all work permit applications submitted going forward clearly demonstrate why the position cannot be filled by a Kenyan national.

Employers should expect possible delay in processing of applications for work permits due to increased scrutiny.


Kenyan Govt issues new directive for foreigners to regularize immigration status

Source EY

Comment on the article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

%d bloggers like this: