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First Batch of Visa-Free Travellers Arrive at JKIA Airport

 First Batch of Visa-Free Travellers Arrive at JKIA Airport
First Batch of Visa-Free Travellers Arrive at JKIA Airport

Immigration Principal Secretary (PS) Julius Bitok on Friday confirmed the arrival of the first batch of Visa-free arrivals through the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

In his statement, Bitok announced that the country had already received over 5,000 ETA applications and 2,141 of those have been approved.

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To get approval, which takes at least 72 hours, visitors are required to apply for ETA through the be-Citizen platform at a sum of Ksh4,600. Those intending to apply have been urged to apply at least three days before their travel to enhance eligibility.

“It’s very easy to apply and get an ETA. You just need to fill in your personal data in ten minutes and you should be able to get approval in 72 hours. We have made sure that travelling to Kenya is going to be an easy and pleasant experience,” Bitok said.

The PS also expressed confidence that the move will boost the country’s economy through revenue generated from tourism. He noted that the country was targeting 5 million tourists annually and a revenue of Ksh1.5 trillion.

“On average, each visitor spends around Ksh500,000 within three months in Kenya. We believe we can grow the annual revenue from increased tourism to Ksh.1.5 trillion every year,” he added.

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While refuting claims that the move would jeopardize the country’s security, the PS assured Kenyans that appropriate security measures had been put in place to avert any security threats, he also stressed that the ETA system has been designed in a way that foretells information about visitors coming into the country.

“ETA is a much superior system as we’re able to foretell persons who are coming to our country in advance and ensuring the necessary precautions are in place so that only the right people are welcomed,” the PS added.

The latest aligns with President William Ruto’s agenda to make Kenya a visa-free country.

In his speech during Kenya’s 60th Jamhuri Day Celebration, the president announced plans to adopt a visa-free policy starting January 1, 2024.

At the time, the Head of State claimed that the move would relieve the burden of manually applying for visas.

“It is with great pleasure, as President of this extraordinary country, to make a historic announcement of the decision of the Government of Kenya. Kenya will be a visa-free country,” the president said.

“To echo the call of the Turkana people to the world: “Tobong’u Lorre!” Kenya has a simple message to humanity: Welcome Home! This is why, the government has abolished the requirement of visas for all our visitors.’

Source-https://www.k24tv.co.ke/

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