If you are an African traveller visiting East Africa, you will enjoy Kenya visa free entry from the end of December 2023.
This is according to Kenyan President William Ruto, who committed to ensuring Kenya becomes a visa-free destination for other African travellers. His move is inspired by the need to deal with visa restrictions that continue to affect intra-African travel.
Ruto while addressing an international conference in Congo-Brazzaville, maintained that Kenya’s bid to remove visa restrictions for fellow Africans aligns with the African Union’s (AU) dream. The AU has for the last decade effortlessly lobbied member states to revise their immigration policies and grant free visa entry to them.
Despite having regional deals and bilateral arrangements, progress towards eliminating these visa restrictions is slow. In 2022, only Seychelles, The Gambia, and Benin allowed visa-free entry for all African citizens, as reported by an AU-backed study. However, the Africa Visa Openness Index has a progress report on all this.
The index assesses the accessibility of African countries to visitors from other African nations. It revealed that most countries are improving their entry procedures and reducing restrictions for other nations. Kenya ranked 31st out of 54 African states on this index in 2022, indicating its level of openness to visitors from other African countries.
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Which Countries Can Enter Kenya Visa-Free?
Data shows that 43 countries are exempt from visa restrictions. Some of them include the following:
- Fiji Island
- Papua New Guinea
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
- Marshall Islands
Now, Ruto feels that Kenya visa free entry is long overdue because it is a big hurdle in trade within Africa. The Kenyan premier said Kenya will lead the way in opening borders for its people, who are often locked out of Europe.
“When people cannot travel, businesspeople cannot travel, and entrepreneurs cannot travel, we all become net losers. Let me say this: As Kenya, by the end of this year, no African will be required to have a visa to come to Kenya,” he remarked.
Do South Africans Need A Visa To Enter Kenya?
South Africans travelling to Kenya for less than 30 days do not need a visa. They enjoy the benefits of lengthy diplomatic talks to see this happen. Ideally, Kenya visa free entry is in line with the push for the African passport. The African Union (AU) introduced the African passport in 2016, aiming to enable visa-free travel for all African citizens across the continent.
However, widespread implementation is not a reality yet over concerns about security, smuggling, and local job markets. In lieu of completely removing visa restrictions, the Visa Openness Index suggests alternative measures. These include reducing fees, standardizing visa on arrival for African visitors, and implementing a secure e-visa system to facilitate easier travel within Africa while addressing pertinent issues.
Does A Zambian Need A Visa To Kenya?
Zambian citizens are exempt from visa requirements for stays in Kenya of up to 90 days. However, they must have a valid passport with at least six months validity remaining from the date of entry.
Do Nigerians Need Visa To Kenya?
Nigerians need a visa to enter Kenya, but they will enjoy Kenya visa free entry starting January 2024. Nevertheless, it is easy to get a visa to Kenya for any Nigerian traveler. They can apply for a Kenyan e-visa online.
Is UK visa-free to Kenya?
The UK is not visa-free in Kenya. British passport holders require a visa to enter Kenya. British travellers can obtain a visa either online or at a Kenyan embassy or consulate. The online visa application process is relatively straightforward and completed in a matter of minutes for $51.
Further, British citizens travelling to Kenya for a holiday or business trip of up to 90 days can apply for a single entry visa. For longer stays, or for multiple entries, it is recommended one applies for multiple-entry visa.
The thought behind Kenya visa free entry is good news for African travellers looking forward to visiting this East African hub. Hopefully, other AU member states will follow suit on this and ease up the decade-long efforts to make intra-African travel easy.
- Is Kenya visa free from Germany?
Kenya is not free to German travelers; they need a visa before coming to Kenya.
- Do Egyptians need a visa to Kenya?
Egyptians need a visa to enter Kenya, except for children under 16.
- Do Mauritians need visa for Kenya?
Mauritians do not need a visa to visit Kenya for up to 90 days.
- Do Indians need visa for Kenya?
Yes, Indian citizens need a visa to enter Kenya.