Foreign travel advice

Kenya

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Restrictions in response to coronavirus

Entry

The suspension of international flights to and from Kenya was lifted on 1 August.

Testing and quarantine

The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs have advised that:

  • travellers arriving from the UK are not required to enter mandatory quarantine for 14 days, as long as they have a negative COVID-19 test
  • the negative COVID-19 test must be a negative PCR test result. Travellers with a negative rapid test result will still need to enter mandatory or voluntary quarantine for 14 days, depending on the Kenyan authorities’ assessment on the traveller’s ability to quarantine
  • the test must have been taken within 96 hours of flying
  • travellers must have a medical certificate confirming they are free from coronavirus. All travellers will be screened on arrival; anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to quarantine in the place they are staying for the first 14 days of their stay and observe Government of Kenya protocols as directed. Passengers travelling in the 2 rows surrounding the person displaying symptoms will be traced and required to quarantine for 14 days. Further detail in the Government of Kenya Protocols. Further details are expected to be published soon on the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and State Department for Transport websites.

For more information regarding pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements in the UK, visit website of the Kenya High Commission in London.

Borders

The Kenya-Uganda, Kenya-Somalia and Kenya-Tanzania borders reopened on 1 August.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You need a visa to enter Kenya. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport, or before you travel. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. You can also apply for these, and other types of visa, at the Kenya High Commission in London. For more information, see the website of the Kenya High Commission in London.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Kenya. Make sure you have two blank pages in your passport on arrival.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Kenya. ETDs must be valid for 6 months.

All ETD applicants are required to obtain an exit stamp from Kenyan Immigration prior to departure.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

You may need a yellow fever certificate when entering Kenya from certain destinations. Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Work permits

If you’re coming to live and work in Kenya, you must have a work permit before starting employment. It’s illegal to work without one. This needs to be applied for before coming to Kenya to work. This also applies to voluntary work and the self-employed. You can apply for a work permit at the Department of Immigration Services website. The government of Kenya has recently reiterated the need for all foreign workers in Kenya to have (and carry with them) the necessary work permits and documentation, and has promised swift action against those who do not comply; this includes deportation. Work permits are not always granted; the government of Kenya is prioritising the availability of high quality jobs for Kenyan nationals, and may not grant a work permit to a British national if the job in question could be done by a Kenyan national.

If you’re already in Kenya, and your application for a work permit is successful, you will be required to hand in your passport to immigration for a permit stamp to be inserted. During this period, you should always carry a certified copy of your passport for identification purposes. A local lawyer can provide this. On 20 April 2018, the government of Kenya announced a shift to e-permits replacing all existing and future work permits. Anyone holding or needing a work permit was required to register for an e-permit at Nyayo House before 21 July 2018. If you’ve missed this deadline, you should seek advice from Nyayo House.