Living in Kenya

Advice for British people living in Kenya, including information on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.


You should follow the advice of the Kenyan government and your local authority. You can also read Kenya travel advice for our latest guidance.

For information on vaccines abroad, see our COVID-19 travel guidance.


Healthcare in Kenya is expensive but the major private hospitals have good facilities and highly trained staff. There are Government hospitals but these are normally poorly equipped and in poor condition. To be admitted to a private hospital (if you don’t have insurance)requires a deposit of approx £300.

Useful websites:

Nairobi Hospital Private Hospital in Nairobi

Aga Khan Hospitals Private Hospital in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa

M.P. Shah Hospital Private Hospital in Nairobi

Kenyatta National Hospital Government Hospital in Nairobi


Kenya offers a wide range of educational oppurtunties. There are state run schools ( for Kenya Citizens only) and a wide variety of private fee paying private schools. British Council has a large presence here

Useful websites:

Kenyan Government department of Education

Kenya Private Schools Association

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association

British Council

Employment and recognised qualifications

All Non Kenyan Citizens require a permit to work in Kenya, even for Voulantary work.

Useful websites:

Kenyan Government department of Immigration

Kenyan High Commission in UK

Entry and residence requirements

British Nationals require a visa to enter Kenya, this can be obtained on arrival or in advance from the Kenyan High Commission in UK.

For information on residence requirements contact Kenyan Immigration.

British nationals resident in Kenya can voluntarily register with the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) which is primarily for access to government services. The system is a central master biodata register for all Kenyan citizens and foreigners. For more information contact the Huduma Namba website.

Useful websites:

Kenyan Government department of Immigration

Kenya High Commission in UK


There is no benefits system in Kenya, however if you are working you will be paying in to the National Social Security Fund and the National Hospital Insurance fund.

Useful websites:

Kenya Revenue Authority

National Social Security Fund

UK retiring abroad advice

Driving licences and vehicles

You can drive on your UK or international driving licence for up to 90 days.

Useful websites:

Kenya Revenue Authority Kenyan Government department issuing licenses

Automobile Association of Kenya


There are many International banks and investment companies operating in Kenya , below are the basic requirements fo opeing a bank account (may vary slightly with different banks)

Requirements for opening a bank account in Kenya:

  • ID or passport
  • Minimun opening balance ( Varies with different banks)
  • Utility bill/ lease agreement( for purpose of verifying physical address)
  • Colour passport photograph
  • Recomendation letter from an employer or other customer

For information on taxation in Kenya: Kenya Revenue Authourity

Guidance on bringing medication into Kenya

All Non Kenyans require a permit/visa to live in Kenya.

For Kenya Immigration requirements please go to

Department of Immigration

Kenya High Commission in UK

Social ethics and traditions

Kenya has an extremely diverse population. Major religions are Christian 82.5%, Muslim 11.1% Other eg Hindu 2.5% ( 2009 Census) Official languages are Kiswahili and English.

Useful websites:

Magical Kenya

Returning to the UK

No official processes to follow when departing.

Published 10 December 2013
Last updated 10 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Coronavirus section added with a link to guidance on vaccines.

  2. Updated entry and residence requirements for British nationals in Kenya.

  3. First published.