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Kenya Class D Work Permit Visas

A Class D Entry/Work Permit is for qualified applicants who are offered employment by a specific employer, and whose engagement in that employment will be of benefit to Kenya. It is valid for a maximum of two years and may usually be renewed once, up to a maximum of four years.

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If you are looking for a new place to live and work as a foreigner, have you considered Kenya on a Class D work permit in your list of options? Kenya is a fascinating and diverse country offering a great deal to prospective immigrants from around the world. Kenya is a vast country spread over 580,000 km² (around the same size as Texas) with a wide range of climatic conditions ranging from tropical to sub-tropical. It is also highly ethnically diverse, with 52 million people originating from across the continent. One of the benefits of Kenya for new migrants is that English is widely spoken as a second language; hence communication barriers are significantly reduced. In this article, we will explain what foreign nationals need to know about securing a Kenyan class D work permit, including the eligibility requirements and the application process.

What are the different types of work permits available in Kenya?

When applying for a work permit in Kenya, it is important to choose the correct pathway for your needs. Indeed, there are several classifications of work permits in the country, including:

· Class A Work Permit – for workers in the mining sector

· Class B Work Permit – for workers in the agriculture or animal husbandry sector

· Class C Work Permit – for workers in ‘prescribed professions’

· Class D Work Permit – for skilled workers with a job offer from an employer/company

· Class F Work Permit – for workers in the manufacturing sector.

· Class G Work Permit – for workers who want to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific trade, business, consultancy, or profession (other than a prescribed profession)

· Class I Work Permit - For religious and charitable workers.

· Class K Work Permit – For those with an assured income from sources outside Kenya and who will not be working in Kenya.

· Class M Work Permit– for those given refugee status in Kenya

If you are unsure which permit you should apply for, speak to an immigration lawyer specialising in Kenya migration who will be able to advise you.

What Are The Eligibility Requirements For A Class D Work Permit In Kenya?

Class D permits are issued to foreign national employees with an offer of employment from a Kenyan business or company, government department or authority, the United Nations, or another recognised agency to work in Kenya. Importantly, applicants must provide proof that they have the necessary skills and/or qualifications to fulfil the role they have been offered by the specific employer that has been validated to undertake employment. In addition, the skills and qualifications must not be available in Kenya, and the employment must be of benefit to the country.

Applicants must also be able to provide all of the documents outlined below to support their application for Class D work permits.

Document Checklist For Kenyan Class D Permit

The Kenyan Class D work permit application process requires several documents to be provided to support your application. We highly recommend taking time to ensure you provide each of these in your application and that you have followed all of the instructions (i.e. in terms of the number of copies needed and the standard of document translation required). To make a successful application in other to obtain Kenyan Class D work permits, you will need to provide the following (this list is not exhaustive – a full checklist is available online):

· A completed and signed application form (Form 25)

· A covering letter from the Kenyan employer addressed to the Director of Immigration Services – this must explain the role being offered and be signed.

· Valid Passport

· Passport size photos

· Evidence of your current immigration status if already in Kenya

· A copy of any previous immigration permit(s)

· Certified copies of academic and professional certificates (where applicable)

· Your Curriculum vitae (CV)

· A completed and signed Form 27 (Report on Employment)

· Certified copies of academic/professional certificates

· Employment contract

· Clearance letter from relevant institutions (where required)

· Certificate of company registration from the employer

The guidance also states that “All documents written in foreign languages should be translated into English by either the Embassy, Public Notary, or authorised /recognised institution”.

How Much Does A Work Permit Cost In Kenya?

A non-refundable application fee of 10,000 Kenyan Shillings must be paid by the applicant at the time of applying (this is equivalent to £65). An additional fee of 200,000 Kshs is also payable (this covers two years) (this is equivalent to £1,300).

How To Get A Class D Work Visa For Kenya For A Foreign National

The application process for a Kenyan Class D work permit is completed predominantly online. The process for an applicant is as follows:

Create an account and login to the Government of Kenya Single

Sign On portal

Select the ‘Apply now’ link

Complete and submit your application

Make your application payment (this is done online)

What Happens After I Have Applied For A Keynan Class D Work Permit?

Once your application is submitted and your fee paid, you will then receive updates on its progress both via your online account and email. It takes around three to four months for applications to be processed and a final decision made. This may be slightly longer if the Kenyan immigration authorities require more details on your case. In addition, for some nationalities, there is a more rigorous security vetting process which may lengthen the application processing time.

If your application is approved and issued, it will usually be granted for a period of one or two years. Visa holders will then have 90 days to travel to Kenya, enter, and have their permit endorsed. In the event that your permit takes longer or it is refused, speak to immigration solicitors specialising in Kenyan work permits who can assist you as soon as possible. Based on the reason for the delay or refusal, they will address the issues which have arisen where possible and work towards securing a prompt positive decision.

How Can I Renew Work Permits In Kenya?

Under the Kenya immigration system, it is possible to further extend your work permit beyond the initial two-year period. Applications to renew a work permit in Kenya by employees are also completed online (using Form 25 as outlined above) and should be completed three months prior to the expiry date.

In Summary

The Kenyan Class D work/ residence permit is granted to skilled migrant workers for roles that cannot be filled locally. While the permit is typically granted for one or two years, employees can be further extended prior to expiry. Given the detailed document and evidence requirements for this type of work permit, we recommend for your work permit to be approved, have your application checked over by a immigration lawyer with a strong understanding of Kenyan immigration regulation policy before it is submitted. This will give you the best chance of approval and receiving a positive decision in the shortest possible time.

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