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How To Get a Special Pass in Kenya

A Special Pass application is filed at the Kenyan Immigration Department to enable a business or short-term work activities in Kenya for a period of up to three months (extendable once to a maximum of six months).

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Kenya is a wonderfully diverse and culturally rich country offering a great deal to prospective immigrants through special passes from around the world. Kenya really does have it all, from vast coastlines and savannah to lakes and mountains. It is the home of the world-renowned Great Rift Valley and the Maasai Mara Reserve, home to wonderous wildlife such as rhinos, lions, and elephants. Economically, Kenya is thriving, with its GDP increasing by almost USD $10 billion each year. Kenya is also incredibly friendly and open to immigrants, due in part to the fact that English is widely spoken as a second language. In this article, we will explain the benefits of the Special Pass in Kenya, the application process, and processing times.

What Is The Kenya Special Pass?

According to the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, a Special Pass is granted to migrants who wish to enter or remain in Kenya for:

· a limited period for the purpose of applying for a review of a decision denying a permit;

· applying for a permit or pass;

· temporarily conducting any business, trade or profession; or

· any other purpose which an immigration officer considers suitable

The Kenyan government website also states that the Special Pass is “issued to person(s) given specific employment by the specific employer for a short duration not exceeding three (3) months of receiving education or training at an educational or training establishment within the country by which he/she has been accepted as a student/pupil”.

The Kenya Special Pass is issued to those who wish to enter Kenya for any of the above reasons for three months or less.

Kenya Special Pass Multiple Entry

If you plan to make more than one trip to Kenya for any of the above reasons, you may be able to secure a multiple entry visa. Multiple entry visas are granted to those who plan to visit Kenya frequently, most commonly for business reasons. The application process for a multiple entry visa can take longer than for a single entry, hence it is important to apply for a special pass in good time before the date you need to travel to Kenya. Multiple entry applications made by post can take up to eight weeks to process.

Special Pass Kenya Application Checklist

Despite being valid for a short duration, applicants for a Kenya Special Pass need to provide several documents to support their case; these are as follows:

· A completed and signed Special Pass online application form (Form 32). This must be stamped by the relevant institution and printed once completed.

· A detailed and signed Cover letter addressed to the Director of Immigration Services from the applicant/organisation

· Two recent passport size colour photos.

· Copy of passport (the bio-data page)

· Current Immigration status if in the country

· Copy of Registration Certificate for the organisation.

· Certified copies of academic and professional certificates

· Documents in foreign languages should be translated into English by either the Embassy, Public Notary, or authorised /recognised institution

· Copy of any permit or passes held.

· Copy of any official receipt or acknowledgment for those waiting for permits processing.

· Clearance letter from the relevant authorities

A full copy of the Kenya Special Pass checklist can be found online on the Kenyan government website.

How To Get A Special Pass For Kenya

The application process for a Kenyan Special Pass is completed predominantly online. To register, the process 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)

As part of the online application process, you may need to enter/provide all or some of the following information:

· Full name

· Nationality

· Date and place of birth

· Gender

· Passport details (number, date of issue, expiry date)

· Job title and job description

· Employers (name, address, phone number)

· Details of your Kenyan Contacts (phone number, postal address, physical location)

· Application type (new application / renewal)

· Date of arrival in Kenya

· Period of time required

· Passport photo

Kenya Special Pass Processing Time

Once submitted, applications for a Special Pass in Kenya are typically processed within a week (five working days). In some cases, it may take longer to receive your Special Pass, especially if further documents or information are requested by the immigration authorities in Kenta. In addition, for some nationalities, there is a more rigorous security vetting process which may lengthen the application processing time.

Kenya Special Pass Validity

The Kenya Special Pass is a short-stay visa and is typically granted for up to three months.

Can I Extend My Kenya Special Pass?

Yes, it is possible to further extend a Kenya Special Pass by a further three months, but only once.

The process of applying for a Special Pass renewal is broadly the same as outlined above – i.e. you will need to complete Form 32 online, submit any documents required, and pay the pass renewal fee. It is essential that you apply for your renewal before your current pass expires.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Special Pass In Kenya?

The application cost for a Kenya Special Pass is current 15,000 Kenyan Shillings (Kshs) (this is the equivalent of around £100 for each month (or part thereof). Hence if you are applying for a stay of three months, you will need to pay 45,000 Kshs.


The process of applying for a Kenya Special Pass is relatively quick and straightforward as long as you meet the criteria and provide all of the information listed above. It is also important to check whether a Special Pass is correct for your needs as there may be other more suitable alternatives based on your reasons for travelling and your future intentions. If you need any help with your application or if you have received a refusal of a Special pass from the Kenyan authorities, speak to an immigration lawyer specialising in Kenyan immigration policy who will be able to help you to resolve the matter quickly and efficiently.

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