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Work Permits

Any foreigner( not a citizen of Kenya) working in Kenya requires a Work Permit. This does not include countries where work permit requirement is waived as provided on the Department of Immigration website www.immigration.go.ke

Class A

A person who is offered specific employment by a specific Employer who is qualified to undertake that employment, and whose engagement in that employment will be of benefit to Kenya. E.g. geologist, neuro surgeon, railway engineer, nuclear scientist etc.

Class B

A person who is offered specific employment by the Government of Kenya, the East African Community or any other person or authority under the control of the Government or the Community, and whose engagement in that employment will be of benefit to Kenya.

Class C

A person who is offered specific employment under an approved technical aid scheme under the United Nations Organisation or some other approved agency, and whose engagement in that employment will be of benefit to Kenya.

Class D

A person, being the holder of a dependant's pass, who is offered specific employment by specific Employer, whose engagement in that employment will be of benefit to Kenya.

Class E

A person who is a member of a missionary society approved by the Government of Kenya, and whose presence in Kenya will be of benefit to Kenya.

Class F

A person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in the business of agriculture or animal husbandry in Kenya, and who:

  1. has acquired, or has received all permission that may be necessary in order to acquire, an interest in land of sufficient size and suitability for the purpose; and
  2. Has in his own right and at his full and free disposition sufficient capital and other resources for the purpose, and whose engagement in that business will be of benefit to Kenya.

Class G

A person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in prospecting for minerals or mining in Kenya, and who:

  1. has obtained, or is assured of obtaining any prospecting or mining right or license that may be necessary for the purpose; and
  2. has in his own right and at his full and free disposition sufficient capital and other resources for the purpose, and whose engagement in that business will be of benefit to Kenya.

Class H

A person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific trade, business or profession(other than a prescribed profession) in Kenya, and who:

  1. has obtained, or is assured of obtaining, any licence, registration or other authority or permission that may be necessary for the purpose; and
  2. Has in his own right and at his full and free disposition sufficient capital and other resources for the purpose, and whose engagement in that trade, business or profession will be to the benefit of Kenya.

Class I

  • Class I: A person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific manufacture in Kenya, and who:
  1. has obtained, or is assured of obtaining, any license, registration or other authority or permission that may be necessary for the purpose;
  2. Has in his own right and at his full and free disposition sufficient capital and other resources for the purpose, and whose engagement in that manufacture will be to the benefit of Kenya.

Class J

A member of a prescribed profession who intends to practice that profession, whether alone or in partnership, in Kenya, and who:

  1. possesses the prescribed qualifications; and
  2. has in his own right and at his full and free disposition sufficient capital and other resources for the purpose, and whose practice of that profession will be to the benefit of Kenya.

Class K

A person who:

  1. is not less than 21 years of age; and
  2. has in his own right and at his full and free disposition assured annual income of not less than the prescribed amount being an income that is assured, and that is derived from sources other than any such employment, occupation, trade, business or profession as is referred to in the description of any of the classes specified in this Schedule, and being an income that either;
    1. is derived from sources outside, and will be remitted to Kenya; or
    2. is derived from property situated, or a pension or annuity payable from, sources in Kenya; or
    3. will be derived from a sufficient investment capital to produce such assured income that will be brought into and invested in Kenya; and
  3. Undertakes not to accept paid employment of any kind should be he be granted an Entry Permit of this class, and whose presence in Kenya will be of benefit to Kenya.

Class L

  • Class L: A person who is not in employment, whether paid or unpaid, and who under the repealed Acts was issued with resident's certificate, or who would have on application been entitled to the issue of such certificate, or who has held an Entry Permit or Entry Permits.
  • Apply for the Entry Work Permit from the Principal Immigration Officer by prospective Employer. Do not work without the valid Work Permit.
  • Prospective Employer must provide;
  1. evidence that they have been unable to fill the particular post(s) due to lack of suitably qualified personnel in the Kenya Labour Market.
  2. Secure the Work permit before Foreign Employee starts work or leaves their country of origin if purpose of visit is Employment.
  • Prospective Investors in a Partnership, Company, Professionals must provide
  1. Evidence that they have obtained or are assured of obtaining relevant licence(s), Registration or otherauthority that may be necessary in order to engage in the contemplated business, trade or profession.
  2. Prove that they have sufficient capital derived from sources outside Kenya which is to be remitted to Kenya for investment.

Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act No. 12 of 2011 Section 4 provides; 4 (1) Where a work permit has been issued to a person, and that person shall cause the permit to be invalid his presence in Kenya shall be unlawful .

What Makes Permit Invalid

  1. A person fails, without the written approval of the Director, to start work within ninety days of the date of issue of the permit or of that person’s entry into Kenya, whichever is the earlier, in the employment, occupation, trade, business or profession in respect of which the permit was issued or take up residence;
  1. Ceases to do the said employment, occupation, trade, business or profession; or
  1. Engages in any employment, occupation, trade business or profession, whether or not for remuneration or profit, other than the employment, occupation, trade, business or profession referred to in paragraph (a), , unless otherwise authorized under this Act.

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