The much awaited bill has today the 18th of December 2014,  been passed by the Kenya National Assembly in a very acrimonious special session. As I had promised before, the passage of this Bill that now awaits presidential assent within fourteen days to become law. I know this has affected many other laws but my concern at this point in this forum is the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011.  The Most outstanding  issues of Immigration concern are: 1. The fact that now the Permits Determination Committee will be appointed by the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Immigration. 2.  Now applications for Work Permits will be applied when the applicant is out of the country….this means it will not be possible to apply for a work permit while the person is in country. ( In many other jurisdictions this is the famous change of status) 3. The grounds for invalidation of both permanent residence and work permits have been expanded. 4. Foreigners residing in Kenya for a period exceeding 90 days must now register with an Immigration officer and should they change their residence or travel they must report the same to an Immigration officer. 5. The  Investment Promotion Act 2004 has also been amended to provide for the Minister to make regulations prescribing the categories of employees  to be issued with work permits. In my  view these are some of the provisions that may have an immediate effect on Foreigners seeking for permits or passes from Kenya Immigration services and I am eager to see how the passage of these new laws and appointment of a brand new Cabinet Secretary for Interior who is also in charge of Immigration will change Immigration practice….and before I forget, these new laws also puts a lot of liability on Immigration officers perceived to facilitate the entry of  criminals into the country…the punishment is at least 10 years! I wish them well… Keep watching this space for more updates as they come by.

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