KENYA E-VISA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Effective July 1, 2015, all persons from countries that require visa to enter Kenya will have to apply for it online from http://www.ecitizen.go.ke portal. One is required to register as a visitor and reactivate his/her account by uploading a passport size photo…thereafter he/she is able to apply for the visa and pay for it online using debit or credit cards. Once this is done one will get a print out with a reference number…this is what will be presented to Immigration officers at the port of entry for endorsement…please remember as usual a visa is not the authority to enter Kenya…an Immigration officer reserves the right of admission please! well they are nice all the time if you have the right documents!

Important to note is that the Government has granted a grace period of up to end of August 2015 where one can still get the visa manually at various points of entry and Kenyan Missions abroad. Starting September 1, only online visa application process will be operation.

In my view this is phenomenal in many ways: One for the first time the government will have an overview of all persons from visa nationals planning to come to Kenya! This is great if you think security….in any case this is the trend globally! Secondly, the cost of procuring the visa stickers will no longer exist meaning that the government will make quite substantial savings and obviously generate much more money from Forex. The visa system will be cashless process meaning that the chances of pilferage of government money is Zero…assuming online fraud is taken care of. In fact the temptation is no longer there even for officers

On the flip-side, there may be possibilities of some Kenya Missions abroad that thrived mostly of visa money having some liquidity issues and most likely scale down their staffing in the consular sections…well this is both good and bad…good to the Kenyan tax payers because of savings from reduction in Foreign service officers….but bad for government officers that saw some opportunities in serving as attaches in Foreign services.

As a matter of fact, this ecitizen initiative alongside the Huduma centres is what really epitomizes the Uhuruto government as digital…not in the talk or the never coming laptops for kids in primary schools. This has created a huge excitement in the international community as many people feel that Kenya is coming of age in public service….my boss who sits in London, after I took her through a tour of Immigration headquarters in Nyayo house this week, was amazed at how Kenya is making a lot of attempts to improve on service delivery…this whole evisa thing blew her off completely! That is the kind of experience that makes me very proud as a Kenyan.

Yes we have our own problems like any other country but we are doing a lot of good stuff!

As a former Immigration officer am also excited that my former colleagues who work day and night sometimes in very difficult conditions will be safe from the possibility of issuing a visa to the wrong person because I am assuming that once one applies online, the guys that we pay to snitch around will be able to to do so quickly and advise accordingly.

I am all smiles that finally Kenya is joining the league of nations where you don’t just walk in…isn’t that what all other countries make us do? well reciprocity is at times fair….well this has come late but still better than never.

I hope my optimism will not be killed by systems not working…I am alive to the fact that there will be some teething problems but we will fix them and forge ahead.

Well done to all those that came up with this idea

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430 thoughts on “KENYA E-VISA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  1. Hi George,

    I have got 2 single entry visa requests in the status approval = draft and bill status = not paid. For both when dispaying the invoice it states that NOT PAID in te corner, but the payment has indeed been made as the credit card overview does state the payments. This has been the status since 22 March and I see no changes on this still. Is this normal and should I wait still or should I contact somebody on this?

    Regards,

    Like

      • Hi George,

        I have telephoned to the numer displayed in the website, spoke to someone and forwarded a mail with details. Still nothing has happened. Can you state which mail account is the admin account which I can address the mail to?

        Regards,

        Robert

        Like

    • Hi George/Robert
      Were you able to sort this out as I have the same problem with 2 evisa applications made on 26/03, I tried sending message via account application and email on 11/04 but no replies

      Like

      • Hi, I am having the same problem, money has been taken out of my account and I still havent heard anything from anyone. I have sent a few emails to the email address given, and yet had no reply. I am unsure what to do.

        Like

      • so sorry George, please ignore my last comment – it was my error, I thought i’d emailed Derek but it was in my draft folder and hadn’t been sent. I have since gotten through to him on the phone and he assures me that he will be able to attend to my issue. I’ll update for the sake of others reading your blog that are in my predicament. Regards Jeremy

        Like

    • Just do an on arrival visa. I did it last night. It took 5 min. No pics uploaded. They take your pic and fingerprints. Collect $50 and your done.

      Like

      • what do you mean by collect $50, those of us with this problem have already paid $50 for visa application that is stuck in cyberspace, are you suggesting we pay another $50 on arrival in Kenya?

        Like

      • I am suggesting until the e visa becomes easier, just wait on do the visa on arrival. If you paid already than you have no choice. But at least you know that you can still get one on arrival if your doesn’t get completed. Yes you will pay $50 more, but at least you will get in Kenya.

        Like

      • i appreciate your replies Troy and George. I understand that my solution is to pay on arrival and i’m happy to prepare to do that, what i’m not prepared to do is let a US$50 charge just slip through uncontested – for me this is a lot of money. I’ve put a claim to my credit card company disputing the charge and hopefully this will help.
        i suspect it’s a computer glitch rather than something untoward from the Kenyan government. Unfortunately the listed email address on the E Visa website goes unreplied to, and the Kenyan consulate in my country is unable to help, and even you George are not sure about this one – so am out of options…

        Like

      • asante sana George, i will do my best to get through to Derrick. just out of interest do you have an email address for him at all as i’m calling from overseas and would appreciate a backup option?
        Mungu Akubariki

        Jeremy

        Like

  2. Hi George,
    I have applied for Kenyan e-visa and now waiting for result. After I reach Nairobi, I have to travel to Uganda for 2 days and finally I will re-enter Kenya to spend few days in Nairobi and depart from Nairobi. Is the one single entry e-visa sufficient or I need another e-visa to re-enter Kenya from Uganda?
    Briefly, 29April arrive Nairobi, 2 May enter Uganda, 4 May re-enter Kenya (nairobi), 4-7 May stay in Nairobi and 8th May depart from Nairobi.
    one single entry Kenyan e-visa is enough for this?
    I am traveling from Japan on 29th April. I need your advice.

    Many thanks,
    Shyam

    Like

  3. Dear George,

    I have have been facing the same issue as Jeremy above. I have been waiting for over a week for my status of “Note Paid / Draft” to change with no luck. (Like Jeremy My credit card statement reflects the payment). Unfortunately I am scheduled to fly out in a week to Kenya and need the visa. Even if I am willing to pay for another visa on arrival at Nairobi, India does not allow passengers to fly out to Kenya without a visa before hand. So I am in a bind and any advise / suggestions you could give me would be most helpful.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Rahul

    Like

    • Hi Rahul, What does it say under the Column Headed “Approval”? Is it Pending or “Issued”? When it shows Issued then you can click on the Action Tab and click on Print E-visa. But I guess if the Bill Status column shows Not Paid then the Approval Column may not show Issued. We have obtained many e-visas for our clients over recent weeks and have always had them issued within 3 days of making payment by visa credit card.
      Good luck

      Like

      • Hi jakegc,

        Thank you for your response. The Status shows as ‘Draft’ . I have other friends who have applied and received their visa already. When I called their helpline number I was simply told that yes lots of people are facing this problem and it will be resolved. But its been a week now. Will keep trying them I guess.

        Regards,
        Rahul

        Like

      • yes Rahul i believe many are affected by this and that it’s a computer glitch. Glad that there are promises to fix it but it doesn’t help you and the urgency of your visa need. Unfortunately the glitch involves your visa card being debited of $52 US which is the problem, otherwise we could all just start again. I fear though, in your case that you’ll need to reapply and hope that your other application fee will be refunded. The other thing you may consider in order to get your funds back is to contact your bank / credit card provider and contest the charge – paid for goods and services not received. hOpe this helps, keep us posted please.
        JEREMY

        Like

  4. Thank you George and Jeremy,

    I am okay with applying for another visa. Have already spoken to my Credit Card company regarding the refund. My question is. Should I simply complete this application i.e. Pay again or should I leave this as it is (incomplete) and apply afresh with the same login/id. Would the system be okay with handling 2 requests?

    Regards,
    Rahul

    Like

    • HI all,
      just an update to let you know I WAS SUCCESSFULLY GRANTED MY VISA ONLINE AND CAN NOW PRINT IT – AFTER MAYBE 6 WEEKS STUCK AT “DRAFT STAGE”.
      This of course is a relief. Now for the pertinent points – I’m not sure if this is the Kenyan government clearing a backlog of cases like mine or if my successful result was because I received personal help from George’s contact at the IMmigration Dept. – Derrick. I certainly was thankful that I was able to get through to Derrick on his mobile and subsequently heard back from him on his email with the good news.
      I hope this extra info helps those that are stuck at draft stage – a few of you, by the sounds,
      Regards,

      Jeremy

      Like

      • Thank you George,

        So just to confirm. I should not repay on the same application (Current one that is showing draft) but Apply afresh on the same Login username

        Thank you again for all your help

        Regards,
        Rahul

        Like

  5. Hi George,

    I just applied for eVisa today and even after payment after six hours it shows pending and no email. But couple of my colleagues who applied and got visa said, they have received the eVisa right away in email, right after submission. I am flying within 4 days and not sure what to do. Is port-entry still available? Or I should contact in any specific email address. Your reply will be a life saver.

    Thanks

    Like

  6. Hi George,

    I have got 2 single entry visa requests in the status approval = draft and bill status = not paid. For both when displaying the invoice it states that NOT PAID in the corner, but the payment has indeed been made as the credit card overview does state the payments. This has been the status since 04th May and I see no changes on this still. please help. I am travelling next week

    Like

      • Nihar, if you read the older comments from this and last month on this blog you’ll see this is a common problem . we don’t know if your issue will be resolved in time for travel. I did have mine fixed after 5-6 weeks of being stuck at draft stage. Either way I’d encourage you to contest your charge with your bank / credit card in the meantime

        Like

      • Hello All,

        I want to post an update on my Visa troubles. On the 4th of May I had applied for 2 visa’s to Kenya. Both showed Unpaid/draft and the status remained as such till last week. I then proceeded to call the Kenya Visa helpline numbers after a couple of times a person Called James managed to help me with one of the Visa’s by rectifying the status. However the second one still didnt get processed (think their system is still going through teething issues and high volumes is creating a backlog – have patience)

        For the second visa i decided to come here for Guidance and help. George helped pass on my details to his friend at the Visa center and the issue with the second visa were resolved promptly within half a day!!! I must thank George again for his time, help and generosity.

        PS. this blog has been a life saver

        Regards,
        Rahul

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve put my date of birth year the wrong way round on my visa I’ve put 7/11 instead of 11/7 should I make a new application

    Like

  8. Hi, George. I filled in all required blanks and uploaded all necessary documents, but stuck at the payment page. I filled in my credit card information, clicked on the button “complete”, but the page gave no response. I’ve tried in different explorers, all not working. Do you have any idea what should I do? Thank you.

    Like

  9. Hello, George;
    We have been to Kenya 2 times in the past 3 years, and are returning next month on a very tight schedule. Is it possible to still get our visa’s upon arrival at NBO, as we have in the past?

    Like

  10. Since we will now have the eVisa when we arrive to Kenya, is the full page sticker still used/placed in our passports? Or is it only a stamp? Just curious.

    Like

  11. I am doing the eVisa ahead of my travel. I am curious, do they still use/place the full page sticker in your passport?…or do they just stamp your passport page if you have the eVisa?

    Like

  12. Hi George,

    I have applied for an E-visa on the 18th of May 2016. Its been 8 days so far and my Visa status still shows as ‘Pending’ while the payment status shows ‘Paid’. I am unable to reach the Visa Queries number provided on the portal. Can you please suggest me an alternate way I can reach out to the Visa Inquiries to speed-en the process.
    Would i have any issues at the immigration here in India if i want to go for a Visa on Arrival?

    Thanks

    Like

    • Hi Sameer. I guess we just need to wait a little bit and see if it will be approved. You can get visa on arrival in Kenya as well but am not sure about the issue your Immigration would have if you are departing without a visa although I have heard a few people say Indian Immigration officials have issues with that. please find out that from your end if possible to get the accurate position.

      Like

  13. Hello George, I am glad I found your interesting blog! Last friday, three days ago we aplied for our visa. I made an account of my own as one for my husband. Accidantely my husband applied for his visa while the account was still logged in on mine. It is payed put keeps the message ‘pending’. Is that because of the mistaken that visa names dont match with account name? Will it give problems? What is your advise? Aply for a new one on his own account? But that will be a double apply. We will travel 13 june so still have some time… Will appriciate your advise,
    Kind regards,
    Gertrude

    Like

  14. We have applied for an evisa with no problem at all it was through within a few days however on checking it the passport end dates reads 9 September rather than the 8 September. Is this a problem? do I need a new evisa? I have emailed a couple of times but just need to check as its a school visit and don’t want son to have any issues. Thanks.

    Like

  15. I am flying on 10 and I paid for my visa 2 days back and so far no reply ..I tried calling on the phone but nothe going through..can I still travel and my immigration is going to allow me..please guide me

    Like

  16. I applied for my e visa on 7 and I am traveling on 10 and I am still waiting for my visa ..if I am not getting the visa on time can I still travel …I hope my immigration is not going to stop me.

    Like

  17. Hello. I applied for a visa and I got accepted but i found out my pssport number was wrong. What should I do? I can not find any contact numbers that answer. Any help?

    Like

  18. Hi George,

    When applying online, there is a section that asks for port of entry and ship entry. Yet I have mentioned am travelling by air. What should I enter there?

    Like

  19. Tried twice yesterday, and 102 USD was ripped from my account because of website problems. Ironic that you describe this as a move towards “wealthier” countries and how they do it, when this in the real life means that you steal money from potential visitors. The number that is circulating from you is of course just scam, no one answers and I don’t expect to get any support either.

    Good look with developing your country, seem to me you are taking progress on being more isolated and poor than ever.

    Like

    • Steve you are entitled to your opinion and feeling just like all of us are entitled to ours. You are the first person I have met in this forum with such a language. One thing I need to clarify is that I am not a government and I dont work for Immigration. This is my personal blog where I share my ten cent worth of advisory and support. You are mis directing you anger. People come here to request my support in unlocking their challenges with Immigration. I will assume you came here to vent your anger and will allow you to do just that. If and when you require my help you are welcome. I am a decent and civil person and as such will approve your comments for all to see. If you came here to fight am sorry it is the wrong person…..just check all the comments from people all over the world and ask yourself if yours has a place here.

      Like

  20. Hi George,
    It is a relief to find this blog, and so much sharing of experiences ! Just wanted to share mine and request for suggestions, too.

    I applied for a single entry visa on 15 June, the status is ‘paid’ and I have printed the invoice, but the approval is still ‘pending’.
    I also wrote to the official email address, and got a prompt reply from the director, which was good, but which requested me to share my credit card details, which I was not comfortable about.
    So I am still waiting, but really worried as the visa was supposed to be here by 48 hours? I do not even know if the immigration in Nepal will allow me to leave without some kind of confirmation. Sad 😦
    Waiting to hear your thoughts.

    Richa

    Like

  21. Hi George, I’m trying to register on ecitizen to renew my Kenyan passport. It is saying my ID is already in use! What should I do?

    Like

  22. Hi George.

    I am trying to register on the ecitizen portal so that I can renew my Kenyan passport. It is indicating that my ID is already in use. Kindly advise what I can do.

    Thanks.

    Like

  23. Hi George ,
    I applied for a Kenya visa on Monday and recieved it within 48 hours , the only problem is however , I have been charged twice (102 usd in total ) , I can prove this with my bank statement but I have only applied for and been given one single entry visa. Can you please inform me what can be done .
    Thanks
    Shanur

    Like

  24. Hi George .
    I recently applied for a Kenya visa on Monday and received it within 48 hours . The only problem however is that I have been charged twice which I can prove with my bank statements . So 102 usd in total has been taken . But I have only applied for and recieved one single entry visa . Can you please inform me of what I can do .
    Thanks
    Shanur

    Like

  25. Hi George
    I submitted an application for a single entry visa to Kenya on the 15th June 2016. The visa was approved and issued within 48 hours. However they have taken the payment and processing fee from my account twice therefore charging me double, which I am very unhappy about. As can be seen from the application records, I have only applied for and received one single entry visa and one single billing invoice. please inform me what can be done.
    thanks
    shanur

    Like

  26. Hello Everyone!

    Just here to tell you that I requested George for support in getting a visa to Kenya on Friday (17 June), as my visa had not been approved even after three days. Within just 10 minutes of the immigration office opening today morning, George had discussed my problem with the head of immigration, and my visa was issued ! This is really impressive and helpful, and besides the fact that I am really happy to get my visa, I am even happier about the fact that there are people like George who take time out to help people on the other side of the world, with such ease and friendliness.

    You are a superstar, George ! Your country must be so proud of you.

    Thanks again πŸ™‚

    Like

  27. Hello George,
    I submitted a single entry visa application online last Thursday 6/16. It is still listed in “Paid” and “Pending” status. The charge has already cleared my credit card. Are you able to assist in getting my visa application processed? The application reference number is SE-AAABQRO7. Thank you for your help and advice.

    Like

  28. Hello George, I submitted an application online for a single entry visa last Thursday, 6/16. The status online is still listed as “Paid” and “Pending”. Are you able to assist with getting my application processed? Thank you for your help!

    Like

  29. hi George, I applied for a visa on 21.6.16 and have paid through my CC which has been charged but the status remains as “unpaid”. I need to travel in the next week but have not received any response from the portal. please can you help

    Like

  30. Hi,

    As my fiancee applied for visa (and got approved), some sketchy withdrawals from her account of hundreds of dollars have occurred. It seems like someone in the immigration office has used her credit card to do private shopping, which is a very serious act in my opinion. Any help?

    /Carl

    Like

  31. Can you please update me on what is being done about my refund request , since I have been charged for one single entry visa three times, it’s very convenient how when it came to taking the payment there were no delays however upon filling out the refund request form there is no response or even update despite me sending numerous emails.

    Like

    • Sorry Shanur, you need to follow the refund issue with the government of Kenya. I am not in a position to address that. May be I need to clarify that I don’t work for Kenya Immigration. There are things I can help and others I can’t help.

      Like

  32. Hi George, I don’t have a last name(surname) in my passport, I only have the first name. will there be a problem while getting visa on arrival in kenya(I am a resident of India) if that matters. ?? Also which currency do i need to carry when i get there for visa fees?

    Like

  33. I am not sure if I uploaded the right picture size requirement, worrried if that will count as incomplete application. Please advise as my application is still in pending status!

    Like

  34. Hi George. I am applying for my e-visa for Kenya and am unsure as to what supporting document to attach. Is my hotel booking confirmation sufficient? Many thanks, Sara.

    Like

  35. I have printed my Visa but my date of birth is the wrong. My Dob is 9/5/86 but it says 5/9/86! What should I do? All other details are correct.

    Thanks

    Like

  36. Hi George,
    I applied on 27th June for 2 x visas for myself and my wife. She’s from the UK and I’m from Republic of Ireland. We arrive on 16th August but I mistakenly put the visa start date as 17th (our flight was changed by Qatar). I’ve written to the visa office and submitted messages within the visa application page but nothing back. Do you think this will be a problem? Also, mu 10 year old daughter is coming, I’ve read she doesn’t need a visa, is that correct? Thanks in advance.
    Cheers,
    Jim

    Like

  37. Hey.
    My family and I have a alien pas (I think you guys called it travel documents) but how many days should i wait to get my evisa??

    Like

    • With a travel document, if my understanding is right, it is not a passport but a document issued by your country of residence to facilitate you travel. I think you will need to apply for a referred visa that will be processed from Nairobi before you can book your flight. You cannot get evisa on a Travel document.

      Like

  38. George,

    I hope this message finds you well! I’ve sent in my visa application through ecitizen and have received a reference number and have made all necessary payments for said visa. Unfortunately, I’ve waited until the last minute to do this (and have truly learned my lesson now) and fear my visa will not be processed and issued in time of my departure tomorrow. If this remains the case, is it still possible to obtain a visa at NBO upon arrival? For more context, if necessary and at all meaningful, I’ll be leaving from San Francisco (SFO) and am a Unitized States citizen. Thanks for all and any advice and response you can offer!

    Like

  39. Hello George,

    I hope you can help me? I have applied for and received a visa, however the Nationality is incorrect, it says United Kingdom instead of Ireland. My profile has my nationality correct as Ireland. Can I change the nationality on my visa, or will I have to pay for a new one?

    I have sent two messages on the eCitizen website but have had no reply.

    Thank you

    Ciara

    Like

  40. Hi George,

    Thanks a lot for running this forum, it looks like it has helped a few of us.

    I received my e-visa but my nationality is incorrect. All other data are correct. I emailed the contact email provided on the e-visa website and document and someone replied asking for my card details as proof of payment prior to amending the error. I provided the invoice as proof of payment. Nothing has been amended and a fraudulent payment has been made with my card. This has been reported as fraud to my local authorities.

    Regarding the error, can this be pointed out to the immigration officer on arrival to Kenya or will I need another visa?

    Many thanks.

    Like

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