How to get Kenyan Visa for US Citizens

Travelling abroad is one of many ways to explore and appreciate different cultures around the world. As an American travelling to Kenya, there are specific steps to follow in obtaining a Kenya visa for US citizens.

All foreign citizens wishing to travel to Kenya will need a visa, except citizens from countries who are exempt.

Click HERE for a list of exempted countries.

How to get Kenyan Visa for US Citizens

Before you can apply for a Kenyan Visa, you need some essential travel documents as listed below.

Kenya Visa for US citizens required docs

  1. Passport

To enter Kenya; one’s passport needs to be valid for at least six months from the date of entry and with at least two blank pages.

2. Visas

One needs to either apply for a single entry visa, a transit visa or a courtesy visa.

You can pay for the Visas securely using a VISA or Master card.

You can either obtain a Kenyan visa either on arrival or online from the embassy or high commission.

single entry visa, which as the name suggests, is a single entry issued to the citizen for business, tourism or medical reasons.

The other type of visa is the Transit Visa, which is issued to persons connecting through Kenya to other destinations for a period not exceeding 72 hours.

Those connecting flights directly without leaving the airport don’t need to apply for Transit visas.

The last and final type of visa is the Courtesy Visa, which is issued to Diplomatic, Official and Service passport holders free of charge.

3. Photo Requirements

  • DO NOT take a photograph of or scan the photo in your passport.
  • You must take a photograph within the past six months, showing your current appearance.
  • The photograph must be in colour.
  • Must show your full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background.
  • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline.
  • If you usually wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture.
  • Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons.

4. Basic Requirements

For one to be eligible to apply for a Kenya Visa, you need to have at hand a valid travel document not less than six months.

Kenyan Immigration has instituted a strict visa policy whereby all visitors are strongly encouraged to obtain visas by using an online system. However, permits are available upon arrival at international ports of entry including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

You should have proof of yellow fever immunisations, or you may be denied entry.

In December 2018, the Kenyan government announced a new work permit program that requires foreigners to apply for permits and visas from their country of origin. It is recommended that work permit applications be submitted 6-8 weeks before travel.

People already in Kenya working on a permit should submit renewal applications at last 90 days before the permit expires.

For additional information on immunisations and detailed country-specific recommendations on vaccinations and other health precautions for travellers to Kenya, visit the CDC’s Travelers’ Health website

Cost of Kenyan Visas for US Citizens

A Transit eVisa/Visa on arrival will cost an individual $21 while a single-entry eVisa/Visa on arrival will cost you $51.

Applicants are advised to allow two days for e-visa processing and three days if applying via the Embassy or High Commission.

Just in case you decide to explore more of Kenya, you can extend your stay for up to 90 days.

The maximum stay for a person can only extend for six months and not more.

Facts about Kenya

Kenya is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most beautiful countries, and thousands of travellers visit every year without incident. With careful planning, it is still possible to safely enjoy the many incredible things that Kenya has to offer.

The Kenyan government has made things easier for all, in that you can access all government services online using the E-Citizen platform (

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Beth is a Kenyan Journalist with a passion in matters Kenya. She is knowledgable about the country of Kenya and shares her knowledge with our readers.

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