Following the Presidential Directive issued on 12th December, 2023 that Kenya will be a “Visa Free” country for all travelers across the world, Visitors to Kenya from across the world no longer require a visa from January 2024 instead the Kenyan government has developed a semi-automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to Kenya called the Republic of Kenya Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA).
The eTA must be applied for by ALL travellers including those that were previously Visa exempt. The eTA comes at a cost of $30.
Kenya citizens and citizens of EAC Partner States are exempt from the eTA.
The eTA application collects biographic information and answers to eligibility questions from the traveller. eTA applications for Kenya should be submitted at least 3 days prior to travel to ensure adequate time for authorisation. Travellers can submit their applications up to 3 months prior to travel.
Each eligible traveller is required to apply for an eTA before starting travel. It is mandatory to use the Government’s official website to submit your application. Applications submitted via third party websites will be automatically denied.
For children under the age of 18, the legal guardian, parent or accompanying adult is responsible for filling in the application. It is recommended that families apply as a group.
Your eTA application fee is non-refundable; the system will require a valid credit or debit card to pay and complete the transaction. Cheques and cash are not accepted by the system. If the payment does not work, please wait a few minutes and try again, or check to make sure you have sufficient funds on the means of payment that you used.
Once you submit your eTA application, the fee is non-refundable, and you cannot transfer it to another person. This is also true if your eTA is denied or if for any reason, including a force majeure, or if there are deviations to your planned journey.
Prior to submitting an application with the required payment information, you can correct all application data fields. If an applicant applied with mistakes, he or she might need to submit a new application. The associated fee will be charged for each new application submitted.
The eTA Standard processing time is three (3) working days but we recommend that Online Applications should be made at least 7 working days prior to travel to give plenty of time for the application process to be completed.
The eTA is valid for one journey (single entry) only and must be redone for each additional journey. It expires once you exit the country.
The travel information is an obligatory section of the application process. Therefore, it is only possible to apply for the eTA after having booked your transport and accommodation. Travelers can submit their applications up to 3 months prior to travel.
- Valid passport Passport validity: Your passport must have at least 6 months left before expiry date and 2 blank pages left for visas.
- Recent passport picture OR a selfie picture taken during application process
- Contact details (home address, telephone, email)
- Travel information and flight itinerary (arrival flight number, date of departure of initial flight in case of connecting flights)
- Proof of booking for the hotel you will be staying at (if staying with friends, a letter of invitation is accepted)
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate if coming from endemic countries (please check the WHO website for the updated list of countries)
- Credit/Debit card information for payment, if applicable
How To Apply Online For eTA
- Click HERE to access the web portal (www.etakenya.go.ke)
- Once on the portal, Click “Apply Now” and follow the instructions
- Make sure that all the data has been entered correctly
- Submit the application
- An email confirming receipt of your application will be sent to you
- An email confirming receipt of payment, if applicable, will be sent to you
- Upon decision by Immigration officer, an email confirming Approval / Refusal will be sent to you
- If your application has been approved, please either print the PDF document that has been attached to the email, OR download the document to your mobile device OR save it in the “Kenya Travel Authorization” mobile app. This is your electronic travel authorization that needs to be shown at all departure and arrival points.
- If your application has been denied, you will not be able to travel to Kenya for the moment.
- You can check the status of your application at any time by visiting the following URL: https://www.etakenya.go.ke
Benefits of Kenya eTA system
- Kenya eTA enables travellers to submit all relevant information and documentation from the comfort of their homes before starting their trip. Travellers can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they meet the requirements for travel to Kenya.
- Travellers do not need to fill out forms on the plane or at arrival anymore.
- Kenya eTA also benefits airlines by simplifying the check-in process. Transport carriers can easily verify that travellers have been authorised to travel by the Government of the Republic of Kenya and are in possession of an approved eTA.
- Kenya eTA will improve arrival processes into the Republic of Kenya by reducing the queues on arrival for health, customs, and immigration inspections.
- Kenya eTA supports the efforts of the Republic of Kenya to digitise its government processes
eTA is valid for a single entry to Kenya. However, the eTA remains valid for more than one entry in case of temporary departure/entry to one or more EAC Partner States: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. A visit to a country outside this block renders re-entry to Kenya subject to a new eTA.
Disclaimer From Government of Kenya:
- An eTA is permission from the Government to travel to the Republic of Kenya and it is obligatory to present a valid eTA during the check-in and boarding process. However, you may still be denied boarding by your carrier if you fail to present other required documents such as your passport and/or boarding pass. In addition, you might be subjected to questioning at the point of departure or arrival. This might result in you being denied access to the means of transport.
- Incomplete applications will be rejected.
- You are only allowed to travel after your application has been approved by the Government of Kenya.