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Kenya/Canadian applying for volunteer visa/ permit in Kenya

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QUESTION: Hi Okeno,

I have read some of the posts on this board regarding volunteering visa/ permit in Kenya, but I am still quite lost when it comes to what type of visa or permit I need. As I understand, visa is a must for Canadians and permits are only needed if we want to work (paid or unpaid).

I would like to do research work as an unpaid volunteer for a company in Kenya (not an NGO) for 4 months. I am Canadian, but I am currently living in Europe and have no plans to travel back to Canada before I go to Kenya.

- is it possible for me to apply for the single-entry visa upon arrival? (The Canadian website says "It is recommended that visas be obtained prior to departure to avoid delays and difficulties on arrival." so I don't know whether it is possible to get it at the entry point in Kenya).

- is it okay if I apply for the tourist visa to work as an unpaid volunteer?

- which permit do I need for this unpaid volunteer work? Do I need the permit K or something else?

- where could I apply for the permit? At the Canadian embassy or at the entry point in Kenya?

- I am considering to travel to Tanzania before flying back from Kenya. Would it be possible to get a transit visa on my way back from Tanzania to Kenya, or would it be a better option if I apply for a multiple entry visa on the first go?

- from the official website www.immigration.go.ke, it seems that although the visa is only valid for 3 months, it is possible to apply for an extension upon arrival. Is that true, and if yes, what are the procedures (where to get the forms, who to contact etc.?) Is it normally easy for people to get the extension?

Your help is really appreciated. I have been doing a lot of reading but the visa information is always very complicated. Thanks in advance!

Best,
Caroline

ANSWER: Caroline,

Here are the answers to your questions;

- is it possible for me to apply for the single-entry visa upon arrival? (The Canadian website says "It is recommended that visas be obtained prior to departure to avoid delays and difficulties on arrival." so I don't know whether it is possible to get it at the entry point in Kenya).

Yes it is possible. In fact they are offered tourist visas at the airport upon arrival as they clear. I can be at the airport when you arrive and assist with clearance and visa issuance.

- is it okay if I apply for the tourist visa to work as an unpaid volunteer?


This is ok. Many just come in on a tourist visa and then apply for a permit. Class K  is for residents - those coming in to reside. You can apply for a researcher or intern which covers volunteers as well.


- which permit do I need for this unpaid volunteer work? Do I need the permit K or something else?

You can take an interns permit.

- where could I apply for the permit? At the Canadian embassy or at the entry point in Kenya?

Once here, I will do the application for you at the immigration department. It will take few days.


- I am considering to travel to Tanzania before flying back from Kenya. Would it be possible to get a transit visa on my way back from Tanzania to Kenya, or would it be a better option if I apply for a multiple entry visa on the first go?

You can get a permit and when in Kenya to go to TZ and you will only need a passport as opposed to a visa.

- from the official website www.immigration.go.ke, it seems that although the visa is only valid for 3 months, it is possible to apply for an extension upon arrival. Is that true, and if yes, what are the procedures (where to get the forms, who to contact etc.?) Is it normally easy for people to get the extension?

Yes you get an extension at the immigration and more often it is guaranteed so that one need not worry that it could be denied.

Let me know if you need my assistance.

Maggie.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Maggie,

You mentioned the interns permit in your previous reply. Could you please provide more info and tell me which class does it belong to?? I couldn't find it on the official website: www.immigration.go.ke



Thanks again!
Caroline

Answer
Hi Caroline,

In the new Immigration Act, the internship or research pass is provided for under section 29 of the Act and is not exactly categorised in any class of permit. See section below.

Internship or research pass.

29. (1) A person who is seeking to enter or remain in Kenya for the purposes of internship or an academic research within Kenya, may apply an immigration officer, in Form 30 set out in the First Schedule, for an intern and researcherís pass.

(2) An immigration officer may issue an intern or researcherís pass in Form 31 set out in the First Schedule if he is satisfied tható

(a)    the person seeking to enter into or remain in Kenya has been accepted as a researcher or intern in an institution within Kenya; or

(b)    that the intern or researcher  shall remain in Kenya for a period not exceeding twelve months.


Let me know if you need more information or assistance.

Maggie.

Kenya

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Margaret Kariuki

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I can answer most questions relating to civil law in Kenya. This includes Family Law, Commercial Law, Immigration and Conveyancing.

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Legal Issues in Kenya Divorce Procedures Marriage Procedures Adoption in Kenya Trademarks in Kenya Work Permits in Kenya Custody of Children in Kenya Company Registration in Kenya Registering and Winding Up of Companies in Kenya Conveyancing in Kenya UK Immigration Law

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