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Kenya/work permit


dear Margaret Kariuki
i have been working as a volunteer in Kenya since 2011 but after April 2013 my working permit class A will be expired.
i want to continue my volunteer work every year for only a period of e few month (from November till march every year).

i am running a community project which is benefiting the Kenyan people since it has created many jobs and has boosted the local building and construction industry while creating environmental awareness at county level.
but since the fees for working permits have doubled it is no longer possible for me to pay the high fees in order to do unpaid volunteer work!

can you guide me to a solution for getting the right permit.
can i maybe apply for special pass since i am co-director of a registered business in Kenya?
or can i marry a Kenyan and get a dependents pass?
is there any other permit i can apply for in order to continue my engagement in Kenya?

thank you in advance for your help

Hi there,

Thank you for your query.

Let have a look at your options;

Marrying a Kenyan:
To get a dependant pass through this route, the immigration officer will first have to be satisfied that 'the Kenyan spouse' can maintain you. It will then take 7 years before you can apply for Kenya citizenship. If she is no longer maintaining you, the pass may be revoked.

Business in Kenya;
Class G: Specific trade, business or consultancy
A person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific trade, business, consultancy or profession (other than a prescribed profession) in Kenya, and who:-

(a)    has obtained any licence, registration or other authority or permission that may be necessary for the purpose; and
(b)    has in his own right and at his full and free disposition sufficient capital and other resources for the purpose; and
(c)    whose engagement in trade, business, consultancy or profession will be of benefit to Kenya.

Voluntary Activities in Kenya:
Class K:  
A person who-
(a)    is not less that thirty-five years of age; and
(b)    has in his own right and at his full and free disposition an assured annual income of not less than the prescribed amount that is derived from sources other than any such employment, occupation, trade, business or profession as is referred to in the description of any of the classes specified in this Schedule, and being an income that either-
(i)    is derived from sources outside, and will be remitted to Kenya; or
(ii)    is derived from pension or annuity payable from, sources in Kenya; and

(c) undertakes not to accept employment, paid or unpaid, or engage in any income generating activity of any kind without a permit of the relevant class; and

(d) whose presence in Kenya will be of benefit to Kenya.

Let me know if your circumstances will allow you to meet any of the above class of permits, then we can discuss further. Are you currently in Kenya as you can meet one of my colleagues for a further chat?


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Margaret Kariuki


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


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Kenya Law Society

Advocate of High Court of Kenya Masters in Law (London School of Economics) Bachelors in Law (University of Warwick)

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