Are you intending on visiting the United States any time in the future?
The process of acquiring a US Visa while in Kenya is no longer as difficult and stressful as it was in the past days.
Before traveling, however, be sure to know the differences between a passport and a visa because you may need both.
In this article, you will find detailed information on how you can easily apply for a USA visa in Kenya.
What is the Difference Between a Passport and a Visa?
What is a Passport?
The main difference between a passport and a visa is that a passport is issued to a country’s citizens for international travel and identification.
A passport is used to verify one’s country of citizenship. If traveling outside your country, it is used to regain entry into your country of citizenship.
Passports include your photo, name, birth date, gender, and physical characteristics.
For U.S. citizens, some countries only require a passport for re-entry. Other countries may require a visa before entry. You should confirm if a country-specific visa* is required before traveling.
Diplomats and government officials are granted different passports than what's given to regular travelers.
What is a Visa?
The main difference between a visa and a passport is that a visa is an endorsement placed within a passport that grants the holder official permission to enter, leave or stay in a country for a specified time period.
The nature of the visit determines the type of visa one can apply.
They are divided into two categories; Immigrant and non-Immigrant visas.
Immigrant Visas are given to Kenyans who want to live permanently in the United States while non-immigrant visas are given to Kenyan citizens who want to visit the USA for a temporary purpose.
The most common visa types are the tourist, student, work and transit visas.
Depending on where you are traveling, a visa can be valid for single or multiple visits.
Some visas require an application to be filed prior to entering the country and other visas are granted upon entering the country.
Certain countries require an interview or medical screening prior to applying for a visa.
Types of Visa
The type of visa you must have is defined by the Kenyan and Visa Regulations and relates to the purpose of your travel.
1. Single Journey Visa
Issued for Single or Multiple entries to persons whose nationalities require visas to enter Kenya.
2. Transit Visa
Issued for periods not exceeding three days to persons whose nationalities require visas to enter Kenya and who intend to transit through Kenya to a different destination.
3. Diplomatic Visa
Issued for Single or Multiple entries to holders of Diplomatic passports who are on official duty. Coming Soon
4. Courtesy/ Official Visa
Issued to persons holding Official or Service passports on Official duty and to Ordinary passport holders who are not entitled to a Diplomatic visa; but where it is considered by the Director to be desirable on the grounds of international courtesy. Coming Soon
5. East Africa Tourist Visa
This is a joint tourist visa that entitles holders to travel to and within the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Uganda for the purpose of tourism. The validity of East Africa Tourist Visa: 90 (Ninety days) Multiple Entry. Coming Soon
What are the Visa requirements
As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
1.) Transit Visa Requirements
You require an onward Ticket to apply for a Transit Visa
2.) Entry Requirements (On Arrival)
Passport Valid for at least Six Months
E- Visa Printout from www.eCitizen.go.ke
Evidence of payment of the application fee which can be paid at any Postbank or you can pay US visa fee via Mpesa.
In case you pay with Mpesa, then you will provide the nine digits that come with the Mpesa message.
Also, note that this fee is non-refundable. The US visa fees in Kenya shillings is 16,800/=.
Evidence of your financial status like an original bank statement from any accredited bank recognized by the Central Bank of Kenya.
Supporting letter e.g. letter from company or Invitation letter for business visits/family visits. or
Hotel bookings/details about places to visit if going as a tourist.
Any other documentation that the US embassy might request for that will back up your traveling reasons.
3.) Student Visa requirements
The following additional documents must accompany your US visa application form.
SEVIS I-901 fee, which must be paid to the Department of Homeland Security for the individual program.
Financial proof to show you can pay for your studies in the US
You must apply for your US visa 4months before your institution resumption date.
A valid 1-20 or DS-2019 indicating that the scholar has paid the unsubsidized education cost.
Application photo requirements
The photograph must be in colour.
It should have a white background.
It should have a close up of your head and top of your shoulders so that your face takes up 70-80% of the photograph.
It should be in sharp focus and clean.
It should be of high quality with no ink marks and creases.
The photograph must show you looking directly at the camera.
It should be 5.5cm * 5.5cm (207px * 207px).
It should show your skin tone naturally.
It should have appropriate brightness and contrast.
The photograph should be a recent one not more than 6 months old.
It is to be taken without headgear.
The photograph can be taken with headgear, after consideration on case to case basis if the applicant wears headgear on religious grounds.
The main characteristics of the face must be apparent from the photograph. Chin, nose, eyes, and eyebrows must not be covered, the forehead should be uncovered to the extent that the shape of the face is apparent.
It should be without a hat/cap.
It should be with the applicant's hair tucked behind his/her ears.
The photograph should not have any staple marks.
Scanned & colour photocopies would NOT be accepted.
US Visa Interview Questions in Kenya
Whenever a person applies for US Visa, the applicant must attend an office interview at the US consulate or embassy in Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya.
Interview appointments are booked online and are handed out in a first-come, first-served criterion.
The US Embassy Nairobi conducts typically office interviews every morning from Monday to Thursday.
Hopefuls without the relevant documentation are not interviewed; hence, you need to double check that you have all forms with you beforehand. Questions asked at the US Embassy in Kenya vary from applicant to applicant as well as the reason for traveling.
Usually, the interview will take approximately five to ten minutes after which the interviewer may accept or reject your visa application or put your case in ‘Administrative Processing.’
How to Apply for a US Visa Online
Most Governments world over are moving towards digitization of their operations.
A.) How to Apply on Ecitizen
1. Click register on www.ecitizen.go.ke.
2. Select Register as a Visitor.
3. Once Logged in, Select Deparment of Immigration services.
4. Select submit Appplication.
5. Select Kenyan Visa.
6. Select the type of Visa and read the Instructions Carefully.
7. Fill in the application form.
8. Pay Using visa card, Mastercard and other debit cards.
9. Await approval via email, then download and print the eVisa from your eCitizen account.
10. Present your printed eVisa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
B.) How to Apply on E-Visa
The procedure of application has now been modified and simplified to a user-friendly mode that takes three simple steps using a dedicated website, the E-Visa portal: www.evisa.go.ke.
E-Visa application makes it possible for visitors to get their Visa in advance hence removing the anxiety of whether one will be able will get it or not at the point of entry.
Here are the simple steps to make your online Application:
Log in to the E-Visa portal: www.evisa.go.ke
Create an account. A single account is all you need for all your future E- Visa applications
Apply and pay. Fill in the application form and print the form. Pay securely using visa, Mastercard or M- PESA.
Download the E- VISA PDF from your E-Visa visitor account.
This will then direct you to a calendar where you can book for a US embassy Nairobi immigrant visa appointment.
Interviews are scheduled at the Kenyan USA Embassy which is located along the United Nations Avenue in Nairobi.
An officer at the USA Embassy will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive the appropriate visa for your travel.
You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken during the process. Usually, the interview takes up to 10 minutes long.
How long does it take to get a Kenyan visa?
The Kenya e-Visas are valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Most Kenya e-Visas allow for stays up to 90 days for each allowed entry. 2-4 Business Days Kenyan visa processing time available.
How long does it take to get an EVisa for Kenya?
EVisa can process rush visas in less than 24 hours, or standard visas in 72 hours.
Note: Some applications are thoroughly reviewed by the Kenyan Government and it could take at least 7 business days to get your E-Visa
Us Embassy contacts in Kenya
Although it's advisable to get a Kenya visa from your country of origin before you travel to Kenya, you can always get one at the Kenya immigration office upon your arrival.
The American Embassy Kenya location is at Gigiri-United Nations Avenue, Nairobi.
In case of any queries concerning applications or US embassy Nairobi visa fees, one can contact the US Embassy on +254-20-619-0600 (in Kenya) or +1 703-988-7112 (in the United States).
Additionally, you can get more information at http://nairobi.usembassy.gov.
Kenyan Embassies and Consulates around the world
Here are the locations of Kenyan embassies and consulates, where you can apply for a visa to Kenya and find more information on Kenya's entry requirements.
Select your continent below to view a list of Kenya's embassies, missions or consulates abroad where you can apply for a Kenya visa.
1. N. AMERICA
Kenya Mission to the United Nations
866 U.N. Plaza, Suite 486 New York, NY 10017, N.Y.
Telephone: 000-1-212-4214740/1/2/3 Telex:42.43.27 Kenya UN
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Washington
2249, R. Street N.W. Washington D.C. 20008
Telephone: 000-1-202-3876101 Fax: 000-1-202-4623829
Consulate General of the Republic of Kenya
Park Mile Plaza, 4801 Willshire Boulevard, Mezzanine Floor
Los Angeles CA 90010 Tel: 000-1-323-9392408 Fax: 1-323-939-2412
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Ottawa
415 Laurier Avenue East Ottawa, Ontario Kin 6r4 Canada
Telephone: 000-1-613-5631773/4/6 Fax: 000-1-613-233-6599
2. S. AMERICA
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Brazil
TEL: +55-6133 640978/+55-6133 640691 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenya Mission to the European Union
Avenue Winston Churchill 208 1180 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: 000-32-2-3401040 Fax: 000-32-2-3401050/62
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Berlin
Markgrafenstr.63 10969 Berlin Federal Republic of Germany
Telephone: 000-49-030-2592660 Fax: 000-49-030-25926650
Kenya Mission of U.N., Geneva
1-3 Avenue De La Paix 1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Telephone: 000-41-22-9064050 Fax: 000-41-22-7312905
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, The Hague
Nieuwe Parklaan 21 2597 the Hague, Netherlands
Telephone: 000-31-70-3504215 Fax: 000-31-70-3553594
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, London
45 Portland Place London, WIN 4AS United Kingdom
Telephone: 000-44-207-632371/5 Fax: 000-44-207-3236717
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Moscow
Kenya Embassy Moscow 119034, Moscow, Russia
Lopukhinsky Pereulok Dom 5 Telephone: 000-7-495-6372186/495-6374257
Fax: 000-7-495-637-5463 Email:email@example.com
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Paris
3 Rue, Freycinet 75116 Paris, France Telephone: 000-331-56622525
Fax: 000-33-1-47204441 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Rue, Miolis 75732 Paris Cedex 15 France
Telephone: 000-33-1-45683280/1 Fax: 000-33-1-44490858
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Rome
Viale Luca Gaurico 205 00143, Rome, Italy Telephone number: +39-068082717
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Stockholm
Birger Jarlsgatan 37, 2nd Floor P. O. Box 7694
103 95 Stockholm, Sweden Telephone: 000-46-8-218300/4/9
Fax: 000-46-8-209261 Email:email@example.com
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Vienna
Neulinggasse 29/8 1030 Vienna, Austria Telephone: 000-43-1-7123919/20
Fax: 000-43-1-7123922 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. ASIA & AUSTRALIA
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Beijing
4xi Liu Jie, San Li Tun Beijing, 100600 China
Telephone: 000-86-10-65323381, 65322473 Fax: 000-86-10-65323325, +86-10-65321770
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Canberra
6th Floor, O.B.E. Building Ainslie Ave 33-35.
G.P.O Box 1990, Canberra, A.C.T. 2601 Australia
Telephone: 000-61-026-2474788 Fax: 000-612-6-2576613
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Islamabad
House No.8A, Embassy Road, Sector F-6/4 P. O. Box 2097, Islamabad, Pakistan
Telephone: 000-92-51-2876024 Fax: 000-92-51-287602 Email: email@example.com
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Kuala Lumpur
8 Jalan Taman U Thant 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telephone: 000-(603)21461163 Fax: 000-(603)21451087 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, New Delhi
34, Paschimi Marg, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi - 110057, India
Telephone: 000-91-11-26146537, 26146538, 6146540
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Tokyo
No. 24-3 Yakumo, 3-Chome, Meguro-Ku, Tokyo 152, Japan
Telephone: 000-81-3-37234006/7Fax: 000-81-3-37234488
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya
62S015 Thong Lor, Sukhumrit 55 Road Klongtan, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Thailand Tel: +66-27125721, 23910906/7 Fax: +66-27125720 Email: email@example.com
Abu Dhabi Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Abu Dhabi
P. O. Box 3854, Abu Dhabi, UAE Telephone: 000-971-6666300
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Riyadh
P. O. Box 94358 Saudi Arabia Telephone: 000-966-1-4881238
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Tehran
46 Golshar Street, off African Avenue P. O. Box 19395/4566, Tehran, Iran
Telephone: 000-98-21-2204-9355/21-2204-3234 Fax: 000-98-21-2204819
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Tel Aviv
15 Abba Hillel St Ramat Gan 52136P. O. Box 52136, Tel Aviv, Israel
Telephone: 000-972-3-5754633 Fax: 000-972-3-5754788
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Abuja
18 Yedseram Street, Maitama, P.M.B 5160, Wuse Head office, Abuja, Nigeria
Telephone: +234-9-4139-155 Fax: +234-9-4139-157 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Addis Ababa
Fikre Mariam Road, Hiher 16 Kebelle 01, P. O. Box 3301 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telephone: 000-251-1-661033 Fax: 000-251-11-6611433 Email: email@example.com
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Bujumbura, Burundi
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Cairo
7 El Mohandesseen, Giza, Cairo P. O. Box 362 Dokki, Egypt. Telephone: 000-20-2-3453628/3453907 Fax: 000-202-2-3026979 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Dar-Es-Salaam
Plot No. 127, Mafinda Street, Kinondoni, P.O Box 5231, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: 000-255-22-2668285/6 Or +255-754785111 Fax: 000-255-22-2668213
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Gaborone
5373, President's Drive Private Bag Bo 297 Gaborone, Botswana
Telephone: 000-267-351408/430 Telex: 2576 Bd Fax: 000-267-351409
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Harare
95 Park Lane P.O Box 4069, Harare, Zimbabwe Telephone: 000-263-4-704820, 704833
Fax: 000-263-4-723042 Email: email@example.com
Consul General Designat
P.O 208, Juba, South Sudan Telephone: +249-811-823664/823665
Fax: +249-811-823666 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Kampala
Plot No. 41, Nakasero Road, P. O. Box 5220, Kampala, Uganda.
Telephone: 006-41-258235/6 Fax: 006-41-258239
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Khartoum
Malik El Agib Street 3, Manshiya P. O. Box 8242, Khartoum, Sudan
Telephone: 000-249-1-83265163/4/5 Fax: 000-249-1-83281233
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Rwanda
Chancery Plot No. 1716 Kacyiru Avenue De L'umuganda B.P 6159, Kacyiru
Kigali, Rwanda Telephone: 000-250-583332-6
Fax: 000-250-510919 Email: Kigali@mfa.go.ke
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Kinshasa
4002 Avenue De Louganda Zone Degombe
P. O. Box 9667, Kinshasa Telephone: 000-243-815554797
Fax: 000-243-815554805 Email: email@example.com
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Lusaka
5207 United Nations Avenue P. O. Box 50298 Lusaka, Zambia
Telephone: 000-260-1-250722/250742/250751 Telegram: Kenyarep Lusaka
Fax: 000-260-1-253829 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Pretoria
302 Brooks Street Menlo Park, 0081, South Africa
Telephone: 000-27-12-3622249,362-2250, 362-2251 Fax: 000-27-12-3622252
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Somalia
N.S.S.F. Building P. O. Box 67454-00200, Nairobi Telephone: 000-254-20-2733883
Fax: 000-254-20-2733887 Email: Somalia@mfa.go.ke
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Libya
Siyehiya Km 7 P.O. Box 74100 Tripoli, Libya
Telephone: 000-218-21-4830536 Fax: 000-218-21-4830536 Email:email@example.com
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya, Windhoek
123 Robert Mugabe Avenue P. O. Box 2889, Windhoek, Namibia
Telephone: 000-264-61-225900, 61-226836 Fax: 000-264-61-221409
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