Regulations for Foreigners Seeking Jobs in Kenya

  • A signpost showing the Department of Immigration Headquarters in Zimbabwe
    A signpost showing the Department of Immigration Headquarters in Zimbabwe.
  • Foreign nationals seeking to work in Kenya are required to have a permit, issued through the Department of Immigration Services (DIS).

    According to DIS, a class D permit is required for any foreigner seeking employment in Kenya. This license is issued to any person offered specific employment under the control of the government or an approved technical aid agency.

    The permit is given to any individual who proves they have skills or qualifications that are evidently not available in Kenya and will positively benefit the nation.

    Nairobi Expressway workers on site
    Nairobi Expressway workers on site

    Any company planning to hire a foreigner needs to provide the details of an understudy who will be trained to fulfill the tasks any foreign national will be conducting in the industry.

    Currently, the DIS has put in place a database with details on understudies, foreigners, and the permits they are associated with. Also, the department is implementing a call policy for all understudies for verification.

    Concerning academic qualifications, DIS has intensified the verification process to ensure the suitability of any foreigner in Kenya. In addition, if the foreigner lacks the required academic qualifications, adequate and detailed reference letters can substitute.

    Here are some of the requirements for a class D permit;

    You need a filled and signed Issuance/permit renewal online form and Report on Employment. Also include two copies of a detailed and signed cover letter from the organization addressed to the Director of Immigration.

    As a foreigner, you will also need copies of a valid passport and two recent passport-size colored photos. The current immigration status if in the country is required.

    In the case that your documents are in a foreign language, will be translated into English. Also, include a copy of any previous permit (s) or pass (es) held in the past.

    While including the name of the Kenyan understudy, include your curriculum vitae, academic and professional certificates and those of the understudy, and any other required information like contact and address.

    A clearance letter from the previous institution(s) should be attached with the certificate of the organization's registration.

    For any new cases, a valid organization Tax Compliance Certificate is required. While for renewal cases, the organization and individual Tax Compliance Certificates from Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) are necessary.

    The whole process costs a non-refundable fee of Ksh10,000. 

    People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.
    People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.
    Daily Nation