Travelers who intend to make several trips to Kenya are often unsure which type of visa they should apply for, a single-entry or a multiple-entry Kenya visa.
The multiple-entry visa is mainly for business people who need to make numerous trips to Kenya for work purposes. In such cases, a multiple-entry visa may be beneficial as there is no need to reapply before each trip.
However, the multiple-entry visa application is more complex and takes longer to complete than the eVisa process. For this reason, many business people prefer to apply for a new single-entry visa online each time.
This article weighs up the pros and cons of multiple and single-entry eVisa for Kenya to help visitors decide which is the best option for them.
Single-Entry vs Multiple-Entry Kenya Visa
Undecided travelers should carefully consider whether the benefits of the multiple-entry visa for Kenya outweigh the negatives. Important points include the difference in visa processing times, the additional multiple-entry visa requirements, and the higher fees.
Visitors should note that it is possible to travel from Kenya to Tanzania and/or Uganda and re-enter Kenya using a single-entry tourist visa. A multiple entry visa is not necessary in this case.
How to Apply for a Multiple-Entry Visa for Kenya
Multiple-entry visas for Kenya require approval from the office of the Director of Immigration Services in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. The application can either be delivered in person or by courier, some Kenyan embassies may arrange this.
Travelers who are already in Kenya with a single-entry eVisa can make the most of their trip and go to Immigration HQ in Nairobi (visa services are only available on certain days of the week). Foreigners who choose this option will also need to return the following day to collect their visa.
Individuals sending their visa documents by post must begin the application well in advance to allow for any delays with the postal system. A secure, self-addressed envelope should be included for the issued documents to be sent.
The single-entry Kenya eVisa application process, however, is fully online. All supporting documents are uploaded digitally with no need to present paperwork in person at a Kenyan embassy or immigration office. The application can be completed 24 hours a day, at the time most convenient for the traveler. On approval, the eVisa is sent to the applicant via email.
How long does it take to process a multiple-entry visa for Kenya?
Multiple-entry visa requests made in person at Immigration HQ in Nairobi before 12.30 pm should be ready for collection the following working day from 2 pm provided there are no issues with the form and all supporting documents are present.
Postal Kenya multiple-entry visa applications take up to 2 months to process. It’s essential that applicants allow plenty of time for the posting and processing in order to avoid disrupted travel plans.
The Kenya eVisa online form can be completed in a matter of minutes. Processing times range from 24 to 72 hours, most applicants will receive their approved eVisa in their inbox within a day or 2 of submitting the request.
How much is a multiple-entry visa for Kenya?
A multiple-entry visa is more expensive than the single-entry fee. Depending on the number of trips an individual makes to Kenya, it can work out more or less economical than applying for several single-entry visas.
If applying in person in Nairobi, the fee must be paid in full in cash whilst fees for the eVisa are paid securely online using a debit or credit card.
How long is a Kenya multiple-entry visa valid for?
A Kenya multiple-entry visa can be valid for either 6 months or 1 year. The duration of the multiple-entry visa should be indicated in a letter from the company or employer.
Travelers with a single-entry eVisa have 3 months from the issue date to enter Kenya.
Extra Kenya Multiple Entry Visa Requirements
There are a number of additional requirements for travelers applying for the multiple-entry visa. This extra documentation is needed to justify numerous trips to the African nation.
In addition to the standard Kenya eVisa requirements, multi-visa applicants must provide the following:
- Letter from the company/employer giving the reason why multiple trips to Kenya are required and specifying whether a 6-month or 1-year visa should be issued.
- Kenya invitation letter from the host/organization to be visited in Kenya OR recommendation letter from employer or school (if a student) which states the reason for the trip.
- Copy of contract or staff identification card.
- Copy of registration certificate of the host company.
- Minimum of 3 previous visas (single or multiple-entry).
As copies of previous visas for Kenya must be provided, the multiple-entry visa is not suitable for first-time visitors.
Foreigners who are unable to provide all the additional supporting documentation should instead opt for a single-entry visa. Another eVisa can be requested when they need to return.