Application for Work Permit in Kenya

  • Written by M Thiga
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A work permit is the popular and most used name for an Entry Permit. A work is usually needed by foreigners who come to stay or work in Kenya. There are various classes of work permits which classes are usually designated by numbers (A - M). The Immigration Act and the Rules and Regulations passed pursuant to it provide for the conditions and requirements for the issuance of a work permit. This article shall give a concise look into the requirements for and procedure involved in the application for a work permit in Kenya.

The classes of work permits are:

Class A - Issued to employees for a specific employment with a specific company..

Class D - Issued to a Dependants of a Work Permit holder.

Class E - Issued to members of a missionary society that is approved by the Government.

Class F - Issued to investors in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.

Class G - Issued to mineral or mining prospectors.

Class H - Issued to investors in business or trade who are not of a prescribed profession.

Class I - Issued to investors in the manufacturing industry.

Class J - Issued to professionals in prescribed professions.

Class K - Issued to persons with assured income derived from outside Kenya and who are not to take up paid employment in Kenya.

Class L - Issued to retirees residing in Kenya.

Class M - Issued to Conventional Refugees.

The requirements and procedure for the application and acquisition of a work permit is Kenya are:-

Application for a work permit

An application for a work permit is made by filling in Form 3 appropriately and depending on the Class for which one is applying the same would be done by the Employer, Organisation or by the individual applicant.

All the relevant documentations in respect of the application need to attached to it.

Notification of Approval or Rejection

After the application has been lodged the Immigration department would consider it and either issue a Notification of Approval or a Notification of Rejection depending on their decisions on it.

Security Bond

In the event that the application for work permit is approved a security bond executed in terms of Form 19 need to be forwarded to the Immigration Office together with the appropriate official fee the latter whose amount depends on the class applied for.

Issuance of a work permit

On the provision of the Security Bond above and the payment of the Official Fee a Work Permit is issued to the applicant the same which would then need to be endorsed on the individual’s passport.

The Re-entry Pass

On obtaining the work permit it is important to obtain the re-entry pass as well as without a re-entry pass if you were to leave the country you would not be able to re-enter and stay on the already obtained work permit. The re-entry pass would thus allow you to enter and leave Kenya multiple times over the validity period of your work permit.  The relevant form for the application for a re-entry pass is Form 16.

Alien Registration

If your permit allow you to remain in Kenya for more than three (3) months then it is necessary for one to obtain an Alien Registration Card, a card which is more or less like the Naional Identification Card issued to Kenyan Citizens but which shall identify one as an alien. An application for an Alien Card is made in person at the Immigration Offices and is made vide Form A1.

For more information on obtaining work permit in Kenya contact the Kenyan Immigration Office or you can contact us or the writer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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