Looking to increase the number of international visitors to the country, Kenyan President William Ruto in December announced that Kenya would be going visa-free in 2024. Following that directive, an electronic travel authorization (ETA) system has been put into place, ensuring that all travelers to Kenya are identified in advance.
According to a statement provided this week by Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and National Administration, just under 10,000 ETA applications have been received, with over 4,000 already processed. These are being processed on a priority basis guided by the travel schedule submitted by each applicant.
“The introduction of ETA is premised on the need to have a fair, faster and reliable system that also addresses Kenya’s security and other strategic interests,” the agency said. “Before ETA, citizens from 51 countries enjoyed visa-free entry to Kenya, while travelers from 155 other countries were subject to a visa application process at a cost of $50.”
The entry requirements and applicable payments for all foreign nationals, except for East African Community (EAC) citizens, are now the same irrespective of the country of origin. That ETA fee is $30. Processing time has also decreased. Previously, it took up to 14 days to process visa applications for foreigners; that waiting period has been reduced to a maximum of 72 hours with the new system.
To apply for an ETA, travelers must have a valid passport, input contact details, proof of accommodations and flight information, among other requirements. Applications should be submitted at least three days prior to travel to ensure adequate time for authorization. Travelers can submit their applications up to three months prior to travel and it is highly recommended to do so as soon as they have booked their accommodations and transport tickets.
The ETA is mandatory for all foreign visitors, including children and infants.
Good to know: If you already hold a valid visa for travel to Kenya, you may continue to use that in lieu of the ETA.
Travelers can apply for their ETA at www.etakenya.go.ke.