Work Permits

A Work Permit is a document issued by the Director of Immigration Services, under the provisions of section 40 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011, to enable foreign national (s) enter Kenya and engage in trade, prospecting, farming, business, professional employment, missionary activities or even reside in Kenya.

The Director Issues Work/Residence permits upon the recommendation of the Permit Determination Committee, an inter-ministerial Committee appointed by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government under section 40(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011.

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Director regarding work/residence permit applications, may appeal to the Cabinet Secretary, for review of the decision (section 22(1) of Kenya Citizens and Foreign Nationals Management Service Act, 2011).

There are various classes of permits as provided for under Section 36(1), as read with the seventh schedule of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulations, 2012 as listed below: –

Permit

  • Class A: (for prospecting and mining)
    This permit is issued to a person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in prospecting for minerals or mining in Kenya.
  • Class B: (Agriculture and Animal husbandry)
    This permit is issued to a person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in the business of agriculture or animal husbandry in Kenya.
  • Class C: (Prescribed profession)
    This permit is issued to a person who is a member of a prescribed profession who intends to practice that profession, whether alone or in partnership, in Kenya.
  • Class D:(Employment)
    This permit is issued to a person who is offered specific employment by a specific employer, the government of Kenya or any other person or authority under the control of the Government or an approved technical aid scheme under the United Nations Organization or some other approved Agency (not being an exempted person under section 34 (3), who is in possession of skills or qualifications that are not available in Kenya and whose engagement in that employment will be of benefit to Kenya.
  • Class F:(Specific manufacturing)
    This permit is issued to a person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific manufacture in Kenya.
  • Class G:(Specific trade, business or consultancy)
    This permit is issued to a person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific trade, business, consultancy or profession (other than a prescribed profession) in Kenya.
  • Class I: (Approved religious or charitable activities).
    This permit is issued to a person who is a member of an institution registered under the Society’s Act who is engaged as a missionary, Member of a company limited by guarantee, Member of a trust registered under the Trustees Act and is approved by the Government of Kenya, and whose presence in Kenya will be of benefit to Kenya.
  • Class K:(Ordinary residents)
    This permit is issued to a person who is not less that thirty-five years of age; and has in his own right and at his full and free disposition an assured annual income of not less than the prescribed amount that is derived from sources other than any such employment, occupation, trade, business or profession.
  • Class M:(Refugees)
    This permit is issued to a person who has been granted refugee status in Kenya in accordance with the refugee law of Kenya and any spouse of such a refugee who intends to take up employment or engage in a specific occupation, trade, business or profession.

Exemption:

This is issued to any person or class or description of persons, exempted by the Cabinet Secretary from the provisions of obtaining a work permit by notice in the Gazette. (Section 34 (3)(g) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011).

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