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Kenya rescinds online visa order for visitors



Kenya has made a U-turn on a requirement that visitors coming into the country apply for online visas days before travel and will now continue to allow foreigners to have their passports stamped on arrival.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who announced the reversal, said the country has encountered challenges in implementing the new online visa system.
He said the manual system would continue so as not to bar the last-minute visitors.

Online e-visas take at least two days to be processed.

On September 1, the government banned manual issuance of visas at Kenya’s points of entry and announced that all visitors would be required to have online visas before they arrive.

“We have had a number of challenges on the implementation of the e-visa and I have, therefore, ordered that application of visa on arrival to the country continues as it were,” the President said.

This will come as good news to tourism sector players who had said the new system could see a drop in the number of tourists to Kenya.

The two visa systems will now run concurrently until a time when the online application would be fully functional. Kenya has in the past accepted visitors from many countries to fly in and have their visas stamped at the airport.

VisaMapper, an online platform that highlights visa-free travel destinations, shows Kenya as one of the most open countries with nationals of most countries getting their visas upon arrival.