Andreas has been asked by the most renowned corporate immigration book to contribute chapters on Africa. We opted for South Africa and Kenya as two of the five main markets. Here you will find our contribution towards the book THE CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LAW REVIEW – EDITION 7 – which is a Business-focused legal analysis and insight in the most significant jurisdictions worldwide:
IV EMPLOYER SPONSORSHIP
Work and residence permits are issued for long-term specific employment, investment, trade, and profession to persons whose presence and engagement will be of benefit to Kenya. Special permits, which are valid for 90 days, may be issued for short-term ventures.
Like many other African countries, Kenya also distinguishes between a permit to conduct work and an admission to sojourn in the country. The latter is assured and allowed through an ‘alien card’ issued to foreigners.
i Work permits
Work permits are issued to any non-Kenyan wishing to engage in employment in Kenya whether in gainful employment or voluntary service. The work permits issued by the Department are categorised in different classes. They are issued under the Kenyan Citizenship and Immigration Act of 2011 of Laws of Kenya. The following are the various classes of permits:
- a for persons who intend to engage in prospecting for minerals or mining;
- b for persons wishing to invest in agriculture and animal husbandry;
- c for members of prescribed professions who intend to practise that profession, whether alone or in partnership in Kenya;
- d for persons who are 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 or some other approved agency (not being an exempted person), 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;
- e for applicants who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific manufacturing business in Kenya;
- f for investors in specific trade, business, consultancy or profession;
- g for members of a missionary society, a member of a company limited by guarantee, a member of a trust registered under the Trustees Act approved by the Government of Kenya and whose presence is beneficial to the country;
- h for persons not under the age of 35 who have a guaranteed annual income (currently US$24,000) derived from outside sources or from a pension or annuity and who undertake not to accept paid employment of any kind; and
- i for conventional refugees.
The government processing fees for the permits are relatively low in comparison to international standards. For Class A, B, C, D, F, G and K permits the non-refundable processing fee is 10,000 Kenyan shillings for each application. The Class I permit is an exception, due to its altruistic nature, the processing fee is only 1,000 shillings. An application for a Class M permit is free.