Kenya – Covid-19 – Immigration update

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Update: March 26th, 2020

International flights suspended, quarantine measures implemented and a Daily Curfew

What is the change?

Effective March 25, the government has suspended all international flights until further notice and imposed mandatory quarantine on those arriving in the country before the flight suspension.

Key Points

  • All international flights are suspended, with the exception of cargo flights.
  • Those who arrived before the March 25 deadline must undergo quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense.
  • Kenyans who remain abroad after the deadline are advised to follow the guidelines of the country where they are located.
  • Kenya’s National Emergency Response Committee is imposing social distancing requirements, closing bars and banning religious gatherings. Restaurants are to remain open only for take-away service.
  • Effective Friday, 27th March, 2020; a daily curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. shall be in effect in the territory of the Republic of Kenya, with all movement by persons not authorized to do so.

Earlier this month, the government imposed a travel ban and limited immigration services to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Employers should prepare for significant disruptions to employee mobility and postponement of business travel. Foreign nationals are strongly advised to comply with self-quarantine measures, as those who disobey them may face 14-day quarantine in a government facility at their expense, as well as criminal prosecution. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

Update: March 19th, 2020

The Department of Immigration Services issued notices enumerating measures taken concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, which will affect current provision of immigration services.

What is the change?

In line with the Government of Kenya directives aimed at mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 disease in Kenya, the Department of Immigration has, with effect from 16 March 2020, communicated the decision to reduce access to their offices dealing with passport and foreign nationals management services.

The Department has further directed that only very urgent passport and foreign nationals management services will be provided until further notice.

Impact

The above restriction will affect work permit and pass applications submitted to the Immigration Department and are still awaiting processing and any new applications.

The Department of Immigration has however issued a notice that confirms that where a permit or pass has been paid for and issued in the Immigration system, it is deemed valid from the date of payment and will be collected and endorsed in the passport at a future date.

No official clarification has been provided on other pending applications. A further press release was issued on 17 March 2020 providing telephone contacts of the contact center and confirming that a dropbox has been provided to facilitate submission of applications.

In addition, all persons coming into Kenya from countries with reported COVID-19 cases will not be granted entry into Kenya except Kenyan citizens and foreigners with a valid residence permits. This directive will be in effect for 30 days from 15 March 2020 or such further time as will be advised by the National Emergency response committee. Therefore, it will be important to review travel plans in line with the Government directive.

We expect that there will be delays in the provision of all immigration services considering the restricted access. The Immigration Department has indicated that they will provide guidance in due course and we will closely monitor the situation and advise accordingly.

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Diane Artis

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