Website: A new website fully dedicated to the E-Visa (www.evisa.go.ke) will go live this week. This will allow applicants to go straight to the E-Visa application, away from the clutter of other Government services currently offered on the E-Citizen website. The new (and current) website is mobile-phone-enabled, so that applicants can complete the application from an internet-enabled mobile phone.
Speed of Approval: The applications are now being approved within 24 hours. All efforts will be made to move towards real-time approval, to cater for the “last-minute” travellers as well as Charter operations, both of which require quick approvals.
Photos: The difficulty with uploading the required photos has been cited as a concern but the system will now accept photos taken and uploaded from a mobile phone.
Payment: At present the E-Visa system accepts only Debit Cards. but NOT Credit Cards. The need to include Credit cards was raised and is being looked into.
Application by Agents/Tour Operators: As the majority of applications are lodged by Agents or Tour Operators, the E-Visa system will allow local Tour Operators and Overseas Travel Agents to register and make visa applications for tourists intending to visit Kenya. All applications (as many as may be required from time to time) will be made by the Agent / Tour Operator using his/her own company e-mail address but providing the details for each applicant. The approved E-Visas will be returned to the Tour Operator to forward to the client.
Application period for Visas: The visa is valid for 90 days from the date of approval and not from the date of arrival in Kenya. A number of visitors have already applied for and received visa approval even though they are expected to arrive in November 2015 (after the expiry date). The improved E-visa system will automatically reject any visa applications whose date of arrival is outside the validity period.
Key Issues to Note from 1st September, 2015:
The manual application for the visa on arrival will no longer be available with effect from 1st September, 2015.
For a limited period of 60 Days (September and October) there will be E-Visa Kiosks at both JKIA and MIA. These will allow any visitor arriving without a Visa to apply for the E-Visa on arrival and receive real-time approval. This will only be for nationals previously allowed to obtain a visa on arrival.
The disadvantage of this is that there will be a longer delay to enter the country while the Visa is applied for and approved.
No passengers will be turned away at their airport of departure on account of not having a visa. The E-Visa kiosks will enable application on arrival and the Director confirmed that in extreme cases (an emergency), his officers would be able to facilitate a manual application. This would be an exception to the rule.
For visitors requiring to enter Kenya twice from outside East Africa, a facility to apply for “double entry (not the multiple visa) will be added to the E-Visa website.