Security concerns prompt ‘further vetting’ of all immigration applications

20 Jun 14



What is the change? Amid security concerns, Kenya’s Department of Immigration Services has imposed a new process of “further vetting” on all visa and work permit applications.

What does the change mean? The extra steps, which include verification of background and security clearances and other checks, will add an estimated one to two weeks to processing times.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: All applications.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign assignees posted to Kenya.
  • Impact on processing times: An additional one to two weeks to usual processing times.
  • Business impact: There will be costs associated with delays in processing and assignments.

Background: Kenya is facing growing insecurity following a series of attacks by al-Shabab militants from Somalia, including the recent mass shooting of fans watching a World Cup match.

Effective immediately, the Department of Immigration Services has imposed “further vetting” of all applications by nationals of all countries. In the past, this process applied only to nationals of some countries.

“Further vetting” involves three steps:

  1. Verifying that a background and security check on the applicant was properly conducted.
  2. Making sure that the ‘Kenyanization’ Office report is consistent with the government’s recommendations on encouraging the hiring of Kenyan workers.
  3. Confirming that the employer is in compliance with all laws and legal obligations.

BAL Analysis: The expansion of “further vetting” to all applications and all foreign nationals will mean longer processing timelines for all applicants.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Kenya. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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