What is the change? Delays in immigration services and increased compliance activity by Kenyan immigration authorities are possible as the country prepares for what could be a tense presidential campaign. The election will be held Aug. 8.

What does the change mean? Employers and foreign nationals should prepare for the possibility of work permit and visa processing delays as well as increased compliance activity. Those in need of timely immigration services should submit applications as early as possible.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas, permits and other government services.
  • Who is affected: Companies and foreign employees seeking government services before and after the Aug. 8 vote.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing may take longer than usual.

Background: The election will not be held until August, but Kenya has already seen demonstrations and, in some cases, violence this election season. The primary campaign ended in April, with veteran Raila Odinga securing the nomination of a coalition of opposition parties. Odinga will be the leading challenger against President Uhuru Kenyatta. The impact on immigration processes may not be as significant as in past elections because the Cabinet Secretary, to whom the Directorate of Immigration reports, is not a member of parliament and, therefore, does not need to devote time to a re-election campaign.

BAL Analysis: Businesses may have to rearrange schedules or start dates if delays become serious. BAL will continue to monitor events in Kenya and provide updates as needed.

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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