What is the change? Kenya is poised to hold its second presidential election of the year, a development that is expected to lead to delays in immigration services.

What does the change mean? Kenya’s Supreme Court ordered that a second election be held no later than Oct. 31 after annulling an Aug. 8 presidential vote. Employers and foreign nationals should anticipate work permit and visa processing delays. 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 election.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing may take longer than usual. The first election led to a backlog of applications that took about a month to clear.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust timelines and start dates in the event that immigration services are delayed.

Background:  President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner in the presidential contest on Aug. 8, but Raila Odinga, who finished second, challenged the result. The Supreme Court determined that Kenya’s electoral commission did not follow proper procedures when tallying the vote, and ordered a second presidential election by Oct. 31.

BAL Analysis: Disruptions in immigration services should be expected in the lead-up to the election as well as afterwards. In the first election, Kenya saw demonstrations before and after the vote, further delaying services. Applications should be filed as early as possible to lessen the impact of anticipated processing delays.

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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