President Barack Obama announced last week that the United States will provide visas valid for five years to Kenyan business travelers and students, and that Kenya would reciprocate by providing five-year visas to U.S. travelers.

“We will extend student and business visas for up to five years for Kenyans traveling to the United States and for Americans traveling to Kenya,” Obama said during a visit to Kenya. “This will make it easier for university students to complete their studies and for businesses to make long-term plans.”

Obama’s announcement did not include an implementation date. Currently, U.S. business visas are valid for one year and student visas are based on the duration of the student’s coursework.

Obama also said the U.S. and Kenya are working establish direct flights between the two countries as soon as possible.

BAL Analysis: The arrangement announced late last week should improve visa procedures and facilitate business and other travel between the U.S. and Kenya. The elimination of the need to annually renew visas is good news for people who travel frequently between the two countries.

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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