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Categories of Work Permits in Kenya 

Kenya has tightened its immigration regulations in recent years, making it harder for foreigners to obtain work permits. Companies are required to comply with the laws of the country in hiring foreign employees.  

Descriptions of the Various Categories  

Class A work permits are issued to those who want to do mining or mineral sourcing and trading. One must reveal all the capital and necessary resources needed in the business for them to be eligible for the permit.  

Class B work permit is issued to those who want to invest in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. One is required to show proof of land ownership or lease and capital to invest. 

Class D is issued to those who want to be employed by an employer who is authorised by the government to employ international people.  

Class F is issued to people who want to engage in specific manufacturing activities.  

Class G is issued to people who want to venture in specific trade, business or consultancy.  

Class I is issued to individuals undertaking religious or charitable activities and they should prove to the government how their existence will benefit the people of Kenya.  

Class K is issued to people who have income derived from sources outside Kenya, and they agree not to undertake any kind of paid employment in Kenya.  

Class M work permits are for refugees in Kenya. This permit is for anyone granted refugee status in the country. 

In summary, all these classes of work permits are issued depending on your purpose of staying or visiting Kenya. Each type of Kenya work permit has its specific documentation, but they all require the following: 

  • Filled out and signed application form 
  • Cover letter from you, the employer 
  • Copies of the foreigner’s passport 
  • Two color, passport-size photos 
  • Payment of the application fee (Government fees) 

The employees can renew their work permits an unlimited number of times, but they must do it at least three months before the permit expires. Kenya emphasizes hiring locals over foreign nationals, which is why a committee at the State Department for Immigration Services decides whether to approve or reject a work permit application based on the impact the employment will have on the country’s economy. 

Applicants for work permits are not required to meet a minimum salary threshold; however, each application must have a trained Kenyan understudy ready to fill the role. Any foreign national entering Kenya without a valid work permit or visa is prohibited by the country’s Citizenship and Immigration Act. Your employees will be deported if they report at the workplace without the required paperwork. You must wait for the application to be approved, as simply applying doesn’t entitle someone to work in Kenya.