Kenya

Why Kenya Could Be A Good Choice For Immigration

Republic of Kenya, Commonly known as Kenya is a county in Eastern Africa with the coastline on the Indian Ocean. It is surrounded by savannah, lakelands, Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It is famous for wildlife like Lions, Elephants, Rhinos. Nairobi, safaris visit the Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migration, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Nairobi is Kenya’s capital and largest city, while it’s oldest, currently second largest city, and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. It is bordered by the country South Sudan in the northwest; Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south and Indian Ocean to the south east. Diani beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with white sand and blue water on the coast of Indian ocean. Located thirty kilometers south of Mombasa, in Kwale County.

Kenya is a good place to live. The climate is favorable, people are friendly and nice and the cost of living is generally reasonable. Crime is an undeniable issue especially in Nairobi the capital and Mombasa city. Hence with precautions, presence of mind and tactfulness, foreigners are able to live safe life in this country. Most expats come here for jobs. To get a work contract or to start a business and to live here. The cost of living is much lower than the countries in the North and South America and Europe. People move to this country often develop fondness for this country, the climate, the people and it is common for expats to stay back in this country after retirement. Expatriate and local communities are non-segregated in Kenya. Living here is also a good choice as it has easy to access vacation destinations.

The Following Factors Speak For An Immigration To Kenya

  • Beautiful scenic landscapes and vast wildlife rich savannahs 
  • Good for Adventure
  • Reasonable cost of living
  • English language is widely spoken and accepted 

Traveling information:

Travelling to Kenya is possible by road, by train or by flight depending on the place you live. In this country there are several means of transport you can travel with like buses, trains and commercial flights. It is suggested by the government to reconsider your travel and if it is not necessary postpone the plan as kidnapping, terrorism, sexual assault is increasing day by day in this country especially in bigger cities like Mombasa and Nairobi. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Take a PCR Test and submit the Negative certificate of Covid-19, before initiating travel to Kenya. Always carry a copy of your passport and visa. Keep original documents with you from the starting to end of your trip to Kenya due to security reasons. All the visitors are required to get an e-visa before departing for Kenya. If you are willing to get a multiple entry visa then apply well in advance. Recently, Kenyan government announced a work permit program that requires foreigners to apply for permits and visas from their own country. Submitting work permit applications at least prior to 6-8 weeks of travel is mandatory. After arrival in Kenya, submit a renewal application at least 90 days before your work permit expires.

Documents Required: 

  • Passport with two blank pages and six month validity
  • Passport size photo
  • Kenyan e-visa
  • PCR Test Negative Certificate of Covid-19
  • Proof of yellow fever immunization

For more travel advice please visit: travel.state.gov

How to immigrate:  

If you are planning your visit to Kenya you need a valid passport and a visa, unless you come from a visa free country as citizens of over forty countries are able to travel to Kenya without any visa. Most of these countries are allowed a visa exempt stay up to 90 days in Kenya. Malaysian and South African citizens are only permitted for a stay of 30 days without visa. Although a visa is not needed but a valid passport is must for at least 6 months. Also the citizen of neighboring countries like Rwanda and Uganda can enter Kenya by simply showing the valid national identity proof. As well as Kenyan passport holders living in abroad do not need a visa while visiting Kenya. Additionally, diplomatic or service category passport holder form below mentioned countries do not need a visa. However, ordinary passport holders from these countries are not visa exempt. They must have an approved Kenya Visa to travel. They can apply for online for Kenyan Visa: 

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Israel
  • Iran
  • India (diplomatic passports only)
  • Turkey

There are also some other countries whose citizens holding ordinary passport can enter Kenya without visa for 90 days. If citizens of these countries want to extend their stay for more than 90 days, they need to apply for eVisa for Kenya. Names of these countries and detailed information is available on the below mentioned site.

Travelers from not visa free country require a n approved Kenyan visa, no matter the reason of their trip or the motive for travel to Kenya. It is necessary to apply online for a Kenyan Visa before travelling to this country as there is no provision to get a visa on arrival in Kenya.

Documents required are mentioned below: 

  • Passport valid for 6 minimum months
  • Passport must have one or two blank pages
  • Passport size photo
  • Confirm flight ticket
  • Proof of sufficient funds (Bank Statements)
  • Proof of accommodation in Kenya (hotel bookings or other stay)

For more information please visit:  www.kenyanevisa.com

People: 

People of Kenya have different sides of their personality like they are friendly. There are many different varieties of languages, customs, music, food, dress and art in their culture. They have a sense of community with the sense of individualism. Kenya has surpassed other African countries because of its people with a rich cultural diversity to maintain humanity.  People especially students here are studying with the intention of getting knowledge, connecting and mingling.

There are 42 tribes in Kenya, including different languages and ethnic groups. People are diverse here with their uniqueness, which is visibly abundant. There are many ethnic groups in Kenya. Kikuyu are the best represented ethnic group in jobs of the highest status, like Luo ethnic group. People of these groups hold most of the highest positions in government, business and education sector. Many of them are also fishermen and boat constructors, in cities people work as mechanics and craftsmen. Both hands or the right hand is used to give or to accept a thing, using the left hand is considered rude in their culture just as some other Asian Countries. Taking photograph without permission is also not good here.

Many Masai and Samburu people are working as forest rangers and safari guides along on the coast merchants and storekeepers are either Indians or Arab decent. Farming is also done by people and children start helping them at very early age. Elderly people do not sit back at home; they keep working as long as they have physical strength.

Job offers:

Getting a job in Kenya is difficult. To get a job ‘connection’ is important, like having a local friend or some family member, who is already working here. Without connections landing a job is almost impossible for people. The jobless rate is high but still people are landing job here in Kenya. The thing is you need to be smart. Being smart is keeping the right job search knowledge that will keep rest of the job candidates behind you in the competition. Only on the basis of university degree you will not be able to land a job in Kenya as every year 50k plus students graduate from public and private universities. But there is hope for you to get a job here as the quality of education is poor in Kenyan Universities and the employers need highly qualified persons on the vacant post. Also there are some key points you must work on like discovering yourself, access the hidden job market, Search online and then apply for jobs, Prepare a perfect CV format and then submit it, be smart but not oversmart. Highest paying jobs in Kenya are in the Finance Sector, Medicine, Piloting, Architecture, Politics, Science, Law, Media, Lecturer and Engineering. According to a fresh survey lowest paying jobs are working as a maid in Kenya.  

How to get a job: 

  • Create a perfect CV
  • Search and apply for jobs
  • Send applications directly to employers
  • Prepare yourself for job interviews
  • Take up internships or volunteer roles
  • Apply to small companies if needed.
  • Learn in demand skills
  • Sign a contract offered by Company.
  • Submit your documents in order to get a job.

For more information please visit: www.myjobmag.co.ke

Unemployment rate:

According to a report the unemployment rate in the Kenya was 5.4% in the year 2020, and then in 2021 this rate increased up to 6.6% in the first three months. It was also higher than first quarter in 2020, when the 5.2% people of Kenya were unemployed from age 15 years to 64 years. In this year this expected by the Trading Economics global macro models and analysts experts that the jobless rate will be 7.0% in 2022. The unemployment is a major problem in Kenya because of the lack of creating opportunities which will give graduates plenty of jobs. Nepotism, favourism and Tribalism are also some factors that barred many deserving young locals or expats seeking jobs. Other causes are fast growing population and labour force, skill mismatching, lack of enough information in the market, structural adjustment programs, sluggish and declining economic growth and the market setup. 

For more information please visit: tradingeconomics.com

Economy:  

The Kenyan economy is largest in East Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in whole Africa continent. Its economy is a market based economy with few state enterprises. Majorly it is depended on industries like agricultural products, forestry, mining, fishing, energy tourism, manufacturing and financial services. Kenya has the third largest economy in Sub Saharan Africa after Nigeria and South Africa. Economic growth in this country has shown resilience towards the covid-19 quake, with showing results in the first six months of the year coming above pre pandemic levels driven by a rebound in the service sector. According to the econometric models GDP in Kenya is expected to reach approximately 107.00 USD Billion in the year 2022. Main industries supporting the economy are Small scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour), horticulture, oil refining, aluminum, steel, lead, cement, commercial ship repair, information technology. Export materials are Tea, horticultural products, fish, cement, apparel. Kenya’s import partners are countries like China, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Africa.

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Renting and buying of real estates for foreigners:

Renting:

Renting a house gives some flexibility which a permanent house will not provide. For foreigners and locals, renting a property is affordable than buying a place as the prices of the properties have plumped in recent years. Most of the people, more than half of the population in Nairobi are renters. Renting an apartment or a house is cheaper in Kenya than buying a property. The amount of rent may vary from city to city as it depends on the neighborhood, market, size of the property, main city. Prices in the major cities are comparatively higher than the rural areas.

Major cities like Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, etc are expensive. Some of the cheaper cities are Eldoret, Kitale, Naivasha and Kakamega, etc. To buy a property you need a mortgage which has few loopholes like high interest, cost of house is already high, high incidental cost (legal fee, valuation, stamp duty), low cost of income. You can search for an accommodation online or hire a broker. This will save your time and energy. They will help you to find a reliable and comfortable accommodation. Both the furnished and unfurnished flats are available.

Documents: 

  • Passport Photocopy
  • Identity Proof
  • Photos passport size
  • Rental agreement

Buying:

Buying a place to live gives a sense of responsibility and happiness. Owning a property in the cities Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru or Kisumu is a bit expensive but most expats or locals choose these places as there are no restrictions on foreigners to buy a property. Expats can own a property in their name Kenya as the Constitution, the Lands Act and the Registration Act with some limitations, gives the right to any person, individually or in association with others to aquire and own land in this country. Foreigners choose to buy here are from Mombasa as many wish to enjoy their after retirement life near the Indian Ocean. Many think or buying a property in Nairobi due to the attractive property prices, as prices are cheaper than the American and European continent.

Here also, while buying a property, prices may vary due to various aspects. For instance, the property is in the city centre or is in outskirts, its size, near the coastline or in the middle of the country, etc. Apart from the house price you will also need to pay the agency fees, notary and lawyer’s fee, acquisition fee, registration fee, etc. It is suggested to hire a lawyer and a translator if you are not good in Swahili or English.

Documents:

  • Passport
  • National Identity Card
  • Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Three photograph passport size
  • Mortgage papers

For more information please visit: www.citizen.digital

Climate:

The climate in Kenya stable with minor seasonal changes.

There are two rainy seasons, first has long rain period and second has short showers. Long rainy season starts from April and ends in June as well as another one, short rainy season comes between Octobers to December.  Rain also falls even at the driest season. 

Spring:  At spring months there is local autumn. Average temperature is 29˚C (84˚F) just like summer. Weather can be complicated. This season starts from the month of March till the month of May.

Summer: The summer is when actual winter comes to the country, which means great weather, except June, the last month of rainy season. This season starts from the month of June with some light rains, ends in the month of August.

Autumn: In the autumn in this country summer weather continues. Weather is pleasant at this time. This season starts from the month of September and ends till the month of November. 

Winter: Average daytime of December is about 32˚C (90˚F) Middle of winter in this country is actually the time of middle climatic summer. This season starts from the month of December and ends in February.

For more information please visit: seasonsyear.com

Languages:

The official language of Kenya is Bantu Swahili and English. Kenya is a multilingual country. The Swahili and English are inherited from colonial rule, are widely spoken as lingua franca. These two languages serve as the official working languages in this country including second language speakers. People here speak in Swahili more than English. Swahili is also known by its native name Kiswahili which is a native language of the people native to Tanzania. This is the language spoken in fourteen countries, namely Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, etc. Swahili is a mix of local Bantu languages and Arabic. Minor languages spoken by the country’s ethnic minorities are:

Cushitic –   Oromo (Borana, Orma), Rendille
Sematic – Arabic
Indo European – Hindustani, English
Bantu – Swahili 

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Traffic:

Mombasa road, Nakuru to Nairobi road, the great north road from Cape town to Cairo and Thika road are some of the busiest roads in Kenya. Few roads are in good condition as most roads are chaotic and have large potholes, bumpy surfaces and rivers flowing over them. Roads of Nairobi are paved despite some potholes. Conditions of the roads in this nation are constantly improving so you may see some sign boards of road works along the way. There are people who does not follow traffic rules in Kenya, so be attentive while driving or riding a bicycle. Here you can rent a car here with a driver. According to the traffic rules, traffic runs on the left hand side of the road. Many locals often drive on the right side of the road whenever they see a pothole or an animal coming towards them. Always beware of poor roads, livestock, pedestrians and cyclists. Acacia thorns are a tire piercing threat in some rural area. Also certain roads have a reputation for bandits on the lookout, so it is suggested to seek local advice before driving around. The speed limit is below 80 km/h or 49 miles/h on the highway and in urban areas the limit is below 50 km/h or 24 miles/h. You will encounter many unmarked speed bumps, so be careful while driving. Avoid driving after dark especially in high risk areas.

Documents needed as a foreigner

  • Vehicle’s registration papers
  • Liability insurance copy
  • Driver’s license (most foreign licenses are accepted)
  • Carnet de passage en douane (a passport for the vehicle which acts as a temporary waiver of duty) 

For more information visit: www.kenyanevisa.com

Currency:

Kenya’s official currency is Shilling (KSh., /=, /-, K, and code KES). Notation in the Kenyan Shilling is written in the form of x/y, x is the amount above 1 shilling while y is the amount in cents. For instance 50 cents is written like “-/50” and 100 shillings as “100/-” or “100/=”. At time ‘KSh’ is prefixed with the currency. The Kenyan Shilling is divided into 100 cents (KSh). The paper currency is in five denominations, which are KSh. 50/=, KSh. 100/=, KSh. 200/=, KSh. 500/=, KSh. 1,000/=. These days KSh. 5/=, KSh. 10/=, KSh. 20/= are rarely used. Coins in KSh. 1/=, KSh. 5/=, KSh. 10/=, KSh. 20/=. There is a coin of KSh. -/50, which nowadays rarely used but is still legal and is in circulation.

Payment Transaction:

Kenyans accept cash, cards or online payment. Cash is the original and the oldest payment method. The coins and notes printed by the legalized bank are accepted in every country. Bank transfers can also be done in this country. Digital wallets are least popular amongst Kenyans. Payment system has transformed over the time with the advanced technology. Furthermore, people and businesses no longer have to use cards and cash to make payments. There are many better and safer ways to make and receive payments online, such as PayPal, Skrill, DusuPay, PesaPal, etc. PayPal is the simplest way to receive payment from anywhere in the world. It is available in more than 230 countries and supports approx 25 currencies. PesaPal, another payment method considered as best in Kenya. PesaPal is already available in approx eight African countries. 

List of online payment methods in Kenya: 

  • Skrill
  • Pesapal
  • DPO
  • iPay
  • PayPal
  • Payu
  • Dusu Pay
  • Rave

For more information visit: urbankenyans.com

Cost of living: 

According to a survey Kenya is the cheaper than sixty percent countries in the African Continent and cost of living here is cheaper than seventy eight percent of countries in the world. Major cities like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu are expensive than rural areas. Average living cost in Kenya depends upon your lifestyle or your current situation, like whether you are working or a student. Cost of living varies from city to city and also if you are staying alone or with your family.         

The average monthly expense for a single person is approximately KSh.1,53,421. And the approx monthly expense will rise if you want to move along with your family of four persons, which will be KSh.2,86,442. Food is cheap compared to housing or dining. If you are staying in a city where you can go by bicycle or by walking to your university or office or live in a city with a good public transport system, then your cost of living will be much lower.

Monthly rent will cost more in the main city than the rent in rural areas. Expense will also rise if you need bigger accommodation, than the smaller one.

Here are some products mentioned below, so that you will get a clear idea of the cost of living: 

Product

Quantity

Amount in (KSh.) 

Whole Fat Milk

1 lit

122.00

Eggs

12 (a dozen)

250.00

Tomatoes

1 Kg (2 lb.)

100.00

Chicken

500 grams (1 lb)

458.00

Dining (Lunch)

Full meal

555.00

Fast food meal

Combo

607.00

Bread

2 loaf

50.00

Internet

8 mbps (1 month)

5,393.00

Cleaning help

Hourly

303.00

Public transport ticket

Monthly

3,661.00

Doctor

Short visit

2,000.00

Movie Tickets

For 2

1,406.00

For more info visit: www.expatistan.com

Apartment Rent:

In many Kenyan cities renting a one bedroom apartment in the city centre cost around as much as a two bedroom apartment outside the city center. If your stay is for short term then there are many sites on the internet to help you get your accommodation. While talking to the landlord or to the real estate agent, take along your Swahili speaking friend with you so that the conversation will be clear and easy as not many Kenyans are fluent in English. The city of Nairobi has the expensive apartments followed by Mombasa and Kisumu in Kenya. Fully furnished one bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost you approximately KSh.51,490 and same apartment, outside city will cost approximately KSh.23,259. A furnished studio apartment of 2 to 3 bedrooms in the city centre will cost you approximately KSh.1,67,129 and outside the city it will cost you approximately KSh.55,335. After visiting on the above given link you will get the ideas of the cost of monthly rent. You will find the apartments online or with the help of a local friend. Property showing websites also mentions prices below so that you can choose according to your need and comfort.

Taxes:

Taxes in Kenya has two main types, direct and indirect tax. The indirect taxes are mandatory on the purchase of goods in this country. Taxes under indirect taxes are excise duty, custom duty and VAT. In Kenya income tax comes under direct tax. This nation’s tax system covers income tax, VAT, customs and excise duty. The regulations are imposed by independent legislators those who governs the taxation system, the main legislator, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has different parts which looks after the above taxes while also managing the authority to undertake reviews on various companies and corporations. The main agenda of this system is to eliminate corruption as it is becoming a major problem day by day in developing nations like Kenya. Income tax is the most important tax used here. It is on the employer to make sure that the employees pay taxes and they have personal identification number (PIN) linked with Kenyan Revenue Authority (KRA). There is a penalty of $22 for every payment given to the employees who do not have a PIN. The income tax rate is 30% for everyone but there are also some exemptions from tax.

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Health Insurance:  

Healthcare system in Kenya is a mixture of the government funded public services, services funded by charities and private services funded by the non-profit organizations. Kenya does not have universal healthcare until now. Government of Kenya is making progress towards expanding the universal healthcare coverage on basic services like maternal, neonatal and child health services. Those who are without health insurance in this country have to struggle to receive the timely and comprehensive medical assistance. The Kenyan healthcare system is managed by National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), which is funded through the payments by employed persons of formal employment sector such as civil servants. Patients receive healthcare from clinics, hospitals and dispensaries. For more serious conditions patients are sent to community clinics or district hospitals. Private insurances are also available in Kenya and they provide many benefits in the medical insurance plan. Private companies like Allianz Insurance Company Ltd., Kenyan Allianz Insurance Company Ltd., APA Insurance, Britam, CIC Group, Kenindia Insurance Company Ltd., etc. are considered as best medical insurance providers in this country.

For more information visit: www.internationalinsurance.com

Important addresses : 

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport:   
Embakasi,
Nairobi,
Kenya,
Ph: +254 20 822111

Moi International Airport:
Moi International Airport Mvita,
Mji wa Kale,
Mombasa,
Kenya
Ph: +254 726 318515

Kisumu International Airport:    
Kisumu, Kenya
Ph: +254 57 2020811

Nairobi Railway Station:   
Nairobi,
Kenya

Mombasa Train Station:       
Miji Kenda St,
Mombasa,
Kenya

Kisumu Railway Station:      
Kisumu,
Kenya

Kenya Mpya Bus Stop:          
PR9G+74R,
Firestation Lane, 
Nairobi,
Kenya
Ph: +254 780 768282

Embassy of United States:   
US Embassy,
United Nations Avenue,  
Off Limuru Rd, Nairobi,
Kenya
Ph: +254 20 3636000

Embassy of Poland:     
Parklands,
Red Hill Road,       
Nairobi,
Kenya
Ph: +254 20 7120019

Embassy of UAE:          
Nyerere Road Next to Zambia High Commission,
Nairobi,       
Kenya
Ph: +254 709 991999

Embassy of Mexico:     
60 Kibagare Way,
Nairobi,
Kenya
Ph: +254 700 751849

Summary:

Kenya, a country in Eastern Africa with Indian Ocean on the coastline with beautiful places, favorable climate and a fun spot for people. Wildlife like Lions, Elephants, Rhinos and Mount Kilimanjaro is worth seeing as well as Nairobi’s safaris visit the Maasai Mara Reserve. Diani beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with white sand and blue water on the coast of Indian Ocean. This nation has great food and many cultural attractions. People are friendly, happy and nice and the cost of living is reasonable. Crime is an undeniable issue especially in Nairobi, the capital city and Mombasa, but with precautions, presence of mind and tactfulness, foreigners are able to live safe life in this country. Job opportunities are available here. To get a work contract or to start a business and to live here expats choose Kenya. The cost of living is much lower than the countries in the America, Middle East and Europe. Kenyan government is also working towards providing good healthcare system to locals as well as foreigners. This country is a good place to live, work or study, but there are still some safety precautions people should take to lessen the risk such as crime and scams. Many Places are safe and fun to visit, if you have a local friend or you know where they are and what areas to ignore.

Moving to Kenya

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