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Country Information

Kenya

Kenya
Republic of Kenya
Last Updated: December 28, 2017
Exercise increased caution in Kenya due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in Kenya due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Kenya-Somalia border and some coastal areas due to terrorism.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh at all times and Old Town in Mombasa at night due to crime.

Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Local police are willing but often lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks. Emergency medical and fire service is also limited.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting Kenyan and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, and markets/shopping malls. Terrorist acts could include armed assaults, suicide operations, bomb/grenade attacks, and kidnappings.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating in the vicinity of the Kenyan-Somali border, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Kenya:

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Make contingency plans to leave the country.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable). Keep original documents in a secure location. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Kenya.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Kenya-Somalia Border Counties and Coastal Areas

Due to terrorism concerns, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the Kenya-Somalia border counties and coastal areas.

Kenya-Somalia Border Counties

  • Mandera
  • Wajir
  • Garissa

Coastal Areas

  • Tana River county
  • Lamu county
  • Areas of Kilifi county north of Malindi.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Nairobi Neighborhood of Eastleigh and Old Town in Mombasa

Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Street crime can involve multiple armed assailants. Local police often lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. 

Consider carefully whether to use the Likoni ferry in Mombasa due to safety concerns.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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Embassy Messages
Alerts
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

Two pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow Fever 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

100,000 Kenyan Shillings

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Nairobi

United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6170

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Kenya for information on U.S. – Kenya relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Kenyan Immigration has instituted a strict visa policy whereby all visitors are strongly encouraged to obtain visas by using an online system, though visas are available upon arrival at international ports of entry including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

  • A passport with at least two blank pages, six months’ validity, and a visa are required to enter Kenya. 
  • Single-entry visas are available upon arrival at Kenyan airports; however, Kenyan Immigration plans to end visas upon arrival in the near future.
  • Multiple-entry visas must be applied for prior to traveling to Kenya.
  • Obtain the latest information on visas, as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements, from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City.
  • You should have proof of yellow fever immunizations, or you may be denied entry.

For additional information on immunizations and detailed country-specific recommendations on vaccinations and other health precautions for travelers to Kenya, visit the CDC’s Travelers’ Health website.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to, or foreign residents of, Kenya. 

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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Safety and Security

You should review the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Kenya before considering travel to Kenya.

Terrorism: Terrorist threats remain in Kenya, including those aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests, within the Nairobi area, along the coast, and within the northeastern region of the country. 

Terrorist attacks have cumulatively resulted in the death and injury of hundreds of people since 2011. Over the last year, most incidents have occurred in the northeastern border region of the country; there have been no major attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa, or other major cities in the last two years. 

On September 11, 2016, press accounts noted that three women purportedly attacked a police station in Mombasa with knives and petrol bombs, wounding two Kenyan police officers. On October 27, an assailant with a knife attacked a police officer guarding the U.S. Embassy compound in Nairobi.

Regions to avoid:

  • The northeastern Kenyan counties of Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa (including the cities of El Wak, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, and Liboi).
  • All parts of the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu, and all areas of Kilifi county north of Malindi.
  • The Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh.
  • In Mombasa, the U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens visit Old Town only during daylight hours, and avoid using the Likoni ferry due to safety concerns.

The Peace Corps suspended its volunteer activities in 2013 due to security risks. The Peace Corps will continue to assess the security situation in Kenya and return when conditions permit.

CRIME: Crime in Kenya is a regular occurrence and Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter and investigate such acts.

  • Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including home invasions, burglaries, armed carjackings, muggings, and kidnappings can occur at any time.
  • “Matatus” (privately-operated public transportation buses) tend to be targeted since they carry multiple passengers.

Forced Marriage is known to occur in Kenya.

Sexual Assault is prevalent in Kenya and frequently goes unreported.

  • Victims of sexual assault may have difficulty receiving adequate social or medical support
  • Sexual assault has largely been associated with women. However, the sexual assault of men has been a growing trend that often goes unreported because of the stigma associated with it.

Domestic Violence: The Kenyan government has laws that protect its citizens from domestic violence. You should contact your local police station if you feel unsafe or are a victim of domestic violence.

Scams: Scams are known to occur in Kenya. See the Department of State and the FBI webpages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police station and then contact the U.S. Embassy during business hours at +254-(0)20-363-6451, or after-hours at +254-(0) 20-363-6000 in cases of emergency.

Please remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police.
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent.
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms.
  • provide a list of local attorneys.
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution,
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.
  • replace a stolen or lost passport.

Kenya has assistance programs for victims of crime sponsored by nongovernmental organizations.  These programs include but are not limited to the following:

  • Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) has been providing specialized medical treatment and psychosocial support to low income survivors of sexual and domestic violence.
  • Healthcare Assistance Kenya (HAK) offers a 24 hour Rapid Response Service to women and children survivors of Gender Based Violence at its Call Centre as well as a 24 hour toll-free hotline for sexual and gender based violence assistance. 

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Kenya are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • Kenya enacted strict legislation regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Penalties for possessing banned wildlife items under Kenya’s Wildlife Act include large fines and severe penalties, including life imprisonment.

Some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: You should  ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately if you are arrested or detained. See our webpage for further information.

Customs regulations on importing items such as religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency, ivory, rhino horn, and other wildlife products including hides, skins, and teeth into or out of Kenya are strict.  

U.S. citizens have been  detained and arrested for attempting to bring contraband into Kenya. Contact the Embassy of Kenya or one of Kenya’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.  

Alcoholic Drinks Control Act of 2010, which regulates when and where alcoholic drinks may be consumed in public, states that a person found by local law enforcement authorities to be intoxicated or disorderly in or near public areas, including some businesses, may be arrested without warrant and brought to court for trial.

  • If convicted, the maximum fine is 500 Kenyan Shillings and/or imprisonment for a maximum of three months.
  • If convicted three times with the same charge within a 12 month period, you will be required to participate in mandatory rehabilitation at your expense.

More information on this law may be found on Kenya's substance abuse website, NACADA.

Tobacco Control Act 2007 regulates public smoking and the marketing and sale of tobacco products in Kenya. In public places, smoking is allowed only in designated smoking areas.

Currency: You may depart the country with up to 100,000 Kenyan shillings.

  • Destruction of Kenyan currency, even in small amounts, is illegal, and almost always results in arrest and a fine.
  • You should ensure that your U.S. currency bills are relatively new, as banks in Kenya have been known not to accept older U.S. currency. 

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the governing body of Kenya’s national parks, requires all tour operators and safari lodges carry nationally-mandated insurance.  You should:

  • inquire whether prospective safari camps or tour operators are in compliance with this requirement;
  • observe all local or park regulations and exercise appropriate caution in unfamiliar surroundings; and
  • thoroughly check the qualifications and safety record of all tourist lodges and guides before engaging their services and venturing into the wild in their care.

Firearms: Import, possession, and use of firearms is governed by the Kenya Firearms Act. 

  • Import of all firearms, including sporting guns, is prohibited in Kenya except in accordance with the terms of an import permit.
  • Possession of firearms while in Kenya requires a firearms certificate, which can be difficult to obtain.
  • Non-immigrant visitors entering Kenya with firearms whose import is not prohibited (semi-automatic and automatic weapons are prohibited) and which are being imported for personal use, or ammunition for such firearms, must surrender their firearms or ammunition at the port of entry pending receipt of proper permits.
  • Violations of the Kenya Firearms Act are punishable from one year to life imprisonment. 

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers:  Kenyan law criminalizes same-sex sexual activity.

  • Kenyan penal code criminalizes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” which is interpreted to prohibit consensual same-sex sexual activity, and specifies a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.
  • A separate statute specifically criminalizes sex between men and specifies a maximum penalty of 21 years’ imprisonment.
  • Police have detained persons under these laws, particularly suspected sex workers.
  • LGBTI advocacy organizations, such as the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, have been permitted to register and conduct activities. However, societal discrimination based on sexual orientation is widespread. 

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) and Cutting (C): This act is known to occur in Kenya. It is a federal crime to perform FGM/C in the United States on any minor younger than 18 years old, punishable by fines and up to five years in prison.  It is also a criminal offense to knowingly take a minor younger than 18 years old outside of the United States for the purpose of performing FGM/C (so-called “vacation cutting”).

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Although Kenyan law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, the Government of Kenya has not consistently enforced these provisions and implementation has been slow.

  • Access to government or private buildings, medical facilities, restaurants, or other public or private facilities is limited.
  • Accessibility to public transportation and taxis is limited. There is no functioning bus system in Nairobi, but rather an extensive use of vans (“matatus”) that travel along designated routes; taxis are also used.
  • Public transportation and taxis do not accommodate wheelchairs; these vehicles are most often hailed from the side of busy roads.
  • Footpaths along the side of roads are generally unpaved, bumpy, dirt paths, and road crossings are often unmarked.  
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Health

Medical services are adequate in Nairobi for most medical conditions and emergencies. Health care outside of major cities (Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa) is very limited.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Kenya to ensure that the medication is legal in Kenya. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The Government of Kenya requires proof of yellow fever vaccination for travelers who are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road accidents are a major threat to travelers in Kenya. Roads are poorly maintained and are often bumpy, potholed, and unpaved.

  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road, which can be very disorienting to those not accustomed to it.
  • Beware of vehicles traveling at excessive speed, and unpredictable local driving habits.
  • Many vehicles are poorly maintained and lack basic safety equipment.
  • Heavy traffic jams, either due to rush hour or because of accidents, are common.
  • Some vehicles will cross the median strip and drive against the flow of traffic. 

U.S. citizens have been fatally injured in accidents involving long-distance, inter-city buses and local buses and vans called “matatus”. Matatus are commonly known to be the greatest danger to other vehicles and pedestrians.

Injuries and fatalities involving two-wheeled motorcycle taxis, called “boda bodas,” are equally common. Boda bodas often fail to observe basic safety precautions and ignore traffic rules. Inter-city night-time road travel should be avoided due to the poor road and street light conditions and the threat of banditry throughout the country. 

During the rainy season, some unpaved roads are impassable even with four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance. Travelers are urged to consult with local officials regarding road conditions. 

Passenger trains are considered unsafe, particularly during rainy seasons, because of the lack of routine maintenance and safety checks. The Kenya Railway Service normally operates only two days a week.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Kenya’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime: Mariners planning travel to Kenya should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the Maritime Administration (MARAD) website. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Nairobi

United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6170

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Kenya including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Kenya.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Kenya is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Kenya and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  The government of Kenya maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet at Kenya Law Reports on Gender and FamilyParents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kenya and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 1-202-485-6221
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a crime in Kenya.  See the Penal Code Chapter 63 Section 174.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kenya and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States. Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Kenya for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Kenya are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

Mediation may be available for both abduction and access cases. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), Kenya branch, is a professional body for Mediators and Arbitrators in Kenya and can assist in locating a mediator. The CIArb, Kenya branch, does not provide mediation services directly; it provides referrals to private and non-governmental organizations that offer mediation services specific to a client’s needs. Mediation is voluntary.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Kenya and the United States.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Kenya is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions from Convention countries are processed in accordance with the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Kenya.

Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible in Kenya. As reported in our December 13, 2014 adoption alert, on November 27, 2014, the Government of Kenya enacted a moratorium on adoptions of Kenyan children by foreigners for a time period of six months to a year. The Government of Kenya stated their intention to reform intercountry adoption procedures during this time. In our March 10 adoption notice, we reported that on February 20, 2015, the Kenyan government established an expert committee charged with reviewing procedures for both domestic and intercountry adoptions. It is our understanding that the moratorium impacts relative and non-relative adoption alike. The Government of Kenya has not provided any information on the timeline for any reforms to intercountry and domestic adoption procedures, nor has it offered any updated timeline for lifting the moratorium.

The Department of State will provide updated information on adoption.state.gov as it becomes available.

Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Kenya and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi’s website for information on consular services.

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Who Can Adopt
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Who Can Be Adopted
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How to Adopt
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Traveling Abroad
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After Adoption
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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya 
Consular Section
U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 606
Village Market
00621 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 363-6622
Fax: +254 (0)20 363-6410
Email: NairobiAdoptions@State.gov
Internet: ke.usembassy.gov

Kenya’s Adoption Authority
The Adoption Committee
P.O. Box 46205-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 222-8411 ext 30040

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 24 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 $40 Multiple 60 Months
B-2 $40 Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 $40 Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 $40 Multiple 60 Months
F-2 $40 Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 24 Months
G-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-3 None Multiple 24 Months
G-4 None Multiple 24 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A $340.00 N/A N/A3
H-2B $340.00 N/A N/A3
H-2R $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 24 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 24 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 $275.00 Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 $340.00 Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Document Name: Birth Certificate

Issuing Authority: Department of Civil Registration

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Registrar of Births & Deaths

Registration Criteria: Applicants can contact the Registrar of Births to make a late registration of birth. If the office is satisfied with evidence required, late registration will be authorized and a birth certificate will be issued. Please contact the following address for more information:

Director of Civil Registration
Nairobi Civil Registration
Births and Deaths
ACK Bishop’s Building
Nairobi

For upcountry births, applicants should contact the Registrar of Births (Upcountry) at the following address:

Director of Civil Registration
Department of Civil Registration
P.O Box 49179
Hass Plaza
Nairobi

 

Death Certificates

Available

Document Name: Death Certificate

Issuing Authority: Department of Registration of Births & Deaths

Registration Criteria: Burial permit or notification of death, Form D4 (Application for Death Certificate) duly completed, knowledge of date of death where burial permit or notification of death is missing

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Registrar General for copies of death certificates at the following address:

Director of Civil Registration
Nairobi Civil Registration
Births and Deaths
ACK Bishop’s Building
Nairobi

Comments: Civil Registration services are available online through eCitizen: ecitizen.go.ke. The official government platform for obtaining services from the National Government.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available

Fees: Fees vary depending on whether the contracting parties are seeking a normal marriage license or a special license (where the parties cannot meet the 21 day notice period)

Document Name: Marriage Certificate

Issuing Authority: Registrar of Marriages

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar of Marriages

Registration Criteria: Can now be applied on eCitizen: ecitizen.go.ke

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Registrar General for copies of marriage certificates at the following address

Registrar of Marriages
Sheria House 2nd Floor
Nairobi
Website: statelaw.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: After August 1, 2017, all entities living together as husband and wife MUST register their marriages

Comments: All marriages MUST now be registered, including customary marriages.

 

Divorce Certificates

Available

Fees: Prescribed by the court

Document Name: Divorce Decree

Issuing Authority: Law Courts

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no Issuing Authority Personnel Title.

Registration Criteria: Draw a petition that clearly states the grounds for divorce.  Petitioner required to serve the petition and the notice to appear in court to the respondent, either personally or through a post office. The respondent may also file another petition to dissolve the marriage, and after the papers have been exchanged, the registrar of the court sets the date for hearing. If the court is satisfied with the petition, marriage dissolution is granted. The dissolution takes full effect after six months, after which parties are allowed to remarry.

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Registrar at the following address to obtain copies of divorce decrees

The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary
City Hall Way
P.O BOX 30041-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
(020) 2221 221
info@judiciary.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: You should have sufficient reasons to convince the court for a need to divorce, particularly if three years have not elapsed since the date of marriage.

Comments: Read the Matrimonial Causes Act, Chapter 152 of the Laws of Kenya for more detail on what is required before you can embark of the process to obtain a divorce decree

Adoption Certificates

Available: For local adoption only  

Document Name: Adoption Certificate

Issuing Authority: High Court

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: High Court Judge  

Registration Criteria: Please visit labour.go.ke  

Procedure for Obtaining: Please visit  labour.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: The Kenyan government imposed a moratorium on international adoptions in November 2014. The moratorium is still in place.  

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Identity Card

Available

Fees: There is no fee

Document Name: National Identity Card

Issuing Authority: National Registration Bureau

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Registration Criteria: Please contact:

National Registration Bureau
NSSF Building, Block B 8th Floor
P.O. Box 57007, 00200
Nairobi.
Tel: +254-20-2722526, +254-20-2720069
Fax: 2716205
Email: director.nrb@kenya.go.ke

Procedure for Obtaining: Visit the official site for further information: immigration.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: Kenyans under 18 years of age

Comments: None

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Clearance Certificates

Available

Fees: 1000 plus return postage fee

Document Name: Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)

Issuing Authority: Directorate of Criminal Investigations

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s) / Color / Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Directorate of Criminal Investigations

Registration Criteria: Please visit cid.go.ke

Procedure for Obtaining: Please visit cid.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Appropriately registered aliens or refugees that have registered with UNHCR may be issued a police clearance letter through the Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS). Undocumented aliens in Kenya may visit the RAS office located at Castle House, on James Gichuru Road in Nairobi. For more information visit: cid.go.ke


Prison Records

Available

Fees: There are no fees

Document Name: Prison Record

Issuing Authority: Prison of previous incarceration

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The head of the prison

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the prison where the applicant was incarcerated. A written request should be addressed with details of the individual's full name, nationality, prison where incarcerated and period imprisoned to the Commissioner of Prisons, P.O. Box 30175, Nairobi.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

 

Court Records

Available

Fees: Varies

Document Name: Court document or record

Issuing Authority: The court which handled the particular case

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The court magistrate or judge

Procedure for Obtaining: Applications letter should be addressed to the applicable court

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Military Records

Available

Fees: There are no fees

Document Name: Military Records

Issuing Authority: Kenyan Armed Services

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Head of the section or department

Procedure for Obtaining: Applications should be addressed to the applicable branch of the Kenyan armed services. Inquiries should include the service number of the individual and the period employed:

  • Kenya Army, P.O, Box 30503, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Kenya Air Force, P.O. Box 4888, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Kenya Navy, P.O. Box 95350, Mombasa, Kenya

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Types Available: Two  Ordinary (navy blue cover) and East African Countries passport (light blue cover)

Fees: Varies on the number of pages  

Document Name: Passport

Issuing Government Authority: Ministry of Immigration

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no Issuing Authority Personnel Title

Registration Criteria: You have to fill the passport application form online on eCitizen. Find out how to apply for a passport on eCitizen here ecitizen.go.ke

Procedure for Obtaining: You can apply for, renew, or replace your passport and pay for it online. You must print out a form at the end. You must sign and date the form, add any documents or photographs that are needed, and return it for processing.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Other Documents Available: There are no other documents available

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title: Embassy

Address:

  • Physical Address:
    United Nations Avenue,
    Gigiri, Nairobi
  • Mailing Address:
    APO AE 09831-8900
  • International Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 30137
    Nairobi, Kenya

Phone Number:

  • Tel: +254-2-363-6000, After hours emergencies: +254-2-363-6170
  • Fax: +254-2-363-6410

Email: None

Visa Services

All visa categories for Kenya. US Embassy Nairobi also processes immigrant visas for the following countries

  • Uganda
  • Burundi
  • South Sudan
  • Eritrea
  • Somalia  

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 387-6101 (202) 462-3829

Los Angeles, CA (323) 939-2408 (323) 939-2412

New York, NY (212) 421-4741 (212) 496-1985

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Nairobi
United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone
+(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency
+(254) (20) 363-6170
Fax
No Fax
Kenya Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Travel Advisory Levels
1 Exercise normal precautions, 2 Exercise increased caution, 3 Reconsider travel, 4 Do not travel

Kenya
Republic of Kenya
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

Two pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow Fever 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

100,000 Kenyan Shillings

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Nairobi

United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6170

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Kenya for information on U.S. – Kenya relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Kenyan Immigration has instituted a strict visa policy whereby all visitors are strongly encouraged to obtain visas by using an online system, though visas are available upon arrival at international ports of entry including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

  • A passport with at least two blank pages, six months’ validity, and a visa are required to enter Kenya. 
  • Single-entry visas are available upon arrival at Kenyan airports; however, Kenyan Immigration plans to end visas upon arrival in the near future.
  • Multiple-entry visas must be applied for prior to traveling to Kenya.
  • Obtain the latest information on visas, as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements, from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City.
  • You should have proof of yellow fever immunizations, or you may be denied entry.

For additional information on immunizations and detailed country-specific recommendations on vaccinations and other health precautions for travelers to Kenya, visit the CDC’s Travelers’ Health website.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to, or foreign residents of, Kenya. 

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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Safety and Security

You should review the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Kenya before considering travel to Kenya.

Terrorism: Terrorist threats remain in Kenya, including those aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests, within the Nairobi area, along the coast, and within the northeastern region of the country. 

Terrorist attacks have cumulatively resulted in the death and injury of hundreds of people since 2011. Over the last year, most incidents have occurred in the northeastern border region of the country; there have been no major attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa, or other major cities in the last two years. 

On September 11, 2016, press accounts noted that three women purportedly attacked a police station in Mombasa with knives and petrol bombs, wounding two Kenyan police officers. On October 27, an assailant with a knife attacked a police officer guarding the U.S. Embassy compound in Nairobi.

Regions to avoid:

  • The northeastern Kenyan counties of Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa (including the cities of El Wak, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, and Liboi).
  • All parts of the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu, and all areas of Kilifi county north of Malindi.
  • The Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh.
  • In Mombasa, the U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens visit Old Town only during daylight hours, and avoid using the Likoni ferry due to safety concerns.

The Peace Corps suspended its volunteer activities in 2013 due to security risks. The Peace Corps will continue to assess the security situation in Kenya and return when conditions permit.

CRIME: Crime in Kenya is a regular occurrence and Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter and investigate such acts.

  • Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including home invasions, burglaries, armed carjackings, muggings, and kidnappings can occur at any time.
  • “Matatus” (privately-operated public transportation buses) tend to be targeted since they carry multiple passengers.

Forced Marriage is known to occur in Kenya.

Sexual Assault is prevalent in Kenya and frequently goes unreported.

  • Victims of sexual assault may have difficulty receiving adequate social or medical support
  • Sexual assault has largely been associated with women. However, the sexual assault of men has been a growing trend that often goes unreported because of the stigma associated with it.

Domestic Violence: The Kenyan government has laws that protect its citizens from domestic violence. You should contact your local police station if you feel unsafe or are a victim of domestic violence.

Scams: Scams are known to occur in Kenya. See the Department of State and the FBI webpages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police station and then contact the U.S. Embassy during business hours at +254-(0)20-363-6451, or after-hours at +254-(0) 20-363-6000 in cases of emergency.

Please remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police.
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent.
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms.
  • provide a list of local attorneys.
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution,
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.
  • replace a stolen or lost passport.

Kenya has assistance programs for victims of crime sponsored by nongovernmental organizations.  These programs include but are not limited to the following:

  • Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) has been providing specialized medical treatment and psychosocial support to low income survivors of sexual and domestic violence.
  • Healthcare Assistance Kenya (HAK) offers a 24 hour Rapid Response Service to women and children survivors of Gender Based Violence at its Call Centre as well as a 24 hour toll-free hotline for sexual and gender based violence assistance. 

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Kenya are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • Kenya enacted strict legislation regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Penalties for possessing banned wildlife items under Kenya’s Wildlife Act include large fines and severe penalties, including life imprisonment.

Some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: You should  ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately if you are arrested or detained. See our webpage for further information.

Customs regulations on importing items such as religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency, ivory, rhino horn, and other wildlife products including hides, skins, and teeth into or out of Kenya are strict.  

U.S. citizens have been  detained and arrested for attempting to bring contraband into Kenya. Contact the Embassy of Kenya or one of Kenya’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.  

Alcoholic Drinks Control Act of 2010, which regulates when and where alcoholic drinks may be consumed in public, states that a person found by local law enforcement authorities to be intoxicated or disorderly in or near public areas, including some businesses, may be arrested without warrant and brought to court for trial.

  • If convicted, the maximum fine is 500 Kenyan Shillings and/or imprisonment for a maximum of three months.
  • If convicted three times with the same charge within a 12 month period, you will be required to participate in mandatory rehabilitation at your expense.

More information on this law may be found on Kenya's substance abuse website, NACADA.

Tobacco Control Act 2007 regulates public smoking and the marketing and sale of tobacco products in Kenya. In public places, smoking is allowed only in designated smoking areas.

Currency: You may depart the country with up to 100,000 Kenyan shillings.

  • Destruction of Kenyan currency, even in small amounts, is illegal, and almost always results in arrest and a fine.
  • You should ensure that your U.S. currency bills are relatively new, as banks in Kenya have been known not to accept older U.S. currency. 

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the governing body of Kenya’s national parks, requires all tour operators and safari lodges carry nationally-mandated insurance.  You should:

  • inquire whether prospective safari camps or tour operators are in compliance with this requirement;
  • observe all local or park regulations and exercise appropriate caution in unfamiliar surroundings; and
  • thoroughly check the qualifications and safety record of all tourist lodges and guides before engaging their services and venturing into the wild in their care.

Firearms: Import, possession, and use of firearms is governed by the Kenya Firearms Act. 

  • Import of all firearms, including sporting guns, is prohibited in Kenya except in accordance with the terms of an import permit.
  • Possession of firearms while in Kenya requires a firearms certificate, which can be difficult to obtain.
  • Non-immigrant visitors entering Kenya with firearms whose import is not prohibited (semi-automatic and automatic weapons are prohibited) and which are being imported for personal use, or ammunition for such firearms, must surrender their firearms or ammunition at the port of entry pending receipt of proper permits.
  • Violations of the Kenya Firearms Act are punishable from one year to life imprisonment. 

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers:  Kenyan law criminalizes same-sex sexual activity.

  • Kenyan penal code criminalizes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” which is interpreted to prohibit consensual same-sex sexual activity, and specifies a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.
  • A separate statute specifically criminalizes sex between men and specifies a maximum penalty of 21 years’ imprisonment.
  • Police have detained persons under these laws, particularly suspected sex workers.
  • LGBTI advocacy organizations, such as the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, have been permitted to register and conduct activities. However, societal discrimination based on sexual orientation is widespread. 

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) and Cutting (C): This act is known to occur in Kenya. It is a federal crime to perform FGM/C in the United States on any minor younger than 18 years old, punishable by fines and up to five years in prison.  It is also a criminal offense to knowingly take a minor younger than 18 years old outside of the United States for the purpose of performing FGM/C (so-called “vacation cutting”).

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Although Kenyan law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, the Government of Kenya has not consistently enforced these provisions and implementation has been slow.

  • Access to government or private buildings, medical facilities, restaurants, or other public or private facilities is limited.
  • Accessibility to public transportation and taxis is limited. There is no functioning bus system in Nairobi, but rather an extensive use of vans (“matatus”) that travel along designated routes; taxis are also used.
  • Public transportation and taxis do not accommodate wheelchairs; these vehicles are most often hailed from the side of busy roads.
  • Footpaths along the side of roads are generally unpaved, bumpy, dirt paths, and road crossings are often unmarked.  
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Health

Medical services are adequate in Nairobi for most medical conditions and emergencies. Health care outside of major cities (Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa) is very limited.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Kenya to ensure that the medication is legal in Kenya. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The Government of Kenya requires proof of yellow fever vaccination for travelers who are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road accidents are a major threat to travelers in Kenya. Roads are poorly maintained and are often bumpy, potholed, and unpaved.

  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road, which can be very disorienting to those not accustomed to it.
  • Beware of vehicles traveling at excessive speed, and unpredictable local driving habits.
  • Many vehicles are poorly maintained and lack basic safety equipment.
  • Heavy traffic jams, either due to rush hour or because of accidents, are common.
  • Some vehicles will cross the median strip and drive against the flow of traffic. 

U.S. citizens have been fatally injured in accidents involving long-distance, inter-city buses and local buses and vans called “matatus”. Matatus are commonly known to be the greatest danger to other vehicles and pedestrians.

Injuries and fatalities involving two-wheeled motorcycle taxis, called “boda bodas,” are equally common. Boda bodas often fail to observe basic safety precautions and ignore traffic rules. Inter-city night-time road travel should be avoided due to the poor road and street light conditions and the threat of banditry throughout the country. 

During the rainy season, some unpaved roads are impassable even with four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance. Travelers are urged to consult with local officials regarding road conditions. 

Passenger trains are considered unsafe, particularly during rainy seasons, because of the lack of routine maintenance and safety checks. The Kenya Railway Service normally operates only two days a week.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Kenya’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime: Mariners planning travel to Kenya should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the Maritime Administration (MARAD) website. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Nairobi

United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6170

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Kenya including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Kenya.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Kenya is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Kenya and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  The government of Kenya maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet at Kenya Law Reports on Gender and FamilyParents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kenya and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 1-202-485-6221
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a crime in Kenya.  See the Penal Code Chapter 63 Section 174.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kenya and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States. Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Kenya for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Kenya are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

Mediation may be available for both abduction and access cases. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), Kenya branch, is a professional body for Mediators and Arbitrators in Kenya and can assist in locating a mediator. The CIArb, Kenya branch, does not provide mediation services directly; it provides referrals to private and non-governmental organizations that offer mediation services specific to a client’s needs. Mediation is voluntary.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Kenya and the United States.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Kenya is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions from Convention countries are processed in accordance with the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Kenya.

Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible in Kenya. As reported in our December 13, 2014 adoption alert, on November 27, 2014, the Government of Kenya enacted a moratorium on adoptions of Kenyan children by foreigners for a time period of six months to a year. The Government of Kenya stated their intention to reform intercountry adoption procedures during this time. In our March 10 adoption notice, we reported that on February 20, 2015, the Kenyan government established an expert committee charged with reviewing procedures for both domestic and intercountry adoptions. It is our understanding that the moratorium impacts relative and non-relative adoption alike. The Government of Kenya has not provided any information on the timeline for any reforms to intercountry and domestic adoption procedures, nor has it offered any updated timeline for lifting the moratorium.

The Department of State will provide updated information on adoption.state.gov as it becomes available.

Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Kenya and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi’s website for information on consular services.

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Who Can Adopt
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Who Can Be Adopted
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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya 
Consular Section
U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 606
Village Market
00621 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 363-6622
Fax: +254 (0)20 363-6410
Email: NairobiAdoptions@State.gov
Internet: ke.usembassy.gov

Kenya’s Adoption Authority
The Adoption Committee
P.O. Box 46205-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 222-8411 ext 30040

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 24 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 $40 Multiple 60 Months
B-2 $40 Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 $40 Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 $40 Multiple 60 Months
F-2 $40 Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 24 Months
G-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-3 None Multiple 24 Months
G-4 None Multiple 24 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A $340.00 N/A N/A3
H-2B $340.00 N/A N/A3
H-2R $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 24 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 24 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 $275.00 Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 $340.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 $340.00 Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Document Name: Birth Certificate

Issuing Authority: Department of Civil Registration

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Registrar of Births & Deaths

Registration Criteria: Applicants can contact the Registrar of Births to make a late registration of birth. If the office is satisfied with evidence required, late registration will be authorized and a birth certificate will be issued. Please contact the following address for more information:

Director of Civil Registration
Nairobi Civil Registration
Births and Deaths
ACK Bishop’s Building
Nairobi

For upcountry births, applicants should contact the Registrar of Births (Upcountry) at the following address:

Director of Civil Registration
Department of Civil Registration
P.O Box 49179
Hass Plaza
Nairobi

 

Death Certificates

Available

Document Name: Death Certificate

Issuing Authority: Department of Registration of Births & Deaths

Registration Criteria: Burial permit or notification of death, Form D4 (Application for Death Certificate) duly completed, knowledge of date of death where burial permit or notification of death is missing

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Registrar General for copies of death certificates at the following address:

Director of Civil Registration
Nairobi Civil Registration
Births and Deaths
ACK Bishop’s Building
Nairobi

Comments: Civil Registration services are available online through eCitizen: ecitizen.go.ke. The official government platform for obtaining services from the National Government.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available

Fees: Fees vary depending on whether the contracting parties are seeking a normal marriage license or a special license (where the parties cannot meet the 21 day notice period)

Document Name: Marriage Certificate

Issuing Authority: Registrar of Marriages

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar of Marriages

Registration Criteria: Can now be applied on eCitizen: ecitizen.go.ke

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Registrar General for copies of marriage certificates at the following address

Registrar of Marriages
Sheria House 2nd Floor
Nairobi
Website: statelaw.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: After August 1, 2017, all entities living together as husband and wife MUST register their marriages

Comments: All marriages MUST now be registered, including customary marriages.

 

Divorce Certificates

Available

Fees: Prescribed by the court

Document Name: Divorce Decree

Issuing Authority: Law Courts

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no Issuing Authority Personnel Title.

Registration Criteria: Draw a petition that clearly states the grounds for divorce.  Petitioner required to serve the petition and the notice to appear in court to the respondent, either personally or through a post office. The respondent may also file another petition to dissolve the marriage, and after the papers have been exchanged, the registrar of the court sets the date for hearing. If the court is satisfied with the petition, marriage dissolution is granted. The dissolution takes full effect after six months, after which parties are allowed to remarry.

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Registrar at the following address to obtain copies of divorce decrees

The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary
City Hall Way
P.O BOX 30041-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
(020) 2221 221
info@judiciary.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents:  There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: You should have sufficient reasons to convince the court for a need to divorce, particularly if three years have not elapsed since the date of marriage.

Comments: Read the Matrimonial Causes Act, Chapter 152 of the Laws of Kenya for more detail on what is required before you can embark of the process to obtain a divorce decree

Adoption Certificates

Available: For local adoption only  

Document Name: Adoption Certificate

Issuing Authority: High Court

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: High Court Judge  

Registration Criteria: Please visit labour.go.ke  

Procedure for Obtaining: Please visit  labour.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: The Kenyan government imposed a moratorium on international adoptions in November 2014. The moratorium is still in place.  

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Identity Card

Available

Fees: There is no fee

Document Name: National Identity Card

Issuing Authority: National Registration Bureau

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Registration Criteria: Please contact:

National Registration Bureau
NSSF Building, Block B 8th Floor
P.O. Box 57007, 00200
Nairobi.
Tel: +254-20-2722526, +254-20-2720069
Fax: 2716205
Email: director.nrb@kenya.go.ke

Procedure for Obtaining: Visit the official site for further information: immigration.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: Kenyans under 18 years of age

Comments: None

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Clearance Certificates

Available

Fees: 1000 plus return postage fee

Document Name: Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)

Issuing Authority: Directorate of Criminal Investigations

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s) / Color / Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Directorate of Criminal Investigations

Registration Criteria: Please visit cid.go.ke

Procedure for Obtaining: Please visit cid.go.ke

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Appropriately registered aliens or refugees that have registered with UNHCR may be issued a police clearance letter through the Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS). Undocumented aliens in Kenya may visit the RAS office located at Castle House, on James Gichuru Road in Nairobi. For more information visit: cid.go.ke


Prison Records

Available

Fees: There are no fees

Document Name: Prison Record

Issuing Authority: Prison of previous incarceration

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The head of the prison

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the prison where the applicant was incarcerated. A written request should be addressed with details of the individual's full name, nationality, prison where incarcerated and period imprisoned to the Commissioner of Prisons, P.O. Box 30175, Nairobi.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

 

Court Records

Available

Fees: Varies

Document Name: Court document or record

Issuing Authority: The court which handled the particular case

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The court magistrate or judge

Procedure for Obtaining: Applications letter should be addressed to the applicable court

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Military Records

Available

Fees: There are no fees

Document Name: Military Records

Issuing Authority: Kenyan Armed Services

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Head of the section or department

Procedure for Obtaining: Applications should be addressed to the applicable branch of the Kenyan armed services. Inquiries should include the service number of the individual and the period employed:

  • Kenya Army, P.O, Box 30503, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Kenya Air Force, P.O. Box 4888, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Kenya Navy, P.O. Box 95350, Mombasa, Kenya

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Types Available: Two  Ordinary (navy blue cover) and East African Countries passport (light blue cover)

Fees: Varies on the number of pages  

Document Name: Passport

Issuing Government Authority: Ministry of Immigration

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no Special Seal(s)/ Color/Format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no Issuing Authority Personnel Title

Registration Criteria: You have to fill the passport application form online on eCitizen. Find out how to apply for a passport on eCitizen here ecitizen.go.ke

Procedure for Obtaining: You can apply for, renew, or replace your passport and pay for it online. You must print out a form at the end. You must sign and date the form, add any documents or photographs that are needed, and return it for processing.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Other Documents Available: There are no other documents available

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title: Embassy

Address:

  • Physical Address:
    United Nations Avenue,
    Gigiri, Nairobi
  • Mailing Address:
    APO AE 09831-8900
  • International Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 30137
    Nairobi, Kenya

Phone Number:

  • Tel: +254-2-363-6000, After hours emergencies: +254-2-363-6170
  • Fax: +254-2-363-6410

Email: None

Visa Services

All visa categories for Kenya. US Embassy Nairobi also processes immigrant visas for the following countries

  • Uganda
  • Burundi
  • South Sudan
  • Eritrea
  • Somalia  

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 387-6101 (202) 462-3829

Los Angeles, CA (323) 939-2408 (323) 939-2412

New York, NY (212) 421-4741 (212) 496-1985

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Nairobi
United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone
+(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency
+(254) (20) 363-6170
Fax
No Fax
Kenya Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.