Class K ordinary resident permit questions

Hello. The requirements for the Class K ordinary resident permit say I should have "annual assured income of at least USD 24,000 of own rightful and at free disposal from other sources other than employment, occupation, trade, business or profession. Income that is derived from sources outside Kenya remitted as pension or annuity."

The wording is somewhat confusing/unclear. What if I my income is derived from employment but not employment in Kenya (e.g. online work)? Does that qualify or no?

Also, does anyone know how many dependents I can bring with me and what their requirements and fees are?


Hello Kenyaguy,

Welcome on board !

I hope members who have moved to Kenya will be able to assist.

Have you contacted the closest Embassy ? Feel free to read the articles of the Living in Kenya guide for expats, you might get some leads.

All the best,


I don't think you got that information from the Kenya immigration website. They do stipulate a minimum of US $24,000 as annual income coming from outside Kenya, but I have never seen all that other text -

"from sources other than employment, occupation, trade, business or profession ".

There are many websites that supposedly give this kind of information but it's frequently incorrect or out of date. But perhaps it's me that's out of date!

This is the government website to use:

Class K used to be called Retirement permit but now it's an Ordinary Resident permit. I know nothing about dependents.

Longonot will likely reply shortly and he is always knowledgeable.

@Bhavna Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't checked with the embassy yet because I figured they would be reluctant to respond, and/or give me a short, incomplete, and possibly incorrect answer. That has been my experience in the past. I was hoping someone here knew the correct info.

@Sarnia I copied it directly off the government website for which you provided the link. No worries, hopefully, someone will be able to give a definitive answer here soon.

@Kenyaguy  Hi! I got a Class K resident permit earlier this year, based on my employment contract with a company outside Kenya. I had to show a) the contract; b) a letter from my employer stating that they were permitting me to work remotely for them while living in Kenya; and c) My bank account (outside Kenya) which showed regular salary deposits from that employer.  I explained that I would be making the salary deposits to Kenya once I got the Class K permit and opened a bank account in Kenya.

Good luck!

@turtlego Thanks. That was very helpful. So do you think they would have declined your application if you didn't have an actual contract? What about dependents?

My feeling is that the contract was key in establishing that I had a regular source of income, and that it met annual amount requirement.

For dependents (and yourself), you first have to enter Kenya on a tourist visa (it's easy to get online, takes less than 24 hours). Then you go to Nyayo house and get your passport stamped to finalize your K permit and apply for an Alien Card. Then you can start your dependent's Dependent Pass and re-entry pass application (takes about 10 days). You can get this while your Alien Card is still being processed, which can take several weeks.

Got it. Thanks. Do you know if the requirements for dependents are listed online anywhere?

I think that this has been mostly covered.

On application for the Class K Permit, the government needs to see evidence of you having the minimum required income, this might be investment details, rental contracts (for properties) and so on, as long as it shows evidence of the required income stream.

The regulations were drawn up before remote working was common, so the employment part of the regulations applies to employment within Kenya, so remote working for an employer outside Kenya doesn't affect things, as you are not potentially taking employment away from a Kenyan worker.  Indeed, Kenya likes foreign investment, esp USD.  It doesn't really matter whether you open a bank account in Kenya, as you will be drawing on your bank account back home anyway, via ATM's, money transfer, M-PESA etc.

In terms of the permit application, you should start the process as soon as possible after arrival (using a single entry visa), as it can take quite a few weeks to process.  Bribes are still sometimes asked for.  There used to be a tendency for immigration officers to delay processing applications from those applicants who had not offered bribes - the previous president was heavy handed with regards to reducing corruption, but I don't know how the current president will deal with this.

For your family, you should be eligible to apply for Dependents Passes.  You will have to evidence that your income is sufficient to support all your dependents, none of which will be permitted to work in Kenya.   In fact none of you will be permitted to do any type of work in Kenya, even volunteering.

@turtlego do you have to pay tax in Kenya on tgat income?

Yes tax payments  is compulsory  here.Every business done here tax  is paid

@Mnje2 Depends on if the origin country of the funds has signed a mutual avoidance of double taxation treaty with Kenya or not.

  • If yes, and you've paid taxes on that amount in the origin country, you won't be retaxed in Kenya (this is standard between any two countries all over the world -- if they have signed onto a avoidance of double taxation treaty then being taxed in one country means you won't be re-taxed again in another country. Unless one of the countries in question is the US --- then it's wholly more complicated)
  • If yes, but you've not paid taxes on that amount in the origin country, you will be taxed in Kenya
  • If no (ie the country of origin of funds and Kenya do not have an avoidance of double taxation treaty in place) then you will be taxed on whatever you remit to Kenya, whether you have paid taxes on that amount in the origin country or not.

Best get an accountant for exact advice.

Dear All,

Thanks for all your valued experiences.

I am working virtually for a UK based NGO but would like to live in Kenya where my kids happen to be in  school. A class K visa seems the most appropriate as I will not be doing anything in the Kenya labor market and my income is all from outside.

It would however feel more natural to pay income tax on my income from outside within Kenya, as I will be living there fulltime.

Would this be acceptable and understood by the Kenya tax authorities to be declaring income under a Class K work visa ? Anyone with similar experiences ?

Many thanks

@DrZork I don't think you can work on Class K visa. Maybe I am wrong..

I would say that if the UK based NGO has any Kenya connections, then you would be unable to obtain a Class K Permit as the government would perceive that your income was derived from work in Kenya.

Remote working for an employer completely independent of Kenya would be a different matter - the constitution and law has not caught up with the change in working and I don't see how a Class K could be denied.

Tax; you should seek advice on this.  All I know is that non residents don't pay tax in Kenya.

@Longonot62 thanks for the replies.

Yes the NGO has no ties with Kenya, and I will be supporting countries outside.

Any advice on whom I could speak to for tax advice in the Kenya context ?

Many thanks

I am fairly sure that Kenya and the UK do not have a double taxation arrangement ie your earnings after tax  from the UK would not be taxed in Kenya, but I am not absolutely sure and don't want this taken as 'official' advice!

Once you have a KRA PIN it is mandatory to complete tax returns annually, irrespective of whether you are resident.  When non resident, I pay no tax (we have a rental property in Kenya), but do have to pay tax when I am resident (on the same income).

KRA are quite responsive to email enquiries, otherwise I go to our local tax office and ask for advice face to face (usually quite a queue though).

@turtlego hi, im intending to get k permit soon, just curious to know how many months of bank statements you submitted? as part of your application as there is no official guidance on min no. of months when it comes to provision of bank statements or anything other than the 24k usd

Hi folks, im planing to get k permit in coming months- i do financial  trading/investing for a living both for myself and i have company that also does a similar thing. I imagine proof of brokerage accounts and the balances held within would be quite important here? Whilst I can show this as remote income to satisfy the 24k usd requirement.  Is it also helpful to show proof of saving in personal account too? im from uk btw. im trying to figure out how many bank statements and which other supporting evidence i should submit and how far backdated it should be? Also i have been learning swahili for 7 months in preparation- i imagine it helps to state this in one's application.

Whilst i already have a template letter ready to go im just curious as to how you justify that your getting a k permit will be of benefit to the people of kenya?

I was told recently that some visa processing agencies in kenya that market to expats will open you a account with a major bakn then you deposit the 24k usd to show proof of funds on kenyan bank account then the convert it to full transactional account once k permit is approved? i did not like the idea of doing this and nowhere on the official application info that this is required so does anyone know why these agencies are stating this? is what they say actually a valid method? i get they prob just collecting fees and commissions from the banks they opening accounts with.

I have decided to go it alone for submitting my application anyway. I was also told that a bond is required for K permit but again i dont see this on the official k permit criteria? anyone got any ideas about this?

Alos, do the immigration officers check your kenyan phone number you supply on the form and do they check or verify the address you supply- i intend on using a kenyan friend's address which i will actually visit anyway next time i go. i have been kenya before so have my old safaricom number from last year. Is it worth it to provide various other copies of documentation that is relevant to any claim you make in your application- even non financial stuff?



The best way to buy your bond is with an approved Insurance Agency. I got my 100,000 ksh Bond for 10,000 at the insurance company in KISUMU.

When I started this, it was $100.000 USD in the bank and once you have your Class K, you can remove your money from the bank.

@beef01 They do NOT check your address and they do NOT check your financials!

@Daughters of Zion Thank you for your reply, at what point in the k permit application process do you have to evidence or apply for your bond?

Beef01.  I have applied for a Class K and you are advised when to apply for the bond. 

It is not a difficult process.  You need to evidence that you have $24,000 equivalent pa.  If this can be evidenced via a single account then show that account.  There is no requirement to lay out your entire financial status.  All the government require is evidence of sufficient income.  When I applied they wanted about 6 months of bank statements and I submitted details from my UK bank account.  Alternatives may be such as rental income statements, proof of investment income, pension and so on.

It's unnecessary to learn Swahili - it is completely irrelevant to your success or otherwise.

Agencies use all sorts of methods and 'work arounds' particularly for applicants who may struggle to demonstrate a consistent income.  Using an agency, they may charge a considerable fee, which is basically a bribe.  The application is straightforward enough to do without an agent.

Benefit to Kenya - any cash being brought in is going to be of benefit to the country.

Address;  just use the address that you are staying at.  It isn't that important.  If you haven't kept your Safaricom line open then a Safaricom shop should be able to sort that for you.

Other documentation; only provide what is requested on the application.  Anything else is largely irrelevant.

@Daughters of Zion:  The $100,000 in the bank is for a Class G Permit and not a Class K.  For the latter, a regular income is required and YES they do check your financials - I had to submit statements with my application.

@Longonot62 thanks for your thorough reply its very helpful!  i can show 24k usd or more on a uk bank acc statement but i guess its a case of do they also like do see 3-6 months bank statements with 'remote' earnings or income being credited regularly as well as proof of savings?  which is the better combination is really what i'm wondering?

Also, once you get the confirmation that k permit is approved and you have paid the permit fee and got the confirmation paperwork. - how long do you then have to get to nyayo house to have the permit physically stamped into your passport? I have heard you can apply for 1,2 or 3 years is this correct? and same with alien card, once they have the info and process it how long do you have to physically collect it from nyayo house before it becomes an issue? just want to be as aware as i can of all the procedural bits i have to do- dont want any suprises!

il get another safaricom number when i get back to nairobi in few weeks and use that for application. yes the agency fees seemed very high to me- 1k usd to process k permit plus few other bits is quite a lot for something you rightly say you can do yourself. Always best to get familiar with the gov portals yourself as other services are also on there. wouldn't mind meeting up with few expats if poss when im there in about a month. longonot, if you fancy a tusker?....


<<i can show 24k usd or more on a uk bank acc statement but i guess its a case of do they also like do see 3-6 months bank statements with 'remote' earnings or income being credited regularly as well as proof of savings?>>

The requirements are to evidence a regular income of minimum $24,000 pa.  Savings are relatively unimportant as of course these could be spent the day after your permit is approved.  While I think it would be useful to present an account with a healthy balance plus a regular income, don't present more than you have to.  An alternative is a statement to evidence your income, such as rental income, investment income and so on with evidence that this is ongoing.

Once the permit is approved an approval notice is issued and you have a timescale within which you take this and your passport to Nyayo House and the permit is endorsed into your passport. probably useful to have at least two years to run on your current passport to save the hassle of having the permit re-endorsed in a new passport.

As far as I am aware the Class K Permit is usually issued on a two year cycle.  I have not heard of only one year being granted unless this is something new.  I have only heard of three years being given where an applicant is waiting for a decision on PR or citizenship.

Foreigners Certificate (previously called 'alien card').  You should by law apply for this when you extend your single entry visa (my Class K application took approx 5 months).  If you haven't, then you apply at the same time that you collect your Class K Permit, then return to Nyayo House at some future date when the card is ready.  Unless things have changed very recently, the cards could take months.  In the interim you are issued with a paper receipt type thing. The Foreigners Certificate runs for the validity period of the permit.  It isn't really an issue if you don't collect the Foreigners Certificate immediately, but as it entitles you to resident prices for parks, hotels and so on, you'll want to collect it!

<<agency fees seemed very high to me- 1k usd to process k permit plus few other bits is quite a lot for something you rightly say you can do yourself.>>

If you are being charged that amount then its almost certainly a bribe for the officials in Immigration.

@Longonot62 thanks for the info. So you have to purchase a bond before applying class K?

Dear All,

For the class K visa I see the following requirement : Valid Organization Tax Compliance Certificate for new cases, and both valid organization and individual Tax Compliance Certificates for renewal cases.

For a new application, without any previous tax obligations in Kenya, what tax compliance certificate are they referring to? As I am not yet registered with the Kenya tax authorities , they will not have any records to issue a tax certificate, so does it refer to my current country of residence I assume ?

Thanks for your advice

@Longonot62 thanks for the info. So you have to purchase a bond before applying class K?

Also, when I flew into Kenya. I did not have to purchase a visa. With my Jamaican passport I get visa free entry, Does anyone have info on getting resident as a visa free participant??

Dear All,

I applied for a type K permit (via the online process) an odd 6 weeks back and have not heard anything in the online notices, other than it was received. How long does the process usually take?  Should I be going to Nyayo House to follow up, or just be patient ?


Mine took approximately 6 months - a few years ago now though.



Just read your answer. Very help full. I would like to know if i need to be physically in Nairobi during the process or everything can be done online

@Kenyaguy You only pay after work is done .***

Moderated by Bhavna 8 months ago
Reason : For security reasons, please share contact details through the private messaging system. Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct