my son has been in Kenya for 6 months and will return there soon. We are trying to find out about residency as he would like to live there permanently
He is planning to marry his Kenyan girlfriend in the next few months  - can he do that without being a resident or should he marry and then get residency?
How much does residency cost and how long does it last for?
Hope someone can help because info is a bit sketchy

It's all laid out here: … Itemid=140

and here: … Itemid=127


It isn't particularly clear on the Immigration website if you don't know what you are looking for.

Anybody can get married while they are in Kenya, whether on a visa or are resident. There is a subset of the tourist industry that specialises in beach and safari weddings for tourists. There are a few simple formalities to go through.

However it does not bode well if he is thinking of getting married and living here but knows so little about it that his mother is asking for info on a website forum. Marrying a Kenyan does not entitle you to stay here he would still need visas in which case he would have to leave and re-enter the country every 6 months or he would have to go for residency, the types available are in the link Tiredofit posted. For someone who is retired or has independent income (Class K) it is fairly straightforward, however if he is going to need to work he is going to need a Class D - in effect a work permit.

The costs are on the links that Tiredof posted, it doesn't actually say on that link but in the case of a Class K you pay for two years but get three making it a cost of 66,666/- per year. i don't know if this applied to Class D as well

I agree with the previous post. As I understand it there is no 'resident visa' as such. Your son may have to settle for the normal visitors  visa. Dual citizenship is a possibility after a period of time (7 yrs, I think, off the top of my head).  I have been married to a Kenyan lady for 15yrs and have never qualified for any type of residency in Kenya and still visit on a tourist visa. 

In theory the new Immigration Act now means that I can apply for dual citizenship, but in practice, the process is very drawn out and awkward.  Additionally, if your sons wife is working, he could apply for a Dependants Pass, after the wedding.  However, as it was previously highly unusual for an adult male to be issued with this, I really don't know how easy this would be.

Your son should find a reputable lawyer, who will properly advise him about his options.

Good luck.

Hi Longonot62,

If you have stayed in Kenya for a period of 7 straight years without taking a break in between of a length of 1 year then you are eligible to apply for dual citizenship. A close colleague actually just helped my aunt through this process within a short period.

Feel free to let me know if you would like me to connect you to my colleague.

Thanks Anne-Sharon,
Unfortunately I have not spent 7 continuous years in Kenya, but have been married to a Kenyan citizen for well over 7 yrs. According to the law this also entitles me to apply for dual citizenship.  Unfortunately my gender and profession have not been 'compatible' to my living continuously in Kenya.

I know two expats with Kenyan partners, who have applied, but the process is taking a long time.

If you provide me with your contact, that would be great.     



I also spoke to Margaret about your status and she confirms that you should be able to obtain a Dependent Pass. If you prefer, feel free to first make an appointment with Margaret in order to get a feel of whether you would like her to follow-up for you.
These are the documents that are needed from you if you would like her assistance:
- photocopy of any application you have made
- copy of any waiting card
- photocopy of marriage certificate (to show the length of time you've been married)
- photocopy of your passport and your wife's passport

If you are able to scan the above documents, she will be able to tell you by this week how long the process will take before you decide whether you would like her assistance.

Hello Margaret . I'm legally married to my Kenyan spouse just this year .We have a daughter together and I intend staying in Kenya .

But before I got married , I had lived in Kenya on a dependent pass for 6 years  with my girlfriend , but it was not on the basis of marriage that the dependent pass was issued at the time ,  it was issue because at the time I had my father working with the UN in Kenya .

Currently , I'm no longer  his dependent because he was transferred from Kenya to neighboring south sudan to work . I want to know if I can still apply for a dependent pass now based on marriage since I am married and got the marriage certificate and my wife , my daughter and I stay together . Please advice me accordingly because I need the proper Immigration consultant to handle by case .

I believe that we have already had a discussion about this, Mikey.........where you (wrongly) accused me of being racist. 

If your wife is working and able to support you, then you should be eligible for a Dependent Pass.  The government ask for proof, but there doesn't appear to be a fixed annual income requirement.

Sometimes immigration staff persist in promoting the idea that men cant apply for a dependents pass - this was the case under the old constitution, but no longer applies, no matter what you are actually told.

If you have other sources of income and you support the family, then a Dependent Pass is not the correct permit.

I understand that there are still agents in Mombasa who will assist with immigration applications, but they tend to operate in a legally grey area (neither fully legal, or fully illegal).  An alternative is to engage, or ask the advice of a proper immigration lawyer.

Incidentally, despite Margarets reply to me in 2013, I was NOT permitted to apply for a Dependent Pass, by Immigration.

My friend .I will love to inquire from you .If your passport has re entry  visa and you left Kenya prior to a week before renewing it and came back and you was stamp three month tourist visa at the airport . Can you still go and apply for the re entry visa using your dependent pass for two years or 1 yr stamp while in Kenya on the 3 months tourist visa ?

To the best of my knowledge, you can only hold one type of visa at a time.  The tourist visa has no re-entry pass associated with it, so if you have this type of visa currently, I don't think that you can apply for a re-entry pass.

You might have to reapply for a Dependent Pass at this stage.  The re-entry pass is not a separate visa.

If I remember correctly, @Longonot62 you confirmed that you had been denied a DP before your response from Margaret, NOT as a result.

Since 2003, I have met men who have received DPs. I honestly believe that the officers approve and disapprove on a subjective basis rather than based on constitution alone.

Yes, a dependent can apply for a re-entry on a tourist visa, the same way individuals apply for permits on a Special Pass or apply for Citizenship on permits

"If I remember correctly, @Longonot62 you confirmed that you had been denied a DP before your response from Margaret, NOT as a result."

Hello Anne-Sharon;  I have never been eligible for a Dependent Pass, as my wife doesn't work in Kenya.  I am the one who works and supports the family and this fact makes me ineligible, as I cannot be a dependent under these circumstances............according to Immigration and it was this fact that I was discussing with Mikey.  I am happy to be proved wrong on this, as a Dependent Pass would be ideal.

Immigration informed me that as the husband of a Kenyan Citizen, I should apply for a Dependent Pass, or a Class K.   I did successfully apply for a Class K Permit in 2015, but family circumstances back in the UK meant that I didn't renew it.  My wife is currently studying in the UK too.

Well noted  :)

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