Permit class K

I'm from Holland and having a relation with a woman from Kenya. Within a few months l wanna immigrate to Kenya and ask for a permit class K. In july l will have my pension but do they accept savings for now?
My pension and savings each are more than $24000.
Can somebody give me a good advice how to get that permit class K?


I have a Class K permit.  I applied for it on the strength of having savings and income enough to support me for the two year period of the permit, but was told that my application wasn't 'regular' and was asked for a very large bribe.   

What the government are looking for is an assured income (so pension would be one such source), rather than savings alone.  I imagine that this is because you could present you application (with bank statements) today, then spend all your savings tomorrow!

I was told that the assured income should be $25,000 or more per annum.  However a specific figure is not given on the government website.

Personally, if you were to present and Class K application on the strength of savings alone, the application may be rejected, or you may be 'asked' for a large bribe.

The permit costs Ksh 200,000 payable on approval, plus a Ksh 10,000 application fee (not refundable).  In my case, the application took just over 3 months, so you are very likely to have to renew your single entry visa while you wait.

Hi, am Tore from Norway. I have had class K for four years before I got my Permanent Residence permit last year. I have never ever paid a bribe and it is not necessary or advisable. The new staff at Immigration are younger and less prone to old dirty tricks. If you get your pension later this year I would certainly wait until you have documentation of that. I have also heard about the requirement of 24000 usd. But If you have savings that will certainly also help. Just stay on visiting visa and make sure that all your stays in Kenya are legal and can be documented. Why am I saying this? It is because if you marry a Kenyan and stay with her in Kenya for three full years after (a formal) marriage you can apply for Permanent Residence which is only KES 50.000 once for the rest of your life. When they analyze your Perm Residence application they will really dig into your past and it is vital that no one has given you unqualified stamps or signatures because you have paid a bribe. I know several foreign men who have had problems with that. Not everyone knows about the Permanent Residence Permit. I was number 777 permit holder when I got mine last year. So when you have your pension apply for class K and stay on that for three years. It can be renewed for 1 year at a time after the three years or even longer.

Let me also advise you that applications are done online these days which also reduces the possibilities of someone asking for a bribe. Class K is a very simple and straightforward procedure.

Thank you very much for you're answer. It helped me a lot. As l told you l try to get a permit class K. I know l need an insured income of $24000 and on this moment my savings are much higher.  On July 9 l will get my pension and my assured income will be much higher.  Can l do that application in April with proof l will get my pension later?  Can l do this application online too?
It isn't a problem because in April l will be in Kenya again and visit the immigration office and maybe start that application? They ask for an assured income of $24000 per annum.  They mean a year or during the time that permit is valid?

Thank you very much for you're answer

Thank you very much for you're answers. They helped me a lot. As l told you l wanna ask for a permit class K.
July 9 l will get my pension and l will get an assured income of more than $24000 per annum. They mean a year or during the time that permit is valid? On this moment my savings are more than $24000. Can l ask for a permit with proof of getting my pension later?
Maybe it's a good idea to come to Kenya with a single entry visa and renew it for 90 days and ask for a permit in the meantime.

Thank you very much

Kees,  am happy to meet you in Nairobi in April and give you more specific advice. Don't apply for K class now saying you will send more documentation later. That will only delay you.

Let me pick up on a few points here:

<<Let me also advise you that applications are done online these days>>

This is true, but you still have to print off the application documents and submit them manually - the process isn't truly online.

<<apply for class K and stay on that for three years. It can be renewed for 1 year at a time after the three years or even longer.>>

This isn't correct.  The permit is issued for two years and on renewal will be valid for two further years and so on.

<<But If you have savings that will certainly also help>>   Not really, as the government are interested in income, preferably from sources outside Kenya.  Its the main reason, I was asked for a bribe.  I can assure you that my permit is genuine.

<<because if you marry a Kenyan and stay with her in Kenya for three full years after (a formal) marriage you can apply for Permanent Residence>>

You can apply for permanent residence after 3 years of marriage to a kenyan citizen, but you don't necessarily have to reside in Kenya to be eligible.  If you are not married to a kenyan is when you must have resided in kenya for 7 years.

For the Class K permit you have to submit 3 months of bank statements to evidence your income, so bear this in mind regarding the timing of your application.

The government will do a search through Interpol for Class K applicants, too.

Torewest;  I have been married to a kenyan for 20 years and Nyayo House wouldn't accept an application for permanent residence - this was before the Class K application, so it does rather depend upon who you get to deal with in Immigration.  I also know quite a number of expats who have been waiting for years for Permanent Residence applications to be processed, so you have been lucky!

Yes, Longonot and Kees, the application will have to be printed after you have filled it in online, but you don't need to queue at Immi to pay anymore as you can pay online, and the forms helps you to not forget vital information. My point is that the printed form and the receipt for payment are just delivered to the officer at Nyayo House and you don't need to go into any discussion there which in old times could lead to a demand for a bribe.

The class K permit is sometimes given for three years. The rules says 'normally two years' but if you state that your K permit is just to keep you in the country because you eventually will apply for a permanent residence permit, both I and my English friend were offered three years. Then we got one year extensions because we explained that we were waiting for issuance of permanent residence permits and we were both given. Am sure Longonot that after 20 years you know that the practice can change based on who you are lucky to deal with, WITHOUT a bribe.

A British friend of mine, who I just helped, got his one year extension based on both his pension and his bank funds because his pension fell a bit short of the 24.000. If your application is solid and all the info is there, there are usually not any problems. He got the extension after three weeks! And he was actually notified through the website.

About the period of living in Kenya when you apply for permanent residence, as I wrote in another text in this forum today, you need a certificate of good conduct from CID and they only offer that if you have stayed in Kenya for at least 180 days, legally. But it's true, you are not supposed to have lived here all the three marriage years, but it certainly helps because then you don't give them that opportunity to refuse you. One officer I met thought you needed to actually stay here for all three years.

If you have stayed here and been married to a Kenyan for twenty years, and you have no holes in your Immigration story, I don't really understand why they would refuse you. You can complain to the committee. The permanent residence status is brand new, based on the new constitution, and it took awhile before the regulations were presented to the public, so no one can have waited for many years for it.

Its much easier to get a Class K renewal, or extension.  Mine was a first application and they definitely wanted a foreign source of income and it also says the same on the immigration website.  I had a combination of income and savings on my application.

The status of permanent residency isn't brand new.  Along with dual nationality, it forms part of the new constitution - so law for about 5 years now.  It just hasn't been well publicised, so its quite possible to have waited several years, especially as in the early days immigration accepted, but didn't process applications.

Regarding the application process for the Class K, I was approached for the bribe a few weeks after submitting the application and paying the Ksh 10,000 admin fee.  I was informed that my case wasn't quite straightforward and they could get it through committee if............................  Like you, I don't agree with this approach, but what to do when you are basically backed into a corner.  I am aware of plenty of cases like this.  However, I did apply before the Bribery Act (2016), which I understand has helped things a little.

You definitely don't need to have been in Kenya for at least 3 years for Permanent Residency as a spouse, or indeed for dual nationality.  I am aware of the need to apply for a certificate of good conduct and this is a problem for many, do you apply for this when you are in the situation of being here on a single entry visa?  You will never be here quite long enough.  It used to be 3 months before you could apply for the certificate, but by raising the bar to 6 months, the government has made it much more difficult for newer arrivals to Kenya and formed part of the reason why I could only apply for a Class K permit.

One thing you haven't told long did you Permanent Residency application take.  An officer told me to expect a year, possibly more.

One more thing to note, if you are new to Kenya and looking to settle here:

You can't make online applications for permits (including Class K), driving licence and so on, without an e-citizen account. 

To get an e-citizen account to access the full range of government services, you need a Kenyan ID number.

To get an ID number, you must apply to extend a single entry visa for an additional 3 months, at which point you apply for a Foreigners Certificate.  The Foreigners Certificate takes weeks to be issued and in my case, was issued after the visa extension had expired (after which you have to apply for it again, but the ID number remains the same).   My case is not unusual.

In reality, many will have to be prepared to leave the country after 6 months, then re-enter, to pick up their Foreigners Certificate, before using the ID number on it to open an e-citizen account and apply for permits, passes, driving licence and so on.

The e-citizen system is currently not set up to benefit, or make it easy for expats who want to settle here.  For example; a foreign driving licence is valid for 3 months (unless you have an international driving licence), yet you will be unable to apply for a Kenyan licence until you have your ID.

Hi Longonot, like I wrote on the other thread yesterday, my experience is that the permanent residence permit takes 12 - 16 months. But there is no rule of course. I applied late September 2014, was notified that it was approved in December 2015 (15 months later) and it was issued on 22. January 2016 which was due to my own practicalities. A friend who I have helped, applied in February 2016, he has been for an interview, but none of his refs have been called. He was told May 2017, but again there is no clear rule here. My other friend who applied 10 months ago have been informed that his ref has been contacted. My point here, is that Kees from Holland was asking how he as a retired person can get his K Class, and if he marries his Kenyan woman there are ways he can get a more permanent status here. You can choose to only focus on the negatives or you can give a more balanced advice. Almost every person who has approached me because they have had problems with Immi, has confessed that they at some point made a shortcut and they are now paying for it because some stamps or permits have not been registered properly in the data system. My advice is basically to be patient, follow the rules, use the right forms, don't get mad at an officer. My friend Longonot, let's agree that tis country is not making it easy for foreigners to settle down here. My country Norway is not making it very easy for Kenyans to settle down there with a Norwegian spouse either. Maybe your original country is better.

I find Immigration to have developed a lot in the right direction during the last couple of years. They are more polite, they use digital systems, I have never been asked for a bribe the last 2 -3 years and I have not even paid a bribe to a traffic police officer during all my years in Kenya. My Kenyan driving licence is actually from Kisumu 1984. A smile and some jokes usually make the problems go away, especially if you look foreign like me.

I don't believe that I am being negative, but being realistic, from my perspective, the perspective of other expats that I know (many of which have just resorted to living in Kenya on serial single entry visas) and what I know of the legal perspective.   I am always polite to officials and I have never made a shortcut (to get an unofficial stamp, for example).   As I said above, my Class K permit is genuine.  The bribe I was asked for was for getting the application through the committee stage.

Kees also needs to get an foreigners ID, does he not, to be able to make an application for his Class K permit?  Fair enough, I simply focussed on the Class K question and could have broadened my answer.

If you have been in Kenya for many years, then it is a whole lot easier than if you have more recently arrived.  I try to give advice from the perspective of a newly arrived expat, as the majority of questions are from these people.  For them, a PR permit is some way off and they need to know about dependent passes, Class K permits and so first. 

In fact, the officers at Immigration told me that I should have applied for a dependents pass and as I didn't, I was not eligible to apply for anything else but a Class K permit and needed this, before I could go on to apply for permanent residency, or dual nationality, despite already meeting the criteria for both.  If I had known you before.................!!

I agree that massive strides have been made at Immigration and no I don't think its a great idea to give bribes, as it prolongs the culture of corruption.  Unfortunately, there are still officials who want 'a cup of tea' and if its a case of giving 'something small' or a delay/refusal in processing your application, what do you do?

Regarding the police;  last time I was stopped, about 6 months ago, the officer claimed that I had been speeding (which I had not) and gave me the option of going to court, or giving him 'something'.  There was absolutely no question of having a joke and him sending me on my way.  Again, what would you do?  The courts often make examples of foreigners.

Actually a foreign national can apply for permits even without e-citizen account. One opens an EFNS account which you open using our passport details, kindly check below link

That's good to know. 

Its more than a year ago that I tried to renew my driving licence (before my ID was issued), so things must have moved on. 

Using my passport number, the only access e-citizen allowed me was to the immigration page.  When my ID came out, I had to open a second e-citizen account as the existing one couldn't be updated.

Hello my learned friends, is it possible to leave the country and come back whilst your K class permit is in progress?

Hi, am quite sure you can leave Kenya while your application is in progress. I did it for holidays up to two months. But you must make sure that you react to the notification from immigration within a certain time frame. I think it's 30 days but could have changed.

Yes definitely.  I left Kenya, for a few days towards the end of my Class K application process.  The approval notice was issued while I was out of the country.

As Torewest has noted, you have a limited time in which to respond to the notice and pay the fee.  If I remember correctly, it was less than 30 days.  Missing this target would mean a reapplication and another Ksh 10,000 admin fee.

Thanks Torewest & Longonot62, much appreciate the information.

Hi Longonot62,


<< To get an ID number, you must apply to extend a single entry visa for an additional 3 months, at which point you apply for a Foreigners Certificate >>

Could I apply for a driving licence and insure a vehicle with an ID number ? before getting K permit? I'm assuming the ID number is the ID card.


You don't need an ID to insure a vehicle.

For driving licence applications, you need an e-citizen account.  I believe that you can open one as a foreigner, now.  But when my Kenyan driving licence expired, I had to wait for my Class K permit to come out, when I was given my ID.  The foreigner certificate, I had applied for wasn't actually issued until the expiry date, which unfortunately is often the case, so I didn't know my ID.

On issued with an ID, the number follows you for subsequent permit applications.

I would recommend getting an International Driving Permit, then you can drive in Kenya for a year, before needing to obtain a Kenyan licence.

Thanks for the information.

Would I be allowed to buy, register and insure a vehicle before the issuance of permit K? Also assuming I would need an official P.O. Box number for vehicle registration, once again is that also possible before the permit?


Hi Tires.  I'm interested in applying for a class K Visa and would like to meet up with you for some advise. I'm in Nairobi at the moment.  Thank you.

Hi, I am in Mombasa until early next week. My number is 0700 129100. We can talk next week.


Thanks Torewest.
I'll call u next week. Enjoy your weekend my friend.

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