Work remotely from Nairobi?

Hello all - I'm a Canadian hoping to move to Nairobi in the next few months.

I work for an International NGO, and I have a regional role that covers several countries in Africa, excluding Kenya. I would like to get an apartment in Nairobi and work from my apartment. My work would only relate to countries outside of Kenya.

I would travel often to other countries in Africa (at least once every 3 months), coming and going often from Nairobi. Do you know if this is allowed? No work permit or anything required? I can do this by just getting a visitor visa each time I return to Kenya?



Hey Steve ,i think this would be abit hard especially if your job is not related to kenya,but if you are coming as a tourist this would be much better

I am seriously sorry to inform you, but if you intend to actually work while you are in Kenya, you will be required to have a work permit.

The easiest way for you, though not the fastest one, is to register your NGO when you are in Kenya on a tourist visa. Registration is allowed, though it is forbidden to participate in any kind of activity that could be seen as 'work'.

You wouldn't actually be the first to run into issues with the immigration dept if you get caught in activities related to your NGO without the proper documentation.

Whats the requirements to register for NGO


The way toward enrolling Non-Governmental Organization in Kenya includes a few stages. In the event that you are intending to enroll an NGO in the nation, here is the methodology on how to register an NGO in Kenya.

Name search and Reservation The first thing to do is to lead a name hunt and get a reservation. This procedure can be quickly completed at Kenya Huduma Centers located countrywide and it costs approximately Ksh 300. You will then wait for at most two weeks to enroll your NGO. Through the reservation procedure, you will fill FORM 2 and pay ksh, 1000 as the processing expense. Present the application to the Registry who will then lead the search and later the picked name will be endorsed by the Registry director at the NGO Co-Board. If rejected, the director will state reasons. However, if it is approved, it will be reserved in the registry for 30-60 days.

Registration process

After the completion of the name search and the reservation made, the chief officer of the proposed organization records a formal application for registration. The applicant will present a properly completed FORM 3 with two duplicates of the same. The structures must give reasonable data on contact information of the suggested organization, information of the 3 top authorities, the altruistic goal of the association and rundown of rest of the board members. He will then submit another form 1 expressing the associations contact individual. These two structures will cost you a sum of Ksh.400.

Next, you will submit 2 colored passport-sized photographs of the suggested three authorities and two other members of the board. Write their names at the back of the photos. You will then provide a duplicate of ID/Passport and Kenya Revenue Authority PIN Certificates for the five proposed authorities and Board individuals. Then, present a duplicate of the legal police clearance including the certificate of Good Conducts with fingerprints and payment receipts for Kenyans. The foreigners will submit notarized proof of clearance for Foreigners from their home country. The certificates must be less than six months old.

Subsequently, provide a Constitution of the supposed NGO/INGO plus two copies of the same. They must be marked by both the suggested 3 officials and the other members of the NGO on the enactment page and by no less than one of the suggested authorities on every single page. Accompany the submission by Minutes approving the filling of the application with a particular plan and determination to enlist the association as a NGO with the Non-governmental Organizations Board. The agenda must include the election of the interim authorities. Pay a Processing expense of Kes. 16,000 for national NGOs and Kesh .30, 000 for International NGOs.

Other requirements include:

A 1 year suggested budget
A cover letter
Original signatures of the board members and officials Typed or filled in block letters

2. How to register an international NGO in Kenya

The INGO follows the same procedure as the local NGO. However, at least one of the top officials must be a Kenyan citizen. Additionally, the organization must prove beyond reasonable doubt that it will benefit the lives of Kenyan citizens.

John; you might get away with it if your income is exclusively sourced from elsewhere, but if any part of your role involves Kenya, or may do, then you would need a work permit.  Likewise if your NGO has an office in Kenya.

NGO's aren't particularly beloved by the current government who not infrequently scrutinises them, so bear this in mind.


First of all sorry for intruding but i guess you are referring to the requirements for a (work)permit in Kenya?

A guaranteed income from sources outside Kenya would make him eligible for a residence permit, however, it would still not entitle the TS to work in Kenya. Since he is managing his own NGO, there would be reasonable doubts if that income would be stable since most NGO's (99.99%) rely on donations and sponsoring. No need to explain why those forms of funding would lack stability.

Unless the TS is involved in religious work as part of his NGO, i believe it will be challenging to him to live and work in Kenya for a longer period of time without the proper documentation.

<<Since he is managing his own NGO, there would be reasonable doubts if that income would be stable>>

He didn't say that he was managing the NGO, just working for an international NGO, which is different and his income may well be paid from outside the country as a result.  Its a little confusing about where he will actually work, but if the NGO in question has a Nairobi base (and many do), I think that it would be quite a difficult argument to put to Immigration - that you don't work in Kenya.

Large NGO's do tend to have proper salaried positions and I am assuming that this is one such case.

It also seems that John2440 isn't interested in a Class K (residence permit), and just wants to stay in Kenya on serial Single Entry Visa's.  Although many expats have historically done and continue to use this route, he needs to be aware of the need to leave the East African Community entirely to return and renew the visa.  Also some Immigration Officers don't like the concept of crossing borders, apparently to renew visas and you are not guaranteed to be permitted entry for 3 months.  Whether you are granted 3 months entry or not is entirely at the discretion of the Immigration Officer.  I have certainly and more than once been closely questioned about why I extended Single Entry Visas on previous visits, then been granted entry for 1 month only.

Welcome Steve to Nairobi Kenya. I think since you won't be working in Kenya, the work permit won't be essential. There are good apartments around Nairobi environs depending on your pocket. If you have valid travel documents which even document the span of stay you will be in Kenya you are good to go.  When you land in Kenya, you can look for me perhaps i might assist in a way of two; orienting you about the country and getting a comfortable accommodation.