Dependant pass application

I’m a dual citizen and planning to relocate with my British husband and kids to Kenya for a different pace of life, to be with family and expose the children to new experiences. We are looking to apply for a dependant pass then residency/citizenship for my husband thereafter. Just to minimise the amount of time we have to wait for the entire process while my husband twiddles his thumbs not allowed to work, we came across some websites indicating one can apply from a foreign mission too ie in our case, that would be the Kenya High Commission in London but they don’t seem to man their phones when I’ve tried calling. Does anyone have any information or experience with applying this way?

Does the online portal allow one to upload all supporting documents and complete the entire dependant pass application process without needing to attend Nyayo house? Would they grant it if we weren’t technically in Kenya yet? Coz this way we can keep working in the UK just while we wait and move after as I’m aware he has to be there for at least 6 months to get the CID docs done for residency/citizenship application.

What amount of savings would they consider adequate proof for me to care for my foreign spouse and 2 children?

Many thanks in advance.

"What amount of savings would they consider adequate proof for me to care for my foreign spouse and 2 children?"

In my experience, it's an ongoing income that immigration will want evidence of, rather than a lump sum.  For a Dependent Pass, you really need to be working and supporting your family.  This is the whole principle behind the Dependant Pass; ie the partner/family are dependent on your wage.  For example, my (Kenyan) wife doesnt work in Kenya, so I have never been eligible for a Dependent Pass. 

If your husband can gain an unearned income from, say investment, of $24,000 (equivalent in £, or Ksh) per annum, then a Class K Permit may be a better option.

Both the above are potential stepping stones to permanent residence, or citizenship. 

I have always done my applications in Kenya, so no experience of doing this from the UK.

Does anyone have experience of applying for a dependant pass for a male spouse? How long did it take to get it?

i think that you can anticipate several weeks, so make an application within the first few days.  This assumes that the Dependent Pass is the correct pass to apply for (I strongly suggest that you get some advice on this, as your circumstances aren't straightforward).  Be prepared for your spouse to have to return to the UK pending the outcome of an application - it can happen.

When i applied for a Class K Permit it took around 3 months for it to be approved and I actually had to travel back to the UK, then return to Kenya, as my visa expired.

This leads me on to say that your family must have return air tickets, otherwise boarding may well be denied.  Arrangements for return/onward travel are part of the visa conditions for the Single Entry Visa.  Airlines just won't take the risk.  I have personal experience of this happening.  Get tickets that allow date changes - they are usually valid for a max 12 months.

From an immigration lawyer's perspective, your query is not as straightforward. First of all when you say you hold a dual citizenship, does that mean you are Kenyan? in that case you won't need to hold a work permit to work in Kenya. Take note that by law a dependant pass attaches to a work permit, so in the case of your husband, this may not be the right approach. If I were you, I would consider incorporating a company in Kenya with husband as one of the directors and then offer employment to him. That way he can get a special pass within 3 weeks of incorporation and also be able to thereafter get a work permit to last him 2 years as you process his papers as your spouse. Alternatively the same process would apply if he got employment elsewhere in Kenya. There is also the option of obtaining an Investor's permit where he will need to show proof of $100,000 for investment.

"Take note that by law a dependant pass attaches to a work permit."

Are you sure about this, as my wife is a dual Kenyan/UK citizen and I was advised by Immigration that I could apply for a Dependent Pass, provided that my wife can financially support me, in mention of any link to a work permit.  I also cant see this requirement outlined on the Immigration websites.

Take note that by law a dependant pass attaches to a work permit,

That is incorrect.
A dependent pass may be Issued to persons who are Dependants of:
    Kenya citizens
    Permit holders
    Exempted persons
    Permanent residents.

Thank you.

This is to clarify on my assertion above as I realise I may have left a lot out as correctly pointed out by bizbkenya on other situations where one will be eligible for a dependant pass. I unconsciously ignored the rest as I was specifically addressing the query above which obviously has elements of the husband being able to work here in Kenya before he can be issued with his residence papers.  For the child, this would be straightforward but not so for the husband if he intends to work in  the meantime. Remember being in gainful employment is one of the reasons that can invalidated  a dependant pass. So what will become of him once this is invalidated before he is granted residency? This takes us back to what I had advised above.


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You can apply for a dependant pass on e-Citizen and even upload the documents. The immigration services in Nairobi will rarely grant a dependant pass to a husband of Kenyan citizen. This is a cultural issue in Kenya although the Kenyan constitution states that men and women have equal rights. But in practice in case of an dependant pass not so. I'm a Belgian citizen married to a Kenyan woman and she applied for a dependant pass. Two months later we were called for an interview.  On advice by a lawyer we didn't go as I would be marked by the immigration services for future visits and they wouldn't grant it anyway. Another solution is applying for a work permit as an investor having access to 100.000 USD (10 million shilling) and start up a company.  Currently this is the only way to start a life in Kenya if one is not retired. In Kenya they don't have laws with the possibility of a family reunion based on a marriage with a Kenyan citizen like most of the European countries do have.

"Currently this is the only way to start a life in Kenya if one is not retired."

Not strictly true.  A $24,000 (equivalent) income from sources other than work mean that you can be eligible to apply for a Class K permit.  Lower age limit is 35yrs.

Marriage to a Kenyan citizen for more than 3 years entitles you to apply for permanent residence and if I am not wrong, you don't have to be living in Kenya for the entire period prior to the application, But would be expected to reside in Kenya afterwards.

For a dependent pass, for a man, your wife must be able to financially support you, so would normally be expected to be working in Kenya.  Immigration ask for evidence of this.  Sure, the cultural bias still exists, but if you have both been out of Kenya, this may be where the issue lies.

Personally, I think that the route of starting a company, having $100,000 to invest in it, then applying fora Class G permit, is the most difficult one.  For one, the permit will have to be renewed after 2 years and accounts must be presented to demonstrate the viability of the business.  Immigration closely scrutinise the business plan to ensure that it is viable.  On top of that, you may need additional licences and permits, say for shop premises, hospitality and so on.  It isn't straightforward by any means.

Hi Longonot62,
Thank you for your reply on this matter.
Now regarding to obtain a permanent residence permit after marriage of more than three years to a Kenyan I was told by some lawyers (consulted 3) and the immigration services that you also have to live in Kenya for at least three years. Some Kenyan immigration laws seems to be very complicated and confusing. Could you confirm that it isn't required to be living in Kenyan for three years to obtain a permanent residence permit ? Can this be found in the latest Immigration Act or any other law ?
Probably I didn't get the right information or just a part of it.

The checklist of requirements says nothing about a requirement to have lived in Kenya for the 3 years prior to your application...........for a spouse of a Kenyan Citizen.  You have to evidence that the marriage is not one of convenience (although they don't use those wordings).  Slightly different rules apply for those applicants not married to Kenyan Citizens.

What you do need is a Police Clearance Certificate.  To obtain one, you need to have been in Kenya for a continuous period of over 6 months.  What Immigration advised me was that I needed to apply for an interim permit/pass, such as the Class K.  After 6 months, get a Police Certificate from the HQ on Kiambu Road, Nairobi (it's a straightforward process), then you can submit your PR application.

I didn't find that the class K permit was difficult to apply for.  Kenya is keen for inward investment, so provided that you have a cash flow of £24,000 or more and present evidence of this, then the process should be easy - it is a lot more expensive than the Dependents Pass though.

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