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A Work Permit is a document issued by the Director of Immigration Services, under the provisions of section 40 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011, to enable foreign national (s) enter Kenya and engage in trade, prospecting, farming, business, professional employment, missionary activities or even reside in Kenya.

The Director issues Work/Residence permits upon the recommendation of the Permit Determination Committee, an inter-ministerial Committee appointed by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government under section 40(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011.

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Director regarding work/residence permit applications, may appeal to the Cabinet Secretary, for review of the decision (section 22(1) of Kenya Citizens and Foreign Nationals Management Service Act, 2011).

There are various classes of permits as provided for under Section 36(1), as read with the seventh schedule of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulations, 2012, though we will be dealing with Class D (Employment)

Class D Permit

This permit is issued to a person who is offered specific employment by a specific employer in Kenya, the Government of Kenya or any other person or authority under the control of the Government or an approved technical aid scheme under the United Nations Organization or some other approved Agency (not being an exempted person under section 34 (3), who is in possession of skills or qualifications that are not available in Kenya and whose engagement in that employment will be of benefit to Kenya.


  1. Duly filled and signed application Form 25
  2. Signed cover letter from the employer/ Self/ Organization addressed to the Director General of Immigration Service
  3. Applicant’s National Passport
  4. Two recent colored passport size photos
  5. Current Immigration status from Passport (if Applicant is in Kenya)
  6. Valid Tax Compliance Certificate for the Applicant and the Organization
  7. Duly certified copies of academic and Professional Certificates
  8. of the Applicant
  9. Details of a Kenyan Understudy who shall work under the Applicant, including:
    1. Name
    1. Certified copies of academic certificates
    1. Address and Contact details
    1. Curriculum Vitae
  • Certificate of registration of the organization
  • Clearance letter from relevant institutions (if applicable)
  1. Duly filled and signed Form 27 (Report on Employment)


The Permit is valid for a maximum period of two (2) years renewable.

Auxiliary Benefits

Once the Applicant is granted a Work Permit, they can also apply to obtain Dependent Passes for their families/dependents to live in Kenya with them during the validity period of the Permit.

The Applicant can also apply to obtain a Foreign National Certificate which is an Identity Card issued to foreigners by the Kenyan Immigration authorities.

The Applicant shall still be required to apply for and obtain a Visa before landing in Kenya.


In conclusion, it is necessary for the foreigners to acquire the work permit in order to avoid being deported from the country or banned from ever returning to Kenya. To avoid committing such offenses, kindly note that the digitization of the process has made it easy for people to apply for various permits in Kenya. Should you encounter any challenges during the process, feel free to reach out for immediate assistance and we will be happy to help. 

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