The Immigration Laws in Kenya allow eligible foreign nationals to apply for Permanent Residency and, if approved, obtain the status of a Permanent Resident in Kenya. Permanent Residents are entitled to live, work, and conduct business in Kenya, and have similar rights as citizens, except for the right to vote.
According to Kenya’s Department of Immigration Services, there are four routes to acquire Permanent Residency, as defined by Section 37 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011:
- (Category A) Permanent Residency for Ex-Citizens of Kenya- These are persons who were born in Kenya but have subsequently renounced or otherwise lost their citizenship status and are prohibited from retaining dual citizenship under the laws of the countries in which they have obtained domicile.
- (Category B) Permanent Residency for holders of Work Permits – These are individuals who have had work permits for at least seven (7) years and have been continuously residing in Kenya for the three (3) years preceding the application.
- (Category C) Permanent Residency for Children of Kenya Citizens- These are children of citizens born outside of Kenya who have gained citizenship of the domicile.
- (Category D) Permanent Residency for Spouses of Kenya Citizens-Kenyan citizens’ spouses who have been married for at least three (3) years.
To apply for Permanent Residency in Kenya, it’s necessary to meet certain legal requirements and submit the required documents to the Immigration Department. After submitting the application, the processing time for Permanent Residency is typically around 5 months, but this can vary depending on the individual circumstances and at the discretion of the immigration department. It’s important to keep in mind that the process for obtaining Permanent Residency in Kenya can change, and it’s recommended to seek up-to-date information from relevant authorities or legal professionals.
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