Visa, Arrival, and Customs
You will need a visa for Kenya in order to volunteer with the Abandoned Children’s Foundation (ACF). Visas are required for almost everyone visiting Kenya. Volunteers should obtain a Tourist Visa. Volunteers should not engage in business or accept employment while volunteering. Engaging in business or accepting employment requires a different type of permit. If you are traveling to Kenya for business and volunteering after you have conducted your business, you will need to speak with your employer about obtaining a work permit. The ACF cannot sponsor volunteers for work permits.
Obtaining a Visa
Kenya has started a new online Visa process in an effort to reduce lines at the airport, collect fees online, and know who will be entering Kenya before they arrive on a flight into Nairobi. Obtaining an eVisa online will limit you to a Single Entry Tourist Visa. Unless you are planning to visit other countries, a Single Entry Tourist Visa will be all you need.
There are two other tourist visas: Multiple entry Visa and East Africa Visa; which allows travel between Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. These visas are issued from your home country’s Kenyan Embassy or Consulate. If you require one of these visas and applying from the United States or Mexico, visit www.kenyaembassy.com/visa.html. If you are not applying from the United States or Mexico, visit http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/kenya for a list of Kenyan Embassies and Consulates World Wide.
eVisa Online Application Process
The following steps will instruct you on applying for an eVisa:
- Go to www.evisa.go.ke and click on create eVisa account
- Once Logged in, Select Deparment of Immigration services.
- Select submit Appplication.
- Select Kenyan Visa.
- Select the type of Visa and read the Instructions Carefully.
- Fill in the application form.
- Pay Using visa card, Mastercard and other debit cards.
- Await approval via email, then download and print the eVisa from your eCitizen account.
- Present your printed eVisa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
Single entry eVisa costs $51.00 USD
Visit http://evisa.go.ke/evisa-faqs.html to find answers you might have about the eVisa process.
Port of Entry
You will need to clear passport control after arriving in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. You should make sure you have your passport and visa ready. You may be asked a series of questions. The following are examples of questions you may be asked:
Why are you visit to Kenya?
- I am volunteering my time to help at an orphanage and/or academy near Kitale Kenya.
You may be asked additional question if you give this answer. Some of the additional questions you may be asked:
- What is the name of the orphanage/organization you are volunteering for? Abandoned Children’s Foundation
- Who will be hosting you? Janet Olang (you will be provided Janet’s details before arriving in Kenya)
- What is your host’s phone number? 07225……
- What is your hosts mailing address? P.O. Box 3711 Kitale Kenya 30200
- Are you an employee of the organization you are volunteering for? No
- Will you be conducting any business transactions while in Kenya? No
- How long will you be in Kenya?
- What is your occupation in your home country?
You do not want passport control to believe you should have a work permit.
- I will be doing some sightseeing and touring.
This answer will get you through passport control fast, because it is a common answer. You may be asked some of the same questions as above, such as, host’s name, location where you will be staying, etc. Use the answer you are comfortable with using.
Customs – Passenger Declaration Form
You should be given a customs declaration form on the flight into Nairobi. Passport control will collect it from you. You should not declare anything on it. If you declare an item you may be required to pay taxes and duties on it. Remember to remove any price tags that are on new items inside your luggage or carry on. To complete and print a Passenger Declaration form for Kenya visit: http://www.kra.go.ke/customs/pdf/Passenger_Declaration_Form.pdf The second page of the Passenger Declaration form provides you with information on items you may bring into Kenya without having to pay duties.
You will go to the luggage carousel after clearing passport control. There may be carts/trolleys you may use to carry your luggage. After collected your luggage, you should head towards the exit where Janet or another member of the ACF will be holding a sign with your name on it. On your way to the exit, you will see customs personnel randomly stopping people to inspect luggage. Generally – but not always, Kenyans are stopped and checked because of the amount of Kenyans bringing in goods without declaring them. Before leaving for Kenya print a blank copy of the Passenger Declaration form to have with you in case you are stopped. It has details on items you are allowed to bring into Kenya without paying duties, which can prevent you from being asked to pay duties on something you really should not have paid duties on.