Kenya: Matiang'i Stops Issuance of Work Permits to Foreigners in Nairobi

A group of tourists take photos at the iconic Tusks along Moi Avenue in Mombasa's CBD.
12 December 2018

All foreign nationals are now required to apply for Kenyan work permits from their home countries before travelling to Kenya to take up their new jobs.

The government has directed the Immigration Department to stop issuance of work permits to foreigners in the country with immediate effective.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has also said that all foreign nationals are now required to apply for Kenyan work permits from their home countries before travelling to Kenya to take up their new jobs.

"We are not against immigrants, but we want right visitors who obey the law. We want all our visitors to come through the door and not through the window. The work permit regime has totally changed and it will remain that way," Matiang'i said.

The Cabinet Secretary, was speaking on Tuesday during the launch of Kenya Institute of Migration Studies at the University of Nairobi.

TOURISTS

He further said only foreigners whose applications for work permits have been approved will be allowed into the country.

Dr Matiang'i said that the move is aimed at curbing mischief by foreigners who come into the country as tourists before using proxy to get work permits.

This year all the foreigners were asked to undergo fresh registration with an aim of fishing out those who are in the country illegally.

Already, the Ministry of Foreign affairs is putting up a digital record that will have details of all foreigners in the country.

The Interior CS made it clear that they were aimed at straightening the Ministry which is experiencing hurdles in dealing with the foreigners menace.

CRACKDOWN

He also gave a directive that all officers at the Immigration department to get postgraduate diploma certificate in Immigration studies before getting any promotion.

"Immigration officers are the front desk of our country and there is a link between the work they do and safety of our country," he said.

In May, Matiang'i launched a crackdown targeting more than 4,000 illegal immigrants in the country.

Several immigrants have since been arrested and deported back to their countries.

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