No Visa for Kenya, how to apply for an eTA

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Travel stories

Kenya recently announced that Kenya is ‘visa-free’. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this means you can just turn up in the country and enjoy your safari. While it is true that Kenya is technically visa-free, instead, you now have to apply for an eTA. An eTA is an electronic travel authorisation, which, at the end of the day, is basically a visa.

Please note that infants and children also require an eTA, and it must be applied for before you enter Kenya.

This post will take you through, step by step, how to apply for the eTA. Spoiler… it’s very similar to applying for a visa.

Make sure you give yourself at least 1 week, I recommend 2 weeks to ensure you get the eTA on time. You can apply up to 3 months prior to your trip. As soon as you have your flight and have arranged your safari, or at least the first nights accommodation then you can apply for your eTA.

You need to have all the following information ready when you apply:

  • Passport – valid for at least 6 months with at least one blank page
  • passport style photo
  • flight/transport details
  • host details or hotel information
  • Contact information, email address and phone number
  • Credit/debit card to pay

If you plan to travel back and forth to Kenya a few times then I recommend you download the “Kenya Travel Authorisation” mobile app. This will enable you to save your eTA on your phone so it can be used again for the next visit.

Do I need an eTA?

Before you move on just check that you actually need an eTA. If you are transiting through Kenya for example, then you will not need one, as long as you do not leave the airport. Also if you are a permanent resident or hold a work permit or pass. Citizens of East Agfrica Partner States (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) also do not need an eTA.

Use the correct website to apply for your eTA

Make sure you only use the official website; there are many scam sites out there and eTA obtained from unofficial websites will not be accepted. This is the official website:

Steps to apply for an eTA

Click the red ‘Appy now’ button

    Click ‘Tourists & Visitors’

    There will then be a pop-up titled ‘How to Apply.’ This tells you who is exempt and what documents you need. Click ‘continue’ then, on the next pop-up up agree to the Terms and Conditions.

    Click if you are applying for an Individual or Group application.

    Select your country of residence.

    Next you will need to upload a scan (photo is fine) of your passport page. This is where this website is actually a lot better than the last. You do not have to spend a lot of time reducing the size of the image, it seems to accept the standard Jpeg size. It also scans the photos and takes the information required automatically including name, passport number etc. You just need to check the information is correct and tick that you have checked.

    Passport-style photo

    Upload a passport photo, the usual rules apply, white background, no smiling.

    Traveler Contact Information

    Input the following information:

    • phone number
    • email
    • home address
    • occupation
    • emergency contact info

    Trip Information

    Input the following information:

    • reason for travel
    • arrival date
    • mode of arrival (air, sea land)
    • airport, airline, flight number
    • Departure date
    • Departure mode (air, sea land)
    • Airport, airline, flight number
    • Destination country
    • Address in Kenya and dates

    Traveller Information

    Answer the following questions:

    • Is your trip financed by a third party which. is not your employer nor a government ?
    • Country of birth
    • Nationality at birth
    • Have you ever been convicted of any offence, under any system of law, in the past 5 years?
    • Have you ever been previously denied entry to Kenya?
    • Marital status
    • Have you previously travelled to Kenya?

    Custom declaration

    Answer the following question:

    Will you be bringing into Republic of Kenya currency or monetary instruments of a value greater than $5000 or foreign equivalent?

    Upload required documents

    • Accommodation Booking Confirmations – If you have booked through a company they will provide you with a confirmation or a contract, this is what you should upload here
    • Airline/Cruise Booking Confirmation – upload your flight ticket

    Once you have uploaded one document an option will appear to upload another if you have more documents you need to upload.

    Confirm and proceed

    Check the appropriate box to indicate if you are the applicant or completing the application on behalf of the applicant.

    You will then be sent to a page to pay the fee which is $30 per person, plus a processing fee, which m

    Thaakes the total $32.50 per person. Make sure you keep a note of your application reference number so you can check on the status of your application later.

    That’s it, you should receive your eTA within 72 hours but it can take longer so check back on the status of your application if you haven’t reveiedd it within 72 hours.

    If you are also traveling to Tanzania then check out this blog post: How to apply for a visa to Tanzania

    Other posts your might find useful:

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    Natasha Chapman

    Natasha Chapman

    Safari planner & Photographer

    Follow along with my life in Africa for adventure, photography, wildlife and safari planning.

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