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Kenya tightens work permit document requirements, Kenyan understudy required for Class D work permits
Kenya’s Department of Immigration Services has released a checklist of documents now required when applying for entry permits.
The checklist sets out all the requirements, including those of an understudy, with options to enter “yes” or ”no” for each. Class D work permits require the name, contact information and academic records of a Kenyan understudy.
Implementation timeframe: This requirement has been in place, but DIS now requires applicants to disclose this information up front as opposed to establishing it during the application process.
• Visas/permits affected: All Entry Permit categories.
Who is affected: All Entry Permits applicants.
• Impact on processing times: Failure to include all of the documents may delay applications. Documents may not be accepted at the DIS counters if all requested documents are not provided.
• Business impact: Stricter documentary scrutiny adds to businesses’ administrative burden. Businesses are on notice that Kenyan immigration officials are enforcing policies to “Kenyanize” the workforce.
• Next steps: Companies applying for work permits should work with their BAL attorney to plan for these new requirements.
The Department of Immigration Services has published a list of documents that must accompany each type of work permit. Notably, according to the list, Class D work permits – the category for foreign workers employed by a specific employer and sponsored by a Kenyan entity – now require that applicants submit the name of a Kenyan understudy and certified copies of his or her academic certificates and full contact details, including address, email and mobile phone number. The Class D permit already requires that the local Kenyan sponsor prove that it was not able to recruit a Kenyan worker for the position the foreign worker is seeking to fill. The new documentary requirement is consistent with a movement toward localising the labour force and training Kenyan workers for jobs held by foreign nationals.

This requirement has been in existence, but is now being enforced.

This represents a tightening of requirements, and employers and foreign nationals should anticipate that applications that lack any of the information on the checklist may be rejected. Identifying a Kenyan understudy for Class D permits is highly recommended and will require planning if required in advance of submission of the application. – Relocation Africa Group Update.

The Expat Perspective on Courses by Sally Wells

This month I was reflecting on the value of taking courses whilst on assignment and not necessarily for the obvious reasons, although whatever is learned is clearly a bonus. Course content is a fairly minor consideration and most places I have relocated to will have the usual selection including Language instruction, Photography, Art, Yoga, Alpha, Cookery, Meditation, Bridge, Mahjongg (yes, surprisingly big in Tanzania!) and if you are lucky enough to be by the sea, Sub-Aqua Diving, Windsurfing and Sailing etc.

Depending on your location, learning the local language may be more or less urgent. Even if the business language is English, however, being able to greet people and carry out some basic personal and shopping type conversations always puts expats on a better footing with the locals than would be natural otherwise. Best of all though, your language teacher is also the gateway to understanding any cultural peculiarities you have noted, or demystifying the seemingly strange behaviour of colleagues or neighbours. It also affords the opportunity to befriend a local, even if they are your teacher. Don’t be shy to extend hospitality to them, you will learn so much about your host country and her people just through conversation.

Joining a course is a well-worn way of expanding your social network, especially valuable when you are new to a country and only know the people you work with, the gossips at the school gate, or your domestic help. Under the guise of learning a new skill you can surreptitiously check out potential friends, pick up tips on great places to visit or things to do and generally get to grips with what is out there for you to embrace on your expat adventure. If you are a ‘trailing spouse’, courses are invaluable for creating a routine, filling up time when there is too much of it on your hands and providing a distraction from the fact that your furniture still hasn’t arrived and the children are missing the pet rabbit that was left with cousins at home.

If you have relocated with family, courses can be great for family bonding and relieving boredom. Children especially enjoy them if they are more successful than their parents. I can recommend learning to sail to fit this category, as children’s’ smaller size, greater nimbleness and generally higher fear threshold make them ducks to water compared to their lumbering parents! Wrestling with a difficult language can also be a fantastic example to set to your kids if they are struggling with a tougher curriculum at school, or having to absorb new subjects quickly. They will appreciate the empathy you are able to give and gain from the example of hard work and reward that you set.

Courses can result in unforeseen practical consequences too. In the early days of an assignment, a Photography Course I attended stimulated an urgent need to orient myself in my new surroundings as we met each week at a new location to take pictures. There’s nothing that makes you feel settled quicker than to learn the layout of a new city and its interesting back routes and byways almost as soon as you arrive.

There is of course, much to be said for the joy of learning something you didn’t know before, and the deep satisfaction in gaining a qualification or simple certificate of achievement whether in Swahili, Saxophone or Sub-aqua. Most exciting of all, you never quite know what these courses may lead to. I have known several expats who have undergone dramatic changes of career following exposure to new pastimes while on assignment and can now count newly fledged Pilates and Yoga teachers, professional photographers, a wine expert and writer to name just a few. There was even one acquaintance who, following a Pole Dancing course became an instructor of said skill (as toning exercise) at the local gym!




A coalition of soldiers and civilian self-protection groups reportedly recaptured at least two towns in north eastern Nigeria which had earlier been seized by the Boko Haram Islamist extremist sect. The towns of Mubi and Chibok, located in the respective insurgent-embattled states of Adamawa and Borno, were allegedly liberated on 13 and 16 November, respectively. However, unconfirmed reports indicate that Boko Haram militants may have captured the Adamawa settlements of Hong and Gombi in recent days. Boko Haram’s capture of these locales has raised concerns that the sect may be planning a large-scale offensive on Adamawa’s state capital, Yola, which is located less than 100km from the aforementioned settlements. In other developments, at least 26 people were killed and scores more wounded in two separate bombings in northern Nigeria. In the first incident, a suspected suicide bomber attacked the Nagarshiku petrol station in the Hotoro area of Kano, Kano state, killing six people and wounding five others. A suicide bomber also similarly killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens at Kasuwan Jagol market in the town of Azare, Bauchi state. Although there were no claims of responsibility, authorities have attributed the attacks to Boko Haram. Due to various security concerns, all non-essential travel to Nigeria continues to be advised against. In light of the Boko Haram insurgency, clients are further advised against all travel to the northern and central Adamawa, Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau and Yobe states, which have all been significantly affected by insurgent-related violence. Persons travelling to the region despite this advisory should implement robust personal and residential security precautions at all times; these should include coordinating all movements within the presence of a security escort and ensuring that all accommodation is sought within secured compounds. – Information from Red24

All current holders of Quota work permit who are required to submit annual reports as a condition of their permit are advised to follow the procedure mentioned below:

1. Previously the client would approach the regional office of Home Affairs and submit the required documents as part of their reporting. With the repealing of the Quota work permit this function has not be carried over to VFS. To remedy the situation and to ensure a smoother transition, an email address: has been set up to allow the clients to continue to comply with the condition of Quota Reporting. Clients will not be required to approach VFS for this service.

 2. Current holders of Quota work permits are advised to submit CLEAR and READABLE copies of the following documents via the email address mentioned above:

(a)  Valid contract of employment,
(b)  Certified Proof of registration with relevant professional body, board or council, where required,
(c)   Comprehensive CV,
(d)  Testimonials,
(e)  Certified Proof of SAQA evaluation certificate of qualifications; and
(f)  Certified copies of pages in passport reflecting personal details and quota work permit obtained.
3.  On receipt of the required documents the Department of Home Affairs will issue the client with a compliance letter confirming whether the client continues to comply with the conditions of the work visa issued to them. The compliance letter will be signed and scanned back to the applicant via the email from which the applicant sent the required documents.

This process is only applicable to persons who are due to report. This email will not receive any new applications and should not be used to make enquiries. All enquiries in this regard should be made to (012) 425-3000

For further Assistance please contact Relocation Africa Immigration on 021 7634240 or