Immigration update: Work permit applications, enforcement of special pass rules
8 Jul 19
IMPACT – MEDIUM
Kenyan immigration officials have begun requiring companies to provide a tax compliance certificate when submitting work permit applications. Officials are also strictly enforcing a past directive requiring foreign nationals to apply for work permits before traveling to Kenya.
- Effective July 1, employers must provide a tax compliance certificate for the company when submitting new work permit applications. When submitting renewal applications, employers must provide tax compliance certificates for both their company and the employee.
- Applicants are reminded to apply for work permits before traveling to Kenya. In order to enforce the directive requiring applicants to apply in country for work permits, officials are increasingly denying special pass applications when it appears that an applicant is coming to Kenya for a long-term assignment. In some instances, special pass applications are being declined on the basis that the applicant should apply for a long-term work permit.
- Immigration officials are also denying special pass applications where the applicant’s skills are deemed to be available locally. Applicants with skills in finance, HR, procurement and operations are among those whose applications are likely to be rejected on these grounds. For applications in the HR field, a clearance letter from the Institute of Human Resource Management must be attached when submitting applications for processing.
Analysis & Comments: Both first-time and renewal work permit applications will only be accepted if tax compliance certificates are provided, as described above. Employers should also note that the Immigration Department is taking a strict approach on the issuance of special permits, especially where it appears an applicant is coming for a long-term stay or has skills that can be met locally.
Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.