Kenyans will start enjoying visa-free travel to South Africa for up to 90 days per calendar year following an agreement signed on November 9th.
The agreement, which took effect on January 1st, 2023, was announced during the first official trip of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to Kenya in November.
Consequently, Kenyans do not need to apply for e-visas or regular visas before traveling to South Africa for business or tourism. All they need is an invitation and return ticket, proof of vaccination for yellow fever and Covid-19, and proof of financial ability to stay in South Africa during the intended duration for tourists.
“Our officials will speed up the processes to implement it. This dispensation will be available to Kenyans over a 90-day period in a given year, meaning that, yes, you can use the 90 days, ten days, 20 days or whatever. Kenyans will have a full 90 days to be able to visit South Africa and we would be able to review this and get reports from our ministers within a year and see how this is functioning,” Ramaphosa said during a joint press briefing with President Ruto in November.
Kenya and South Africa also agreed on a return policy when immigration laws and regulations are breached, with each country bearing the cost of deporting their nationals caught overstaying.
“People who abuse the system…don’t deserve to be in South Africa, and they don’t deserve to be in Kenya. This agreement will be implemented to ensure the bad elements that try to infiltrate our countries are dealt with firmly and decisively,” President Ruto said.
South Africa will also allow Kenyans to transit through its airports without a transit visa, as long as they do not leave the airport.