Address complaints on e-travel authorisation

Passengers at JKIA

International arrivals passengers queue for screening at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in early November last year. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The decision by Kenya to go visa-free for travellers hasn’t elicited the kind of excitement that the authorities had anticipated.

Several people have raised complaints about the costs, inefficiencies and inconveniences associated with the new electronic travel authorisation (eTA) policy adopted by the country’s Immigration department.

The requirement to apply for the eTA whose validity is short-lived means that visitors must constantly apply and wait for approval for days. This is a setback especially for frequent visitors into Kenya and those whose flights into the country are delayed or diverted.

The visa requirement policy allowed for multiple entries into the country on the same documentation and with longer validity period.

And while many international visitors no longer need to buy a visa costing upward of $51, now almost everyone, including those from countries whose citizens previously enjoyed free entry, must part with $34 for an eTA.

To reap the benefits of a visa-free system, the government must review and address the concerns that have been raised about the eTA framework.

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