Economy

Stranded foreigners face jail as Covid Visa amnesty ends

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Kenya has ended amnesty for foreign citizens who were stranded in the country due to the worldwide travel disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya has ended amnesty for foreign citizens who were stranded in the country due to the worldwide travel disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Kenyan immigration department had allowed the foreigners with expired Visas to extend their stay without legal consequences.

Kenya has ended amnesty for foreign citizens who were stranded in the country due to the worldwide travel disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Kenyan immigration department had allowed the foreigners with expired Visas to extend their stay without legal consequences.

Immigration Services Director-General of Alexander Muteshi said Tuesday the affected foreigners now have two weeks to either leave the country or regularise their stay in line with local immigration laws.

Those who will not comply face a fine of at least Sh5 million or a five year-jail term.

In May, Kenya issued a circular advising the National Police Service (NPS) not to arrest or charge foreigners with the offence of being in the country illegally.

The immigration boss said the new directive follows the resumption of international flights and easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Kenya resumed international flights from August 1, after suspending them in March due to the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had, prior to the resumption of flights, been organising repatriation flights for stranded travellers in cooperation with different countries.