Kenya Visa: Exploring Study Opportunities and Higher Education

Kenya Study Visa: The Complete Guide

Shehla Hamzalizada24 May 202341777 views7 min. read
Kenya Study Visa: The Complete Guide

Kenya is a desirable African country for expats and diplomats to be stationed in. Its literacy rate of 61.5% is high compared to other sub-Saharan countries, demonstrating the value the Kenyan people place on education. Kenya's academic stage constantly evolves, with many public and private institutions promoting innovation and progress. Students seeking to study in Kenya will undoubtedly appreciate the experience. Kenya has several internationally determined educational institutions, including polytechnic schools, technical colleges, and some other known Kenyan Universities. These institutions offer specialized capabilities that can be recognized anywhere in the world. Employers across various industries accept degrees and diplomas obtained from these institutions. Several foreign universities have established exchange programs to allow their students to experience this rich culture while pursuing academic growth.

Universities and Higher Education Institutions

Many international students are enrolling in Kenyan Universities, adding to the country's multicultural appeal. Numerous universities and educational centers in Kenya offer academic programs for short- and long-term study. Kenya's Business Administration, MA, Ph.D., and postdoctoral research programs are open to international students and researchers. Additionally, Kenyan Universities offer summer schools and conferences that appeal to scholars and scientists.  The student pass is intended for international students accepted or admitted studying in Kenya's Education or Training Institutions. It is issued per section 30(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulations 2012. To apply for a student pass, the international student must have already been accepted by an approved Educational or Training Establishment.

Student asking question in classroom

There are some of Kenya's student pass requirements for your application:

  • Appropriate application form duly filled, signed and stamped by the organization's authority
  • Detailed and signed cover letter by an institution to the Director of Immigration Services. 
  • Signed affirmation letter by the sponsor 
  • National passport copy from the sponsor 
  • Proof of accounts for self-sponsored students 
  • For minors, a permission letter from the parent 
  • A copy of the parent's national passport and the minor's birth diploma should be attached as proof of connection (for children).
  • Copy of a valid national passport
  • Current immigration position for the student
  • Two current passport-size color photographs
  • Duly affirmed Copies of essential academic certificates for those entering Tertiary Institutions and Universities -new case
  • Foreign Documents should be translated into English by the Embassy, Notary, or authorized association. 
  • Copy of the school's or colleges enrollment certification from the Ministry of Education - new cases
  • Endorsement letter from the Department of Refugee Affairs for refugees.
  • Certified copies of advancement transcripts obtained (by the issuing organization) -for renewal cases
  • Copy of student's pass earlier had -for renewal cases.
  • For minors, attach a copy of your parent's Kenya residency permit if not a border.
  • Police Clearance Certification from the country of birth, or if a resident, by the Kenya Police Service
  • Copy of Checklist

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Paying for your tertiary education can be difficult for you and your family, who often provide financial support. Many universities offer higher education scholarships, research programs, or other degrees. It is essential to explore alternative funding options at this stage to minimize stress on your loved ones. While part-time jobs may not provide sufficient funds, they also lack the employment stability needed for long-term education financing. Therefore, we recommend seeking funding opportunities to cover the costs of your studies. Many government and private financial programs in Kenya provide students and other qualified candidates with funding opportunities. Many programs offer total financing through scholarships, fellowships, travel grants, and financial aid. Therefore, students, researchers, and professors can easily find and apply for a suitable program in Kenya.

There are some of the most common scholarships and funding opportunities in Kenya.

The Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship is a valuable government-sponsored program that supports underrepresented students in pursuing study abroad opportunities. Specifically, the scholarship is available to students who already receive Federal Pell Grants, have high financial needs, come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, attend community colleges, or have disabilities. 

You can also consider applying for the David  Boren Awards for International Study This program is unique because it aims to send students to nations critical to U.S. interests and not typically represented in other study abroad programs. By critical, they mean areas where scholars can study global challenges such as sustainable development, global disease and hunger, population growth, and economic competitiveness. In addition, language study is a core focus of this program. 

Internships and Research Opportunities

Internship placements are a way for talented university graduates to gain structured experience in research early in their careers. These internships offer opportunities to assist senior scientific staff and participate in ongoing academic projects.

Internship placements provide a hub for organizations' engagements across the continent and work actively to make connections with research and policy organizations. It's a great way for interns to test the waters and see if they want to pursue research collaborations. The internships are limited to six months and cannot be renewed, but a monthly stipend will be provided. To be eligible, applicants must have obtained a first or upper second Bachelor's degree from an East African University within the past year and a minimum average score of B+ or equivalent on secondary school exit exams.

Kenya Immigration Service offers an Internship pass for whom Foreign nationals who want to study in Kenya or participate in internship placements or academic research at a recognized institution can apply for an internship pass. The length of the educational program, training, or research assignment determines the pass's validity. If you plan to do an internship or academic research in Kenya, you'll need a document to enter and stay in the country. This document is only available to individuals accepted as interns or researchers at institutions in Kenya.

There are some requirements from the Immigration website you can follow below:

  • The required application form with a signed and stamped version by the head institution
  • The cover letter detail written by the institution to the General Director of Immigration Services indicating which course will be pursued and duration
  • The copy of a valid national passport
  • Current immigration status of an applicant
  • Current two passport size photograph
  • The copy of basic academic certifications
  • Copy of registration certificate for the institution
  • For researchers, Clearance from National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation
  • The Clearance letter by the Department of Refugee Affairs 
  • Research Curriculum
  • Police Clearance Certificate

Post-study Work Opportunities

Multiracial young creative people in modern office. Group of young business people are working together with laptop, tablet, smart phone, notebook. Successful hipster team in coworking. Freelancers.

Kenya's economy has extended potential for growth due to its skilled and young workforce, continuously improving infrastructure, and strategic location as an economic hub in East Africa.

Numerous international students desire to secure graduate jobs in Kenya upon completing their university education. Kenya presents excellent career options for young talents and enables international students to establish themselves within the Kenyan industry.

Regarding employment prospects for graduate jobs in Kenya, priority is given to local candidates over foreign nationals. A committee is responsible for reviewing work permit applications and making decisions based on the potential impact on the country's economy. They will either approve or reject the application accordingly.

To be able to pursue graduate jobs, international students must meet specific immigration criteria. Those who wish to stay in Kenya after completing their studies must acquire a job contract to exchange their student pass for a work permit. The employer is responsible for applying on their behalf. Work permits have various classifications for different types of stays, but they all mandate the exact requirements.

  • Application form with a sign
  • Cover letter from the company or employer
  • A copy of your passport
  • Two colored passport-size photograph
  • The application payment (required fee)

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