Kenya eTA Process for Canada

The Kenya eTA system offers Canadian citizens a convenient and efficient way to obtain authorization for travel to Kenya. With the eTA, Canadian travelers can explore the vibrant landscapes, rich culture, and unique wildlife that Kenya has to offer. This guide provides a detailed overview of the application process, requirements, benefits, and essential information for Canadian citizens applying for a Kenya eTA.

Application Process for Canadian Travelers

The application process for a Kenya eTA is streamlined and can be completed online. Canadian citizens can follow these steps to apply for an eTA:

  • Fill Out the Application Form: Complete the online application form, entering personal, passport, and travel information accurately.
  • Upload Required Documents: Scan and upload a digital passport photo, a copy of the passport biodata page, and any other requested documentation.
  • Pay the Fee: Make the required payment for the eTA application using a credit or debit card.
  • Submit the Application: Review the application for accuracy and submit it.
  • Receive eTA via Email: Once approved, the eTA will be sent to the applicant's email address. Travelers are advised to print a copy and carry it throughout their journey.

Types of eTA Offered to Canadians for Travel to Kenya

Kenya offers different types of eTA based on the purpose of travel:

eTA Type


East African Tourist eTA

Allows multiple entries to Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda for tourism purposes. Valid for 90 days from the date of first entry. Ideal for exploring multiple East African destinations.

Kenya Single Entry eTA

Permits a single entry into Kenya for various purposes such as tourism, business, or medical treatment. Valid for 90 days from the date of entry.

Kenya Transit eTA

Intended for travelers transiting through Kenya to a different destination. Valid for 72 hours and limited to remaining within the international transit area of the airport.

Each of these eTA types serves specific travel needs, so Canadian citizens should choose the one that best suits their purpose and itinerary for their visit to Kenya

Application Requirements for a Kenya eTA for Canadian Citizens

Applicants need the following documents and information:

  • A valid Canadian passport with at least six months' validity from the intended date of entry.
  • A digital passport photo meeting specified requirements.
  • Flight itinerary or travel plans.
  • Proof of accommodation in Kenya.
  • Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay.

Digital Passport Photo for a Kenya eTA

When applying for a Kenya eTA as a Canadian citizen, one of the essential requirements is to submit a digital passport photo that meets specific criteria. The passport photo plays a crucial role in the application process, as it is used for identification purposes and must adhere to the guidelines set by the Kenyan authorities. Here's what you need to know about the digital passport photo for your Kenya eTA application:

Photo Specifications:

  • Size: The digital passport photo should have dimensions of 2 inches by 2 inches (51mm x 51mm).
  • Format: The photo should be in JPEG format.
  • Quality: The photo must be of high quality with no blurriness or pixelation.
  • Background: The background should be plain white or off-white, without any patterns or shadows. The applicant's face should be clearly visible against the background.
  • Facial Expression: The applicant should have a neutral facial expression, with both eyes open. Mouth should be closed, and the applicant should not smile, frown, or raise eyebrows.
  • Head Position: The head should be centered and occupy about 70-80% of the photo's height. The top of the head, including hair, should be visible, and there should be some space above the head.
  • Glasses and Headgear: Normal prescription glasses are allowed, but sunglasses and tinted glasses should not be worn. Religious headgear is allowed, but the face from bottom of chin to top of forehead and from ear to ear should be clearly visible.
  • Head Coverings: Head coverings for religious or medical reasons are permitted, but the face must be fully visible from the bottom of the chin to the top of the forehead and from ear to ear.

Photo Tips:

  • Use a Plain Background: Ensure that you take the photo against a plain white or off-white background without any patterns, textures, or objects.
  • Good Lighting: The photo should be well-lit, with even lighting on your face and no harsh shadows.
  • Natural Expression: Keep a neutral expression with a relaxed face. Avoid smiling, frowning, or raising eyebrows.
  • No Accessories: Avoid wearing hats, caps, or any other accessories that might obscure your facial features.
  • Hair and Makeup: Keep your hairstyle simple and avoid excessive makeup. The photo should represent your everyday appearance.
  • Recent Photo: The photo should be recent, typically taken within the last six months.

Remember that the digital passport photo is a critical component of your Kenya eTA application. It's important to ensure that your photo meets all the specified requirements to prevent any delays or issues with your application. If you're unsure about the photo's suitability, consider seeking guidance or using a professional photographer to ensure compliance with the guidelines.

First-Time Application: Obtaining a Kenya eTA from Canada

First-time applicants should apply for the eTA before their travel. The process involves creating an account, filling out the application form, uploading required documents, and making the payment. It's recommended to apply well in advance to allow time for processing.

Processing Time and Approval for Canadian Travelers

The processing time for a Kenya eTA is typically within 2-3 business days, but applicants are advised to apply at least 7 days before their intended travel date to account for any delays. Once approved, the eTA will be emailed to the applicant.

Benefits of eTA for Canadian Travelers to Kenya

The Kenya eTA offers several advantages:

  • Quick and convenient online application process.
  • Eliminates the need to visit an embassy or consulate.
  • Faster processing time compared to traditional eTA application methods.

Tips for a Smooth and Successful eTA Application

Here are some tips for a smooth and successful eTA application, presented in bullet points:

  • Accurate Information: Double-check all the information you provide in the application form to ensure it matches your passport details. Any discrepancies can lead to delays or rejection.
  • Complete Application: Fill out all required fields in the application form. Incomplete forms may result in processing delays.
  • Passport Validity: Ensure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond your intended date of entry to Kenya.
  • Digital Passport Photo: Follow the specifications for the digital passport photo carefully, ensuring it meets the required size, background, and quality standards.
  • Payment: Make sure to pay the correct eTA fee using a valid credit or debit card. Keep a record of the payment transaction.
  • Apply Early: Submit your eTA application well in advance of your travel date to allow for processing time and any potential issues that may arise.
  • Confirmation Email: Keep a copy of the confirmation email or reference number you receive after submitting your application. This will be useful for tracking your application and for reference during your travels.
  • Check Spam Folder: Sometimes, important emails, including eTA approvals, might end up in your spam folder. Regularly check both your inbox and spam folder.
  • Print Copies: Print multiple copies of your approved eTA and keep them with you during your travels. Having both digital and physical copies can be helpful.
  • Travel Itinerary: Have your travel itinerary, including flight details, accommodation bookings, and planned activities, ready to provide accurate information in your application.
  • Secure Internet Connection: Use a secure and reliable internet connection when filling out the application form to prevent any disruptions.
  • Read Instructions: Carefully read any instructions or guidelines provided on the official eTA website before starting your application.
  • Contact Support: If you encounter technical difficulties or have questions about the application process, don't hesitate to reach out to the eTA support team.
  • Stay Informed: Stay updated on any changes to the eTA requirements or application process by visiting the official eTA website or contacting the relevant authorities.

Following these tips will help ensure that your eTA application process goes smoothly, increasing your chances of a successful approval and a hassle-free travel experience to Kenya.

Traveling with Family: Children and the Kenya eTA

Children accompanying their parents need individual eTA regardless of their age.

  • Each child, regardless of age, requires an individual eTA.
  • Complete a separate application for each child, including necessary documents and fees.
  • Children's passport photos must meet the same specifications as adults'.
  • Provide accurate information about each child's details in the application form.
  • Carry printed copies of all children's approved eTA during travel.
  • Ensure children's passports have sufficient validity for the duration of the trip.
  • Plan and apply for children's eTA well in advance to avoid last-minute issues.
  • Consider any additional documentation that may be required for minors traveling without both parents.
  • Adhere to guidelines and regulations to ensure a smooth travel experience for your entire family.

Transit eTA Essentials for Canadian Travelers

Travelers transiting through Kenyan airports and remaining within the international transit area typically do not require a transit eTA. However, it's advisable to confirm this with the airline before departure.

Exploring Kenyan Culture and Local Experiences

Immerse yourself in Kenya's diverse culture, traditions, and local cuisine. Engage with local communities for an authentic experience.

  • Visit Traditional Villages: Immerse yourself in local life by visiting Maasai and other ethnic villages.
  • Cultural Festivals: Attend cultural events and festivals to witness traditional music, dance, and rituals.
  • Try Local Cuisine: Sample Kenyan dishes like nyama choma (grilled meat) and ugali (maize porridge).
  • Craft Markets: Explore markets for unique crafts, beadwork, and traditional artifacts.
  • Music and Dance: Enjoy vibrant performances showcasing rhythmic dances and traditional songs.
  • Wildlife Conservation: Learn about community efforts in wildlife conservation and preservation.
  • Language and Communication: Interact with locals, learn Swahili phrases, and engage in conversations.
  • Homestays: Experience authentic Kenyan hospitality by staying with local families.
  • Art and Galleries: Discover contemporary Kenyan art and exhibitions in urban centers.
  • Historical Sites: Visit museums and historical sites to understand Kenya's diverse history.
  • Nature Walks: Explore rural landscapes, forests, and national parks with local guides.
  • Traditional Attire: Try on traditional clothing and learn about its significance.
  • Cultural Workshops: Participate in workshops on traditional crafts, cooking, and dances.
  • Local Music Scenes: Find live music venues for a taste of modern Kenyan sounds.
  • Religious Practices: Respectfully observe local religious customs and ceremonies.

Exploring Kenyan culture and local experiences offers a deeper understanding of the country's rich heritage and enhances your travel adventure.

Balancing Business and Leisure: Using eTA for Work and Tourism

If combining business and leisure activities, select the appropriate eTA type based on the primary purpose of your visit.


Business Travel

Leisure Travel


Attend meetings, conferences, or business activities.

Explore tourist attractions, experience local culture.

eTA Type

Apply for a Business eTA.

Apply for a Tourist eTA.


Schedule business meetings and activities.

Plan visits to national parks, cultural sites, and landmarks.


Choose business-friendly hotels.

Opt for accommodations in tourist hubs or unique lodgings.

Local Interactions

Engage with colleagues, clients, and business partners.

Interact with locals, participate in cultural experiences.

Travel Extensions

Extend stay for leisure after work commitments.

Explore more tourist destinations or extend for relaxation.

Free Time

Utilize downtime for sightseeing or leisure activities.

Immerse in local culture, try local cuisine, and relax.


Efficiently manage work responsibilities.

Enjoy a well-rounded travel experience.


Prepare business-related documents.

Have necessary travel and leisure-related documents.


Attend business events for professional networking.

Engage in cultural exchanges, meet fellow travelers.

Work-Life Integration

Make the most of travel while fulfilling work obligations.

Blend work and leisure seamlessly.

Cultural Sensitivity

Respect local customs and etiquette during business interactions.

Immerse in cultural understanding during leisure activities.

Balancing business and leisure using the Kenya eTA allows you to maximize your trip by combining work commitments with exploration and relaxation.

Respecting Kenyan Customs and Etiquette

Respect local customs, traditions, and dress codes, especially when visiting religious sites and rural areas.

  • Greetings: Greet people with a handshake, and in more rural areas, a slight bow is appreciated. Addressing people using their titles (Mr., Mrs., etc.) and last names is considered respectful.
  • Dress Modestly: When visiting religious sites and rural areas, dress modestly. Women should avoid short skirts and revealing clothing.
  • Gift Giving: If invited to someone's home, consider bringing a small gift, such as flowers, fruit, or a token from your home country.
  • Table Manners: Wash your hands before eating. It's common to eat with your right hand, and wait until the host begins eating before you start.
  • Public Behavior: Public displays of affection should be avoided, as they may be considered inappropriate. Also, avoid public arguments or confrontations.
  • Respect for Elders: Show deference and respect towards older individuals. Use two hands when giving or receiving something from an elder.
  • Photography: Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural and local areas.
  • Left Hand: In many cultures, the left hand is considered less clean. Try to use your right hand for most interactions.
  • Religious Sites: Dress modestly and behave respectfully when visiting religious sites. Remove your shoes before entering mosques and some homes.
  • Tipping: Tipping is customary, especially in tourist areas and restaurants. Check if a service charge is included in the bill before tipping additionally.
  • Haggling: Bargaining is common in markets, but do so with politeness and a sense of humor.
  • Local Customs: Take the time to learn about local customs and traditions, and observe them to show your respect for the culture.
  • Language: Learning a few phrases in Swahili, such as greetings and polite expressions, can go a long way in showing respect for the local language and culture.

Respecting Kenyan customs and etiquette not only shows your appreciation for the local culture but also helps you have a more meaningful and enjoyable travel experience.

Unmissable Kenyan Attractions for Canadian Visitors

Explore iconic attractions such as Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, Nairobi National Park, and the stunning coastline.



Maasai Mara National Reserve

Famous for the Great Migration and abundant wildlife viewing, including lions, elephants, and wildebeests.

Amboseli National Park

Offers stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the opportunity to see elephants up close.

Nairobi National Park

Unique for its proximity to the city, offering a chance to see lions, giraffes, and rhinos against a city backdrop.

Diani Beach

A picturesque white sand beach along the Indian Ocean, perfect for relaxation and water sports.

Tsavo National Parks

Divided into East and West, these parks are known for diverse landscapes and large elephant herds.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Famous for its pink flamingos and rhino sanctuary, with breathtaking views of the Great Rift Valley.

Samburu National Reserve

Home to rare species like the Grevy's zebra and reticulated giraffe, offering a unique safari experience.

Lamu Island

A UNESCO World Heritage site known for its rich Swahili culture, historic architecture, and beautiful beaches.

Mount Kenya

Ideal for trekking and hiking, featuring diverse ecosystems and stunning alpine scenery.

Hell's Gate National Park

Offers outdoor adventures like hiking, rock climbing, and cycling, with geothermal features and wildlife.

Mombasa Old Town

Explore the historic heart of Mombasa with its charming architecture, markets, and cultural heritage.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Visit this elephant orphanage and learn about conservation efforts for these magnificent creatures.

These attractions offer a glimpse into Kenya's diverse landscapes, wildlife, culture, and history, making your visit a memorable and enriching experience.

Safety and Travel Advice for Canadian Tourists in Kenya

Stay updated on travel advisories, follow local laws, and exercise caution in unfamiliar areas. Safeguard your belongings and avoid displaying signs of wealth.

  • Travel Advisory: Check the latest travel advisories from your government before departure and during your stay.
  • Local Laws: Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations to avoid unintentional violations.
  • Health Precautions: Consult a travel clinic for required vaccinations and health advice before your trip.
  • Malaria Prevention: Take malaria prophylaxis, use insect repellent, and sleep under mosquito nets to prevent malaria.
  • Safe Areas: Stay in well-known, reputable accommodations and avoid poorly lit or unfamiliar areas at night.
  • Document Copies: Carry photocopies of your passport, eTA, and other important documents in a separate location.
  • Emergency Contacts: Save the contact details of your country's embassy or consulate in Kenya.
  • Local Currency: Use official currency exchange services and be cautious with displaying large amounts of cash.
  • Photography: Ask for permission before taking photos, especially of people or sensitive areas.
  • Transportation: Use licensed taxis and reputable transportation services. Be cautious when using public transportation.
  • Water and Food: Consume bottled or treated water, and choose restaurants with good hygiene practices.
  • Wildlife Interaction: Follow park rules during safaris and maintain a safe distance from wildlife.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Respect local customs, traditions, and dress codes, especially in conservative areas.
  • Street Vendors: Bargain politely when shopping at markets, and be cautious with street vendors.
  • Travel Insurance: Purchase comprehensive travel insurance to cover medical emergencies and unexpected situations.
  • Online Security: Use secure Wi-Fi connections and avoid sharing sensitive information online.
  • Political Gatherings: Steer clear of political rallies or demonstrations, which can occasionally turn volatile.
  • Natural Hazards: Be aware of weather conditions, potential natural disasters, and follow guidance from authorities.
  • Scams: Be cautious of unsolicited offers, and research before participating in any expensive activities or investments.

By following these safety and travel tips, you can enhance your security and make the most of your visit to Kenya. Remember that local conditions can change, so stay informed and adaptable during your trip.

Can Canadian Citizens Apply for a Kenya eTA Upon Arrival?

As of my knowledge cutoff date in September 2021, Kenyan eTA must be obtained before travel. However, regulations may change, and it's advisable to verify the current requirements closer to your travel date.

How Can Canadians Check the Status of Their eTA Application?

Applicants can check their eTA application status on the official eTA website using their application reference number.

  • Application Reference Number: Keep the reference number provided during the application process.
  • eTA Website: Visit the eTA website and navigate to the "Check Status" or "Track Application" section.
  • Enter Details: Enter your application reference number and passport number as required.
  • Application Status: Check the current status of your eTA application, whether it's pending, approved, or rejected.
  • Email Notifications: Keep an eye on your email inbox, as you may receive notifications about your application status.
  • Contact Support: If you encounter any issues or need assistance, contact the eTA support team for further information.
  • Keep Records: Maintain copies of all communication, including confirmation emails and status updates.

Checking the status of your eTA application helps you stay informed and prepared for your upcoming travel to Kenya.

What Should Canadian Travelers Do if Their eTA Application is Rejected?

If your eTA application is rejected, you may reapply with accurate and complete information. Alternatively, consider contacting the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate for guidance.

Kenya: Share in global gross domestic product (GDP) adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) from 2018 to 2028

Kenya: Share in global gross domestic product (GDP) adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) from 2018 to 2028


A Kenya eTA is typically valid for 90 days from the date of entry.

In some cases, it may be possible to extend a Kenya eTA. Check with the immigration authorities for the latest information.

The processing time is usually around 2-3 business days, but it's recommended to apply at least 7 days before your intended travel date.

Review the rejection reason, correct any errors, provide additional documentation if needed, and reapply. If necessary, contact eTA support for guidance.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, eTA must be obtained before travel. Check the latest requirements before your trip.

It's recommended to consult a travel clinic for required vaccinations and health advice, especially regarding malaria prevention.

Some popular attractions include Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, Nairobi National Park, and the coastal town of Diani Beach.