Kenya eTA Process for United Arab Emirates

Kenya has implemented an electronic travel authorization (eTA) system to facilitate the entry of foreign travelers, including citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The eTA process simplifies the eTA application process and allows UAE citizens to obtain their eTA online before traveling to Kenya. This article provides a comprehensive guide to the Kenya eTA process for UAE citizens.

Eligibility Criteria for Kenyan eTA Application

Here are the eligibility criteria for Kenyan eTA application in bullet points:

  • UAE citizens planning to visit Kenya for tourism, business, or medical purposes.
  • Intended stay in Kenya should be for a short duration.
  • The applicant's passport must have a minimum validity of six months from the date of entry into Kenya.
  • Travelers must provide accurate personal information and travel details in the online application form.
  • Valid flight details showing the entry and exit dates from Kenya are required.
  • Proof of accommodation arrangements during the stay in Kenya, such as hotel reservations, must be provided.
  • For business or medical eTA applicants, an invitation letter from the host organization in Kenya may be required.
  • The applicant's photograph submitted with the eTA application should meet specific requirements, including size, format, and background.

Types of eTA Available for UAE Citizens

For UAE citizens, there are primarily three types of eTA available:

eTA Type


Kenya Transit eTA

For travelers with layovers in Kenya who plan to stay at the airport without exiting the country.

Kenya Single Entry eTA

Allows a single entry into Kenya and is valid for a short duration.

East African Tourist eTA

Allows travel within Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. UAE citizens can enter any of these countries with this eTA.

Kenya eTA Application Process for UAE Citizens

To begin the Kenya eTA application process, UAE citizens need to follow these steps:

  • Fill out the online application form, providing accurate personal information and travel details.
  • Select the appropriate type of eTA (Transit, Single Entry, or East African Tourist eTA).
  • Upload required documents, including a valid UAE passport, passport-size photograph, travel itinerary, hotel reservations, and invitation letter if applicable.
  • Review and submit the application.
  • Pay the eTA processing fee using a valid payment method.
  • Receive an email confirmation with a tracking number for the application.
  • Monitor the application status on the eCitizen portal using the tracking number.
  • Once approved, receive an eTA approval letter via email.
  • Print a copy of the approval letter to carry during the journey.

Note: In case of rejection, applicants will receive an email notification with a reason for the rejection.

Required Documents for Kenya eTA Application from the UAE

UAE citizens must upload the following documents during the eTA application process:

  • Passport: A valid UAE passport with a minimum validity of six months from the date of entry into Kenya.
  • Passport-Size Photograph: A recent, colored passport-size photograph meeting the specified requirements.
  • Travel Itinerary: Flight details showing the entry and exit dates from Kenya.
  • Hotel Reservations: Proof of accommodation arrangements during the stay in Kenya.
  • Invitation Letter (if applicable): For business or medical eTA applicants, an invitation letter from the host organization in Kenya may be required.

Photograph Requirements for eTA Application

The photograph submitted with the eTA application should meet the following specifications:

  • Size: 5.5 cm x 5.5 cm
  • Format: JPEG
  • Background: White or off-white
  • Face Orientation: Full face, front view with open eyes
  • No accessories or headgear (except for religious purposes) should be worn in the photo.

Flight and Hotel Details during the Application Process

Yes, UAE citizens must provide flight details and hotel reservations as part of the eTA application process. These details are essential for the Kenyan authorities to verify the purpose of the visit and the intended duration of stay.

Processing Time for Different Types of eTA

The processing time for Kenya eTA varies depending on the type:

  • Single Entry eTA: Usually processed within two to three working days.
  • Multiple Entry eTA: May take up to seven working days.
  • Transit eTA: Generally processed within two to three working days.

Fee for a Kenya eTA for UAE Citizens

The eTA fee for UAE citizens depends on the type and duration of the eTA. It is advisable to check the current fee structure on the Kenya eTA fee page during the application process.

Tracking the Status of a Submitted Kenya eTA Application

Here's how UAE citizens can track the status of a submitted Kenya eTA application, presented in bullet points:

  • After submitting the eTA application, receive an email confirmation with a tracking number.
  • Locate the "Check Application Status" or similar option on the portal's dashboard.
  • Enter the provided tracking number and any additional required details.
  • Click on the "Check Status" or similar button to retrieve the latest updates on your application.
  • Monitor the application's progress, including whether it is pending, approved, or rejected.
  • Regularly check the portal for updates and notifications regarding your eTA application status.

Approval of Kenya eTA

Once the Kenya eTA application is approved, UAE citizens will receive an eTA approval letter via email. It is essential to print a copy of the approval letter to carry during the journey.

Rejected Kenya eTA Application

If a UAE citizen's eTA application is rejected, they will receive a notification via email with a reason for the rejection. In such cases, applicants may need to apply for a regular eTA through the Kenyan Embassy or Consulate.

Printed Copy of Kenya eTA Approval for Traveling

Yes, UAE citizens must carry a printed copy of their Kenya eTA approval during their travels. Immigration authorities in Kenya may request to see the approval letter upon arrival.

Validity Duration of Kenya eTA for UAE Citizens

The validity duration of a Kenya eTA varies based on the type of eTA issued:

  • Kenya Transit eTA: Valid for a short layover period, typically up to 72 hours.
  • Kenya Single Entry eTA: Valid for a short stay of up to 90 days.
  • East African Tourist eTA: Allows travel within Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. The validity period may vary; please check the specific details for each country.

Key Factors for UAE Citizens Arranging Brief Layovers or Transit via Kenya

For UAE citizens with layovers or transit via Kenya, it is crucial to apply for a Transit eTA if they plan to leave the airport and enter Kenya during the stopover. Otherwise, a Transit eTA is not required for those staying within the airport premises.

Extending Stay Beyond eTA Validity Period

If UAE citizens wish to extend their stay in Kenya beyond the validity of their eTA, they must apply for an extension through the Kenya Immigration Department before the eTA expires. Overstaying the eTA validity without an extension could lead to penalties and immigration issues.

Here's the process for extending your stay beyond the eTA validity period in Kenya, presented in a list format:

  • Plan Ahead: Before your eTA expires, determine whether you need to extend your stay in Kenya.
  • Visit Immigration Office: Visit the nearest Kenya Immigration Office well before your eTA's expiration date.
  • Application Submission: Obtain the necessary application forms for a eTA extension and submit them along with required documents.
  • Required Documents: Prepare documents such as a valid passport, eTA approval, application form, proof of sufficient funds, travel itinerary, and reason for extension (if any).
  • Application Review: Your application will be reviewed by the immigration authorities, and they will inform you of the outcome.
  • Pay Extension Fee: If your application is approved, you'll need to pay the applicable extension fee.
  • Approval and Stamping: Once approved, the immigration authorities will stamp your passport with the extended stay period.
  • Adhere to Conditions: Abide by the conditions of your extended stay, including exit before the new eTA expiration date.
  • Overstay Consequences: Failing to extend your eTA before its expiration or overstaying the new validity period can lead to fines, deportation, or other penalties.

It's essential to follow the proper procedure for extending your stay to avoid legal and immigration complications.

Why is tourism popular in Kenya?

Tourism is popular in Kenya for a variety of reasons, thanks to the country's rich and diverse natural and cultural attractions. Here are some key factors that contribute to Kenya's popularity as a tourist destination:

  • Safari Adventures: Kenya is renowned for its incredible wildlife and offers some of the best safari experiences in the world. Tourists can explore famous national parks and game reserves such as the Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo, and more, to witness the "Big Five" (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) and other unique wildlife species in their natural habitats.
  • Great Migration: The annual Great Migration of wildebeest and other animals between the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara in Kenya is a spectacular natural event that attracts visitors from around the globe. The dramatic river crossings and large herds of animals make for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Cultural Diversity: Kenya is home to a diverse range of cultures, including over 40 ethnic groups with their own languages, traditions, and customs. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the vibrant cultures of the Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu, Luo, and others through interactions with local communities.
  • Beautiful Landscapes: From the iconic savannas of the Maasai Mara to the stunning landscapes of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya boasts a wide variety of breathtaking natural scenery. Mount Kenya, Africa's second-highest peak, offers opportunities for trekking and mountaineering.
  • Beaches and Coastline: Kenya's coastline along the Indian Ocean is dotted with pristine white sandy beaches and coral reefs. Popular coastal destinations like Mombasa, Diani Beach, and Malindi offer a perfect blend of relaxation, water sports, and cultural experiences.
  • Adventure Activities: For travelers seeking adventure, Kenya offers activities like hot air ballooning over the savannah, trekking, birdwatching, and even opportunities for water-based activities like snorkeling and diving in the coastal areas.
  • Conservation Efforts: Kenya has made significant efforts in wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism practices. Many lodges and tour operators focus on eco-friendly and responsible tourism, contributing to the preservation of the country's natural heritage.
  • Accessibility: Kenya's well-developed infrastructure, including international airports, good road networks, and a range of accommodation options, makes it relatively easy for tourists to explore different parts of the country.
  • Cultural and Historical Sites: In addition to its natural attractions, Kenya also boasts historical sites like ancient Swahili trading towns along the coast, prehistoric archaeological sites, and museums that offer insights into the country's history.
  • Warm Hospitality: Kenyan people are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness towards visitors. This welcoming atmosphere enhances the overall travel experience for tourists.

All these factors contribute to Kenya's popularity as a top tourist destination, attracting travelers who seek a blend of wildlife, nature, adventure, culture, and relaxation.

How many tourists visit Nairobi each year?

According to the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Nairobi received 1,423,971 international tourist arrivals in 2019. This represents about 70% of all tourist arrivals in Kenya that year. The number of tourists visiting Nairobi is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, as the city is a major gateway to Kenya's many tourist attractions.

Here are some of the reasons why tourists visit Nairobi:

  • It is a major transportation hub. Nairobi is home to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the busiest airport in Kenya. This makes it a convenient starting point for tourists who are planning to visit other parts of the country.
  • It is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. Nairobi is a melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world calling it home. The city is also home to a number of historical landmarks, such as the Nairobi National Museum and the Karen Blixen Museum.
  • It is a great place to experience African wildlife. Nairobi is located just a short drive from some of Kenya's most famous national parks, such as the Nairobi National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve. This makes it a great place to see lions, elephants, zebras, and other African animals in their natural habitat.

If you are planning a trip to Kenya, I highly recommend including Nairobi in your itinerary. The city has something to offer everyone, from history buffs to wildlife enthusiasts.


Yes, providing accurate flight and hotel details is necessary to verify the purpose of your visit and intended duration of stay.

After approval, you'll receive an eTA approval letter via email, which you should print and carry during your journey.

Yes, you can apply for a eTA extension through the Kenya Immigration Department before your eTA expires. Overstaying could result in penalties.

Yes, it's essential to carry a printed copy of your Kenya eTA approval letter during your travels.

Yes, but the same passport used for the eTA application must be used for travel to Kenya to avoid complications.