Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act
Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):
• Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
• Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.
These individuals will still be able to apply for a visa using the regular appointment process at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For those who require a U.S. visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the United States, U.S. Embassies and Consulates stand ready to handle applications on an expedited basis.
If an individual who is exempt from the Act because of his or her diplomatic or military presence in one of the four countries has his or her ESTA denied or revoked, he or she may go to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website www.cbp.gov or contact the CBP information Center http://www.cbp.gov/contact . The traveler may also apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Certain other travelers who fall under this restriction may qualify for a waiver of the requirements. More information about possible waivers is forthcoming.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection strongly recommends that any traveler to the United States check his or her ESTA status at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ prior to making any travel reservations or travelling to the United States. More information is available at www.dhs.gov/visa-waiver-program.
United States and Kenya Extend Visa Validity for Certain Travelers
On September 22, the United States and the Republic of Kenya jointly increased the validity of short-term business/tourist visas and student visas issued to each other's citizens.
Kenyan applicants who qualify for a B-category non-immigrant visa are now eligible to receive a multiple-entry visa for up to five years for business and tourist travel. Qualified Kenyan students and their dependents who qualify for an F-category visa are now eligible for a multiple-entry student visa valid for up to five years. U.S. citizens eligible for Kenyan short-term business and tourist visas or student visas will be afforded the same benefit. Changes in visa validity will not affect visa eligibility criteria. Visa applicants will be subject to the same standards of eligibility for a U.S. visa as before the change in validity.
The basic non-immigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, remains unchanged at the current rate of 160 USD. The MRV fee covers the costs associated with processing a U.S. visa application and is nonrefundable, whether the application is approved or refused. In addition, qualified Kenyan B and F-category visa applicants must now pay a visa reciprocity fee, also known as a visa issuance fee, of 40 USD, before their visa can be issued. This fee is in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee described above. While most visa applicants are required to pay the visa application fee, the reciprocity fee is only charged to an approved non-immigrant visa applicant after the visa interview.
If you have any questions about this extension of visa validity, please see our Frequently Asked Questions list.
Benefits of Visa Validity Extension:
- The reciprocal extension of visa validity to five years underscores the commitment of both the United States and the Republic of Kenya to promote bilateral trade and tourism, increase opportunities for people-to-people engagement, and enhance mutual understanding between our countries.
- This new arrangement will be more convenient and less costly for travelers. Currently, Kenyan business travelers and tourists must apply annually if visiting the United States each year. When this new arrangement goes into effect Kenyan citizens qualified for a short-term visa to visit the United States for business or tourism will only need to apply to renew their visa once every five years.
- Under the current arrangement, Kenyan students who depart the United States for short visits abroad are required to apply for new visas. Under the new arrangement, Kenyan students will find it easier and more convenient to return home because in many cases they will not be required to obtain new visas prior to returning to the United States to study, as long as they remain full-time students in good standing.
Visa Application System
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has made the visa application process faster, simpler and less stressful for Kenyans seeking to travel to the United States.
Applicants can schedule a non-immigrant visa appointment or through the assistance of the call center at +254-20-619-0600 (in Kenya) or +1 703-988-7112 (in the United States). Applicants must pay application fees at any branch of Postbank or through Mpesa before booking an appointment.
Applicants with questions on visa categories, requirements, and procedures, may call the visa call centre between 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, every Monday through Friday, at +254-20-619-0600 (in Kenya). In addition, approved visas are delivered to any of the 28 DHL locations nationwide, free of charge
Applicants are also required to complete their visa application form and pay the application fee prior to scheduling an appointment.
Fee payments are not transferable. The fee payment is electronically tied to applicant’s passport number and cannot be transferred to anyone else.
- Parents traveling with children under age 18: If two parents are listed on the birth certificate, both must appear at the visa interview and give consent for their child to travel to the United States. Those who are now single parents must provide a court order confirming that they are the sole guardian of the child. If the certificate of birth was issued by the Republic of Kenya, the court order should be obtained from the Children’s Court of the High Court of Kenya.
- Wait times for an interview can vary. We suggest that applicants bring reading material to occupy themselves while they wait for their interview.
- Please be advised that you may need warm clothing as some of the processing takes place outside.
Applicants with disabilities may need to be accompanied when visiting the visa section
- A non-immigrant visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission for temporary visit; it does not guarantee entry. An immigration inspector at the port of entry determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission into the United States.
The preferred and recommended method of inquiry is via email: VisitorVisaNairobi@state.gov. It generally takes 2-3 working days to receive an email response. Please include the applicant’s full name, date of birth, passport number and contact information.
Non-Immigrant Visa Pick-up
If you qualify for a visa, the Consular Section will return passports and visas via courier a week after the interview. Occasionally, however, we will be unable to do so due to circumstances and technical issues beyond our control.
Due to unavoidable circumstances, DHL closed their Kisumu office with immediate effect. For clients who have already chosen a Kisumu location for visa collection, DHL will call you to arrange for collection in Nairobi. Please contact log in to the CSC website (www.usvisa-info.com) if you would like to choose a different location.
Please be informed that submission of fake documents or misrepresentation of facts in any way could render you permanently ineligible for a Non-immigrant visa to the
Since no assurance regarding the issuance of non-immigrant visas can be given in advance, final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable air tickets should not be made until you are approved and have the visa in hand.
The Visa section will only consider requests for expedited appointments in emergency cases only. These are:
- Medical treatment for applicant as well as any persons desiring to travel in support (for example parent caring for child).
- Death of immediate family member (ie Parent, Sibling, Child).
- For expeditious appointment visit the U.S. Visa Service.
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.