South Africa grants Kenyans visa-free entry

Written by on 10 November 2022

Kenyans traveling to South Africa will enjoy a visa-free 90 days per year beginning January 1, 2023.

The breakthrough follows a discussion between President William Ruto and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa who is in the country for a two-day state visit.

“This has been a challenge that has been with us for a long time. Under the new regime, we can build greater relationship in business, cultural, social, and communal relationships between our two countries,” President William Ruto said.

In June 2017, Kenya extended visa-free stay for South Africans from 30 days to 90 days following a meeting between then-South African President Jacob Zuma and former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The good gesture by Kenya was expected to be reciprocated by South Africa but it was delayed by illegal immigrants who ‘corrupted’ the system.

South Africa versus Kenya

Kenya has long expressed discomfort with the many hurdles its citizens traveling to South Africa continue to face with little response from Pretoria.

Nairobi has always raised concerns over the high costs of South African visas and extended processing periods, which take up to five days.

“Kenya and South Africa are strategic allies with shared interests to build stronger socio-economic ties.

“We have partnerships in trade, agriculture, housing and capacity building in the public service.

“We have agreed that starting January 1, 2023, Kenyan ordinary passport holders will be allowed to enter South Africa visa-free for up to 90 days a year.

“The two countries have also settled on a return policy when immigration laws are breached,” Ruto said in a joint press conference at State House, Nairobi.

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