Govt Postpones Ruto’s Visa-Free Directive; Here’s Why

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Govt Postpones Ruto’s Visa-Free Directive; Here’s Why

On Tuesday, January 2, the government declared the delay of President William Ruto’s directive regarding Visa-free entries to Kenya, with the rescheduled date yet to be disclosed.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) stated in a release that the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system, intended as an alternative entry application model, was still in the process of full development.

Consequently, individuals traveling to the country will continue to be obligated to request a Visa through Kenyan embassies, following the established procedure.

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KCAA officials verified the legitimacy of the document to Politics254, confirming its authenticity. “Following the presidential directive that Kenya will be a visa-free country from January 2024, an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system is in the process of development and implementation.”

“All travelers coming to Kenya from countries that require visas shall continue applying for visas in the usual manner until the government communicates the change program to the ETA system,” the statement added.

As per government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, the ETA system aims to regulate the surge of visitors following the elimination of visas. Travelers will incur a fee of Ksh4,600 when applying for the permit, a sum lower than the Ksh7,600 required for a single-entry visa.

ETA systems offer an additional layer of security and improve efficiency by eliminating unnecessary delays, thereby facilitating smooth movement of people across borders. Kenya also plans to leverage Integrated Border Management systems at airports to counteract illegal movements.

However, specific details on how authorities will monitor and restrict entry to individuals posing a threat to national security remain undisclosed.

President William Ruto, during Jamhuri Day, announced Kenya’s progression towards becoming a Visa-free country, granting international visitors unrestricted access. Ruto emphasized that this move aligns with global efforts to promote seamless travel between nations and aims to enhance the local tourism industry.

A few weeks earlier, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda declared his administration’s intention to eliminate visa requirements for all African nations.

In Other News: Finance Act 2023: How New Taxes Will Affect Kenyans This January

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