Traveling is almost everyone’s hobby, the experiences and memories gathered from traveling are incredibly awesome and beautiful. If given a chance we all would love to travel to our preferred destination and sometimes these destinations are not within the Country, thus you have to apply for a visa to travel especially if you are traveling to a country that does not have any bilateral agreement with Kenya.
A bilateral agreement is an agreement between two countries that allows citizens within those countries to travel without a visa. Kenya has made a bilateral agreement with the following countries: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Cyprus, Dominica, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The agreement applies to Kenyan Citizens as well, they can travel to the above countries without a visa. But assuming you want to travel to the United States of America, you will need a visa and before the visa can be issued to you, you’ll have to physically attend an interview at the US embassy in Kenya to state your exact reason for traveling.
So here is what you need to know before planning a trip to the United States of America. If you chose the USA as your travel destination you will be required to apply for a US visa. A visa is a document that indicates you have permission to visit a designated country.
The United States offers 6 types of visas;
Tourism and visit Visa (Visa B-2) – This type of visa is issued for a person who wishes to visit the US for a short vacation, or visit family and friends or for medical treatment.
Business Visa (B-1) – This visa is issued to foreign Nationals traveling to the US to conduct temporary business.
Employment Visa – This is issued to persons who wish to travel for temporary work purposes. This visa is grouped into four different categories; Temporary employment visa, Exchange Visa (J) that is issued to exchange professors and teachers, Media visa (I) issued to the press and Trade treaty issued to managers and corporate workers qualified for treaties.
Study & Exchange – Issued to foreign students and exchange visitors for the purpose of study.
Immigrate – Issued to immigrants based on family ties, employment.
Now that you know the type of Visas issued by the United States of America, you will be required to visit the Us embassy website and apply your visa through form DS-160 and after you complete the application you will be charged $160 equivalent to an approximate of Ksh.19,000 and $1 processing fee. After the payment you will be given an appointment date, to visit the Us embassy in Nairobi for a physical interview. But this is not a guarantee that you will get the visa, you may fail the interview and the visa charges are non-refundable.
If you qualify for the visa after the interview, you will be required to get a written permit from the embassy that will allow you to transit to the United States. A visa is not an automatic permit, at times you will have the visa but you will still be denied entry into the United States of America. Therefore, make sure before you leave the embassy the necessary travel permits that you need have been processed.