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Kenya exempts Ethiopia, South Africa, 3 others from $30 eTA fee 



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Kenya has recently made modifications to its online visitor registration service, seeking to enhance the ease of travel into the country. 

The Department of Immigration and Citizen Services has announced that citizens from Ethiopia and five other nations will no longer be required to pay the $30 fee per traveler when applying through the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) system.  

This adjustment, effective since February 15, extends to citizens of Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Eritrea, Mozambique, San Marino, and South Africa, all of which have concluded visa abolition or signed bilateral visa waiver agreements with Kenya. 

The eTA system, launched in January, had faced criticism for its $30 fee, which some regarded as a de facto visa charge.

The exemption for these six countries aligns with Kenya’s commitment to nations with established visa agreements. Ethiopia, in particular, has had visa exemption pacts with Nairobi for the past five decades. 

While Kenyans can travel to Ethiopia with only a valid passport, Ethiopians were required to pay the $30 fee for an eTA, applied for at least 72 hours before arrival. 

 What you should know 

This move has been well-received, with the Ethiopian Ambassador expressing gratitude for Kenya’s decision to eliminate the eTA electronic payment requirement. Despite the fee waiver, Ethiopian citizens are still mandated to complete the eTA form online before travelling to Kenya.  

The adjustments are part of Kenya’s ongoing consultations with foreign partners to improve the eTA system, addressing concerns and ensuring its effectiveness.

While the eTA application timeline remains at least 72 hours before arrival, issued eTAs are now valid for travel to Kenya within 90 days from the date of issue.  

However, some critics argue that the eTA application lacks flexibility, especially for individuals requiring adjustments to travel times or facing emergency travel needs.

Nonetheless, East African Community member states are exempt from the eTA requirement, allowing their citizens to travel with valid passports or national identification. 

These modifications reflect Kenya’s commitment to refining its travel processes and fostering positive relations with its international partners.  

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