Non-Citizens Risk Losing their Jobs as Kenya Enforces Stringent Immigration Law

On 20th April 2018, the Interior Cabinet Secretary issued a press release warning of the illegal foreign workers in the country. At the same time, he announced a radical enforcement policy to weed out foreigners illegally working in Kenya. After the lapse of 60 days, the government will launch a massive crackdown on non-citizens who do not have work permits, with the Cabinet Secretary stating that only 34,000 foreigners possess valid work permits as per the government records.

Action to Take

In light of the announcement by the Cabinet Secretary, we wish to remind all individuals, companies, institutions and all employers that it is against the law for any non-citizen to continue working or undertaking any task without the requisite documents (work permits or special passes). However, as a caring partner to our clients we wish to provide the following safety plan:

  • Every non-citizen, even those with work permits should re-check that their details are in the database. This is a task that our team can assist you as an employer or employee.
  • Ensure that you always carry with you any valid immigration document that you have. For instance, if you have a valid work permit or special pass, make sure you have it with you in case you need to show it for identification purposes.
  • Employees should also create a safety plan by keeping important documents such as birth certificates and immigration documents in a safe place where they can easily access if necessary. Failure to act can potentially subject the employers to a significant liability.
  • If you have to deal with the immigration and customs officer or any other law enforcement officers at home, on the streets, or anywhere, kindly comply and furnish them with any information related to immigration as they may require.

Notably, the Cabinet Secretary also gave the non-citizens 60 days to seek requisite documents such as passports, work permits, and residential permits as required by law. At the lapse of the set time, the Cabinet Secretary instructed the police to take action against those found to have broken the law.

Further, the Cabinet Secretary stated that the immigration department will launch an electronic permit as a means of boosting the country’s security also to regulate the issuance of work permits. 

Should you have any enquiries regarding this alert or any general queries on the subject matter, kindly contact Carole Ayugi, Managing Partner and Wangila Masinde, Lawyer, MMAN Advocates.

Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Nothing on this article is intended to guaranty, warranty, or predict the outcome of a particular case and should not be construed as such a guaranty, warranty, or prediction. The authors are not responsible for any actions (or lack thereof) taken as a result of relying on or in any way using information contained in this article and in no event shall be liable for any damages resulting from reliance on or use of this information. Readers should take specific advice from a qualified professional when dealing with specific situations.


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