Kenya, South Sudan Waive off Visa Requirement For Citizens

Kenya and South Sudan have waived visa and work permits for their citizens, showing their resolve to mend ties.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan during past bilateral talks at State House, Nairobi. Jul 1, 2019. PHOTO: PSCU

Kenya and South Sudan have waived visa and work permits for their citizens, showing their resolve to mend ties.

This means South Sudanese travelling to Kenya will be able to enter for free, as long as they have a valid passport and meet other health conditions for travellers.

“Premised on the principle of reciprocity, the Republic of South Sudan has also waived visa requirements for Kenyans wishing to visit their country,” Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement read in part.

During the 21st ordinary summit of the heads of states of countries in the East African Community, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that his country will remove all visa restrictions for South Sudanese citizens on the basis of reciprocity as requested by President Salva Kiir to allow free movement of people in the region.

The ministry’s Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said the move demonstrates the strong partnership and cooperation between the two countries.

“Further, in line with Article 10 of the EAC Common Market Protocol, the Workers of the two Partner States will be allowed to accept employment within the territory of each other,” the Foreign Office noted.

“This waiver of visa requirement for citizens of the Republic of South Sudan takes effect immediately from the date of this press release,” Kamau said.

The EAC was founded in 1967 to promote cooperation between East African nations and is composed of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The Africa Visa Openness Index 2020 says citizens from 18 countries, Botswana, Burundi, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda do not require a visa when travelling to Kenya.

Others are Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the index, Kenya was among the eight countries in the Top 20 most visa-open countries in East Africa.

The index measures the extent to which African countries are open to travellers from other African countries when it comes to visas by looking at what they ask of the citizens when they travel into their countries. 

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