East Africa: Kenya exempts Ethiopians from USD 30 ETA fee, testing remains mandatory

by MMC
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Nairobi — Kenya has exempted Ethiopians from the $30 fee paid by foreigners applying for an electronic travel authorization (eTA). to enter the country.

Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Kenya, Bacha Debele Buta, expressed gratitude over the move, commending President William Ruto’s administration for the move.

“My sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Kenya for its prompt response and (its) kind decision to remove Ethiopian citizens from the electronic payment requirement linked to the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA),” he said. declared Monday.

The announcement comes amid concerns over the new visa regime and its implications for Kenya’s decades-old visa waiver agreement with Ethiopia, which allows citizens of both countries to travel without having to need to obtain a visa.

President Ruto announced Kenya’s transition to a “visa-free” regime on December 12, 2023, with the eTA requirement, applicable to all foreigners, taking effect on January 1, 2024.

The eTA protocol enables advanced identification and control.

The implementation of the new visa regime saw its first wave of foreign arrivals on January 5 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Immigration Principal Secretary Julius Bitok said the Immigration Ministry had received 5,000 eTA applications at the time.

Revised regulations

In support of this policy change, the Government has made amendments to the Citizenship and Immigration Regulations, 2023.

A special Gazette notice issued by Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki replaced the term “visa” with “electronic travel authorization”.