A Ryanair aircraft. The airline doesn’t want any more environmental taxes. Tony Hisgett / Flickr
A Ryanair aircraft. The airline doesn’t want any more environmental taxes. Tony Hisgett / Flickr
When preparing for a trip to Kenya, you will almost certainly need a visa. Different requirements exist for different countries, although there are some general requirements that apply to everyone. Therefore, you should always check exactly what you need to do before your trip, so there are no last-minute issues. Here is everything you need to know about obtaining a visa for Kenya:
There are two common ways to obtain a visa to travel to Kenya. The first method is the traditional one, which involves applying for a visa upon arrival at the airport. Although this might seem like an ideal way to get a visa, this option does have some disadvantages. There is always a chance of unexpected issues if you wait until the last minute, as well as long lines to deal with to simply reach the visa desk.
The other popular method is to get a single-entry visa for Kenya before your trip. Online visas are quite simple to get, as you can apply from anywhere in the world, as long as you have internet. This visa will be valid for 90 consecutive days with a possibility to extend it during your trip.
Although both ways are still currently available, there are some proposed changes with the Kenyan immigration policies for the future, as they are planning to end the visa on arrival system. Therefore, obtaining the eVisa beforehand is definitely a more attractive option in order to avoid any confusion.
The requirements when applying for a visa online vary depending on the purpose of your trip to Kenya and your nationality. For example, a Kenya visa for US citizens is quite easy to obtain as US citizens are usually only asked to meet the basic requirements of the visa. However, citizens of other countries might have to provide additional documents, which is why it is important to check the specifics based on the country of your passport.
The basic requirements for an eVisa include:
• Possession of a valid passport that will be valid for at least 6 months after arrival in Kenya
• Having at least one blank page in your passport
• Providing evidence of a return ticket or an onward journey
• Attaching a photo of the biographical data page of your passport
• Attaching a photo, that meets the visa photo guidelines, of the applicant
• A valid credit or debit card to pay for the visa
Some other possible requirements based on the type of journey and nationality are:
• Proof of accommodation reservations and travel itinerary for a tourist eVisa
• Invitation letter for business meetings and copy of business registration for a business eVisa
• Invitation letter and identity proof from a family member in Kenya when obtaining a family visit eVisa
Having medical insurance when traveling to Kenya is not mandatory, however, it should be a crucial part of planning your journey. There are certain health risks in Kenya, and as a result, you should always take the necessary health precautions beforehand. Extensive travel insurance can be quite inexpensive and the peace of mind it provides is well worth the money spent.
As mentioned before, the process to gather all of my documents and to apply for my Spanish non-lucrative visa was actually MUCH smoother and quicker than I anticipated. I got all my paperwork ready in one week and my visa was approved in only 10 days.
You can read my detailed instructions on how to apply for the Spanish non-lucrative visa here:
Non Lucrative Visa for Spain: How I Applied in Just 1 Week
However, once the non-lucrative visa has been issued, that’s only the first step. You must complete the next steps once you arrive in Spain in order to get your Spanish Residency Card (TIE).
Once your visa is approved and you either pick up your visa at the Spanish consulate or receive your passport with visa in the mail (whichever option you chose), keep in mind that…
1. You have 3 months to enter Spain from the date your visa was issued
2. Once in Spain, you need to apply for your TIE (Spanish Residency Card) within 30 days
The first part is easy. Just make sure you enter Spain within 3 months of your visa issue date!
The second part is more complicated. But now that I’ve completed the process, I’m going to share every detail on how to get your TIE once in Spain.
In order to get your TIE, you will most likely need to get this certificate from the City Hall first.
Not every city in Spain requires this document for a TIE but many do and here in Valencia, they definitely require it. This is basically an official certificate that shows you are registered as a resident of a particular city or town in Spain. The certificate is typically issued by the City Hall in the town or city where you plan to live in Spain.
With this official document, your life as a resident becomes much easier. Consider it official proof of residency and address, something that comes in handy when dealing with other government offices (such as the office that handles the Spanish Residency Card process).
For me, once my number was called, the process took about 5 minutes. I gave the woman behind the desk my documents, she asked a couple of quick questions (my level of education, if it was my first time registering in Spain, why I needed the certificate, etc.) and then she printed out two copies of the official certificate right then and there.
That was it. I had the Certificado de Empadronamiento and I was ready to continue the TIE process.
*If you don’t speak any Spanish, you will probably want to have a Spanish-speaking friend or contact come with you.
You can do this before you get your Certificado de Empadronamiento. The only thing to keep in mind is:
Overall, if you allow for at least 2 weeks between your appointment for your Certificado de Empadronamiento and your appointment for your TIE card, you should be good.
Appointment Wait Times
Don’t be alarmed if there are no available TIE appointments for 4 or more weeks. It’s apparently common in some cities for there to be long waits for available appointments. But even though you technically need to apply for your Spanish residency card within 30 days of arriving in Spain, it seems that this rule is ignored. In reality, it has to be ignored since it’s common to wait over a month to get an appointment! So, if the available appointments are 1 or more months away, don’t worry, just book the earliest one you can.
Here’s how to book your TIE appointment:
*Important: Be sure to save the confirmation that appears on your screen as you will absolutely need to take this confirmation paper to your appointment!
*Important: The available appointments change all the time. Keep checking. When I went on the site the first time, the earliest appointment was 4 weeks away. But then I checked one day later and suddenly appointments were available later that same week.
*Important: You need a separate appointment for each person if you are applying as a couple or family.
Here is a list of everything you need for the TIE appointment:
You’ll now need to print out the form, sign it and take it to the bank (in Spain) to pay the fee.
I was told you could go to any bank to do this but I had some difficulties. The first bank told me I could only get this done between 9:30am – 11:00am on Mondays and Thursdays, the second bank just said ‘no’ and the third bank told me to come back the next day. But then I found a tiny branch of Caixa Popular Bank and they helped me take care of it in 3 minutes. Just don’t save this part until the last second!
The current fee for the TIE is 15,74 Euros. You simply pay that amount, the banker stamps your form and you’re good to go.
Keep the stamped form as you’ll need it for your appointment.
*Get a Spanish phone number!: I use Google Fi and can use my US phone number all over the world. However, I did get a local Spanish SIM card from Vodafone so that I could list a Spanish phone number on my documents. This is important as they might not accept a foreign phone number on the forms and in the government registration system.
It’s easy though. It costs 10 EUR at Vodafone for the SIM (comes with 5 GB of data too). I never put the SIM in my phone but at least I can give out that Spanish number and I avoid confusion.
Again, if you don’t speak any Spanish, this could be a challenge to do on your own as the staff at the Valencia office didn’t speak any English. I’ve heard the same about most TIE offices in the country. You might want to bring a local friend or contact to assist.
And that’s it.
Then, after 30 days, you can go back and pick up your Spanish Residency Card. You don’t need an appointment for this, just show up and get in the appropriate line.
Good luck and if you have any questions, just let me know!
The post Spanish Residency Card (TIE): All You Need to Know appeared first on Wandering Earl.
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